Sunday, December 1, 2013

Remembering Morris

Maurice de Bevere was born on December 1, 1923 in Kortrijk, Flanders, Belgium. Known to millions as simply Morris an alternate spelling of his first name, he went to school in the well-known Jesuite college in Aalst, whose suits inspired him for those of the undertakers in his Lucky Luke cartoon series. His math teacher told his parents the boy would unfortunately never succeed in life, as he passed the math classes doodling in the margin of his math books. Morris started drawing in the Compagnie Belge d'Actualités (CBA) animations studios, a small and short-lived animation studios in Belgium where he met Peyo and André Franquin. After the war, the company folded and Morris worked as an illustrator for Het Laatste Nieuws, a Flemish newspaper, and Le Moustique, a French-speaking weekly magazine published by Dupuis, for which he made some 250 covers and numerous other illustrations, mainly caricatures of movie stars.
He created Lucky Luke in 1946 for Spirou magazine, the Franco-Belgian comic magazine published by Dupuis. Lucky Luke is a solitary cowboy who travels across the Wild West, helping those in need, aided by his faithful horse, Jolly Jumper. The first adventure, Arizona 1880, was published in L'Almanach Spirou 1947, released on 7 December 1946. The series appeared in magazines, books which resulted in over a dozen films and TV series of the character.
Morris died of a pulmonary embolism on July 17, 2001 in Brussels, Belgium.
Today we remember Morris on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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