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By Merho

De Kiekeboes

 
 
Created by Merho
Publication information
Publisher Standaard Uitgeverij
Schedule quarterly
Formats Original material for the series has been published as a set of ongoing series and graphic novels.
Original language Dutch
Genre Action/adventure
Publication date 1977
Main character(s) Marcel Kiekeboe
Charlotte Kiekeboe
Fanny Kiekeboe
Konstantinopel Kiekeboe
Creative team
Writer(s) Merho
Artist(s) Merho
Penciller(s) Thomas Du Caju
Kristof Fagard
Inker(s) Peter Koeken
Colourist(s) Ria Smit
Ine Merhottein
Kristof Fagard
Creator(s) Merho
Reprints
The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in French and English.

De Kiekeboes is a comic strip series created by Belgian artist Merho in 1977. The series appears in Dutch. It is first published in the newspapers Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg and then published as comic books by Standaard Uitgeverij. The series is the best-selling comic in Flanders, but is unsuccessful abroad, with only a few publications in French and English.

History

De Kiekeboes first started in 1977. Merho had previously worked with Willy Vandersteen but wanted to create his own series. The first story, De Wollebollen, started in Het Laatste Nieuws. on 15 February 1977.[1]

New albums in the series appear every three months, and sell over 100,000 copies each,[2]. Like most Flemish comic strips, De Kiekeboes comics are steady sellers, with most of the series available for sale at any one time. New titles are the best selling comics in Flanders, with some 80,000 copies sold in the first year of publication. In 2007, only the Dutch translation of the final Harry Potter book sold more copies.[3]

After being assisted for a while by Steve Van Bael and then by Dirk Stallaert, Merho announced that from 1 January 2006 on, the comics would be drawn by Steve Van Bael and Thomas Du Caju, who would each produce two comics a year. Merho continues to write the stories and to make early scetches.[4]

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the comic strip in 2007, an exposition was held in the Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art and a wall painting was unveiled in Antwerp.[2] Statues of Kiekeboe and of his daughter Fanny are placed in Middelkerke.[5] Another statue of Kiekeboe can be found in Halle-Zoersel.[6]

Characters

Ordered by approximate number of appearances.

  • Marcel Kiekeboe: protagonist of the comic book series, sort of an ‘average Joe’ with an average job, attracts adventure and goes along with it.
  • Charlotte Kiekeboe: Marcel’s wife, housewife, often (mostly unwillingly) joining the adventures.
  • Fanny Kiekeboe: their daughter, around 20 years old. Socially engaged (feminism, animal rights,…), self conscious, sexy and adventurous, she often gets in trouble. She has a new boyfriend in every story.
  • Konstantinopel Kiekeboe: their son, in his early teens. Sometimes a troublemaker and never cautious.
  • Leon Van Der Neffe: neighbour of the Kiekeboe family, war veteran, ill-tempered and paranoid – but never the ‘bad guy’.
  • Carmella Van Der Neffe: Leon Van Der Neffe’s (ex-)wife.
  • Joeksel and Froefroe: Leon and Carmella Van Der Neffe’s children, friends with Konstantinopel, much to the chagrin of their parents.
  • Fernand Goegebuer: other neighbour of the Kiekeboe family, all-around good guy, but spits while he speaks.
  • Jozefien “Moemoe” Kiekeboe: Marcel’s mother, always complaining about/to him and talking about the ‘adventures’ of her best friend Mrs. Stokvis.
  • Inspecteur Sapperdeboere: Inspector in local police, is more interested in food then in his cases, which is why the main family has to solve them themselves.
  • Firmin Van De Kasseien: Marcel’s boss, constantly has extramarital affairs with young beautiful women and often needs Marcel to keep them hidden.
  • Balthazar: ‘self-employed’ thief, ‘the only burglar in the golden pages’, tries to do small crimes but constantly fails.
  • Mevrouw Stokvis: unseen best friend of Moemoe, even when the story revolves around her (#56), it’s because she ‘disappears’ and she is not seen.
  • Dédé La Canaille: French criminal, is caught because of Marcel and subsequently wants to kill him whenever he regains his freedom (similar to Sideshow Bob).
  • Mona: sexy vampirewoman, tries to seduce Marcel every time she shows up.
  • Timothea Triangl: short, transsexual ‘master’-criminal.
  • Nonkel Vital: Marcel’s uncle, brother of Marcel’s father
  • Leo Van Der Neffe: Leon Van Der Neffe’s twin brother, works as a prison guard.
  • The fat lady: recurring extra, appears in at least one image every album, but never has any role of significance in the story (although she does sometimes have an influence).

