RIP: Raymond LeBlanc

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Belgian comics publisher Raymond LeBlanc (above left, with Hergé) died on March 21 at age 92. Best known as the publisher who gave Tintin a home after World War II, he was also a real life hero, if such a phrase can have any meaning. A member of the Resistance during the war, he later persuaded the demoralized Hergé to begin publishing Tintin in the new Tintin Magazine. The move changed the history of comics. In later years, LeBlanc developed Lombard into a publishing powerhouse, and at 2003′s Angouleme won the first ever Honorary Alph Art award for an editor.

Tom has more, but
Forbidden Planet’s translation of an interview with LeBlanc as good a place as any to learn about this seminal figure in world comics history.

Sixty years ago Raymond Leblanc founded the Magazine Tintin, he produced six Belgian animated features and, when the final history of the Belgian comic is ever written, he will have one of the leading parts. In his glory days Leblanc seemed to lead nine different lives at once. We present you an exclusive and especially frank interview with a living legend of 92 years.

The man sitting in front of me folds his hands and holds them under his chin, the elbows full of self-confidence on his desk. “Tell me”, he says, “How may I be of service?” We are sitting in a cosy, warm and luxurious office on the eighth floor of the Lombard Publishers building near the Gare du Midi in Brussels. The man in front of me is 92 years old, but shows no signs of getting old. “You will have to speak up, though. I have a little problem hearing”. Other than that, Raymond Leblanc is as lucid as the next guy. He remembers things that happened sixty years ago as if they were yesterday. He answers to the point and without hesitation. Even at 92, Leblanc will not be silenced in what he says will be his last interview.


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