Chlorophylle, by Raymond Macherot
'Chlorophylle et les conspirateurs' (1955).

Raymond Macherot was the top funny animal artist of the post-war Franco-Belgian school. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Macherot worked for both leading comics magazines at the time, Tintin and Spirou. His stories were populated by a variety of animal creatures, although rodents ('Chlorophylle', 'Sibylline') and cats ('Chaminou', 'Pantouffle', 'Mirliton') seemed to his favorite main characters. His signature series 'Chlorophylle et Minimum' (1954-1963) in Tintin and 'Sibylline' (1965-1990) in Spirou were both constructed around the same concept and firmly rooted in Macherot's roots in the Belgian High Fens. However, the cute creatures and their poetic rural surroundings masked a darker layer of cynical socio-political satire. The sadistic antics of Chlorophylle's arch enemy Anthracite were possibly only allowed in a children's magazine because he was a black rat instead of a human... 'Sibylline' also holds historic value as the first comic strip with a female protagonist in Spirou magazine. In addition to his trademark animal comics, Macherot was furthermore the creator of the sea captain 'Le Père la Houle' (1957-1958) and the utterly British private investigator 'Clifton' (1960-1961). His three signature series 'Chlorophylle', 'Sibylline' and 'Clifton' have been continued by other artists decades after their initial debuts. 

Clifton, by Raymond Macherot
'Les enquêtes du colonel Clifton' (1960).

Early life
Raymond Macherot was born in 1924 in Verviers, a Walloon city in the High Fens plateau region near the Belgian Ardennes. His father was a railway worker, who passed away when his son was eight years old. Having to earn the family income, his mother crafted and sold corsets and bras. She wanted her son to join the trade, but the young boy had developed an early talent for drawing. Through his grandmother he enherited a passion for funny and poetic stories, while his love for nature was further developed at the boy-scouts. Macherot enjoyed reading Hergé's 'Tintin' in Le Petit Vingtième, but also 'Gédéon' by Benjamin Rabier, 'Les Pieds Nickelés' by Louis Forton and American comics like Alex Raymond's 'Flash Gordon', Milton Caniff's 'Terry and the Pirates' and Walt Disney's 'Mickey Mouse'. He was furthermore inspired by the artwork of Hokusai, and suspenseful 19th-century novels like Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island'  and the crime fiction series 'Fantômas' (by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre) and 'Rocambole' (by Ponson du Terrail). A possible career plan was however cut short by World War II. The 16-year old youngster cycled to France to avoid being drafted in the German Wehrmacht. When the air cleared he returned to Belgium, completing his secondary education. He enrolled at the University of Liège to study Law, but in February 1945 he broke off his studies and enlisted in the Belgian division of the British Royal Navy. He didn't see any action, but served on the minesweeper HMS Dunbar, and was demobilized by the end of the year.

Early career
Back in civilian life, Macherot held several odd jobs to make ends meet. He was a textile worker, book keeper for the tax authorities and reporter at the local Verviers newspaper Le Courrier du Soir. Between 1948 and 1951 Macherot mostly wrote for the paper's juridic and cultural sections. In his spare time, he contributed gallows humor cartoons to the Walloon satirical weekly PAN under the pen name Zara. These early artistic efforts were obviously influenced by the British cartoonist Virgil Partch. Together with his friend Noël Bissot he visited Jacques Martin, one of the leading artists of Tintin magazine, who also lived in Verviers. Martin advised him to make funny comics, but instead Macherot developed a realistic medieval adventure comic, which he presented to the editors of Tintin. His concept was accepted, but instead the script was given to the artist-couple Fred and Liliane Funcken, marking the launch of their best known series 'Le Chevalier Blanc' (1953-1973).