Special release

  1. Kiekeboe Down Under

Notes

  1. ^ Kempeneers, Michel (2006-11-30). “Merho over 30 jaar Kiekeboe” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium). http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=g2k1567tn. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b jns (Belga) (2006-11-29). “Kiekeboe viert dertigste verjaardag” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium). http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=dmf29112006_080. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  3. ^ “Boekenverkoop Vlaanderen stijgt met 8%” (in Dutch). Boek.be. 2008. http://www.boek.be/Nederlands/Diverse/Nieuws/Boekenverkoop_Vlaanderen_/page.aspx/954?xf_itemId=207. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  4. ^ Geeraerts, Glenn (2005-10-05). “Kiekeboe krijgt twee nieuwe vaders” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium). http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=g6ciitmu. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  5. ^ “Stripfestival focust op 30 jaar Kiekeboe” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium). 2007-07-14. http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=qo1et08i. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  6. ^ Simons, Marc (2007-08-27). “Merho komt handen te kort om te signeren” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium). http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=641gemg3. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 

External links

Merho

 
 
Born Robert Merhottein
24 October 1948 (1948-10-24) (age 62)
Antwerp, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Area(s) Writer, Artist
Notable works Kiekeboe
Awards full list

Merho (24 October 1948), the pseudonym of Robert Merhottein, is a Belgian comic-book writer and artist, best known for creating the comic strip Kiekeboe.

Biography

Robert Merhottein was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1948.[1] As a child, he already loved the comics by Marc Sleen and Willy Vandersteen, and wanted to become a comics artist when he grew up. He studied at the Sint-Lukas Art School in Brussels in the 1960s.[2] His first two comics, Comi en Dakske and Zoz and Zef, were made when he is only a teenager. Afterwards, he worked for five years as an assistant on Jerom and Pats with Studio Vandersteen, but then started his own series, Kiekeboe, in the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. Contrary to the other major Flemish newspapers like De Standaard/Het Nieuwsblad (with Spike and Suzy) and Het Volk (with Nero), Het Laatste Nieuws had no local, Flemish comic strip but only published Dutch comics by Marten Toonder or Hans G. Kresse, which left an opportunity for Merho.[1]

Kiekeboe is a typical Flemish comic, about a normal family which unwillingly gets into all kinds of adventures. Filled with humour (mostly puns and misunderstandings), adventure, movie references, and some slight eroticism with the promiscuous teenage daughter Fanny, the comic became an instant success. The first story was serialized in the newspaper starting on 15 February 1977 and continues almost uninterrupted, although the comic has switched from Het Laatste Nieuws to Gazet van Antwerpen.[3]

With more than 100 albums, the Kiekeboe series is one of the three most successful Flemish comics and sells over 100,000 copies with each new album and 1 million albums per year in total.[4] The series does not have any success abroad, with only a short-lived French, German and English translation, and an unsuccessful rebranding for the Dutch market.[1]

Bibliography

Series Years Volumes Editor Remarks
Zoz en Zef 1965 1 Robert Merhottein Self published, 1,000 copies only
Comi en Dacske 1966 1 Comidac Written by René Adriaenssens
Pats / Tits 1976-1977 / 1979-1985 4 / 26 De Standaard Credited to Studio Vandersteen, the studio started by Willy Vandersteen: the series changed its name in 1978
Kiekeboe 1978- 112 De Standaard First 45 albums originally published by J. Hoste

Kiekeboe Wall painting in Hasselt, 1996

Awards and honours

Notes

  1. ^ a b c De Weyer, Geert (2005). “Merho”. In België gestript, pp. 140-141. Tielt: Lannoo.
  2. ^ a b Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal (2007). “30 kaarsjes voor Kiekeboe” (in Dutch). http://www.rvi.be/rvi_master/insite/rvi_insite_kiekeboe_a/index.shtml. Retrieved 2007-03-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ Michel Kempeneers (2006). “Merho over 30 jaar Kiekeboe” (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleID=G2K1567TN. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  4. ^ De Gentenaar (November 2005). “Vader van Kiekeboe denkt lang niet aan afhaken” (in Dutch). http://www.gentenaar.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=girjv3qg. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  5. ^ a b Het Laatste Nieuws (2007-02-16). “Stad Hasselt huldigt Kiekeboe-auteur Merho” (in Dutch). http://www.hln.be/hlns/cache/det/art_381306.html?wt.bron=hlnRPArtikels. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  6. ^ Marc Simons (2002-11-16). “Striptekenaar Merho is ereburger van Zoersel” (in Dutch). Het Laatste Nieuws. http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleID=nbra16112002_030. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 

 Source

  • Matla, Hans: “Stripkatalogus 9: De negende dimensie”. Panda, Den Haag, 1998. ISBN 90-6438-111-9

External links

 

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