William Vance

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For the mayor, see William R. Vance.
William Vance
Born William van Cutsem
(1935-09-08) 8 September 1935 (age 81)
Anderlecht, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Area(s) artist, writer
Notable works
Bob Morane
Bruce J. Hawker
Bruno Brazil
Awards full list

William Vance is the pen name of William van Cutsem (born 8 September 1935), a Belgian comics artist widely known throughout a long career for his distinctive style and work in Franco-Belgian comics.


William Van Cutsem was born in Anderlecht near Brussels in 1935. After his military service in 1955-1956, he studied for four years at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts. Originally from Flanders, he worked most of his life in France, and moved later to Santander in Spain.[1]

William Vance started drawing for the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin in 1962. After drawing complete real-life stories of four pages for a few years, he started work on his first series, Howard Flynn, written by Yves Duval. Three albums followed, before he created other short lived series such as the Western Ringo and Roderik. His first success followed with the series about secret agent Bruno Brazil, written by Tintin's editor-in-chief Greg, as one of the comics that started the revival and repositioning of Tintin as a more adult oriented magazine.

From 1967 on, he continued the stories of Bob Morane in Femmes d'aujourd'hui, a magazine aimed at adult women. This science fiction series, based on the novels by Henri Vernes, was started by Dino Attanasio and continued by Gerald Forton before Vance took over and made it a success. A few years later, the series moved to Tintin as well, and Vance was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Coria.

Vance meanwhile started two new series, Ramiro, with stories set in medieval Spain, and from 1976 onwards, Bruce J. Hawker, his personal favourite, starring a lieutenant with the Royal Navy.[2]

His final breakthrough and largest commercial success came in 1984, when writer Jean Van Hamme proposed a new series, XIII. First serialised in Spirou magazine, this series of contemporary adventures with action, violence, and complicated intrigues, let Vance draw upon his talent for realistic drawings, action scenes and exotic settings.

In 2010, Vance announced his retirement, due to Parkinson's disease.


- nominated for Favourite European Comic at the Eagle Awards, United Kingdom


Series Years Volumes Scenarist Publisher
Howard Flynn 1966–1969 3 Yves Duval Le Lombard and Dargaud
Ringo 1967–1978 3 Acar Le Lombard and Dargaud
Bruno Brazil 1969–1995 11 Greg Le Lombard and Dargaud
Bob Morane 1971–1980 18 Henri Vernes Le Lombard and Dargaud
C'étaient des hommes 1976 1 William Vance Deligne
Ramiro 1977–1990 10 Jacques Stoquart Dargaud
Roderic 1979 2 Lucien Meys Bédéscope
XIII 1984–2007 18 Jean Van Hamme Dargaud
Bruce J. Hawker 1985–1996 7 William Vance Le Lombard
Marshall Blueberry 1991–1993 2 Jean Giraud Alpen
XHG-C3 - Le vaisseau rebelle 1995 1 William Vance Gibraltar


  1. ^ De Weyer, Geert (2005). "William Vance". In België gestript, pp. 167-169. Tielt: Lannoo.
  2. ^ Van Herck, Johan (2005). Defensie Stript! Evere: Defensie DG IPR. ISBN 90-75172-03-6
  3. ^ Belga (2009-10-12). "Geestelijke vader van XIII is ereburger van Brussel" (in Dutch). De Standaard. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 


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