Lombard art studio
Raymond Macherot was hired to work in the art studio of Tintin's publishing house Lombard in October 1952, replacing Tibet who was fulfilling his military service. There Macherot fully learned his trade under supervision of studio chief Evany. He did lay-out work, designed headers, provided editorial spot illustrations, and wrote and drew a couple of realistic historical short stories. For Guy Dessicy's publicity department Publiart, he furthermore illustrated a series of gag strip advertisements for Victoria chocolate called 'Le Grenadier Victoria raconte...' (1953-1954). Later that decade, Macherot also made 'Les Trois Cachettes de Civet le Lapin' (1956), a gag strip for a Belgian savings bank, and illustrations for Seeonee, a Catholic boy-scouts magazine produced by Publiart.


'Chlorophylle contre les Rats Noirs' (1954).

Chlorophylle
At one point, Lombard's publisher Raymond Leblanc noticed one of Macherot's drawings of a little mouse gnawing a turnip. Leblanc liked the idea of an animal comic in Tintin, which was remarkable, since the magazine's chief editor Hergé strongly disliked the genre. But Leblanc defended Macherot and commissioned a short funny animal story. 'Mission Chêvrefeuille' was published in Tintin #257 (24 September 1953). and an obvious predecessor to 'Chlorophylle'. Macherot chose the rodents and birds from the fields around his hometown as main characters. Instead of turning them into "funny animal" characters in the Disney tradition, Macherot kept them in their natural habitat. The short story's success allowed the artist, now in his early thirties, to further develop the concept into a full-blown series. 'Chlorophylle contre les Rats Noirs' (1954) debuted in Tintin #15 of 14 April 1954. The main star is an heroic dormouse with typical black eye markings, whose valley is invaded by a horde of black rats, led by the sinister Anthracite. The battle continues in the second story, 'Chlorophylle et les Conspirateurs' (1954-1955), which debuted right after the first story ended. It also introduced Chlorophylle's regular sidekick Minimum, a grumpy and impulsive mouse with a permanent cold. Other allies in his adventures are the powerful otter Torpile, the raven Bitume and the resourceful rabbit Serpolet. Over the next couple of years, Macherot would gradually expand his cast with new animal characters, most notably the blabbering sparrow Caquet. The editors were pleased with the series, and Macherot left his day-time job in the studio to work at home from now on. His wife, Josette Macherot, took care of coloring all her husband's productions for Tintin.


'Pas de Salami pour Célimène' (1955).

Macherot crafted a poetic world in which animals have anthropomorphic qualities such as the ability to talk and use objects, but still moved and behaved like actual animals. The ferocious rats were in line with their real-life counterparts, but their military invasion was inspired by the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan as well as the German invasion in the previous decade. In the third story, 'Pas de Salami pour Célimène' (1955), Macherot sent his two protagonists to the city, where they interacted with domesticated animals like dogs and cats. In this detective story, the main adversary is the evil and manipulative cat of a notary, called Célimène, who kidnaps mice. In exchange for their release, she forces their relatives to steal salami sausages from the local butcher shop. However, this urban excursion remained a one-shot and Macherot quickly returned to natural surroundings for the next story, 'Le Bosquet Hanté' (1956).

Chlorophylle by Raymond Macherot
Chlorophylle - 'Zizanion le terrible' (1958).

