Belgian series of comics by Edgar Pierre Jacobs (1904-1987). The artist first worked for Hergé and was heavily influenced by Hergé 's (Tintin) clear line style. Another famous Hergé -apprentice is Jaques Martin (Alix).
Captain Francis Blake works for MI5, Professor Philip Mortimer is the inventor of the Swordfish, the secret weapon which will give the allies the edge in the war against the Chinese. Their opponent in all adventures is the evil colonel Olrik.
Because the first comic was produced in the fifties, the present reader could consider the world of B+M a cold war alternative universe. Realism is mixed with science fiction.
Most B+M stories are now classics in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy. The yellow mark (La marque jaune) (1954) is probably the best Belgian comic ever produced.
After his death, different authors tried to capture the B+M feel... imho nobody succeeded... The pitch shifted from artistic to commercial.
The stories have been more or less faithful transformed into a TV series (1997) by the Canadian animation studio Ellipse. The stories were altered to be more politically correct (eg. the race of the enemy is changed from chinese to caucasian, introduction of a female main character see note 3). Quite enjoyable, but remember the comics are better.
Full list of stories
note 1: I tried to translate the French titles in something resembling English, because I couldn't find any trace of an English publisher... Help on this would be appreciated...
note 2: A practical joke from the master to his apprentice : E.P. Jacobs features on the cover of the Tintin story 'Les Cigares du pharaon' (Cigars of the Pharaoh) as a mummified egyptologist.
note 3: Jacobs never used women as main characters.
note 4: On many online references, B+M is considered a French creation. The publisher is a French company. It looks like the French consider Belgium to be a part of France. They did the same with Tintin, the Smurfs and Astérix (drawn by a Frenchie, but the stories were written by a Belgian).
- Le Secret de l'Espadon (3 episodes - Jacobs - The Secret Of The Swordfish - 1948)
- Le Mystère de la Grande Pyramide (2 episodes - Jacobs - The Mystery Of The Great Pyramid - 1952)
- La Marque Jaune (Jacobs - The Yellow Mark - 1954)
- L'Enigme de l'Atlantide (Jacobs - The Atlantis Mystery - 1957)
- S.O.S. Météores (Jacobs - SOS Meteors - 1959)
- Le Piège Diabolique (Jacobs - The Diabolical Trap - 1961)
- L'Affaire du Collier (Jacobs - The Necklace Affair - 1966)
- Les Trois Formules du Professeur Sato (2 episodes - Jacobs - The Three Formulas Of Prof. Sato - 1972)
(part 2 completed by Bob De Moor in 1990)
- L' Affaire Francis Blake (Jean Van Hamme/Ted Benoit - The Francis Blake affair - 1996)
- La Machination Voronov (Sente/Andre Juillard - The Voronov Machination - 2000)
- L'étrange rendez-vous (Van Hamme/Ted Benoit - Strange encounters - 2001)