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Obituary: Francois Craenhals, 1926-2004
posted August 3, 2004
 

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Fran├žois Craenhals, one of the mainstays of Belgian comics for much of the 20th Century and the author behind properties such as "Pom and Teddy" and "Le Chevalier Ardent," died in Montpellier due to complications arising from an operation.

Fran├žois Craenhals was born on November 15, 1926 in Brussels. He studied briefly at that city's Academy of the Fine Arts before finding work in advertising and as a caricaturist for Vrai magazine. His first comics appeared in Le Soir Illustre in 1948. He did several stories featuring the Tarzan-like "Karan" in the early 1950s for Heroic Albums. He soon moved to Tintin where he created the series' "Remy et Ghislaine" and "Pom Et Teddy." Throughout the decade he provided numerous illustrations of a religious nature, working for the abbey of Averbode and doing the story of "The Miracle of Lourdes" in 1958.

Craenhals is best known for the series "Le Chavlier Ardent," which he began in Tintin in the mid 1960s. He also adapted the "Les 4 As" (starting in 1964) and "Fantomette" (1982) series into comics form, cementing his reputation as a hard-working, versatile artist of the first order. His newspaper strip, Primus et Musette, ran for ten years beginning in the mid-1950s.