The Coquefredouille stories
The following episodes 'Les Croquillards' (1957) and 'Zizanion le Terrible' (1958) were a turning point in the series. Chlorophylle and Minimum ended on the Mediterranean island Coquefredouille, a kingdom ruled by the mouse Mitron XIII. In his country all animals are dressed, live in houses and drive around in vehicles. This change of direction in Macherot's concept was also noticed by the characters themselves. The two heroes are surprised by the curious kingdom, while its inhabitants are shocked by Chlorophylle and Minimum's nudity. Not only the setting changed, but the Coquefredouille stories can also be considered Macherot's most subversive tales. Anthracite returned as a wealthy tycoon. His new accomplices, a ferret and a stone marten known as "Les Croquillards" (a nonsensical word meaning as much as "Gourmets"), portray a cruelty seldomly seen in children's comics from that time period. They grill and eat the passengers of the trains they rob, and at one point wonder whether they should eat a bank manager or one of his subordinates? They eventually choose the first, because otherwise the crooks "might get in trouble with the union". This witty satirical joke earned praise from Macherot's fans, but critics were outraged. Not because hostages were eaten... but because the author poked fun at labor unions! In the second story, Coquefredouille is shaken up by a series of terror attacks by the mysterious heron Zizanion, an alter ego of the malicious duke of Bihoreau de Bellerente. Today the album has risen to classic status, but at the time critics accused Macherot of promoting anarchism. Publisher Lombard, afraid of the notoriously strict censors in France, refused to publish the two stories in album format. At his request Macherot toned everything down in the next story, 'Le Retour de Chlorophylle' (1959), 


Chlorophylle - 'Les Croquillards' (1957).

Chlorophylle and Minimum return to their "Silent Valley", where they are reunited with their friends. Since winter has come, they knit shawls and scarfs, and from then on all animals in Macherot's comic are dressed, while their houses are equipped with stoves and modest furniture. After this more gentle episode, Macherot's heroes paid Coquefredouille another visit, where Anthracite and Zizanion have established a dictatorship. In the diptych 'La Revanche d'Anthracite' (1961) and 'Chlorophylle joue et gagne' (1961), Macherot meticulously sketched the power of propaganda and oppression. With World War II still fresh in his mind, Macherot populated these stories with collaborators, opportunistic bootlickers and a resistance movement led by Chlorophylle, Mimimum and Torpile. Around this time, Macherot also interwove current affairs in his stories. The bomb Anthracite threatens to detonate was a reference to the 1960 French nuclear weapons tests in Algeria. His next story, 'Le Furet Gastronome' (1962) was inspired by the upcoming rebellious U.S. juvenile subculture "greasers". 'Chloro à la rescousse' (1963), Macherot's final full 'Chlorophylle' story, brought Coquefredouille at war with an army of dogs after an assassination attempt with a whipped cream cake.


'Chlorophylle joue et gagne' (1961).

Other comics for Tintin
Raymond Macherot liked to make up his stories as he went along. He never wrote complete scripts, and sometimes took his tale in a completely different direction whenever he felt like it. Sometimes he got bored by his animal world altogether, and sought distraction in other comics. One of his first excursions were the comical adventures of the (human) sea captain 'Le Père la Houle' (1956-1957) and his inseparable parrot, with whom he made one long story and two short ones. Around the same period, Tintin published short comic strips in a format mimicking animated shorts, to warm the audience up for the animation projects of Lombard's audiovisual department Belvision. Macherot, sometimes in collaboration with scriptwriter René Goscinny, contributed five slapstick adventures of a little duck called 'Klaxon' (1956-1957). He also helped his friend and neighbor Maurice Maréchal with some of the the early comics stories starring the elderly lady detective 'Prudence Petitpas' (1957). Interestingly enough, Maréchal's Prudence Petitpas was the first sole female protagonist in a Belgian comic strip and in Tintin magazine, while Macherot would later create the first sole female protagonist in Spirou magazine: 'Sibylline'. 


'Le Père la Houle' (1956).

