Dupuis announced today that Jean De Mesmaeker, better known as Jidéhem, passed away on Sunday, 30. April. He was 81. Spirou Reporter did a profile on Jidéhem for his 80th birthday, discussing his work as Spirou & Fantasio background artist in the later Franquin years, as the artist on the early Gaston strips, and in his own right on series like Sophie, Ginger and Starter. More recently, an article in BdZoom (in French) argued that his importance to Gaston has been underrated, and that he should be honored on an equal basis with Franquin for the 60th anniversary of the series this year.
Today, 21. December, is the eightieth birthday of Jean De Mesmaeker, known as Jidéhem (from the initials JDM). To Spirou readers he is best known as Franquin’s assistant, who drew most of the backgrounds of the adventures starting with La Peur au bout du fil (“Fear at the End of the Line”) and then Le Prisonnier du Bouddha (Spirou & Fantasio #14, “Prisoner of the Buddha”) in 1958. But Jidéhem was also an important contributor to the Journal de Spirou in his own right.