Timour (Spirou #791, 1955)
Max Mayeu has worked under a variety of pseudonyms, such as Marco and Badour, but he is best known as Sirius. Born in Soignies, Hainaut, Mayeu grew up in several locations in Spain and South-France, because his father was an engineer who had to travel a lot because of his profession. While studying law in Brussels, he was a journalist for student magazines like L'Avant-Garde and Le Nouveau Journal. He first used his pseudonym Sirius in the pages of Le Patriote Illustré, a paper for a bourgeois audience published by La Libre Belgique. After several years of writing satirical articles, he made his first humorous illustrations in La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure.
In 1938, he created the poetic and fantastic 'Bouldadar', his first comic story, in Le Patriote Illustré. Sirius would pick up this comic on several occasions during his career. The series has later appeared in Bravo! (1940s, under the name 'Polochon'), La Libre Junior (1950-57), Pistolin (1955-56), Bonnes Soirées (1977-83) and Spirou (1970, 1980-81) and one album was published by Dupuis in 1981. 'Bouldadar' was also one of the first pre-war European comics to appear in the balloon format, based on the American tradition.
When World War II broke out and most magazines ceased publication, Mayeu found employment with a decoration atelier. He continued to make comics under the pseudonym Badour in Arc en Ciel magazine in 1941. His first comic album, 'Niki Lapin', was also published during this period.
L'Epervier Bleu (Spirou, 1950)
Sirius joined the Marcinelle-based publisher Dupuis and it's magazine Spirou in 1942. He remained with this magazine for the rest of his career. He took on a more realistic style and created the action series 'L'Épervier Bleu', a sort of Jack London in comics format. Due to censorship, this series was discontinued in 1953, and didn't return until 20 years later.
Caramel et Romulus
In addition, Sirius created the humorous 'Caramel et Romulus' for L'Espiègle au Grand Coeur, Spirou's supplement during the War in 1943. It was continued in Spirou in 1944 and collected in book format in 1946. He was also present in the Flemish press with 'De Avontuurlijke Reis van Bolleke en Nonkel Krispein' in Ons Rakkersblad in 1942-43. After the War, Sirius started to focus on historical comics, starting with the biography of 'Godefroid de Bouillon' for Spirou in 1946.
Mémoires de Célestin Virgule
Sirius furthermore created numerous illustrations for Spirou's editorial sections and text stories and for Dupuis publications like Le Moustique and L'Hebdomadaire des Grands Récits. In Le Moustique he also made the illustrated section 'Mémoires de Célestin Virgule' between 1944 and 1946, and for OK Guerre et Aventure, he made 'Fred Morgan' in 1945-46. From 1957 to 1958 he succeeded Uderzo and Goscinny on 'Luc Junior' in La Libre Junior.
When 'L'Épervier Bleu' was discontinued in 1953, Sirius began his long-running 'Les Timour' series, based on an idea of Xavier Snoeck. Every episode of this saga explores another period in history with always another member of the Timour dynasty.
Les Timour - Le Fils du Centurion
By 1970 Sirius grew tired of the serious and realistic 'Timour' stories and made a caricatural version of his own franchise with the story 'Les Oubliettes du Grand Sommeil'. This wasn't a success and the series was discontinued until 1984, when the reprints gave it a new popularity. Sirius made his final 'Timour' story in 1992.
Simon le Danseur
During his break from 'Les Timour' in the 1970s, Sirius could show his love for the ocean in the series 'Simon le Danseur', written by Daniël Jansens, in Spirou in 1970 and 1972. He also revived 'L'Épervier Bleu' with writer Jean-Marie Brouyère for five new stories between 1972 and 1977.
Sirius additionally joined Pilote in 1972, where he created a series of sailor's stories called 'Pemberton'. This comic was also featured in the Spirou supplement Le Trombone Illustré in 1977. New comical work came with 'Gaspard la tisane' in the Spirou Album+ in 1982. After his retirement in 1992, Max Mayeu spent his final years sailing his boat near Alicante in Spain. He died on 1 May, 1997.
Les Timour - Le Fin des Temps