Tag Archives: Karel Driesen

Info wanted: where was this bank cartoon first used and in which context?

In 1975 issue 3 of the magazine Stripklub Nieuwsblad (one of the many publications by Karel Driesen) dedicated 7 of its 16 pages to Bob De Moor. The cartoon we show you today was one of 2 printed on page 11 of this magazine. But we have more questions than answers regarding this cartoon…

In December 2014 you could already see the first one being discussed on the Bob De Moor website. That one was kinda straight forward as far as the joke goes, but today’s one needs some extra context, and precisely that context is unclear to us (and to the family De Moor), hence why we really need some input from our readers.

Click to view a larger image.
Click to view a larger image.

The drawing style of this cartoon is similar to the first one, and is probably made around the same time as the first cartoon, 1968 that is. The cartoon shows a bank from which a lot of banknotes are flying out the front door. But what is this cartoon really about?

You could argue that a bank usually only sees money going in through the front door and not going out, but that is most probably not what Bob De Moor referred too. Note that there is a strong wind outside as you can deduct from the people walking outside, the curly lines and leaves flying to the right.

One detail suggests that there is something more going on. As you can see, the man leaving the bank looks very surprised and that is stressed by the ‘aura’ lines indicating his surprise. Perhaps that man had just left that money in the bank? Sure thing is that this person is the only one being singled out by De Moor in this drawing so something is going on there, but what precisely?

It also came to our mind that this is maybe part 2 of a 2-image cartoon which Driesen might have forgotten to add.

If you have extra info about this cartoon, please let us know at bernard.vanisacker@gmail.com .

Pieter Bruegel the Elder seen through the eyes of Bob De Moor (Part 1)

In 1979 and 1980 the Stripcentrum Karel Driesen, aka SDK, released a series of postcards including work by Franquin, Willy Vandersteen, Marc Sleen and also Bob De Moor. The postcards nowadays fetches up to 35 Euros, depending on the comic author featured, nevertheless they are not that widely known, at least not to the big public.

The cartoon as published in 1980, but probably dating from the late 60s.
The cartoon as published in 1980, but probably dating from the late 60s.

Today’s card, ‘Salon van de Vlaamse Humor’, dates from 1980 and is according to the information on the card the first one in the 3rd series. The title of the cartoon can be translated as ‘Salon of the Flemish Humor’ and shows 5 artists with the central figure being the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (who also has the biggest artwork exhibited). The 4 others have names which are related to comics or humour: D. Gag, J. Verstrip, M. Kartoen and Vandermoppen (Dutch for what could be D. Gag, J. Comics, M. Cartoon and Joker in English).

Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 'De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden' from 1559.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s ‘De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden’ from 1559.

The painting which Pieter Bruegel the Elder is standing for is called ‘De Vlaamse Spreekwoorden’, Dutch for ‘The Flemish Proverbs’ and actually exists. Known under the name The Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World, the 1559 oil painting depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch language proverbs and idioms.

With the cartoon you might think that Bob De Moor wanted to show that today’s artists still have a lot to learn from Bruegel’s inspirational work. This is also suggested by the rather minimal artwork which is presented behind the 4 other artists and which is rather poor compared to the splendid painting by Bruegel.

The style reminds of the styles used in this, this and this drawing which all date from the 60s, thus it’s far from sure that it actually dates from 1980 like the back of the card seems to imply, instead we think it also dates from the late 60s. If anyone has some extra info on this drawing, let us know!

Hold-up cartoon by Bob De Moor from the 60s

In 1975 issue 3 of the magazine Stripklub Nieuwsblad (one of the many publications by Karel Driesen) dedicated 7 of its 16 pages (yes, it indeed was really a very small magazine) to Bob De Moor. But it must be said that these pages did include quite a lot of material which you will never find elsewhere. The cartoon we show you today was one of 2 printed on page 11 of this magazine. Thanks to Luc Demeulenaere for providing the publication. Today we present you this cartoon originally created in (or before?) 1975 1968 and first published in the Laurel et Hardy magazine from that year (thanks to Olivier Marin for this correction).

An atypical cartoon by Bob De Moor.
An atypical cartoon by Bob De Moor.

The drawing style of this cartoon clearly reminds of the more nonsense style he used for Balthazar and if it weren’t for some elements, many would not even recognize it as being a Bob De Moor cartoon. However, the typical curled line behind the running kids is a clear indication we have a clear line cartoonist at work with his graphical roots embedded in the Hergé style. The only conclusion you could draw around that time was it had to be a Bob De Moor (and it being signed helps too of course). The cartoon presumably was used during a cartoon exhibitions at the Belgian coast, we guess at the Cartoonfestival Knokke Heist, though we aren’t sure (if you have more information on this cartoon, let us know).

Interesting detail, the magazine also features material from Leo Fabri (Marjolijn, Mirmoeff), according to Bob De Moor the best Flemish comic artist around that time. The name Leo Fabri, or at least his work, will ring a bell with many Flemish readers as his drawings and cartoons were omnipresent in the De Standaard / Het Nieuwsblad / De Gentenaar newspapers from 1968 till late in the 80s. His style is quite a refined one and very much influenced by the 60s and 70s ‘flower power’ way of drawing. One of those artists which don’t get enough attention truth to be told.

Inside joking with Bob De Moor and Karel Driesen

Karel Driesen as Napoleon
Karel Driesen as Napoleon

In the 70s a series of supporters of the Flemish comic world started organizing events and publishing magazines. The eccentric comic fanatic Karel Driesen (often misspelled with double ‘s’) was one of those (colorful) people. Driesen, a close friend of Willy Vandersteen, started ‘Stripcentrum Karel Driesen‘ through which he published several magazines (and albums) such as ‘Guust’, ‘De stripwereld van Gaston’ and ‘Stripwereld’. Today we tackle issue 15 of Guust magazine which was published on May 26th 1979. The magazine which was launched at the end of 1976 (and ran until 1979 if we are correct) also ran a comic award event called ‘Dolfijn’ (Dutch for ‘dolphin’ but also referring to the word combination ‘dol fijn’, meaning ‘very pleasing’). Driesen asked Bob De Moor to create a cover for the issue handling the 1979 award.

Issue 15 of Guust magazine (1979)
Issue 15 of Guust magazine (1979)

On the cover you see Napoleon surrounded by billiard balls and cues next to sea related artifacts. Only insiders know the complete meaning behind this cartoon. The why for the Napoleon is one we quickly found out, as Driesen always referred to himself as being the ‘Napoleon of comics’. But the billiard balls and cues? That’s where Hec Leemans (Bakelandt, Nino, FC De Kampioenen, …) helped us out with a possible explanation. As it happens those notorious award ‘shows’ by Driesen always took place at the Billiard Palace (a theatre/bar back then, now a hotel), close to the Central Station in Antwerp. We actually found back an article in which he indeed refers to that place, so spot on for Hec.

Speaking of Hec Leemans, he once received such an award as well together with Paul Geerts (Spike and Suzy). As for the ’82’ on the chest of Napoleon, we have no clue what it refers too, if you know it, please contact us. Sascha Van Laeken informed us that the number 82 in the drawing refers to the word record playing billiard won by… Karel Driesen. He played for 82 hours non-stop.

The mermaid and fish of course refer to the literal meaning of the Dutch word ‘dolfijn’, meaning dolphin. To end, you can see a cartoon of Driesen made by Marc Sleen in the left upper corner. It acted as the logo of the magazine for that year.

If you have a good quality scan of this cover, please contact us.