|Spike and Suzy|
|Publisher|| De Nieuwe Standaard |
|No. of issues||270+|
|Main character(s)||Spike |
|Created by||Willy Vandersteen|
|Written by|| Willy Vandersteen |
|Artist(s)|| Willy Vandersteen |
Spike and Suzy (British title), Willy and Wanda (American title) or Luke and Lucy (in a 2009 film and video game) (Dutch: Suske en Wiske, French: Bob et Bobette) is a Belgian comics series created by the comics author Willy Vandersteen.
It was first published in De Nieuwe Standaard in 1945 and soon became popular. Although not in its earlier form, the strip adapted to the Ligne claire style, pioneered by Hergé. This change took place when the strip became serialised in Hergé's Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin from 1948 to 1959.
The books revolve around the adventures of the eponymous Spike and Suzy, two children (pre-adolescent or adolescent depending on the album), along with their friends and family. The stories combine elements of comedy, fantasy, and science fiction, such as talking animals, time travel and ghosts. The strip still runs daily in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard, and new books continue to be published; as of May 2020, 382 albums have been published.
The main characters are a group of friends, living familywise though the only blood-relation is Sidonia being an aunt of Suzy. In the first regular comic, Suzy and her aunt Sidonia meet the orphan Spike and unrelated Professor Barabas. In the next album De Sprietatoom, they also meet Ambrose. Later, in De dolle musketiers (book #18, 1953), Jerom (called Jethro in the UK version), the "strongest man in the western hemisphere", was introduced.Apart from Suzy and Aunt Sidonia, none of them are related, and other family is only introduced occasionally to drive a particular story.
Over the course of the series, characters are added and changed, and stories become more didactic. Ambrose and Jethro change significantly: in the beginning, Ambrose was just an amusing fool, but in the Blue Series he appears more sophisticated and heroic, evolving towards a cynical and sceptical man in the current stories. In early stories, Jethro was initially portrayed as an ignorant strong man, who evolved into a sophisticated and quiet man in later works. In most stories Muffin is only a doll, but one very special to Suzy, and they are inseparable. In some stories Muffin comes to life and plays an important role.
In the earliest stories, Willy Vandersteen used fictional countries like "Chokowakije" ("Chocolaslovakia") and "Amoras" (a tropical island, "Hoboken", actually a real town in Belgium, in the English-language version). He dropped the use of those after a few stories, although some later stories revisit Amoras.
Most of the current adventures of Spike and Suzy happen in real countries all over the world, with Belgium (their home country) as main focus for many stories.
While in the early stories large distances were usually traveled using the fictitious Gyronef, an experimental helicopter devised by professor Barabas, starting from the 1960s all air travel is provided by the Dutch national airline KLM, making it an early and prominent example of product placement in European comics. Vandersteen chose KLM over the Belgian national airline SABENA because of his friendship with Ron Winderink, PR manager at KLM.
Willy Vandersteen created Suske en Wiske, beginning publication in De Nieuwe Standaard on 30 March 1945. To Vandersteen's disappointment the editor had renamed the strip's first chapter Rikki en Wiske.The following story was titled De avonturen van Suske en Wiske - Op het eiland Amoras and no longer featured Rikki. After a few years of publication in several newspapers, Vandersteen was approached by Hergé, intent to improve sales of the Dutch language Kuifje, who wanted Suske and Wiske for his publications rebuilt in the Ligne claire style. Vandersteen made the adaptation and Suske en Wiske first appeared in Kuifje and Belgian Tintin on 16 September 1948 with the story titled Het Spaanse spook and Le Fantôme Espagnol in the two languages. All 8 stories that were run until it ended in April 1959 made up the material collected in The Blue Series.
Vandersteen established Studio Vandersteen in 1952 to manage his expanded activities.To have time for other series such as De Rode Ridder (The Red Knight) and Tijl Uilenspiegel, he gave Paul Geerts the job of creating new albums of Suske en Wiske in 1968. Geerts did this until 2001, when he gave this task to Marc Verhaegen. From 2005 on, a team of writers and cartoonists makes the new series, led by Luc Morjeau. These authors are helped by Studio Vandersteen.
Before Suske en Wiske appeared as albums, they were published in several newspapers and magazines, such as:
The books are generally divided into two groups - Red Series and Blue series. The Red Series contains the vast majority of the books, and is so called because all of the books in this series have a red coloured cover. There are only a few books in the blue series, and they are so called because of their blue cover. The blue series encompasses all those originally published in Tintin and Kuifje. The Red series is everything published before or after. The following album series exist:
Other stories or editions have been published, such as:
English translations have been published in three incarnations. The first was in the U.S., under the name of Willy and Wanda. It was then published in the UK in the 1990s named Bob and Bobette, a copy of the Belgian title in French. The final print run was in the UK by the title Spike and Suzy.
