Fanchon et Jean-Lou, by Maurice Petitdidier

Maurice Petitdidier was one of the most prolific French-Canadian comic artists of the 1950s, and the leading artist of Hérauts magazine. Born in Épinal, France, Petitdider studied drawing and waterpainting. He eventually went to work with his father, who learned him the art of jewelry. He began to work as an artist decorator in Pau after World War II. He emigrated to Canada in 1951. There, he went to work as an illustrator and artist for several, mainly religious, organisations. During his career, he illustrated a great many novels, tales and religious or educational books.

Tonio, by Maurice Petitdidier

In 1955, Petitdidier began his collaboration with the Catholic bi-weekly Hérauts, published by Fides. He became a versatile illustrator of features, colouring pages and games, as well as adventure comics like 'Une de Perdue, Deux de Trouvées', 'Le Secret de la Rivière Perdue', 'Toupet dans l'Ungava', 'Picou Agent Secret', 'Claude en Hélicoptère' and 'Tonio le Petit Émigré'. He alternated with fellow artist Gabriel de Beney on 'Ti-Rouge et Pompon', and began series like 'Coqueluche' and 'Peppino et Violetta'. In addition to his work for Hérauts, Petitdidier's work was present in François, another Catholic magazine, printed by the Centrale de la Jeunesse Étudiante Catholique.

The publishing house Fides launched a more juvenile version of Hérauts, called Le Petit Héraut. Petitdidier was again the leading artist, and the author of the magazine's star comic, 'Fanchon et Jean-Lou'. This series ran until the magazines final issue in 1961. Another series he drew for Le Petit Héraut is 'Spot et Rondine'. Maurice Petitdidier returned to France in the early 1960s, where he returned to his original decorating job. He retired in 1970, and took on painting and sculpting.

Fanchon et Jean-Lou, by Maurice Petitdidier

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