Classic European Comics Classic European Comics
Everyone has read a comic or two in their life. When I grew up there was not much access to American comics. Batman, Superman, Spiderman,... Classic European Comics

Everyone has read a comic or two in their life. When I grew up there was not much access to American comics. Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and Hulk were translated, along with the Avengers, X-Men and Defenders. But before I ever got to read Dutch translations of American comics, I had a big part of the European comic scene at my disposal, in the library and in the bookshops.

The European comic scene is an interesting one. There are all kinds of genres and there are too many titles to list. Most of those titles never reach other countries and that is a shame, because the approach to story telling or humor is totally different. It is also less superhero oriented. Some comics, however, have arrived abroad like Dylan Dog, Alan Ford, Diabolik, Lucky Luke, Asterix, and Clever & Smart, but they will not be the focus of this article. My focus will mostly be on stuff people have probably never heard of. Curious? Here we go.

Les Casseurs

casseu10

Before Lethal Weapon made buddy cop movies cool, Les Casseurs already did it in comic form. This Belgian comic originated in 1977 and you could see the creators were heavily influenced by American movies from the 70s. The comic takes place in San Francisco and just breathes America. Al and Brock are two cops, who bug each other a lot, but together they solve various crimes.

Arad en Maya

arad en maya

This Dutch comic is a science fiction comic. Personally, I am really not a big fan of sci-fi, but this comic was just hilarious. Arad is a guy, who looks totally disco and has a weapon called a Beeper. Maya is his girlfriend and together they have adventures on various planets.

Chlorophyl

chlorophyl

Probably the best comic about animals I’ve ever read. Chlorophyl is this cool mouse, unlike Mickey, who has all kinds of adventures in the forest. All kinds of animals appear and it is funny to see these characters and their interactions with each other. This Belgian comic originated in 1954. Yes, 1954.

Le Scrameustache

scram

Another sci-fi comic that was just wonderful. The Scrameustache is a hybrid animal created in a laboratory, but it can talk and is pretty smart. The Scrameustache flies a kick ass UFO and has a robot dog as a guardian. He has a special helmet with which he can turn objects and people into salt statues. He is the protector of an earthling kid called Khena and has various allies fighting evil people and aliens. One of those allies are the Galaxiens, the funniest motherfuckers in comics. This Belgian comic originated in 1973.

FC Knudde

fc knudde

This Dutch comic is probably one of the dryest humoristic comics I’ve ever read. It’s about a football (soccer) team called FC Knudde. FC Knudde means FC Bunglers. You can’t help but laugh about how dry the humor is, how lame the team is, and how ugly drawn it is. And that makes it a charming comic. This comic originated in 1978.

Sjors en Sjimmie

The original dutch Sjors & Sjimmie comic was pretty racist.

org sjors en sjimmie

The original Sjors en Sjimmie

Today I found out they even made a movie about it. I shit you not.

sensrebellen03

Sjors en Sjimmie movie. *SMH*

Yes, Holland has a few things they can’t be proud of. I feel deeply ashamed knowing there is even a Sjors en Sjimmie movie.

Instead, let’s focus on the non-racist incarnation created by Robert Van Der Kroft.

sjors en sjimmie

Robert van der Kroft version Sjors en Sjimmie

It started out very funny and then it grow into a very satirical comic. It followed the newest trends and took the piss out of it. Sjors and Sjimmie are two boys. It is not clear if Sjimmie was adopted, but he is black. Together they live with the Colonel and Sally. The Colonel is this grumpy man and it’s unknown if he is the father of Sjors, Sjimmie, or both. There is also Sally. I don’t know who Sally is. Is she Sjors and Sjimmie’s sister? She definitely isn’t the Colonel’s girlfriend. I never found out. Bottom line is that this is a funny comic and often it’s just one page gags.

Tinus Trotyl

tinus trotyl

This Dutch comic only got one issue and that is a shame. It was pretty funny. It was about a guy, Tinus Trotyl, who is crazy about fireworks and explosives. The short stories always dealt with blowing something up or shooting the shit out of something.

Genial Olivier

geniale olivier

This Belgian comic is one of the funniest comics I know. It originated in 1963 and as a kid I devoured these comics. Genial Olivier is this genius kid who makes all these inventions to make school life easier. He also makes inventions to help people out, but as with all kinds of inventions, sometimes they don’t work as expected. The supporting cast in this comic is wonderful. The bully in the comic is one of the funniest characters ever, but so are many others, like Olivier’s girlfriend, Olivier’s best buddy, and Olivier’s teacher. What makes this comic extra interesting is that some things existing today were fantasy in Genial Olivier. The creator Jacques Devos, RIP, sure was a visionary.

