It has been announced that artist and writer Philippe Vandevelde, who used the pen-name Tome, has died at the age of 62.
Born in Belgium, Philippe Vandevelde was eight years old when he was temporarily blinded following a surgical operation. While recovering, his mother read him comic books including "King Ottokar's Sceptre". He later read weekly comic magazines such as "Tintin" and "Spirou".
Tome is best known for his work with the artist Janry (Jean-Richard Geurts) which included "Spirou & Fantasio", a leading comic series as popular in France and Belgium as "Tintin" and "Asterix". Their stint on "Spirou & Fantasio" is often seen as the series' best period, second only to that of Andre Franquin in the 1940s to 60s.
They later created the gag series "Le Petit Spirou" ("Little Spirou") which describes Spirou's youth and antics.
Tome also wrote the series "Soda", about an NYPD officer who, while fighting the most violent elements of New York society, misleads his frail mother into believing that he is a parish priest!
Many of the Spirou books written by Tome are available at Cinebook
. "Little Spirou" and "Soda" are not, but I think that the latter series certainly should be.