Peter de Smet started his career working for several advertising agencies in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Brussels in the period 1964-1968. At the same time he made comics, selling the first version of his gagstrip 'De Generaal' ('The General') to magazine Kuifje in 1967. However, the magazine never published it and De Smet created his medieval series 'Fulco' in Het Kapoentje in 1968. Due to illness, he had to cancel his cooperation with this magazine a year later.
After his recovery he returned to advertising art, and made a comic strip called 'Pieter Pienter' for the Postgiro bank that was published in children's magazines like Tina and Donald Duck. By 1971, comics magazine Pep published a renewed version of 'De Generaal' in 1971. This comic, about a general's continual clumsy attempts to seize power, became his most famous series and ran for several years in Pep and its successor magazines Eppo and Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad.
Also for Pep, De Smet illustrated the short detective story 'Anna Tommy' from a script by Yvan Delporte, and the medieval adventure series 'Joris PK'. De Smet drew four stories of this series in Pep between 1972 to 1974, and then two more for Nieuwe Revu in 1974-1975. De Smet had already drawn 'Het Hopmysterie' for this magazine earlier in 1974.
He also launched the gag series about the guerilla soldier 'Fiedel' in Pep in 1974, and two years later he began the adventure strip 'Het Geheim van de HMS Cornwall' in Mickey Maandblad. Another famous comic by De Smet is the guerilla comic 'Viva Zapapa', that appeared in Eppo, the Spirou supplement Le Trombone Illustré and in book format by Lombard. Le Trombone also ran De Smet's stories 'Parrain, Fils & Cie' and 'Le Cuirassé Honneur et Patrie'.
Parrain, fils & cie (Le Trombone Illustré, 21/4/1977)
He remained active for other Dutch magazines as well. The absurd adventure series 'Otto, Olivier en Oscar', another collaboration with Delporte, was published in Donald Duck in 1981, while his comic 'Anno 3000' appeared in Panorama. When Robbedoes, the Flemish edition of Spirou magazine, got its own Dutch section in the mid 1980s, De Smet provided 'Morgenster en Durandel'.
He also continued to work as an advertising artist, making two comic albums of 'De Diamannetjes' for Diamant deepfrying fat, some promotional comics for the Ministry of Education ('Rudolf Rozijn', 'Kareltje Zorgdrager') and a new comic for the Postgiro ('Recruut Karel en de poen').
With Frits van der Heide, De Smet was founder of the comics magazine Titanic, which appeared from 1984 to 1989. It was the first comics magazine in the Netherlands aimed at an adult audience, and De Smet served as editor during the first year. De Smet's comics 'De Generaal' and 'De Guerillero's' ('Viva Zapapa') were also printed in Titanic. Furthermore, he produced a series of gags starring 'Lodewijk', that were collected in book format by De Boemerang in 1990. In the 1990s his cartoon series 'De Meester' was published in comics information magazine Stripschrift.
Peter de Smet received the Stripschapsprijs for his entire oeuvre in 1985. He died on 6 January 2003, after a long illness. Lambiek will always be grateful to De Smet for illustrating the letter "G" in our encylopedia book, 'Wordt Vervolgd - Stripleksikon der Lage Landen', published in 1979.