Concept

Blake and Mortimer

Summary
Blake and Mortimer is a Belgian comics series created by the writer and comics artist Edgar P. Jacobs. It was one of the first series to appear in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin in 1946, and was subsequently published in book form by Le Lombard. The main protagonists of the adventures are Philip Mortimer, a leading British scientist, and his friend Captain Francis Blake of MI5. The main antagonist is their sworn enemy, Colonel Olrik, who has appeared in almost every book. Their confrontations take them into the realms of detective investigation and science-fiction, dealing with such themes as time travel, Atlantis and espionage. Since the death of Jacobs, new books have been published by two separate teams of artists and writers. A television series based upon the series was produced in 1997, entitled Blake and Mortimer. The books by Jacobs himself are generally set in the very period of their writing, but those authored by others after his death are set mostly in the 1950s and 1960s. The three main characters of the series were already present in slightly different form in the unrelated, first full-length comic strip by Jacobs, Le Rayon U (The U-Ray, 1943). In the original Jacobs' version it is not specified that Blake and Mortimer are Welsh and Scottish. They are simply two proud Britons serving HM's Government. The post-Jacobs title The Sarcophagi of the Sixth Continent dwells on their early lives, showing how they met in colonial India: Professor Philip Angus Mortimer – a leading physicist of Scottish descent, he grew up in the British Raj and is the archetypical British gentleman scholar. Mortimer was based upon a friend and sometime collaborator of Jacobs, Jacques Van Melkebeke. There was one imaginative addition by Jacobs, since Van Melkebeke had no beard. Captain Francis Percy Blake – Welsh-born officer in His Majesty's armed forces. He studied at Oxford and later became head of the British Security Service MI5 but is still very active in the field. He is a master of disguise, even fooling Mortimer on occasion.
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