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Tif and Tondu by Will
Tif et Tondu (Tif and Tondu) is a Belgian comic strip originally created, written and drawn by Fernand Dineur. Several artists and writers have worked on the series but the most popular version is that drawn by Will, with writers Maurice Rosy, Maurice Tillieux and Stephen Desberg. The strip first started in 1938 and lasted just one year short of its 60th birthday.

Main characters

Tif and Tondu are adventurers and detectives who solve cases around the world, from the United Statesmarker to the Congomarker. The central irony of the series' title was that the two friends had names which actually better suited the other:

  • Tif is French slang for "hair" yet the character is bald-headed and clean-shaven. He also tends to be more reckless and has an eye for the ladies.
  • Tondu is the French for "shaven" but he wears thick hair and beard. He is also more level-headed and is the brains of the partnership. He often takes up journalism when short of money.

Publication history

The beginning

Tif and Tondu as originally drawn by Dineur
The series made its debut on 21 April 1938 in the first issue of Le Journal de Spirou as Aventures de Tif, written and drawn by Fernand Dineur. Within a few issues Tif had made the acquaintance of Tondu, a shipwrecked sea captain, and the two joined forces, travelling the world in search of adventure.

In 1949 Dineur passed the drawing over to Will, but continued to provide the scenarios for the next three years before retiring from the strip. At this time their adventures were also published in Héroic Albums, drawn by Dineur.

Another artist, Marcel Denis, also contributed a handful of stories in the early 1960s.

Will himself worked on the strip for almost 40 years in collaboration with various writers. This period, kept together by his distinctive drawing and handling of the characters, is seen as the strip's golden age.

The golden age and Monsieur Choc

Will's first strips post-Dineur were short-lived collaborations with writers Henri Gillain (aka Luc Bermar) and Albert Desprechins (aka Ben), but then Maurice Rosy came along and worked on the strip till 1968. It was Rosy who created one of the series' most memorable characters: the villain Monsieur Choc.
Tif, Tondu and Monsieur Choc, by Will
Monsieur Choc (in English it would be "Mister Shock") was the leader of a major criminal organisation called "La Main blanche" ("the White Hand"). His habitual outfit was a tuxedo and a knight's helmet which covered his head. His true identity was never revealed. When he did not wear his helmet he used face-masks, make-up or bandages. In one adventure it was only in the very last panel that Tif and Tondu discovered that it was Choc that they had been fighting all along. On one occasion, in a short story published in 1976, Tif and Tondu did get to see a photo of Choc's face, but it was not of much use since it was one of him as a sweet little baby !

Choc came up with increasingly fanciful ways of taking over the world. These included a giant robot (Le Réveil de Toar, 1966), the manipulation of dreams (Le Grand combat, 1967) or becoming invisible (Traitement de Choc, 1984).

Other characters from this period included the young Countess Amélie d'Yeu (known as Kiki), Inspector Ficshusset of Scotland Yardmarker and Inspector Allumette of the French Sûreté, who ably led the official struggle against Choc. In accordance with the attitude of French censors of the time, who disapproved of bungling police officers, Allumette (whose name means "matchstick") was treated respectfully; in fact he was often shown as a step ahead of even Tif and Tondu.

Rosy was succeeded by Maurice Tillieux who brought to the series the mixture of humour and mystery that he had employed in others such as Gil Jourdan. Tillieux died in a car crash in 1978 and his assistant Stephen Desberg took over.

Desberg used the strip to highlight more political and social issues: the use of cheating in sport for monetary gain (Échecs et match!, 1981); the world-wide reach of organised crime (Dans les griffes de la main blanche, 1986); and the influence of the extreme right-wing in the south of Francemarker (Les Phalanges de Jeanne d'Arc, 1987, and La Tentation du bien, 1989). Desberg also reintroduced the character of Choc who had been noticeably absent during the Tillieux period.
Tondu and Tif by Alain Sikorski

The decline

In 1990 Will and Desberg turned to other projects. Writer Denis Lapière and artist Alain Sikorski took over, turning the strip into a more mundane detective series. After saving the world on several occasions, Tif and Tondu were now simple, everyday private detectives with an office in Parismarker. Tondu also married a girl called Mona. Their investigations focused mainly on such cases as fraud, forgery, murder and kidnapping. At their best, the stories looked at aspects of police procedure and that of other emergency services, but there was still little of the high-profile confrontations of the Will era.

The strip ended in 1997 and there appears to be little hurry to relaunch it. So far Spirou has been content to republish stories from the Will period, including Tif and Tondu's first encounter with Mister Choc, which coincided with the Dupuis publication of an omnibus edition of their early adventures with their sworn enemy.


Although the adventures of Tif and Tondu date back to 1938, only the ones dated from 1954 onwards are available in book form — this being its most popular period.

Original Albums

  1. Le trésor d'Alaric, 1954
  2. Tif et Tondu en Amérique centrale, 1954
  3. Oscar et ses mystères, 1956
  4. Tif et Tondu contre la main blanche, 1956
  5. Le retour de Choc, 1958
  6. Passez muscade, 1958
  7. Plein gaz, 1959
  8. Tif et Tondu (in Bibor et Tribar), 1960
  9. Choc au Louvre, 1966
  10. La villa du Long-Cri, 1966
  11. Les flèches de nulle part, 1967
  12. La poupée ridicule, 1968
  13. Le reveil de Toar, 1968
  14. Le grand combat, 1968
  15. La matière verte, 1969
  16. Tif rebondit, 1969
  17. L'ombre sans corps, 1970
  18. Tif et Tondu contre le cobra, 1971
  19. Le roc maudit, 1972
  20. Sorti des abîmes, 1972
  21. Les ressucités, 1973
  22. Le scaphandrier mort, 1974
  23. Un plan démoniaque, 1975
  24. Tif et Tondu à New York, 1975
  25. Aventure birmane, 1976
  26. Le retour de la bête, 1977
  27. Le gouffre interdit, 1978
  28. Les passe-montagnes, 1979
  29. Métamorphoses, 1980
  30. Le sanctuaire oublié, 1981
  31. Echecs et match, 1982
  32. Swastika, 1983
  33. Traitement de Choc, 1984
  34. Choc 235, 1985
  35. La villa Sans-souci, 1985
  36. Le fantôme du samouraï, 1986
  37. Dans les griffes de la main blanche, 1986
  38. Magdalena, 1987
  39. Les phalanges de Jeanne d'Arc, 1988
  40. La tentation du bien, 1989
  41. Coups durs, 1991
  42. Prise d'otages, 1993
  43. A feu et à sang, 1993
  44. L'assassin des trois villes soeurs, 1995
  45. Les vieilles dames aux cent maisons, 1995
  46. Fort cigogne, 1996
  47. Le mystère de la chambre 43, 1997


  1. Le diabolique M.Choc, 2007
  2. Sur la piste du crime, 2007
  3. Signé M.Choc, 2008
  4. Echec au Mystificateurs, 2008
  5. Choc mène la dance, 2009


  1. Dictionnaire mondial de la Bd (World Dictionary of Comics) by Patrick Gaumer and Claude Moliterni, ISBN 203750019X, ISBN 978-2037500197
  2. Dictionnaire mondial de la Bd (World Dictionary of Comics) by Patrick Gaumer and Claude Moliterni, ISBN 203750019X, ISBN 978-2037500197

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