Born in Anderlecht on 17 May 1904, Fernand Dineur was involved in
many strange professions before becoming one of the true initial
pioneers of Belgian cartoons. He worked as a butcher, a policeman, a
salesman and even a territorial agent in the Belgian Congo.
At the end of the thirties he began to produce illustrations for the Belgian press and several short cartoons for the Soir's almanacs and strips in the cartoon "Tribulations de Prosper" in Le Moustique, where Jean Dupuis, who was looking for local talent - a rare commodity at that time - discovered him.
It was therefore quite natural that Dineur was asked to recount the adventures of Tif when the first issue of Spirou appeared on 21 April 1938. Tif was an unusual bald, clean- shaven and resourceful tramp who would be joined several weeks later by Tondu, a ship's captain discovered shipwrecked on a desert island with luxuriant hair. This partnership became a permanent fixture.
Soon afterwards in the same magazine Dineur launched a strange anthropomorphic animal story ? "Les Exploits de Bib (le chien), Rip (l'âne), Fitt (le singe) et Jop (le sanglier)" ?He then devised the detective mysteries the "Enquêtes de Flup" in which the reader is invited to discover the guilty party by discovering the clues in the two drawings.
After ten years of virtually uninterrupted presence in the weekly magazine, Tif and Tondu transferred in May 1948 to the weekly magazine Heroic-Albums where they would appear in a few complete stories. The editor was quick off the mark and purchased the characters, entrusting their graphic evolution to Will. Dineur wrote a further few scripts for the series but finally stopped writing after "Tif et Tondu en Amérique centrale".
A prolific cartoon drawer, Fernand Dineur was capable of finishing several strips one after the other on his best days; going directly for the essential strokes, without embellishments, and with a popular humour that placed him more in the line of the "Pieds Nickelés" of Louis Forton than that of Spirou and Fantasio.
An increase in the number of weeklies at the time of the Liberation was a happy time for him, as it enabled him to produce a substantial body of work: "Poupoutte le Clochard" (Jeep, 1945), Furette (Bimbo, 1945), "Ric détective and Le Baron Louf" (Heroic-Albums, 1948), Cap Joc (Prenez-Moi), etc.
Shortly before his death in April 1956, he had started to work at Heroic-Albums on the "Confidences du détective Nant" first via illustrated texts, then in a cartoon over several episodes. This character was certainly very close to him, as were the bush stories, which abound in his work.