Joe sez, "Tom Spurgeon on the excellent Comics Reporter posted sad news over the holiday weekend – Belgian publisher Raymond Leblanc passed away at the age of 92. For those who don't know, Raymond, a former Resistance member during the Nazi occupation, set up the famous Tintin magazine after the war, bringing in Herge, then labouring under a blacklist for collaboration during the occupation. He pushed Lombard into one of the top European comics albums publishers and worked with a roll call of the great and good of the medium. Fair to say the comics scene would have been far, far poorer without him and some of the characters generations of us have grown up reading might never have made it if not for his guidance and energy."
A civil servant turned member of the French Resistance in World War II, the Longlier native partnered with two friends to create a small publishing company on Rue du Lombard in Brussels. Their big coup came in 1945 when they convinced Herge to bring his Tintin into the fold of a weekly publication devoted to kids to share the feature's name. The cartoonist, already a success with a dozen albums to his credit but battered personally and professionally by the limited publishing opportunities during the war in a way that would drive criticism his way for the remainder of his days, accepted their offer. He recruited three friends — Paul Cuvelier, Edgard P. Jacobs, Jacques Laudy — to help him form the core of the magazine. They and their successors would take aim at the successful Spirou and forge a successful legacy for themselves at the same time.