Clifton
Macherot's second best known contribution to Tintin is the British private investigator 'Clifton' (1959-1961). The first story debuted in issue #50 (16 December 1959) of Tintin's Belgian edition. Macherot envisioned Colonel Harold Wilberforce Clifton as a mix between three typically British characters: the boy-scout, the amateur detective and the retired army officer. Since he visited England personally in 1945 the character inhabited much of his personal anglophilicness. Colonel Clifton is a retired MI-5 agent who settled down in the fictional village Puddington where he lives with his housekeeper Mrs. Partridge. Unfortunately he is frequently asked to help Scotland Yard again whenever they face an unsolvable case. The phlegmatic, reserved Clifton has a typically British knack for understatement. Mrs. Partridge is equally witty, yet also a regular support during his amateur sleuth adventures. Macherot clearly had fun with the series and once named Clifton his personal favorite character. The schematic comical style perfectly blended in with a whole new series of humor comics which gradually invaded the otherwise serious and realistic Tintin magazine around this time. 'Clifton' was part of a new wave alongside 'Signor Spaghetti' (1957) by Dino Attanasio and René Goscinny and Berck's 'Strapontin' (1958). With 'Les Enquêtes du colonel Clifton' (1960), 'Clifton à New York' (1960) and 'Clifton et les espions' (1961), Raymond Macherot created a mere three stories with his moustached hero before returning to his beloved animal world.


'Clifton et les Espions' (1961).

Editorial sections
With his background in journalism, Macherot was also asked to take care of the editorial nature section 'En Promenade avec le Père Mathieu' (1959-1962), for which Macherot provided the comical drawings and René Follet the realistic animal illustrations. Chlorophylle and Minimum furthermore hosted the educational animal section 'Petite Jungle du Vallon Fleuri' (1957-1958). Inspired by the success of Spirou's editorial comic 'Gaston Lagaffe' by  André Franquin, Tintin decided to develop its own mascot in 1961. 'Pipelette' was the daughter of the janitor of the "Tintin Building", who desired a role in one of the magazine's comics series. She appeared in a series of cartoons drawn by Macherot and later Berck for a couple of months of 1961. Contrary to Gaston she didn't catch on and the character was then silently written off. Nevertheless she is still historically important as one of the earliest female protagonists in Tintin magazine (after Maurice Maréchal's 'Prudence Petitpas') and, equally important, as Macherot's first female protagonist, a mere four years before he would create Sibylline. 


'Pipelette'/ 'Miesje' in Kuifje #10, 1961.

Merchandising and adaptations
In the early 1960s the relationship between Macherot and Lombard had soured a bit. The artist was hurt by the fact that his publisher refused to release two of his best 'Chlorophylle' stories in album format. It also annoyed him that Lombard released his other stories in softcover books instead of the more luxury hardcover format. It took until 1980 before Lombard dared to publish the omitted stories in the so-called "green series", which re-released most of Macherot's 'Chlorophylle' run between 1978 and 1983. Nevertheless it must be said that Lombard didn't underestimate Chlorophylle's charm. Although the series was not a commercial bestseller it did spawn several merchandising products, such as stickers, miniature dolls, coloring books and vinyl records. As early as 1954 Belvision furthermore developed an animated short of 'Chlorophylle contre les Rats Noirs', directed by Yvan Szücs. This was one of the animation studio's earliest efforts and it showed. The look and execution were still very rudimentary. In the following years, under supervision of art director Ray Goossens, this first effort was followed by more technically superior adaptations of 'Les Croquillards' (1959) and 'Le Bosquet Hanté' (1961). Macherot himself wasn't pleased with any of the results. Years later, a French-Canadian puppet series based on 'Chlorophylle' was broadcast by France 3 as 'Les Enquêtes de Chlorophylle' (1992-1995), while Central Independent Television produced a UK version under the title 'The Adventures of Grady Greenspace' in 1995.

Chlorophyl, by Raymond Macherot
'Le retour de Chlorophylle' (1959).

