"Spirou magazine is without a doubt one of the most important Belgian comics magazines....Unlike its contemporaries, it is probably the only Belgian magazine from the mid-20th century that is still around, although only a glimpse of its original beauty. In 1936, printing house Jean Dupuis decided to boost its profits by starting a new juvenile comics magazine. Nineteen-year-old Charles Dupuis was put in charge of the project. The French artist Robert Velter was assigned to develop the main character, which became the young bellboy, 'Spirou'. The first issue appeared on 21 April 1938."
excerpt from http://www.lambiek.net