Les Rochester #3 - 'La liste Victoria' (2004).

Philippe Wurm is a French-Belgian comic artist and specialist. After starting out making comics about tennis and soccer, he ventured into crime novel adaptations for publisher Claude Lefrancq, doing most notably the 'Maigret' series (1992-1994). Remaining active in the thriller genre, he then worked with writer Stephen Desberg on the archeological mystery series 'Le Cercle des Sentinelles' (1998-2000), and then with Jean Dufaux on the detective series 'Les Rochester' (2001-2009) and 'Lady Elza' (2011-2014). Also an expert on the comics medium and its history, he collaborated with writer François Rivière on a comic biography of one of the masters of European comics, Edgar Pierre Jacobs (2021).

Early life
Philippe Wurm was born in 1952 into a French family in the Swiss city of Lugano. The family later moved to Belgium, where Philippe was naturalized as a Belgian citizen in 1988. As a child, he turned into a great comic fan, and regularly went to conventions to hunt for autographs and special dedications. He also enjoyed drawing himself, with André Franquin, Edgar Pierre Jacobs, Daniel Goossens and Yves Chaland becoming his main influences. In terms of storytelling, he ranks Peyo, Hergé, René Goscinny and Jean-Michel Charlier among his favorites. Among the other artists he admires are the Europeans Jean-Michel Beuriot, Denis Bodart, Vittorio Giardino, Jean Giraud/Moebius, Jijé, André Juillard, Jacques Martin, Morris, José Muñoz, Jacques Tardi and Maurice Tillieux, as well as the Americans Milton Caniff, Mike Mignola, Alex Raymond and Noel Sickles.

At the advice of another comic fan, the future Spirou editor Thierry Tinlot, sixteen-year-old Philippe Wurm spent two years attending comic art classes by Eddy Paape at the Brussels art schools Saint-Luc and Saint-Gilles, starting September 1978. After completing his secondary education in 1981, he enrolled at the La Cambre art school, taking drawing lessons from the painter Beauraing. Between 1983 and 1987, he completed his artistic education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, specializing in monumental art and charcoal drawing. Upon graduation, Wurm was awarded a prize of excellence by the City of Brussels, as well as a Government prize for his charcoal drawings.

'Maigret Tend un Piège' (Dutch edition, 1993).

Early comics
During the early 1980s, Philippe Wurm tried in vain to get his comics accepted by Belgian and French publishers. As he found solace in his other passion, tennis, this accidentally landed him his first art assignment. Between 1983 and 1985, Wurm produced two pages a month in the specialized magazine Le Monde du Tennis. These pages were collected in 1988 in the comic book 'La Fabuleuse Épopée du Tennis' ("The Fabulous Epic of Tennis") by Éditions Hachette. Two years later, Wurm also participated in the two-volume collective comic 'Il Était une fois le Mondiale' (Paul Ide Editions, 1990), about the history of the soccer World Cup. In 1989, he had his first short stories and illustrations published in the comic magazine Tintin Reporter. In the following year, he was present in Spirou magazine with a couple of gags and short stories from scripts by Vincent Dugomier or Sergio Salma.

Detective adaptations
Wurm found a more profitable homebase at Claude Lefrancq Éditeur, where he spent the first half of the 1990s making comic book adaptations of detective novels for the collection BDétectives. His first work in this genre was the second installment of the 'Nero Wolfe' series, based on the books by Rex Stout. With writer Jean-Claude de la Royère, he provided the adaptation of 'The Red Box' ('La Cassette Rouge', 1992). He then teamed up with writer Odile Reynaud to adapt the 'Maigret' books by crime writer Georges Simenon. Between 1992 and 1994, Wurm drew the first, second and fourth installment; volumes three and five were illustrated by Frank Brichau.

'Le Lion Ailé' (À Suivre #231, 1997).

