known as Peyo, was a Belgian illustrator, perhaps best known for the creation of The Smurfs comic strip. Culliford, born in Brussels, was the son of an Englishman. He took on the name "Peyo" early in his professional career, based on an English cousin's mispronunciation of "Pierrot".He began work, fresh out of school, at CBA, a small Belgian studio of animated movies, where he met a few of his future colleagues and co-celebrities, like André Franquin and Morris. He made his first comics for the newspaper La Dernière Heure (The Latest Hour), before he moved to Le Journal de Spirou, a children's illustrated weekly (published by Dupuis) which first appeared in Belgium in 1938. Peyo wrote and drew a number of characters and storylines, including "Poussy", "Pierrot", and "Benoît Brisefer" (translated into English as "Steven Strong"). But his favourite was "Johan et Pirlouit" (translated into English as "Johan and Peewit"), which began in 1947.Set in the middle ages in Europe, Johan is a brave young page to the king, and Peewit (pronounced Pee-Wee) is his faithful, if boastful and cheating, midget sidekick. Johan rides off to defend the meek on his trusty horse, while Peewit gallops sporadically behind on his goat, named Biquette. The pair are driven by duty to their king and the courage to defend the underpowered.The first smurf appeared in "Johan et Pirlouit" on 23 October 1958.As the smurfs became increasingly popular, Peyo started a studio in the early 1960s, where a number of talented comic artists started to work. Peyo himself supervised the work and worked primarily on Johan et Pirlouit, leaving the smurfs to the studio. The most notable artists to come out of this studio are Walthéry, Wasterlain, Gos, Derib, Degieter, and Desorgher.
Cause of Death: Heart attack