Wa-pi-ti, by Rol
Wa-pi-ti (Dutch version from Kuifje #44, 1957)

Roland Vernet, who worked under the signature of Rol, was a cartoonist of many comic strips and game pages for French newspapers and magazines from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was born as Roland Ernest Gabriel Venet, and additionally worked as a groom, archiver and animator. He was a longterm contributor of humorous drawings to magazines like Marius (1942-1961), Le Hérisson (1946-1955) and L'Almanach Vermot (1948-1962).

Chocoreve, by Rol
Les Aventures de Chocorêve

His cartoons also appeared in Parisiana, L'Os Libre, La Presse, Boléro, Fou-Rire, Lectures pour Tous, V Magazine, and Le Chasseur Français. Rol illustrated advertisements with a little black boy called 'Chocorêve' for the Ibled chocolat factory in Mondicourt (near Calais). The character also appeared in a comic strip published in the newspaper La Voix du Nord between 1949 and 1959. 

Mich en Mouche by Rol
Mich et Mouche (Line 117, 1957)

He illustrated games and made the feature 'Adorable Nanette' for Atout Coeur in 1956, and later in Mode de Paris. He was also present in Tintin and its sisters magazine Line. In Line, he drew comic stories like 'Mich et Mouche - Le Papillon de Lumière' (1957) and 'Dany' (1958). From 1960, he also drew the magazine's title strip, which had been created by Françoise Bertier and Nicolas Goujon in 1957, and continued by Charles Bugue and André Gaudelette in 1958. After Rol, Paul Cuvelier and Greg gave the character its final incarnation in 1962. He had been present in Tintin with editorial illustrations since 1953. He later made short stories like 'Oscar Baudruche mène l'enquête' and 'Wa-Pi-Ti enfant scalpeur' with René Goscinny in 1957, before becoming a regular provider of game pages from 1958 to 1961. The little Indian 'Wa-Pi-Ti' returned as a newspaper by Rol in La Vie Catholique around 1960.

Oscar Baudruche mène l'enquête, by Rol
Oscar Baudruche mène l'enquête (Dutch version from Kuifje #40, 1957)

Rol drew a comic strip called 'Nénuphar' in Bayard magazine in 1961-1962. For the same publisher, Bayard, he drew several short stories of 'Flagada et Pipeau' for the magazine Record (1962-1965). They were set in 18th-century North America, where French and British troops clashed in their forts, assisted by their allies of the surrounding Indian tribes.


Wa-Pi-Ti newspaper strip

Roland Venet dropped most of his drawing activities in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, he made collectable lead soldiers, and he worked as a colorist for Éditions Dargaud, among others on the 'Lucky Luke' albums by Morris and Goscinny. He was also active as a painter as a hobby. He passed away in the late 1990s.


Flagada et Pipeau

Rol is often confused with the artist J. L. Rochelle, who at some point worked in a similar drawing style. Rochelle drew for Editions Mondiales in the 1940s and 1950s, and later also made appearances in Fripounet et Marisette, Tintin and Coeurs Vaillants. According to Roland Venet's children, there is no connection between the two. Rol is also not the same artist as Rold, a cartoonist for the French press from 1950 to 1957 and whose real name is unknown.


Roland Venet, working on his soldiers (1969)

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