Léonard le Génie is a comic from the Franco-Belgian school by artist Philippe Liegeois and writer Bob de Groot (better known as "Turk & de Groot"). It follows the eponymous character, inventor Léonard le Génie (Leonardo the Genius, loosely based on real world inventor Leonardo da Vinci) and his clumsy "disciple" Basile.The stories vary in length from one or a few pages up to a whole album. The basic storyline is as follows: Leonardo has thought up some new invention, and needs the help of his assistant to build and/or test it. Basile, being a Heavy Sleeper, first needs to be awoken, using another invention, explosives or just plain old cartoon violence. As the building or testing proceeds, Basile suffers Amusing Injuries, either from his sadistic master or through his own incompetence. The story usually ends in one of these ways: Basile goes a step too far in annoying Leonardo and is chased by him, Basile finally gets fed up with the abuse and retaliates on Leonardo, or the invention fails spectacularly and both Leonardo and Basile are chased out of town by an angry mob.Other characters in the comic are:
Raoul the cat, comments on the action and is sometimes seen applying first aid to Basile or repairing the property damage.
Bernadette the mouse, comments on the action and is occasionally chased by Raoul in Tom and Jerry style. She has taken over first aid duty from Raoul in the recent stories.
Mathurine (Saartje in the Dutch translation) the housekeeper, is sometimes the victim of a failing invention, but also tends to put both Leonardo and Basile back in place if they make too big a mess.
The Great Albert (a time-travelling Albrecht von Bollstädt), a rival inventor. Although one album is just one long story about a huge battle between the two, in later albums they are shown to be on more or less friendly terms. Comes with a clumsy assistant of his own.
The Villagers: Sometimes seen chasing Leonardo and Basile out of town after a failing invention destroys (part of) the village.
Amusing Injuries: Basile, either at the hands of Leonardo or through his own incompetence. Leonardo and the rest of the cast aren't always safe either.
Anachronism Stew: Although the stories supposedly take place in the 15th century, Leonardo has electricity and modern tools at his disposal, and has built computers and robots, amongst others. Somewhat justified by him being an inventor, but still... Lampshaded at least once; Leonard invents a photo camera and, on having put the film in an envelope, realises there's nowhere to mail it to. "Do I have to invent everything myself?"
Anvil on Head: Leonardo has a tendency of whacking Basile with anvils, mallets and other heavy, blunt objects as punishment for various slights.
Ballistic Discount: Happens in an unusual way. A man comes ask Léonard to invent a gun for him, and when he has finished building it, the guy immediately threatens him with it.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Basile, in those rare moments when he's neither sleeping nor being tormented by his employer, turns out to be a gifted inventor in his own right. While Leonardo was inventing the bicycle, he came up with the motorbike; and he once single-handedly built a Saturn V rocket. When Leonardo invented the safe and got a little too arrogant about it, Basile one-upped him by inventing the cutting torch.
Bungling Inventor: Sometimes, Leonardo invents something that fails spectacularly (often destroying the village) or is just plain useless. Don't call him this to his face though, unless you like getting "blunderbussed".
The Cameo: Leonard invent television and everything that's being broadcast comes to life in the living room. This end with the cartoon channel with several toons showing up: Duke, Tweety, Sylvester, Tom and Jerry and several others.
Canis Latinicus: Written on the ends of their beds are Leonardo's and Basile's Latin names: Maestro Genialis and Disciplus Simplex.
Healing Factor: Basile seems to have regenerative abilities on par with Wolverine. :-)
Heavy Sleeper: Basile, waking him up takes high-yield explosives or similar violence. Most of the stories start with Leonardo waking Basile up by some unorthodox means. Basile can also instantly fall asleep at any time.
Hilarity Ensues: Basile's clumsiness is often a source of amusement to the rest of the cast, especially Raoul and Bernadette.
(CRRRAAAASSHH) Basile: (waking up groggily) Ah, I see through the hole in the roof that it's dawn already! (rotating gears in think bubble) Basile: THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE ROOF!!!?? Leonardo: (from Leonorak) Apprentice, shiver and quake before Leonorak!! Basile: (shivering) W-w-w-what d-d-do y-y-you th-think I'm d-doing, m-master? (CRRRAAAASSHH) Basile:''' I b-believe th-there c-comes the c-competition, m-master...
Hyperspace Mallet: Leonardo can pull a variety of objects from his beard. Most often seen are mallets, anvils and his trusty blunderbuss.
Idea Bulb: Sometimes used straight, but often toyed with.
When Leonardo has a particularly good idea, or a series of ideas, he starts lighting up and making sounds like a Pinball machine or Video Game.
Played with once. Leonardo needed an idea to make a broken lamp work so he... had one, caught the Idea Bulb and replaced the broken one.
Lampshade Hanging: Raoul does this occasionally, such as wondering aloud how Basile manages to heal in between scenes.
Levitating Lotus Position: Leonard encounters an entire squadron of monks flying like this. One even shouts mayday because he has a leg cramp, meaning he can't get the landing gear out.
Lighter and Softer: The 2009 CGI cartoon made characters look cuter and toned the violence down in comparison to the original comics.
Mad Scientist: Some of Leonardo's inventions are downright wacky, and he also has a tendency to meddle with chemicals and strange reagents, often with explosive results. Don't ever accept a drink from him....
No Fourth Wall: The characters are aware they are in a comic (and Raoul occasionally addresses the reader directly), not to mention speech bubbles, which have been fast frozen by the invention of the freezer, and spray painted on — when Leonard invented the censor — just to name a few.
Raoul: Hey, it's our reader! Welcome to a new album!
Non-Fatal Explosions: At worst they will burn Basile to ashes or scatter his body parts (bloodlessly) over the room, but he will be alright in the next scene.
No OSHA Compliance: Leonardo doesn't give a damn about Basile's safety or well-being, so Basile frequently has to do very, very dangerous work.
Ocular Gushers: Enough to drown the house when Leonardo invents pessimism.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Leonard and Basile usually refer to each other as "master" and "apprentice", but the master doesn't teach and the apprentice doesn't learn.
Putting On My Thinking Cap: Leonardo has a number of gadgets to help him concentrate. They usually involve strong coffee, or holding him upside down to improve the blood flow to his brain.
The Rival: The Great Albert. The album Genius contra Genius is entirely about a huge battle between the two, but later stories show them to be on more friendly terms.
Running Gag: The waking of Basile at the start of a new story and many, many other examples.
Time Machine: Leonardo has build a few, and some are occasionally used in stories, taking him either to the prehistoric or to modern times. And yes, one of them is actually build into aCool Car. Shout-Out, anyone?
Too Dumb to Live: Not only does Basile stay with an abusive master, he simply can't get anything done without seriously injuring himself.
Torches and Pitchforks: The villagers sometimes chase Leonardo and Basile out of town after one explosion too many.
Unsound Effect: A variation of this trope used for comedy. Verbs are often used instead of common onomatopoeias, describing the invention being on-work, and Basile hurting himself.