The brother and two sisters of Belgian artist Didier Comès, one of the greatest comic strip artists of the second half of the 20th century, have ensured the perpetuity of their brother’s work, preventing it from being dispersed. The work includes original artwork, storyboards, drawings and documentary archives. The artist had made no testamentary provisions for the management of his heritage after his death, but, confronted with this situation, his heirs were able to count on the King Baudouin Foundation’s help.
Born in 1942, of a German-speaking father and Walloon mother, Didier Comès began working in strip cartoons in 1969. His work appeared in publications such as Le Soir, Pilote, Spirou, Tintin and A Suivre. From Sventebold (1969) to Dix de Der (2006) through Silence (1979) - his greatest success - Eva (1985) and La maison où rêvent les arbres (1994), his style developed constantly, not just his drawing, but also his composition and framing.
With his black and white style, Comès found a powerful means of expression. He was inspired by Americans such as Milton Caniff, Jack Davis and Paul Coker, but it was Hugo Pratt, with whom he developed a great friendship, that had the biggest influence on him.
Didier Comès recounts real legends, stories that are set in dark, tormented worlds. Witchcraft and the fantastic are his favourite themes. For his oft-made allusions to the landscapes of the Ardennes and the Fagnes regions, he had only to look out of his window to find inspiration.
The Foundation will work together with the Museum of Piconrue in Bastogne to preserve and promote the work of Comès that it has received.
The Heritage Fund will shortly be honouring the Belgian artist Didier Comès in the exhibition 'Comès, d’ombre et de Silence' (Comès, of shadow and silence) at the BELvue Museum. However, while we are waiting for visits to the exhibition to be possible, why not order our publication 'Didier Comès. L’éclat du noir profound' (The Brilliance of Deepest Black) or view it online.