Natacha - La mémoire de métal (1974)
François Walthéry is a Belgian comic artist, best known for creating the series about air hostess 'Natacha'. Born in Argenteau and raised in Cheratte, Walthéry was fascinated by comics since his early childhood. He was only 15 years old when he presented his work to comic artist Mittéï.
Pipo, by Pop's
He did inking, framing and erasing chores until Mittéï gave him the opportunity to fill the page in magazine Junior/Ons Volkske that was left when Géri turned ill. This resulted in the publication of 18 pages of Walthéry's comic strip 'Pipo', which the artist signed with Pop's, in 1962. In that same year, he enrolled in the Saint-Luc Institute in Liège, where he took courses for about a year.
Jacky et Célestin - Casse-tête Chinoise
Young Walthéry tried his luck with the magazine Spirou, and got a job with Peyo's art studio in the Avenue de Boetendael in Brussels in 1963. Among his early jobs was drawing 'Jacky et Célestin', a series that was previously drawn by Will and Jo-El Azara, and was published in Le Soir Illustré. He also assisted on 'The Smurfs' but his most important work for Peyo was taking over the artwork of 'Benoît Brisefer'. Walthéry drew three long stories with the little boy with immense strength between 1969 and 1972.
Benoît Brisefer - Lady d'Olphine (1972)
In addition to his work for Peyo, he continued to work on some of his own projects. With his studio colleague Gos, he made a couple of short stories for Spirou, and set up what was about to become Walthéry's trademark series in 1967. But it wasn't until 1970 that the first episode of 'Natacha hôtesse de l'air' made its first appearance. The series marked the arrival of female heroes in Spirou magazine, together with Roger Leloup's 'Yoko Tsuno', that began in the same year.
Natacha - Double vol (1975)
The two initial stories were written by Gos, but throughout the years, Walthéry has worked with a wide variety of scriptwriters, including Étienne Borgers, Peyo, Maurice Tillieux, Mittéï, Raoul Cauvin, Marc Wasterlain and Mythic.
Natacha - Instantanés pour Caltech (1981)
He also called in the help of other artists like Jidéhem, Will, Laudec, Mittéï, Georges van Linthout and Bruno di Sano to assist on the backgrounds on several occassions. 'Natacha' was also collected in a series of 13 books by Éditions Dupuis. The series is published by Marsu Productions since 1989.
Natacha - L'ile d'outre-monde (1984)
Although 'Natacha' is his most important series, Walthéry has created a couple of other comics while working with Spirou. The first one was 'Le Vieux Bleu', about a pigeon fancier set in the working class environment of Cheratte, the town Walthéry grew up in. It appeared irregularly in a series of short stories written by Raoul Cauvin between 1974 and 1979 and was also collected in an album. A version in the Liege dialect was also published.
Le Vieux Bleu
'Le P'tit Bout d'Chique' was Walthéry's third series and was also largely based on nostalgia and the artist's childhood memories. The poetic strip about a little boy that is a little ill-at-ease in the world of adults was published in Spirou between 1975 and 1978. Marsu Productions collected the initial stories in an album in 1989. A new album written by Serdu and drawn by Walthéry followed in 1992. The series was then continued by Mittéï for another four albums between 1994 and 1998.
Le P'tit Bout d'Chique
François Walthéry was also present at Lombard from 1993 with the series about femele police officer 'Rubine'. The comic is written by Mythic and drawn by Walthéry in cooperation with Dragan de Lazare and later Boyan.
Une Femme dans la Peau
Walthéry, a master in drawing beautiful women, further showcased his talent in the erotic comic 'Betty Strip' (Noir Dessin, 1992) and in 'Une Femme dans la Peau', an adult comic series published by P&T Production and Joker Editions from 1994. Scripted by Fritax and later Mythic and with assistance from Georges van Linthout and later Bruno di Sano, the series tells the story about a man named Antoine, who wakes up in a woman's body.
Natacha - Le Regard du Passe (2010)