Tintin, post-Macherot
By 1964 Raymond Macherot took the plunge, and applied at Éditions Dupuis and Spirou magazine. All in all, his comical drawing style suited Spirou's joyful attitude better than the serious tone of Tintin. Also, most of his artist friends worked for Spirou, such as André Franquin, Will and Morris. With the conclusion of 'Chloro à la Rescousse', Macherot disappeared from Tintin's pages. He sold the rights of 'Chlorophylle' and 'Clifton' to Lombard, but kept the evil Anthracite for himself. The otherwise loyal Macherot later admitted that his departure was a rather impulsive move. By request of chief editor Greg, he made one comeback with the short story 'Chlorophylle et le Klaxon de la Vérité' (1966). It took a couple of years before the editors of Tintin decided to restart Macherot's series with other authors. Pierre Guilmard and Hubuc were the first to have a try with 'Chlorophylle et Minimum' between 1968 and 1970. Then Dupa took over the drawing pen from 1971 to 1983, working with scriptwriters like Greg and Bob De Groot. Walli illustrated the rodents' adventures in the 1980s. After a first story written by De Groot, he worked with Bom until the series went on a long hiatus in 1988. 'Clifton' was revived in 1969 by Jo-El Azara and Greg, after which Turk and De Groot took over from 1970 to 1983. De Groot worked with Bédu on new stories until 1991, followed by three albums written and drawn by Bédu on his own between 1991 and 1995. One of the final Belvision productions was an animated short film based on Turk and De Groot's short story 'Un pépin pour Clifton' (1984).

Chaminou et le Khrompire by Raymond Macherot
'Chaminou et le Khrompire' (1964).

From Tintin to Spirou: Chaminou
Raymond Macherot's first work for his new boss was 'Chaminou et le Khrompire' (Spirou, issue #1353, 19 March 1964), starring an aristocratic cat detective who investigates a gang of carnivorous kidnappers in the kingdom Zoolande. Like some of his best 'Chlorophylle' stories, Macherot provided a clever mix of humor, excitement and satire. The artist himself always considered it one of his personal favorites. Unfortunately, 'Chaminou' proved a bit too cynical for Spirou's young readership. The character was shelved after one single story, nowadays considered a cult classic.

Sibylline by Raymond Macherot
'Sibylline' (1965).

Sibylline
For his next project, Macherot returned to the roots of 'Chlorophylle' and developed an animal cast stripped of humanized elements. His new stars were the bright mouse Sibylline and her boyfriend Taboum, whose first adventure debuted in Spirou #1403 of 4 March 1965. Instead of returning to a nature setting, Sibylline and Taboum initially lived under the floor of a family house, where they are terrorized by the unfortunate cat Pantoufle. After two stories, Macherot changed the setting to his beloved High Fens for 'Sibylline et la Betterave' (1965), in which the two mice try to prevent their beet from being stolen by a gang of vicious ravens. This episode truly echoed the atmosphere of the early 'Chlorophylle' stories, although Macherot applied a more cartoony drawing style and slapstick humor. The introduction of 'Sibylline' is historically interesting, because it was the first comic in Spirou's pages with a female title hero, preceding the solo career of Jidéhem's 'Sophie' by a mere five issues.

Sibylline by Raymond Macherot
'Sibylline contre–attaque' (1968).

Rich animal world
Sibylline's animal world got more shape in the next story, 'Sibylline et l'Imposteur' (1966). The mice wore hats and clothes, and settled in the valley of Saint-Mathieu, where they lived among a host of other characters, such as the friendly hare Clothaire and the cigar-chomping business crow Flouzemaker, who runs a local shop. Order is guarded by Brigadier Verboten, a hedgehog wearing a sheriff star and paper hat. The story also introduced the series' main antagonist, the spoiled rat of noble heritage Anathème Percemiche. Visually a brown version of Chlorophylle's Anthracite, Anathème is initially portrayed as a profiteer and con man. He lacks the sadistic and megalomaniac tendencies of his predecessor, and is in short just plain stupid. In 'Sibylline en danger' (1967), Anathème however leads an army of rats to overthrow the gentle forest society, forcing Sibylline and her friends to retreat to a tiny island. In the following years, Macherot kept on expanding his cast with, among others, the performers of a traveling circus and the villainous magician Pistolard.

Minnolt by Raymond Macherot
'Mirliton' (early 1970s).

