Pierre Culliford (French: [kylifɔʁ]; 25 June 1928 – 24 December 1992) was a Belgian cartoonist who worked under the pseudonym Peyo ([pejo]). His best-known works are the comic strips The Smurfs and Johan and Peewit, in which the Smurfs first appeared.
After working briefly at a Belgian animation studio, Peyo began making comic strips for daily newspapers such as Le Soir shortly after World War II. At the beginning of the 1950s, he brought his character Johan to the magazine Spirou, whom he soon gave a companion, the diminutive Peewit; the strip soon became a staple of the weeklies. Peyo introduced the Smurfs in the Johan and Peewit storyline The Magic Flute in 1958; the characters quickly supplanted Johan and Peewit in popularity and left them behind for their own series.
In 1960, Peyo founded a studio to accommodate his assistants such as François Walthéry, Gos, and Marc Wasterlain and created the series Steven Strong and Jacky and Célestin. Peyo's output diminished in the 1970s, at first due to the time he invested in the film The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (1976); in the 1980s, he put in more time, despite recurring health problems, into an American adaptation of The Smurfs as an animated television series. After the series concluded, he left his publisher Dupuis to found his own publishing house, Cartoon Creation, and a cartoon magazine, Schtroumpf!, which soon folded due to management problems. He joined Le Lombard in 1992 but died a few months later. Since his death, Peyo's children have continued to promote his work under the brand "Peyo".