Le Cercle des Sentinelles
Philippe Wurm's career took a turn after a meeting with scriptwriter Stephen Desberg at the 1993 Maisons-Laffitte comics festival in France. Back in their hometown Brussels, they began a collaboration, working on one of Desberg's unfinished projects, 'Le Lion Ailé' ("The Winged Lion"). Intended as a one-shot graphic novel, the story was an archeological thriller dealing with the origins of Christianity. After serialization in (À Suivre) magazine in 1997, publisher Casterman released the story in two volumes, 'Les Secrets de Karen' (1998) and 'Le Lion Ailé' (1998). After that, the project was turned into a series, 'Le Cercle des Sentinelles' ("The Circle of Sentinels", 1998-2000), now published directly in book format. After drawing the third volume, 'Bienvenue Mister Gandhi' (1999), Wurm backed out of the project, and the fourth and final installment was drawn by Henri Reculé.

Les Rochester
Through Casterman's Brussels publisher Arnaud de la Croix, Philippe Wurm got acquainted with scriptwriter Jean Dufaux, and the two hit it off. Teaming up, they developed the British-flavored crime comedy 'Les Rochesters' (2001-2009). The main stars are the aristocratic, snobbish Lady Elza Rochester and her ex-husband, the rough sports journalist Jack Lord, who have to solve mysteries to which they are accidentally drawn. After two volumes with publisher Casterman, the series was continued in the 'Repérages' collection of Éditions Dupuis. Between 2011 and 2014, Wurm and Dufaux took their series to publisher Glénat, where they created two volumes of the spin-off series 'Lady Elza'. The coloring of the series was provided subsequently by Bertrand Denoulet and then Benoît Bekaert.

Lady Elza #1 - 'Excentric Club' (2011).

Edgar P. Jacobs
For their creation 'Les Rochester', scriptwriter Jean Dufaux and artist Wurm were strongly inspired by classic comic creator Edgar Pierre Jacobs. Together, they also began working on a new story with Jacobs' signature characters, Blake and Mortimer. Wurm finished three pages, and in July 2009 the authors presented their story to Éditions Blake et Mortimer publisher Yves Schlirf, who refused their concept. A couple of years later, Dufaux's initial idea formed the basis for the 'Blake & Mortimer' episode 'L'Onde Septimus' (2013), which was eventually drawn by Antoine Aubin and Etienne Schréder. This didn't end Philippe Wurm's connection to the oeuvre of Edgar P. Jacobs, though. Instead of working on the new 'Blake et Mortimer' book, Wurm made plans for a graphic novel dedicated to the life and work of Jacobs himself. To do the script, Wurm asked Jacobs connoisseur François Rivière, while the artist himself fully submerged in Jacobs' Clear Line drawing style, resulting in the comic biography 'Edgar P. Jacobs: Le Rêveur d'Apocalypses' (Glénat, 2021).

Comic promotion and education
Besides being a comic creator himself, Philippe Wurm is also a big fan of the medium. Over the years, he has written several articles on the subject, starting in the 1980s with contributions to the magazine Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée. During the 2000s, along with Stephan Caluwaerts and André Taymans, he interviewed many comic creators for the monographies published in the collection 'À Propos' published by Caluwaerts. Articles by Wurm also appeared in the magazine Degrés and other specialized publications, and he regularly comments on articles on the website ActuaBD. Since 1996, he is also a teacher in comic art and illustration at the Académie Constantin Meunier in Etterbeek.

In 1994, Philippe Wurm and Odile Reynaud received the Prix Avenir by the Belgian Chamber of Comics Experts for 'Maigret Tend un piège' (1993). In 2022, Wurm and Dufaux were awarded the Prix Historia, organized by Historia magazine, for their Edgar P. Jacobs biography. Since 1998, Philippe Wurm's art has been exhibited on several occasions, for instance in the Galerie Ziggourat in Brussels (1998, 2001), the Boulevard des Bulles bookstore in Paris (2006), the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels (2020) and Galerie Champaka in Brussels (2022).

'Edgar P. Jacobs: Le Rêveur d'Apocalypses' (2021).

Series and books by Philippe Wurm you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.