Baron de Crac by Jacques van Melkebeke

Jacques van Melkebeke was a Belgian painter, journalist and comics author. A childhood friend of Jacques Laudy and Edgar Pierre Jacobs, Van Melkebeke spent most of his early years trying to hit his stride as a painter. He went to work for the daily newspaper Le Soir shortly after World War II broke out. He was largely responsible for the editorial content of the children's supplement Le Soir Jeunesse, which he signed with "Friend Jacques".

Cover for Le Soir Jeunesse by Jacques van MelkebekeCover for Le Soir Jeunesse by Jacques van Melkebeke

The paper, that was under German supervision, also carried Van Melkebeke's comic strip 'Les Nouvelles Aventures du Baron de Crac' from June 1940, as well as Hergé's 'Adventures of Tintin'. Van Melkebeke was Hergé's co-plotter for the Tintin stories that appeared during the war. Van Melkebeke and Hergé additionally wrote two Tintin plays, 'Tintin in India - the Mystery of the Blue Diamond' (1941) and 'Mr Boullock's Disappearance' (1942).

Les Farces de l'Empereur by Jacques van Melkebeke
Les Farces de l'Empereur

Jacques van Melkebeke became the first editor-in-chief of Tintin magazine in September 1946, but he had to step down because of his activities during the war. He could only resume his activities as a journalist under pseudonyms like George Jacquet, and also earned some money by doing some uncredited jobs for Tintin. It is said that he also cooperated on the early stories of Cuvelier's 'Corentin' and Laudy's 'Hassan et Kaddour'. He also made a new comic strip called 'Les Farces de l'Empereur' for Ons Volkske/Chez Nous in the mid 1950s. Since then he spent most of his time writing and painting.

Jacques van Melkebeke

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