Other activities
Just like his cast, Macherot's projects also expanded. When Sibylline left her urban setting, Macherot and scriptwriter René Goscinny gave Pantoufle the cat a solo spin-off adventure (issue #1459, 31 March 1966). Between 1979 and 1981 Pantoufle would return as the star of  four short stories, the first one written by Stephen Desberg. Macherot also provided the illustrations to Yvan Delporte's children's books 'Colin le Menuisier' (1967) and 'Le Gâteau de Sibylline' in Dupuis' Collection du Carrousel. Together with Delporte, Macherot furthermore wrote the scripts of 'Mulligan' (1968-1969), a tugboat captain in Prohibition era New York. The artwork is provided by Berck, another Tintin dropout. The two writers dusted off an earlier concept by Macherot about a little girl who buys a painting at a rummage sale, and then discovers a light has been turned on in the painted house. It was the starting point for 'Isabelle' (1969-1994), one of Spirou's most magical and poetic comics series, and yet another one with a female protagonist. Macherot and Delporte took care of the scripts for artist Will, and were joined by André Franquin as third writer in 1975. After two stories with a writers' trio, Macherot left the team, and Delporte and Franquin continued as a duo. With scriptwriter Raoul Cauvin, Macherot made short stories with 'Mirliton' (1970-1975), a gentle cat who is unable to hunt, as he is best friends with mice and birds. The characted debuted in issue #1664 (5 March 1970). 

Sybilline by Raymond Macherot
Sibylline - 'Le violon de Zagabor' (1982).

Magic & fantasy
In the early 1970s, Macherot suffered a mental breakdown. To keep up with his workload, he had to rely on scriptwriters to provide the stories. Paul Deliège lended a helping hand with the 'Sibylline' stories in the period 1972-1976. When the artist recovered, he resumed control. As the years progressed, his drawing style loosened considerably, eventually settling on a seemingly improvised naïve linework. The ostrich journalist Patakes and the stork violinist Zagabor became new allies, while the series received its most thrilling villain with Croque-monsieur. Named after the popular snack Croque-monsieur isn't a pleasant soul at all. The blood thirsty ferret owns a carving knife and roams the woods as a forest-version of Jack the Ripper. His only way of defeat is Zagabor's violin. In line with his looser drawing style Macherot also let his imagination run free. The stories became increasingly more fantastical and magic-induced. Dwarves, genies, magical hats, aliens, a vampire with a craving for cakes... everything was possible. Especially from 1982 on, when the artist changed locale to the magical forest Cutaperka, reading 'Sibylline' became an almost hallucinogenic experience. The magician prince Trougnou, the legendary wurm Kulgude who can locate buried treasures, the mutant lady Mirmy Popcorn, the shape-shifting bouncing head Pignou, the femme fatale assassin Louella, the midnight demon Tanauzère, a shadow with a white mask, the gruesome toad Murmuhr... readers got difficulties keeping track of the overload of new introductions. Matters took a turn for the worse when the 'Sibylline' album collection came to an end after eleven volumes in the mid 1980s. This was a result of a takeover of Dupuis' family business by Média Participations, which meant a cancellation of all commercially less successful series.

Graphic contributions
In 1980 Macherot was one of many Belgian comics artists to make a graphic contribution to the book 'Il était une fois... les Belges'/'Er waren eens Belgen' (Lombard, 1980), a collection of columns and one-page comics, published at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Belgium.


Sibylline - 'Le Chevalier Printemps' (1987).

Retirement
Raymond Macherot contributed new 'Sibylline' stories until 1990. By then the series had drifted so far away that the final story wasn't even published until Éditions L'Âge d'Or included it in a Monography about Macherot in 2002. Now retired, Macherot finally had the time to devote all his time to his true passion: painting. His entire adult life he had made paintings inspired by Flemish expressionists like Constant Permeke, Gustaaf De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe, but never exhibited them. Always humble, he simply gave them away, or stored them because he felt they weren't finished.


Painted cover for Spirou/Robbedoes #1408, 1965.