Suske en Wiske

suske en wiske

This legendary Belgian comic is known in various countries. In South Africa it’s known as Neelsie & Miemsie, in Germany as Ulla & Peter, in Finland as Anu ja Antti, in Italy as Bob e Bobette, in Portugal as Bibi & Baba, in the US as Willy & Wanda, and in the UK as Bob & Bobette. And that’s only a few countries. Suske and Wiske are a boy and girl who have all kinds of adventures in the past, present, and future thanks to a time traveling machine. Assisting them on their adventures are their aunt Sidonia, strong-man Jerom, and fool Lambik. When I read this comic as a kid it was my favorite comic, but when I re-read it years later I was amazed with how satirical the comics were.

De Macaroni’s

macaronis

This Dutch comic originated in 1977. The story is about a mafia boss who becomes the owner of an Italian football (soccer) team. The team is just a bunch of losers, but the mafia boss uses mafia tactics to have his team win matches. The Italian spirit is captured wonderfully in this comic and you feel just as if you are in Italy.

De Partners

de partners

This Dutch comic originated in 1979. It’s about a rich playboy millionaire who goes on spy adventures. Assisting him is the chain-smoking woman known as Countess, who is badass and saves his ass on more than a few occasions.

Les Krostons

les krostons

Les Krostons is a Belgian comic about three creatures who want to dominate the world. They found out it is not easy to become masters of the world, but they are convinced sooner or later they will be the rulers. Persistent little critters is what they are. There is a Krostons movie in the making, but the question is will it ever be finished? Another question will be if they can capture the spirit of the comic.

Douwe Dabbert

douwe dabbert

I don’t like fantasy very much, but this comic I can read again and again. It’s timeless. Harry Potter has got nothing on Douwe Dabbert. Douwe Dabbert, in my opinion, is the best Dutch comic ever released. It originated in 1977. The concept is simple. Douwe Dabbert is a traveler and has a magic knapsack that often helps him in dire need. He wanders around in this wonderful world meeting talking animals, witches, charlatans, thieves, etc.

Arlequin

arlequin

You might have heard of Jean Van Hamme. He is not related to Jean-Claude Van Damme. He is the creator of XIII, Thorgal, and Largo Winch, but in my opinion Arlequin was his best work. Arlequin, not related to Harley Quinn, is a master of disguise, who helps out people in need. You never know his real identity, but he is there when you least expect it. This Belgian comic originated in 1979 and screams movie adaptation.

Author Image

Bop

Bop loves all things creative and inspirational. He is a producer in the making, an athlete, a language expert, an action movie aficionado, an advocate of real girl power, and definitely a snarky smark. He might even surprise you with a thing or 2 about movies and TV.

  • Suske en Wiske looks familiar, may have read that at some point or seen it in the library at least. Everything else is new to me. Cool shit!!

    Also, those damn racist Dutch at it again.

  • Stalkeye
  • Stalkeye

    I know, right? XD
    Die idioot kutten!

  • Love “Les Casseurs” or “Patrol Unit 525” or whateverthehell it was called here.

  • Sagamanus

    Sjors en Sjimmie movie. Jesus Christ.

  • Sagamanus

    Great idea for an article Bop. I think that France has a comic tradition that would be as famous as Japan’s if they had an outlet but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

    This one for instance.

    http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Orbital-Volume-3-cover.jpg

  • Bop

    France has a great scene for sure. I don’t know about now but in the past some French comics like Asterix, Lucky Luke and Blueberry reached Holland. I am sure the French comic scene is still alive and kicking and probably better than ever.

  • Bop

    Ha, ha.

  • Stalkeye

    Laughing my Ass off at the “Makeup effects”. Those fools are stuck in the 20’s.

    Oh,Lawd!!

    http://thesupernaughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/sensrebellen03.jpg

  • Bop

    Yeah. And what what is coming up within a few weeks. *SIGH*

  • Bop

    Cool to see Les Casseurs was released in Finland.
    What is the Finnish comic scene like?

  • Stalkeye

    That Cover from “DE PARTNERS’ look like something Lucio Fulci would conjure up if he wasn’t invested in Horror Films.

  • Bop

    The movie was made in the 70s.

  • Stalkeye

    Jan Van Hamme?? And wasn’t XIII turned into some videogame back then?

  • Bop

    If Hollywood paid any attention they would create a De Partners movie.
    As long as they don’t pussify it.

  • Bop

    Yes, it was turned into a video game.
    There was also a short XIII tv show starring Stephen Dorff.

  • Tarmac492.1

    This was a fascinating article Bop!! Always cool to see stuff from another country. Genial Olivier looks really cool. Like something you would read in class when your teacher with the droopy tits and smelly breath was talking about long division.

