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Author biography Gazzotti

Bruno Gazzotti grew up in Liège. His Italian grandfather had come to Belgium to work in the mines. Having lived in Belgium since the age of 4 or 5, his father decided to take on Belgian nationality and married a girl from Liège. He and his wife were both sports teachers, and the pair of them were passionate about the comic strips in SPIROU and TINTIN. It wasn't long before young Bruno caught the virus too. At a very young age Bruno taught himself to read so that he could understand the stories accompanying the images he liked so much. Spirou, Tintin, Gaston and Natacha were his favourites, and he'd spend all day drawing to get the knack of it. He was a shy boy, but this activity earned him much appreciation and encouragement from his comic-mad family. In November 1988, shortly after he turned 18, he showed up at SPIROU mag armed with a portfolio filled with sketches of varying nature (funny, realistic, semi-realistic) and several strips about veterinary medicine. This last project was never used, but his versatility won over Patrick Pinchart, the editor-in-chief at that time, who comissioned him to do a few illustrations for the "Zig-Zag" section and sent him over to Tome who was looking for somebody to be Janry's assistant for "Petit Spirou". After just one test page, Gazzotti was hired. He abandoned his studies to devote himself entirely to comic strips. His work on "Petit Spirou" began at the 20th gag and would extend to sixty pages. Still, he always felt particularly drawn to semi-realistic stories, and quite naturally Tome thinks of him in June 1989 to take over the illustrations for the "Soda" series. Gazzotti rose to the challenge and made it a huge success. The young talented comic strip artist gradually developed a style of his own and further refined the series with each new book. He based his illustrations on a rich documentation of thousands of photographs taken during his trips to New York. As a result of his effective and dynamic layout, the detective's adventures are now up there with the bestsellers. He lived in Brussels for many years, working for 'Atelier Tome et Janry', but in the end returned to Liège where he started training young artists from the Cité Ardente, alongside creating new adventures for his hero.

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