Brammetje Bram, by Eddy Ryssack 1997
Brammetje Bram - De Steen der Wijzen

Eddy Ryssack was a Flemish comic artist and animator, born in Borgerhout. He worked at an insurance firm before becomming an illustrator for the Dupuis magazine Humo in 1953. Four years later, he created the comic 'Kapitein Matthias', based on the Flemish TV serial 'Schipper Naast Mathilde', with Johan Anthierens for the same magazine. During that same period, he worked at Maurice Rosy's art studios of the publishing house Dupuis, where he worked alongside Arthur Piroton, Jamic and Salvé.

From 1959, he was founder and head of the animation department TVA Dupuis in Brussels, which also employed Francis Bertrand, Vivian Miessen, Jean Delire and cameraman Raoul Cauvin, among other people. Ryssack was the director of three classic productions, 'Teeth is Money' (1962), 'Le Crocodile Majuscule' (1964) and 'Cinemaman' (1966), and also on 'Mr Magoo' films and the first installments of the famous cartoon adaptations of Peyo's 'Smurfs'.

Patrick Lourpidon by Eddy Ryssack
Patrick Lourpidon (Petrus Kwispedol in Dutch)

From 1959, Ryssack also published his first comic stories in the publisher's magazine Spirou. He made several mini-books in cooperation with Maurice Rosy (the '1127' series), Devos, De Gieter and Yvan Delporte, as well as a series of short stories. In 1960, he created his first continuing story in cooperation with a certain M. Finas, starring the character 'Patrick Lourpidon'. In 1968-1969 followed 'Arthur & Léopold', a gag series about two flees, and one of the first writing credits of Raoul Cauvin.

Arthur et Leopold by Eddy Ryssack

He left the animation studios in 1968 to become chief of staff at Dupuis, but decided to focus on his career as a freelance comic artist in 1970. He created the comic about ship boy 'Brammetje Bram' for the Dutch comics magazine Sjors from 1970 to 1975. The crew of pirate ship De Zeemadelief ("The Seadaisy") was completed by captain Knevel de Killer, the cat Knarf, the Chinese cook So-Wi-So, the alcoholic ship's doctor Salver Quak and the Viking Driek. During the first two years, editor Frans Buissink was responsible for the scripts, followed by another story by Jacques Bakker and short stories with Piet Hein Broenland and Michel Noirret. Few stories of Ryssack's Sjors period were eventually published in book format, while one story was published in France under the title 'Les aventures de Brieuc Briand' by Albin Michel in 1976.

Brammetje Bram by Eddy Ryssack
Brammetje Bram en de schat van Noer-Akhs

When the Dutch comics magazines Sjors and Pep were combined to form Eppo, 'Brammetje Bram' moved to the German market. Ryssack found a new home for his character with Koralle Verlag, who published new stories in Zack Parade and Zack under the series title 'Pittje Pit'. Ryssack's comic returned to the Dutch and French-speaking audiences in 1979, when Zack's counterparts Super As (France) and Wham! (Netherlands/Belgium) were launched. The French name for the character was from now 'Colin Colas'.

Brammetje Bram, by Eddy Ryssack (1974)
Brammetje op de brug (Sjors 46, 1974)

By now mainly a series of short stories, Ryssack either wrote his own stories or worked with Jacques Alexander (pen name for Jacques van Melkebeke, while other sources say Gerd Von Hassler) and Yvan Delporte. When the publication Zack and Super As ended in 1980, new albums were published directly in album format by Hachette. The final 'Brammetje Bram' story was published in 1983. Despite its fragmented publication history, Ryssack has created about a thousand pages with his little pirate between 1970 and 1985. In the 1990s the German company Epsilon Verlag started publishing all 'Pittje Pit' stories in chronological order.

Opa by Eddy Ryssack
Opa

Allthewhile, Ryssack had continued to work for Dutch publisher Oberon after the launch of Eppo. He created 'Opa', a comic about the restless life in a retirement home, which started in December 1975 and appeared until 1983. In addition, he made a story about strange creatures called 'Les Schmouks' ('De Schmaks') in cooperation with Michel Noirret for Tintin in 1976, gave his sarcastic view on current affairs in the Belgian edition of Pilote in 1972-1973, and worked with Jean-Pol on the comic series 'Annie en Peter'. One of his final comics was 'César et Rigobert', a story in commission of Bio-Tex detergents in 1982, and a script of the gangster comic 'Johnny Goodbye' for Dino Attanasio in Eppo in 1984 ('Stuwadoors en maneschijn').

Schmacks, by Eddy Ryssack (1976)
Les Schmouks

Eddy Ryssack then focused on commercial artwork and graphic design, including several engravings and architectural designs. He was the first president of the guild of Flemish comic artists in the early 1970s and one of the founders of the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels. This museum opened its doors in the old Magasins Waucquez department store building designed by Victor Horta in the Rue des Sables in October 1989. Ryssack also designed the museum's mascot, 'Le Chevalier de la Bulle', of course in his typical elastic and expressive drawing style. He had to retire from his activities in 1994 because of health reasons and passed away from a heart attack on 8 January 2004.

Eddy Ryssack (1982)

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