  • Stalkeye

    I figured that, but man is it Bizzarre that they still did/do shit like this.

    You wasn’t kidding when you mentioned how insensitive your Countrymen are. And I thought Japan was bad… Oh, wait..!!!

    http://www.rockshockpop.com/screencaps/VampireGirl/01-1.jpg

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    kutten? giggle

  • Tarmac492.1

    wow. just. wow.

  • Bop

    Genial Olivier would just create a hologram to take his place. 😀
    That comic was ahead of its time and good for lots of laughs.

  • KilliK
  • Bop

    What in the blue hell is that?

  • Stalkeye
  • Bop

    Ha, ha. You know the word? 😀

  • Stalkeye

    I remember playing the game for my pirated Xbox but had no idea it was a series as well.

  • Bop

    I just found out there is even XIII: The Series without Stephen Dorff.

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    oh shit….now i do…..thanks to goooglesness!

  • Bop

    So the word does not exist in Dutch slang? 😀

  • KilliK

    most of those comics are Franco-Belgian.

  • Bop

    Hey, Puck. Is there a Canadian comic scene?

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    erm……erm…….hesitate and stuttering

  • KilliK

    yeah, and it seems to be successful. maybe I ll check it in the future. XIII is like the european version of Jason Bourne.

  • Stalkeye

    Just some dumbass Japanese trying to go over the top with stereotypes of Blacks. It’s from the Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl.
    It’s a very tasteless movie that should not be passed as Comedy.
    If it was Funny in a politcally incorrect way, I would laugh but this felt mean-spirited like the Klinta Klaus.

  • Stalkeye

    LOL
    No Comment.

  • Bop

    He, he.

  • Well, VERY indie. I think the amount of people who can actually make a living here by making comics can actually be counted by one hand.

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    wazza aficianado

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    oh indie….swoon

  • Bop

    A passionate fan.

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    oh jippery……a bit out of my depth here

  • KilliK

    One of my favorite french cyberpunk comics:

    http://pxhst.co/avaxhome/9b/1d/002b1d9b.jpeg

    and ofc Jodorowsky’s classic comic series which HBO needs to make as the scifi alternative to their GOT:

    https://hansangel.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/metabarons.jpg

    and then there is this amazing franco-spanish comic:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81nbw6QxdVL.jpg

  • Bop

    Where?

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    here Pobs……asking all the questions 🙂

  • Bop

    Don’t worry. The way I see it everyone is welcome here and it doesn’t matter whether you know a lot or know a little.

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    leetle……….;)

  • Bop

    Don’t worry about it. It’s not like I am an expert.

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    ooooooooooooo puleeeeeeeeeeeeeze 😉

  • Bop

    See you on the other side?

  • Jen B&T’s girl

    deal 🙂

  • Bop

    They don’t make Sjors and Sjimmie anymore, but those stupid Sinterklaas movies are made every year.

  • I don’t follow comics enough to know really, but at least to me it always seemed to just be merged with the American scene. Todd McFarlane, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series, co-creator of Superman, Joe Shuster, was born in Canada, etc. Long history.

    I’m sure there probably is more of an indie scene, but I’m out of the loop on it.

    Oh, there is this guy.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/82/Captain_Canuck1.jpg

  • Bop

    Bloody hell. Can you believe I have that issue? I bought it about 15 years ago in Germany of all places.

  • CoolHandJuke

    Sjors and sjimmies looks like this old watermelon soda ad I saw at the gas station down the road…

  • Stalkeye

    That’s right, don’t Fuck with Canada!

    http://www.jimmccannonline.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/guardian-alpha-flight.jpg

    Canuck looks silly in those Boots. It worked for Capn A but not this guy.

  • Stalkeye

    LMMFAO!

  • Bop

    Very indie? Interesting. I would expect there would be at least one mainstream Finnish comic.

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    Arlequin sounds like Human Target the comic book.

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    Forgot to mention its an amazing cover.

  • Bop

    Depends, I think. Arlequin does not take over the identity of people.
    And he is not a bodyguard perse.

  • Bop

    I fucking love that cover. It’s one of the coolest covers of any comic I ever saw.

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    True. But those parallels are distinct. Anyway, great article, dude!

  • Bop

    You might be right that it was influenced by Human Target. Human Target was created earlier.

  • I think “mainstream” here is that handful of people who get their comic strips published in the biggest newspapers. And that’s pretty much it. And even those people get the real incomes when those strips get collected into annual books.

  • Neat. If I collected comics I’d definitely want that. Seems to be worth a few bucks.

  • CreepyThinMan

    Blacksad is a GREAT comic!!!FACT!!!

  • Some of those drawings are so beautiful. I really love the 70s style of comics.