Tifeuf, by Zep

Zep, pen name of Philippe Chappuis, is the creator of 'Titeuf' (1992), one of the bestselling French comic series of all time.  His gag comic about the young yellow-quiffed boy has been translated in English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Hebrew, Czech and Chinese and inspired both an animated TV series as well as a feature film. Zep was co-creator of the comics monthly Tchô! (1998-2010) and drew several erotic humor comics like 'Les Filles Électriques' (1997) and 'Happy Sex' (2009). As a music fan he also drew some series about rock 'n' roll, such as 'L'Enfer des Concerts' (1999) and 'Happy Rock' (2010).

Early life and career
Philippe Chappuis was born in 1967 in Onex, Geneva, as son of a policeman and a fashion designer. Among his influences are Leo Baxendale, Carl Barks, Robert Crumb, Morris, André Franquin, Marcel Gotlib, Nikita Mandryka, Katsuhiro Otomo, Serge Clerc, Jacques Tardi, Cosey, Will Eisner, Matt Groening, Yslaire, Jean Cézard, E.C. Segar, Moebius, Frédéric Jannin, René Pétillon, Dupuy and Berberian, Yann and Conrad, René Hausman, Didier Tronchet, Lewis Trondheim and Jean-Jacques Sempé. At the age of 12 he launched his own comic magazine and called it 'Zep...' as an homage to his favorite band, Led Zeppelin. He kept the name as his pseudonym from then on. After his studies in decorative arts in Geneva, Zep made his debut in the Belgian magazine Spirou with the gag series 'Victor' between 1987 and 1991. This full-color strip already showed traces of Zep's easily recognizable trademark comics style.

His first albums were published by Kesselring, G.S.S.A. and Atoz. These include a 'Victor' collection, and the books 'Léon Coquillard' (1990, text by Christophe Gilli) and 'Kradok' (1991, text by Leglode). By 1992, Zep also appeared in Fluide Glacial. In addition, his artwork was published in magazines like Femmes d'Aujourd'hui, Champagne!, Jeudi-Sports Magazine, La Vie, L'Hebdo and Le Nouveau Quotidien.

Victor by Zep

Zep's 'Titeuf' character, an eight-year old boy with an impressive cowlick, made its first appearance in the fanzine Sauve Qui Peut in 1992. The name comes from "P'tit Oeuf" ("little egg"), because of the shape of his head. 'Titeuf' caught the attention of the publishing house Glénat, that released the first book in 1992. It sold only a few thousand copies, but within a couple of years, 'Titeuf' was one of France's bestselling comics. By 2008, 'Titeuf' had sold 16 million copies in 25 languages. Most of the stories deal with Titeuf and his friends (Manu, Hugo and François) discovering the world of adults. The mysteries of girls, sex and seduction are also explored, not only in the comics, but also in 'Le Guide du zizi sexuel'. This was an informative book by Zep and his then-wife Hélène Bruller regarding sexuality. 250 episodes of an animated TV series based on the 'Titeuf' comics were broadcasted by Canal J from 2001, and an animated feature film was released in 2011.

Titeuf by Zep

One of Titeuf's catchphrases became the title of the monthly comic magazine Tchô!, which Zep and Jean-Claude Camano launched in 1998. Glénat published it until 2010, and then Éditions Fleurus continued it until 2013. Tchô! became breeding ground for a new generation of humorous comic artists, that all worked in the tradition of 'Titeuf', including Nob, Dab's, Olivier Supiot, Téhem, Christophe Bertschy, Boulet and Julien Neel. Zep himself co-created the superhero parody 'Captain Biceps' with Tebo, and 'Les Chronokids' with Stan & Vince, about two time traveling kids. Tchô! also spawned a collection of the same name at Glénat, which collected most of the magazine's features in book format.

L'Enfer des Concerts, by Zep
'L'Enfer des Concerts'.

Side projects
Apart from his successful comic series, Zep has also done some side projects. He created a booklet called 'Les Amours Contrariées de Cain et Labelle' for the B.D.-Club of Genève in 1995. Éditions Dupuis published two gag books by Zep dealing with the life of an adolescent. 'Les Filles Électriques' (1997) dealt with girls and sexuality, while 'L'Enfer des Concerts' (1999) focused on rock fandom. These were later included in Zep's "Happy" collection, a series of topical books with ironic and adult humor, such as 'Happy Sex' (2009), 'Happy Girls' (2010), 'Happy Rock' (2010) and 'Happy Parents' (2014).

Together with 20 other comic artists (Ptiluc, Frank Margerin, Yslaire, Cosey, Philippe Vuillemin, Milo Manara, Loustal, Gilbert Shelton, Max Cabanes, Dupuy & Berberian, François Boucq, Gérald Poussin, Thomas Ott, Frank Pé, Frank Le Gall, Riff Reb's, Eric Buche, Enrico Marini and Valott) he illustrated a record single for the project '20 Vraies Fausses Pochettes De Disque Par 20 Vrais Dessinateurs de BD' (1995). Zep chose for a song by Willy Deville. In 2005 an asteroid was named after Zep's character 'Titeuf'.

Happy Sex by Zep
'Happy Sex'.

Zep wrote an erotic one-shot called 'Esmera' for Vince in 2015. He alternates his cartoony work with watercolor drawings he makes for his travel diaries, and more stylized designs for his CD covers, such as Jean-Jacques Goldman's 2001 album 'Chansons pour les pieds'. Always an avid fan of music, Zep has also written and performed comical songs with his bands Zep'n'Greg and Blük Blük.  In 2012 he was interviewed for the documentary 'Sex in the Comics' (2012). 

In 2005 Titeuf received a mural painting in the Boulevard Pasteur, Angoulême, France, as part of the Comic Book Route. Despite not being a Belgian comic character, ‘Titeuf’ received his own comic book wall as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route on 17 October 2006. Designed by G. Oreopoulos, D. Vandegeerde, K. Weiss and A. Ardila it can be seen in the Avenue Emile Bockstael/ Emile Bockstaellaan 1.

Titeuf by Zep
In September 2015, Zep made a powerful statement on his blog with regard to the refugee issue.


Series and books by Zep you can order today:


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