Le Petit Spirou
Tome is a prominent Belgian comics writer and former artist, who first came to the attention as one half of the duo Tome & Janry, the new authors of 'Spirou et Fantasio' in the 1980s. Born in Brussels as Philippe Vandevelde, he had an unusual introduction to the comics medium. When he was eight he was forced to undergo an eye operation and was temporarily unable to see for a few days. During this period his mother read him two comic book stories: Hergé's 'Le Sceptre d'Ottokar' ('King Ottokar's Sceptre') and Paul Cuvelier and Greg's 'Corentin' story 'Le Poignard Magique' ('The Magical Poignard'). Despite having to visualize everything with his own imagination his interest was sparked and as soon as he regained his sight he became a fanatic reader of the magazines Tintin, Spirou and Pif Gadet. His graphic influences are André Franquin, Maurice Tillieux and Greg. At the age of 13 he drew his first comics, inspired by Jean-Claude Poirier's 'Horace, le cheval de l'Ouest'. Two years later he published his first stories in Thierry Groensteen's fanzine Buck.
Tome began his comics career as an assistant to Dupa. There, he met Jean-Richard Geurts (Janry), with whom he began a longtime collaboration. They assisted Turk and De Groot on 'Léonard', 'Robin Dubois' and 'Clifton', before joining Spirou magazine in 1979. They started out with the game page 'Jeuréka' in 1980-1981. In the following year, they took over the magazine's title comic 'Spirou et Fantasio' after Jean-Claude Fournier's departure from the series. At first alternating with Nic Broca and Raoul Cauvin, Tome and Janry soon became the series' sole artists. Their run on the series was very popular with the readers, since their work was strongly reminiscent of André Franquin's. At first, they collaborated on both scenario and artwork, but after a while, Janry became the artist while Tome focused on the scripts.
In addition to the main series, Tome and Janry took on 'Le Petit Spirou' in 1987, a parodying gag series about Spirou's childhood. In 1998, Tome and Janry restyled the classic 'Spirou' comic for the new millennium, making the characters and the storyline more mature. However, they handed over the restyled comic after only one episode to Munuera and Morvan in 2004. They have since then continued to make new gags starring Spirou's mischievous and naughty junior version, aided by their assistant Dan Verlinden and colorist Stéphane de Becker.
Spirou et Fantasio - Qui arrêtera Cyanure?
Besides his versatile collaboration with Janry, Philippe Tome also became a productive writer of comics for others. In 1986, he launched the successful police series 'Soda' with Luc Warnant, who was soon succeeded by Bruno Gazzotti until 2005. He also took over the writing of Christian Darasse's series 'Le Gang Mazda' from Bernard Hislaire in 1991. Also with Darasse, Tome created 'Les Minou Kinis' for Glénat in 1997-1998.
With Philippe Berthet, he released the more adult and dark comic 'Sur la Route de Selma' in the collection Aire Libre at Dupuis in 1991. He was also present at Dargaud with 'Berceuse Assassine', which he wrote for Ralph Meyer (1997-2002), and 'Feux' with Marc Hardy (2005).
Soda, artwork by Bruno Gazzotti