Thierry Smolderen, writer
Thierry Smolderen was born on November 25, 1954 in Brussels. After studying animation at La Cambre and directing and writing various theatrical and musical productions (himself a jazz guitarist) during the 70’s, he devoted himself entirely to comics. In the mid-1980s, he began screenwriting in parallel with his work as a critic and essayist at the Cahiers de la Comic Book. He first turned to science fiction, as with the BD series “Karen Springwell”, published between 1990 and 1995 by Humanoïdes Associés. He then wrote the series “Black Wrath” (illustrated by Philippe Marcele) and “Number” (with Ab’Aigre). In 1994, he worked on the adaptation of the video game character, Sonic, published by Sirene Publishing. He created “Gypsy” with artist Enrico Marini for Dargaud, and wrote “McCay” for Delcourt, inspired by the life of animator Winsor McCay. He began collaboration with many other authors, including Dominique Bertail for example.
Recognized as one of the leading specialists in the history of bande dessinee, Thierry Smolderen has published numerous essays and articles in Les Cahiers de la comic and 9e Art, as well as in various French-language magazines (Art Press, Circus, Pilot …), or Anglophones (Comic Art, International Journal of Comic Art, Signs). In 2009 he published a richly illustrated theoretical work in the Impressions Nouvelles entitled “Birth of the Comic Book”, which examined the origin of comic books by focusing on the complex relations of art within the emerging media during the nineteenth century Century, such as photography, cinema and the illustrated press.
Married and father of two children, he has lived in Angoulême since 1994, where he continues to teach and coordinate programs at the EESI (Ecole Européenne Superieure de l’Image).
Dominique Bertail, illustrator
Dominique Bertail was born in 1972 in Tours, France. He learned to speak watching “Lucky Luke”, how to read with “Tintin”, and then how to draw reading “Blueberry”. A big fan of the works of Baudoin, Otomo, Sienkiewicz, and Cahiers de la BD, he enrolled at the Beaux-Arts in Angoulème where he first met Thierry Smolderen, with whom he created “ Pelgram Hell” for Delcourt in 1998. He went on to create “L’Homme Tableau” in 2000, and “L’Homme Nuit” in 2002. He also contributed illustrations and short works to numerous periodicals (Bayard, Fluide Glacial, Casterman) as well as storyboards for both publications and film, including works with writer Matz. In 2008 he rejoined Smolderen to create “Ghost Money”, and has since gone on to illustrate the first series in “Infinity 8” for Rue de Sevres.