Thierry Smolderen

Thierry Smolderen was born on November 25th 1954 in Brussels. He spent the seventies studying film animation at La Cambre in Brussels, as well as dabbling in theatre (directing and writing, in partnership with Pierre Sterckx) and music (he is a jazz guitarist). It wasn't until the mid-eighties that he launched his career writing comic books, alongside his work as a critic and essayist for Cahiers de la bande dessinée, at that time headed by Thierry Groensteen. He first turned to science-fiction, taking on the follow up to Dans l'ombre du soleil (Glénat, 1989) with Colin Wilson, and Hybrides (Glénat, 1987-1991) which he co-wrote starting with its second volume with Séraphine. He also contributed to a series of erotic issues, Fripons (published by Humanoides associés), written and drawn as part of a collective. With the same publisher, he also authored Karine Springwell (1990-1995) with Philippe Gauckler, Colère noire (1990-1993) with Philippe Marcelé, and Nombre (1991-1992), with Egger. In 1993, Smolderen made his début at Dargaud with Gipsy (Gypsy), a highly anticipated series with illustrations by Enrico Marini. The sixth and final volume was released in 2002. In 1994, he worked with Mister B. on the comic book adaptation of the adventures of Sonic, the iconic video-game hero. Volume 1 of Sonic Adventures was published by Sirène. Thierry Smolderen later teamed up with Dominique Bertail, with whom he produced L'Enfer des Pelgram (Delcourt, 1998-2000). The two accomplices would work together again in 2008 for a new series, Ghost Money (Dargaud), of which the fourth volume was released in 2013. In the same year, he brought out Souvenirs de L'Empire de l'Atome (Dargaud) with Alexandre Clérisse, a one-shot which has stood the test of time. The collaboration between the two men would not stop there: their following project, L'Été diabolik (Dargaud), was released in 2015. Recognised as one of today's major specialists in the history of European comic books, Thierry Smolderen has published numerous essays and articles on the subject in specialized journals such as Les Cahiers de la bande dessinée and 9e art, as well as in several francophone magazines, namely Art Press, Circus, Pilote. He's also been published in Anglophone publications such as Comic Art, International Journal of Comic Art and Sign's. In 2009, he published a richly illustrated theoretical work entitled Naissances de la bande dessinée (Impressions nouvelles). In it he explores the origins of European comic books, focusing on the one hand on the complex relationship of the ‘9th art' with media technologies that emerged over the course of the 19th century, be it photography, film or the illustrated press. On the other, even while underlining the fundamental role of European comics in the tradition of illustrated humor, he also addressed the complex relationship with the first experimental forms of the modern novel, thus tracing its history to the 18th century, and more specifically to the work of the English painter and engraver William Hogarth. Married and father of two, Thierry Smolderen has lived in Angoulême since 1994. He teaches scriptwriting and the history of European comics at the École Européenne Supérieure de L'image (ÉESI). He coordinated the master's program in European comics, which he helped found in partnership with the University of Poitiers.