Photo © Olivier Roller
Born in Switzerland in 1967, Zep — whose real name is Philippe Chappuis — got his pen name from a Led Zeppelin fanzine he created at the age of 12. He started drawing and making up stories very young. He published his first drawings in Swiss newspapers when he was 14. Then he attended the School of Decorative Arts in Geneva. In 1992, Zep set his childhood memories down in a sketchbook, and the character Titeuf, who would become the most famous little boy in French comics, was born.
Titeuf has since become a publishing phenomenon popular with children and their parents, with 12 books so far which have sold millions of copies, and an animated series on the air since 2001 in 240 countries and 35 languages. Titeuf is also one of the hottest licensed properties on the French market, with more than 30 kinds of products.
But Zep is also the author of many other works for children and adults alike.
He is, famously, the author of the Sexual Guide to Willies (with Hélène Bruller), a practical handbook that humorously explains sexuality to young readers, which has become a must for many families (2 millions copies sold). In 2007, the science museum Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris featured an exhibit adapted from the Sexual Guide, which broke attendance records (350,000 visitors) before moving on to Switzerland.
In 2004, Zep received the Grand Prix d’Angoulême—the most prestigious prize for a European comics creator—for his body of work.
A fan of rock and all music, Zep contributed, from 2004 to 2008, to many anthologies devoted to famous musicians, among them a collection of songs by Bob Dylan (published in an English translation by Norton in 2009 as Bob Dylan Revisited).
In 2009, Zep published Happy Sex with Editions Delcourt. This accessible and acerbic take on couplehood charmed more than 400,000 readers in France, and has since been widely translated.
Happy Sex kicked off a humorous series known as the Happy Books, which take on girls and their effect on guys (Happy Girls), and rock music, concerts, and fans (Happy Rock, soon to be released).
Zep is currently writing and directing the feature-length animated adaptation of his Titeuf series, slated for release on April 6, 2011.
|Zep official website : ZEPoRAMA.com|