The comic book series was also published in Belgium in French, under the name Bob et Bobette (Bob and Bobette in English). Translations in other languages (including regional dialects) are plentiful but may exist as short-lived series only.
Books out of the series have been published in the following languages as:
There have been various spin-off comic series from Spike and Suzy:
Suske en Wiske has reached such a popularity in the Dutch-speaking world that various media adaptations have been made.
In 1949 Dutch puppeteer Karel Weyler of the Flemish puppet theater Pats' Poppenspel adapted some Suske en Wiske series as puppet plays. Willy Vandersteen enjoyed these versions and gave him permission to make more. The music was composed by Armand Preud'homme and the dialogues were written by Jef Contrijn, whose wife, Germaine Gijsels also designed the costumes.Vandersteen returned the favor by helping to design the backgrounds and referencing "Pats Poppenspel" in the Suske en Wiske stories "De Mottenvanger" ("The Moth Catcher"), "De Circusbaron" ("The Circus Baron"), "Het Hondenparadijs" ("The Dog Paradise"), "De Wilde Weldoener" ("The Wild Humanitarian") and "De Poppenpakker" ("The Puppet Catcher"). Between 1974 and 1977 Vandersteen also made a comics series about "Pats" until copyright issues forced him to change the title into "Tits".
In 1994 the Royal Youth Theatre of Antwerp made a theatrical musical called "De Stralende Sterren". It ran for several years and was both a success in Flanders as well as the Netherlands.
In July 2002 a new musical premiered, based on the album "De Spokenjagers" ("The Ghost Hunters"), again touring with huge success in Flanders and the Netherlands.
In 2008 the album "De Circusbaron" ("The Circus Baron") was adapted into a theatrical musical, which toured in Belgium and the Netherlands.
In 1955 the Pats Poppenspel puppet shows were broadcast on Flemish television. This was the first attempt to bring the comics to television. A limited animation series was made the same decade.
Far more successful was the 1975-1976 puppet series. The Belgian TV network BRT produced a TV puppet series consisting of six original stories told by Lambik, all of them broadcast as five-minute episodes, which were each 22 minutes in length. These stories ("De Minilotten van Kokonera", "De Gouden Locomotief", "De Zingende Kaars", "De Windbrekers", "De Regenboogprinses" and "Het Laatste Dwaallicht") were later adapted into comic book albums. The puppets were made by Creatuur in collaboration with André Henderickx. Vandersteen's studio created the backgrounds and props. The series was a tremendous success in the Netherlands and largely responsible for the comics' ultimate breakthrough there. Re-runs were broadcast in 1985 and 1990.
In the early 1990 an animated TV series was made by Atelier5, broadcast on Vtm. Each episode was based on original Suske en Wiske stories, with Han Peekel as narrating voice-over. They were also made available on video.
In 2004 the album "De Duistere Diamant" ("The Dark Diamond") was adapted to the silver screen by Rudi Van den Bossche as the live-action film De duistere diamant.
A CGI animated film called Luke and Lucy: The Texas Rangers was released in July 2009. Produced by Skyline Entertainment, it was planned to be the first of a series of 13 films.
In 2001, Infogrames released Suske en Wiske: De Tijdtemmers for the Game Boy Color. It was only released in Europe.
On 19 July 2009 Nintendo DS a video game was released, based on the 3-D animated movie Luke and Lucy: The Texas Rangers .
Suske and Wiske have their own statue in the Antwerp Zoo in Antwerp. It was sculpted by René Rosseel in 1978.Suske, Wiske, Lambik and Jerom also have statues in Middelkerke, sculpted by Monique Mol in respectively 2002, 2005 and 2013
In the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels the permanent exhibition brings homage to the pioneers of Belgian comics, among them Willy Vandersteen. In the room dedicated to his work a replica of Professor Barabas' teletijdmachine ("tele time machine") can be seen.
On 15 June 1995 an illustrated wall was dedicated to the series in the Laekenstraat in Brussels, Belgium.Suske and Wiske are also part of an illustrated wall in the Korte Ridderstraat 8 in Antwerp, which was revealed on 13 May 2006. On 24 April 2009 a similar wall was revealed in Kalmthout.
The character Lambik inspired the name of the Dutch comic book store Lambiek in Amsterdam. The misspelling of the name is due to the fact that the early Dutch publications of "Suske en Wiske" called him "Lambiek". The emblem on the store's sign is an image from the Suske en Wiske story "Prinses Zagemeel" ("Princess Sawdust") (1947-1948) and represents Lambik's metamorphosis into a centaur.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suske en Wiske .|
Ligne claire is a style of drawing created and pioneered by Hergé, the Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin. It uses clear strong lines all of the same width and no hatching, while contrast is downplayed as well. Cast shadows are often illuminated, and the style often features strong colours and a combination of cartoonish characters against a realistic background. All these elements together can result in giving comics drawn this way a flat aspect. The name was coined by Joost Swarte in 1977.
