ROBA - Boule and Bill


The great creator of Boule and Bill was what might be called a fake city. He was born July 28, 1930 in Schaerbeek (Brussels). But he has always preferred the airy streets of the suburbs to downtown. The kind of village within the city where the houses have beautiful gardens with swings, cries of children, cockers, birds and even a turtle. If Bill is lucky to be born with magical ears, Roba, meanwhile, was born with a pencil in hand. Love of drawing since childhood, he never imagined doing anything else. At 3 years, he draws upside, upside down. At 11, he attended evening classes at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. At 16, he started in advertising. At the time, they say the calls, a delightfully old-fashioned word today. It already has most of the techniques of drawing and printing: the wash to the etching through the photo editing. Upon leaving military service in 1952, he entered a studio specializing in advertising design. His way seems predetermined. It's finally Franquin diverting young Roba advertising. Came in 1957 at Dupuis, Roba is first a bit of everything (except coffee, it has too much talent!). Illustration of a Christmas story signed Peyo, penciled for two stories of Uncle Paul, and even complete stories of first "Tiou Little Sioux." It carries along some illustrations for the magazine "Good Evening", also published by Dupuis. Franquin appreciate his leg and called to him. We are in 1958. For Jean Roba, time of rebirth! Franquin teaches him the ropes and the three embark on adventures of Spirou and Fantasio: Tembo Tabou, The Men and The Little Bubbles formats. And then comes the "Spirou" in 1132 of 24 December 1959. Six weeks after completing a puzzle with his new hero to the newspaper, Roba gives them a first adventure. Ball against the mini-sharks see the official appearance of Cocker and his young master, a boy named Boule, blue overalls, yellow T-shirt. Rosy, artistic director of the newspaper, agrees to lend a hand to Roba for cutting. But soon, the designer of Boule and Bill no longer need anyone. After a full second story, he began, like his master Franquin, in the supreme challenge of the weekly gag. This does not prevent other heroes to live, on the occasion: "Apple" in 1962, and especially, The Ribambelle from 1965 to 1984 (six albums released). For over forty years, Jean Roba continues to draw Boule and Bill with the same talent and even humility. In 2003, he hands over to his former assistant Laurent Verron. It can then be focused on personal drawings and watercolors. 24 albums Dupuis, before deciding in 1987 to move Dargaud. And each new collection, the success for granted. Because, citizen of the country of childhood, Jean Roba speaks with the heart. Because, unrivaled draftsman, he invented the world with a pencil. Because Boule et Bill, inspired by his own son and his cocker spaniel could not ring true. He was knighted Arts and Letters in 1992. The artist died at the age of 75 years, in June 2006. (Dargaud text)