Boule et Bill

Boule et Bill

Boule and Bill with the logo of the series
Publication information
Publisher Dupuis, Dargaud (in French)
Cinebook Ltd (in English)
Format Bande dessinée
Publication date 1959–present
Main character(s) Boule, Bill
Creative team
Writer(s) Jean Roba (until 2003)
Artist(s) Jean Roba
Creator(s) Jean Roba, Maurice Rosy

Boule et Bill (known in English as Billy & Buddy) is a popular comic, created in 1959 by the Belgian writer-artist Jean Roba in collaboration with Maurice Rosy.[1] In 2003 the artistic responsibility of the series was passed on to Roba's former assistant Laurent Verron. The stories center on a typical family: a man and his wife, their young son Boule and Bill the cocker spaniel.


Boule et Bill first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou on December 24, 1959.[2] The ambition was to make a sort of European Peanuts. The debut was made in a so-called mini-récit (mini-story), a story in 32 very small pages, printed on the inner spread of the magazine. Roba had until then mainly made illustrations for the magazine and had helped some other authors (including André Franquin), and now started with his own series. A few months later, a four-page comic with the same heroes appeared, and shortly thereafter Roba created a weekly one page comic. For the next twenty-five years, Boule et Bill was one of the most popular series of the magazine, and appeared mostly on the back cover. Some of the strips were even published in the rival Le Journal de Mickey, which was based mainly around Walt Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. From 1961 to 1965, the strip appeared in British comic Valiant, renamed It's A Dog's Life. Boule's name was changed to Pete and Bill's was changed to Larry. Apart from those changes this strip was mostly the same. 21 Albums were edited by Dupuis until 1985, containing one long story and some 800 gags. Thereafter, Roba changed from editor, moving to Dargaud. In 2006, Jean Roba died, but he had announced that he wanted the series to be continued, and had appointed Verron as his successor.


Boule et Bill relates the homely adventures of seven-year-old boy Boule and his dog Bill, a Cocker Spaniel, as well as that of Boule's mother and father and Caroline the turtle. Bill, while slightly anthropomorphized, basically acts as a normal dog, and the whole series places comical adventures in the realistic setting of a normal family in a normal town, with normal lives. Most of the gags happen in or around the house, but also include an almost yearly holiday setting with the family travelling away from home, usually at the beach.


Original albums

Boule et Bill were first published by Dupuis, then from 1988 by Dargaud.

  1. Tel Boule, tel Bill
  2. Boule et Bill déboulent
  3. Les Copains d’abord
  4. Système Bill
  5. Bulle et Bill
  6. Tu te rappelles, Bill ?
  7. Bill ou Face
  8. Souvenirs de famille
  9. Le fauve est lâché
  10. Bill, chien modèle
  11. Bill de match
  12. Sieste sur ordonnance
  13. Papa, Maman, Boule et... moi
  14. Une vie de chien
  15. Attention chien marrant !
  16. Jeux de Bill
  1. Ce coquin cocker
  2. Carnet de Bill
  3. Ras le Bill
  4. Bill, nom d'un chien !
  5. Bill est maboul
  6. Globe-trotters
  7. Strip-Cocker
  8. Billets de Bill
  9. Les V'là !, 1999
  10. Faut rigoler !, 1999
  11. Bwouf allo Bill ?, 1999
  12. Les Quatre Saisons, 2001
  13. Quel cirque !, 2003
  14. La Bande à Bill, 2005
  15. Graine de cocker, 2007
  16. Mon meilleur ami, 2009

Other publications

English translations

Cinebook has published three books in English, with Boule and Bill renamed Billy and Buddy, respectively.[3]

  1. Remember this, Buddy? – Jun 2009 – ISBN 978-1-905460-91-5
  2. Bored Silly with Billy – Sep 2010 – ISBN 978-1-84918-049-8
  3. Friends First – Jun 2012 – ISBN 978-1-84918-124-2


Boule et Bill is among the best-selling French-language comics, with 300,000 copies for the new album by Verron in 2009.[4]

Film adaptations

In 2013 a Belgian-French-Luxembourgian film was released, "Boule et Bill", based on the comics. It stars Franck Dubosc as the father, Marina Foïs as the mother, and Charles Crombez as Bill. It got bad reviews.[5]

Television adaptations

Four animated television series based on Boule and Bill were produced:

Video game adaptations

A Nintendo DS video game based on the comic was launched in 2008 by Atari and Anuman Interactive.[8]


In the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels the permanent exhibition brings homage to the pioneers of Belgian comics, among them Jean Roba and his series Boule et Bill.[9]

Boule et Bill is among the many Belgian comics characters to jokingly have a Brussels street named after them. The Rue au Beurre/ Boterstraat has a commemorative plaque with the name Rue Boule et Bill / Bollie en Billie straat placed under the actual street sign.[10]

In 1992 a wall painting representing Boule and Bill was painted in the Rue du Chevreuil in Brussels.[11][12] It was designed by G. Oregopoulos and D. Vandegeerde.

In 2000 [13] a statue of Boule and Bill was erected in Jette, Belgium,[14] next to where Roba lived. It was sculpted by Tom Frantzen.[15] In 2014 the statue was subject of vandalism.[16]

In 2002 La Poste, France's post office system, issued two postage stamps illustrating Boule and Bill. Three out of eight were semi-postal stamps benefiting the French Red Cross.[17]



External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/6/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.