Suske is one of the main characters in the popular Belgian comic strip Suske en Wiske by Willy Vandersteen. He is the boy of the duo.
Wiske is one of the main characters in the popular Belgian comic strip Suske en Wiske by Willy Vandersteen. She is the girl of the duo. Together with Lambik she is one of the most popular characters in the franchise.
Willy Vandersteen was a Belgian creator of comic books. In a career spanning 50 years, he created a large studio and published more than 1,000 comic albums in over 25 series, selling more than 200 million copies worldwide.
Tintin was a weekly Franco-Belgian comics magazine of the second half of the 20th century. Subtitled "The Magazine for the Youth from 7 to 77", it was one of the major publications of the Franco-Belgian comics scene and published such notable series as Blake and Mortimer, Alix, and the principal title The Adventures of Tintin. Originally published by Le Lombard, the first issue was released in 1946, and it ceased publication in 1993.
The Blue Series is the name of one of the series' of the Suske en Wiske books, written by Willy Vandersteen. The Blue Series is shorter than the other two series - The Red Series and the "specials" - but is possibly the most popular. The Blue series is so called because the covers of the books were blue.
Notable events of 1945 in comics. See also List of years in comics.
Luke and Lucy: The Texas Rangers is a 2009 Belgian-Luxembourgish-Dutch CGI animated western comedy adventure film released on 21 July 2009 as the first of it kind to be created in Belgium in a projected 13 animated films, at a rate of one per year. The film is based on the Belgian comic book characters Luke and Lucy. The film is directed by Mark Mertens and Wim Bien, and produced by Skyline Entertainment, in partnership with CoToon, LuxAnimation, BosBros, and WAT Productions. The film was first announced in a 1 July 2005 press release. The Flanders Audiovisual Fund announced on 20 April 2006 that it would provide €12,500 for script development, and a further €237,500 was announced in September 2007 for production of the film. The total budget of the film is €9 million, making it the most expensive Flemish-Belgian film to date.
Ludovica "Louisa" Ghijs was a Belgian stage actress. She was married to Dutch-German actor Johannes Heesters.
Krimson is a Flemish comic book character and the main antagonist in the Belgian comic strip series Suske en Wiske. He is a doctor, billionaire and supervillain who wants to take over the world.
Johan Deckmyn and Vrijheidsfonds VZW vs Helena Vandersteen, Christiane Vandersteen, Liliana Vandersteen, Isabelle Vandersteen, Rita Dupont, Amoras II CVOH and WPG Uitgevers België is a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice. The reference concerned what conditions must be met for a derivative work to be considered a parody. Parodies are allowed under the Information Society Directive, in those countries that have indicated to apply the parody exception. The European Court of Justice indicated that the definition of the copyright exceptions was consistent throughout the EU and that to qualify the work must "evoke an existing work, while being noticeably different from it, and secondly, to constitute an expression of humour or mockery". The humour or mockery does not need to be directed towards the work itself, but it can also be mockery of something/someone else. When considering a parody-case the court should strike a fair balance between the rights of the rights holders of the original work, as the maker of the parody.
Professor Barabas is a Flemish comic book character from the Suske en Wiske series by Willy Vandersteen. He is the absent-minded professor/scientist archetype in the franchise.
Lambik is a Flemish comic book character from the Belgian comic strip series Spike and Suzy by Willy Vandersteen. In the English translations he is known as Orville or Ambrose. Lambik is the breakout character of the franchise and one of the most popular and recognizable comic book characters in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Jerom is a Flemish comic book character and one of the main cast members in the Belgian comic strip, Suske en Wiske by Willy Vandersteen. He is the series' strongman and well known for his physically impossible powers that often make him the deus ex machina who solves every problem. Jerom's popularity with readers is so huge that he inspired at least two spin-off series: Jerom de Gouden Stuntman (1962–1991) and J. ROM - Force of Gold (2014).
De Lustige Kapoentjes was a long-running Flemish comic book series, which existed under different titles and was drawn by different artists, among whom Marc Sleen and Willy Vandersteen are the most well known. The series was published in 't Kapoentje, the youth supplement of Het Volk, and in Ons Volkske, the youth supplement of De Standaard. They were the mascots of 't Kapoentje from 1947 until the magazine's demise in 1985.
Schanulleke is a Flemish comic book character who originated in the Belgian comics series Suske en Wiske. In the series she is Wiske's beloved rag doll. Between 1986 and 1993 Schanulleke received her own spin-off series. The character's name in English is Molly, Sawdust or Muffin.
Tante Sidonia is a Flemish comics character from the Belgian comics series Suske en Wiske. In the franchise she is the aunt of Wiske and the adoptive aunt of Suske, of whom she both takes care.
Charel Cambré is a Flemish Belgian comics artist and author.
Johan Deckmyn is a Belgian-Flemish politician and a member of the Vlaams Belang party.