Revivals
Later in life, Raymond Macherot lived to see several attempts to revive his classic series. 'Chaminou' was the first to receive new adventures at Marsu Production from 1989 to 1995. After a first story written by Yann and drawn by Denis Bodart, the brothers Bruno and Olivier Saive made three new episodes. Raymond Macherot served as creative consultant. Macherot was not involved with the relaunch of 'Clifton' by Michel Rodrigue and Bob De Groot at Lombard from 2003 to 2006, with a final album written and drawn by Rodrigue in 2008. The colonel resumed his sleuthing hobby once again in 2016, this time written by Zidrou and drawn by Turk.

An independent publishing label called Les Éditions Flouzemaker was established in 2005 to preserve Raymond Macherot's legacy. Besides new editions of older work, the label managed by Stephan Caluwaerts also focused on creating new material. In old age, Macherot was personally involved with the creation of new 'Sibylline' stories by André Taymans and colorist Bruno Wesel in 2006. The relaunch concluded in 2009, with the final album written by François Corteggiani and drawn by Taymans. Macherot furthermore enjoyed Flouzemaker's relaunch of 'Mirliton' by Raoul Cauvin and Erwin Drèze in two albums in 2007. Raymond Macherot passed away in his sleep during the night of 25 and 26 September 2008, at the age of 84.

Raymond Macherot was also not forgotten in the wave of luxury compilation books, dedicated to the classic works of European comics. In 2011 Éditions Flouzemaker associated itself with Casterman for a five-volume book collection of 'Sibylline', with an additional book chronicling the adventures of 'Pantoufle' and 'Mirliton'. 'Sibylline' was included in the English-language publications of Franco-Belgian classics by Fantagraphics in the USA with the books 'Sibyl-anne vs Raticus' (2011) and 'Sibyl-Anne And The Honeybees' (2013). Éditions Le Lombard in turn collected Macherot's 'Clifton' stories in 2011, and launched a three-volume 'Chlorophylle' collection in 2012. Éditions Le Lombard attempted to revive the regular 'Chlorophylle' series with writer Zidrou and artist Godi in 2014, but the effort stranded after one album. Writer Jean-Luc Cornette and illustrator/painter René Hausman, also from the High Fens, had their personal take on the character with the luxury one-shot album 'Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources' (Lombard, 2016). 'Sibylline' was revived once again by writer François Corteggiani and artist Netch at Casterman in 2017.

Sybilline, by Macherot
'Sibylline s'envole' (1974).

Legacy and influence
During his lifetime, Macherot has lended a helping hand to young artists from the Verviers region with the launch of their careers. Among them are René Hausman, Maurice MaréchalCharles Degotte and Paul Deliège. In 1989 Raymond Macherot became one of the select few Belgian comics pioneers to be part of the permanent exhibition at the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels. With his two signature series, Macherot has left a lasting mark on European funny animal comics. His influence can be traced in the work of Noël Bissot, Cosey, Paul Deliège, Evert Geradts, Maurice Maréchal, Thom Roep, André Taymans, and in the Disney stories written by the Norwegian Gaute Moe. Less flattering was the adoption of Anthracite as a mascot for extreme-right movements. The French political activist Jack Marchal, for instance, used a clear rip-off of Macherot's black rat in his 1970s fascist comic strip 'Les Rats Maudits'. Various other far-right cartoonists then further copied the copy, all unaware they were using the antagonist of Macherot's stories as a hero.

Both 'Chlorophylle' and 'Sibylline' are among the many Belgian comics characters to jokingly have a Brussels street named after them. Since 2007 the Rue du Midi/Zuidstraat (not far from the Brussels-South railway station) has a commemorative plaque with the name Rue Chlorophylle placed under the actual street sign, while the Place Saint-Jean/Sint-Jansplein is unofficially labelled Place Sibylline.


Macherot, drawn by André Franquin for the cover of Spirou #2159 (1979).

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