William Van Cutsem, known to comics fans around the world by his pen name William Vance, was born in Anderlecht, Belgium, just outside of central Brussels, on September 8th, 1935.
After studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and beginning his career in advertising, he joined Tintin magazine in 1962. Vance started his comics career with a number of historical short stories, written mostly by author Yves Duval. This proved to be an invaluable learning experience, as the eclectic nature of these stories forced the artist to bring to life a different era with each new tale.
Inspired by adventure films, Vance created over the course of his career a narrative and visual style that has often been imitated, but never matched.
Able to go from British sea-faring with “Howard Flynn” (written by Yves Duval), to the plains of the far west with “Ringo” (written by Jacques Acar) and “Blueberry” (written by Jean Giraud), and our present-day world with “Bob Morane” (written by Henri Vernes), Vance also brought to life more personal projects, such as “Ramiro,” which he wrote and illustrated.
No reader of Tintin magazine will forget Vance’s work on “Bruno Brazil” (written by Michel Régnier, under the name Louis Albert, and Greg) and “Bruce J. Hawker.” But it is the series “XIII,” created together with author Jean Van Hamme, that propelled Vance to the top of his field. To the joy of hundreds of thousands of readers, he brought this thriller to vivid life over the course of 18 volumes, until finally handing over the reins to Iouri Jigounov in 2010.