Les Schtroumpfs by Jeroen De Coninck
Un enfant chez les Schtroumpfs (2008)

Jeroen De Coninck is a Flemish comics artist, and one of the main draughtsmen of Peyo's 'The Smurfs' since 1991.

Early life and career
De Coninck was born in 1956 in Ghent, as the son of art painter Jef De Coninck. He studied graphic design at the Higher Institute of Graphic Education in Ghent, and subsequently attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Dendermonde. He worked as a designer for magazines and advertising brochures during a period of thirteen years, while spending his spare time drawing. In 1984 his debut album 'De Ark van Noë' was published by Jumbo Ofset. It strongly showed the influence of Albert Uderzo on his work, while De Coninck has also mentioned André Franquin, Will, Régis Loisel and Didier Conrad as inspirations. He also made illustrations for children's books and magazines, as well as some short stories for the seasonal books by Standaard Uitgeverij. With Caren Peeters and Willem Ritstier, he made the adventures of 'Heer Blooderick' in the alternative Dutch comics magazine Yèch (1984-1985). Another short story by De Coninck was published in Jet, a magazine for young talent published by Le Lombard.


Heer Blooderick

The Smurfs
In 1991 he replied to a vacancy by Cartoon Creation, although he was not aware that this was Thierry Culliford's publishing label for the classic comic series by Peyo. His introduction to Smurfland was thus coincidental, yet life changing. De Coninck's first assignments were illustrating game pages, covers and posters for the monthly Schtroumpf! magazine. He subsequently drew gag pages ('Schtroumpferies') and some short stories with Peyo's famous blue dwarves, alongside such colleagues as Daniel Desorgher, Philippe Delzenne, Alain Maury and Pascal Garray. De Coninck proved to be a capable cover illustrator for the regular album series and the German Die Schlümpfe magazine by Bastei Verlag (1991-2002). He also drew the Smurf characters in the painted illustrations by Michel Leloup for the text feature 'Le Grand Schtroumpf raconte' ("Papa Smurf tells a story"), which appeared in aforementioned German magazine from 1994 until 2002. De Coninck also wrote the scripts for a couple of gags with 'Poussy', another Peyo creation.

When Cartoon Creation was dissolved, De Conick remained active for Studio Peyo through IMPS, the licensing and graphics company headed by Peyo's daughter Véronique in the town Genval in Walloon Brabant. Although De Coninck has participated in several previous 'Smurfs' albums, it wasn't until 2006 that he received a byline in the album credits. He has since then drawn several longer adventure stories, either alone or in collaboration with studio members Ludo Borecki and Miguel Díaz Vizoso, while Thierry Culliford and Alain Jost provide most of the scripts. Among De Coninck's albums are 'Salade de Schtroumpfs' (#24, 2006), 'Un enfant chez les Schtroupmpfs' (#25, 2007), 'Les Schtroumpfs de l'Ordre' (#30, 2012), 'Les Schtroumpfs et l'amour sorcier' (#32, 2014), 'Schtroumpf le héros' (#33, 2015), 'Les Schtroumpfs et le Demi-génie' (#34, 2016) and 'Les Schtroumpfs et le dragon du lac' (#36, 2018).

Together with Péral, Jeroen de Coninck has furthermore provided most of the background drawings for the Smurfs exposition in the Brussels Expo, celebrating the characters' 60th anniversary in 2018.

Les Schtroumpfs by Jeroen De Coninck
Les Schtroumpfs et le dragon du lac (2018)

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