Jean-Claude Smit-le-Bénédicte is a Belgian comics author, theater writer and graphic artist, who often works under the pseudonym "Mythic". He has also published work as Jean-Claude Smit, Jean-Claude Hyrayem or Jean-Sébastien Forst. He has written in a great many genres, including adventure, espionnage, erotic, absurdism and fantasy, and both on humorous and realistic comics. He is best-known for his collaborations with François Walthéry ('Natacha', 'Rubine') and as the second writer of the espionnage series 'Alpha' (art by Youri Jigounov).

He was born in Uccle in 1947 and originally worked as a stage of costume designer for a children's theater before starting a career as an illustrator. He participated with numerous exhibitions in Belgium and abroad. Smit-le-Bénédicte frequently appeared as an animator and organiser of science fiction and fantasy conventions. He also started writing, and has since released the novels 'Les Mondes non-mobiles' (1978), 'Rêveries impassibles' (1982), 'Délicatesse mortelle' (1989) and 'Les Légions du néant' (1998). He made his first comics pages with the artist André Benn in magazines like Curiosity and Junior.


Le Corsaire Fantastique, artwork by Rosinski

He began working more prominently as a comics writer after meeting Thierry Martens, then the editor-in-chief of Spirou magazine. He was part of the new generation of writers that joined Spirou after the so-called Golden Era under editor Yvan Delporte, along with Jean-Marie Brouyère, Raoul Cauvin and Martens himself. While the general tone remained child-friendly, the 1970s marked the launch of more fantasy-oriented series with a more prominent role for female characters. Mythic's first contribution was a 'Carte Blanche' two-pager with the unknown artist Devignez in 1974. He first made two short stories with Marc Hardy ('L'Île Bleue' and 'Safari Zoo') before the two men embarked upon their humorous crime series 'Garonne et Guitare contre Foxy Lady' (1975-1979). 'La Croisière Fantastique' (1976-1985) dealt with a ship of British explorers, and had a more poetic approach. The artist was Rosek, which was a pen name for none other than Grzegorz Rosinski. The fantasy series 'Jason' (1978-1979) marked the debut of "enfant terrible" Didier Conrad. With Thierry Martens (a.k.a. Terence) he wrote an episode of the hard-boiled action comic 'Archie Cash' ('Le Chevalier de la Morte Verde', 1983), which was drawn by Malik and originally written by J.M. Brouyère. Under his own name, Smit-le-Bénédicte wrote some installments for Arthur Piroton's FBI comic 'Jess Long' (1990-1991).

In the late 1980s he was also present in Tintin/Hello Bédé, replacing Jean Dufaux as the scriptwriter of the medieval series 'Le Jeune Renaudin' (1988-1989) for Bruno Di Sano. He also created the fantasy creature 'Le Gowap', at first with Midam for Hello Bédé (1993) and then with Curd Ridel for a series of albums at Éditions du Lombard (1996-2005). With co-writer Terence and as "Jean-Claude Smit", he developed the erotic adventure comic 'Aryanne' (1986-1991), which was drawn by Michel Guillou and published directly in album format by Magic Strip and then Loempia. For the latter publisher he developed the Planet of the Apes-inspired action comic 'Chroniques Gorilles' (1990-1991) with Bernard Linssen.

Mythic is perhaps best known for his collaborations with François Walthéry. He wrote the 'Natacha' albums 'Cauchemirage' (1989) and 'Le Regard du Passé' (with Martens, 2010), and co-created the female cop 'Rubine' (1993-2011) with Walthéry and Dragan De Lazare for Le Lombard. He furthermore worked with Walthéry and Bruno Di Sano on the erotic comic 'Dans la peau d'une femme' (2001-2005) for P&T Productions/Joker Éditions. For the same publisher he wrote erotic comic strips like 'Alys et Vicky' (with Bruno di Sano, 1997-1999) and gags for 'Les Saintes-Nitouches' by Édouard Aidans and 'Les Plus Courtes Sont Les Meilleures' for Josep Marti. Following the premature death of Pascal Renard, he assumed the writing duties of the espionnage thriller series 'Alpha' (1998-2007) from the third album. He wrote eight albums before artist Youri Jigounov started writing his own stories. In 2003 he inaugurated the Polyptyque collection of Le Lombard with 'Halloween Blues' (2003-2009), a supernatural crime series drawn by Kas.

Since 2006 he is also working as a scriptwriter for theater productions in cooperation with actor and director Hugo Rezeda. Several of his plays have been performed in Belgium and France, such as 'Ma vie d'artiste?', 'Couvre-feu', 'Le Cabot', 'Panique à l'hôtel de ville', 'Joyeux Noël, bordel!' and 'C'est complet!'. Since 2010 he manages the graphic part of the Ixelles Art Center and the Kraken Metal Rock Fest. He is also responsible for the graphics related to the Belgian gothic metal band Azylya, of which his daughter Jamie-Lee is the singer.


Graphics for Azylya, by Mythic

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