Jommeke and some friends.
"Jommeke" is a long-running (since 1955) Flemish comic strip, originally drawn by Jef Nys
, but after his death in 2009 continued by other artists
. Along with "Suske en Wiske
", "Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber
" and "De Kiekeboes
", "Jommeke" is one of the most famous and popular comic strips in Flanders.
The comic strip is about a 10- or 11-year-old boy, Jommeke, and his talkative parrot, Flip. Along with their friends, the playful Filiberke, the twin sisters Annemieke and Rozemieke and absent-minded professor Gobelijn, they have many adventures. Jommeke lives in Zonnedorp ("Sun Village"), along with several other characters.
The stories are exclusively for children and an institution in Flanders, but virtually unknown over the borders.
Some of the many tropes in Jommeke:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Professor Gobelijn, who is such an expert in everything that he frequently does and says the opposite of what he means.
- Alien Invasion: Friendly aliens pass by in "De Kikiwikies" and "Opstand In Kokowoko".
- Antiquated Linguistics: For a very long time, from its creation in 1955 until 1989, the characters all spoke the Flemish dialect. And this while other comics already spoke the Dutch standard language since the 1960s.
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Or Dutch for that matter. Asians in this comic strip all have trouble pronouncing the letter "r".
- Big Bad: Anatool and the thieves Kwak and Boemel, who are yet nowhere so diabolically evil as the crazy Koningin van Onderland ("Queen of Underland").
- Big Friendly Dog: Fifi, a huge bobtail the size of a horse.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to Jommeke in "Jommeke in de Knel".
- The Cameo: Flemish singer Bobbejaan Schoepen makes a cameo in the album "Jommeke in Bobbejaanland".
- The Captain: Kapitein Jan Haring.
- Celibate Hero: Well, Jommeke is a child, of course.
- Child Prodigy: In "Kinderen Baas" every child becomes a prodigy for an entire album.
- Children Raise You: The children raise the adults who became child-like in "Kinderen Baas".
- Christianity is Catholic: Jef Nys was a pious Catholic and "Jommeke" was published in Catholic magazines and newspapers. So naturally a lot of Catholic imagery is referenced and seen. Justified since in the Flanders of the Fifties until well into the Seventies, everybody was Catholic.
- Comic Book Time: Nobody ages.
- Deserted Island: Paradise Island
- Early-Installment Weirdness:
- When Jommeke made his first appearance in the Catholic newspaper "Kerk en Leven" he behaved as a bad boy. Later this was toned down to innocent naughtiness and later to bland kindness.
- Kwak and Boemel originally looked nothing like their later incarnations.
- Ear Trumpet: Both the head sister of the "Begijntjes" and Baron van Huppelvoet are deaf people who use ear trumpets.
- Easily Forgiven: Many villains are easily forgiven.
- Everything Is Better With Monkeys: Choco the chimpansee, Mataboe the gorilla, the apes of Paradijseiland, the apes in "Apen In Huis",...
- Everyone Meets Everyone: In the 100th "Jommeke" album, "Het Jubilee", all the cast members come together to celebrate this moment.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: All women are destined to be sweet housewives who stay home, cook dinner and raise children.
- Fictional Country: Onderland, Pimpeltjesland, Paradijseiland, Het Verkeerde Land,...
- Heroic Dog: Pekkie, Filiberke's dog.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The thieves Kwak and Boemel live together in the forest.
- House Wife: Every woman in this very traditional comic strip is a house wife.
- Hypnotic Eyes: The Koningin van Onderland is able to hypnotize people.
- Just Woke Up That Way: In a few albums professor Gobelijn accidentally puts something in the water or the air that transforms everybody in Zonnedorp (or sometimes the entire world) into a strange mutation, shape or different way of thinking.
- In "Kinderen Baas" all the children become as smart as adults and the adults start acting like children.
- In "De Lustige Slurfers" everybody gets an elephant's trunk.
- In "Het Staartendorp" everybody grows an animal's tail.
- In "De Luchtzwemmers" everybody floats up into the air and is able to fly.
- In "Neuzen bij de Vleet" everybody's nose grows large.
- In "De Vruchtenmakers" everybody grows a tree on their head.
- In "De Samsons" everybody's hair grows and they become super strong.
- In "De Grote Knoeiboel" everybody becomes a weird shaped character.
- Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: In the album "De Vampier van Drakenburg" Filiberke watches a vampire movie while being home alone at night. He is so scared that he actually goes to Jommeke's home to stay over for the night.
- Long Runners: This comic strip has been in syndication and production since 1955.
- Mind-Control Device: The Koningin van Onderland hypnotizes a police man in "De Koningin van Onderland" so he can kidnap children to her castle.
- Moses in the Bullrushes: In "Het Hemelhuis" a little baby is found floating by in a basket of reeds. Jommeke even says it's like the story of Moses. They adopt the kid until his real parents come to take him with them.
- The Movie: In 1965 a very low-budget live-action film was made, "De Schat van de Zeerover": It wasn't a success and is almost forgotten today.
- Narrating the Obvious: Since this is a comic strip aimed at children a lot of things are explained in this way.
- National Stereotypes: All Scotsmen are thrifty. All Native Americans are dressed like in the 19th century, Spaniards add "-os" at the end of each noun. Black Africans are helpless children. Every non-Western country is primitive.
- No Export for You: The series has been translated into English and French, but is nowhere so popular in those regions as in Flanders.
- Nuns N' Rosaries: A group of nuns ("The Begijntjes") are good friends of Jommeke.
- Poirot Speak: All foreign characters mix Dutch with loan words from their own language.
- Plagiarism: The Koningin van Onderland looks almost identical to the Evil Queen in Disney's Snow White. Only the color of their clothes has been switched.
- Product Placement: Happened only once, in the album "De Muzikale Bella" where Jommeke's father advices Jommeke to put his money on the bank BAC. This scene was removed in later album versions.
- Raised Catholic: Especially in the old albums, lots of references to Roman Catholicism could be found. Author Jef Nys was a very pious man and his characters are frequently helped by priests and nuns.
- Rip Van Winkle: Jommeke in "De Slaapkop" keeps falling asleep, because he was poisoned by some villains.
- The Role Player: Filiberke has a tendency for playing somebody or something else for the entire album, even in emergency situations.
- Running Gag: Rather repetitive gags: Several jokes occur in every album and always in the same predictable way.
- Scotland: The character Mic Mac Jampudding is a very stereotypical thrifty Scotsman.
- Shaggy Dog Story: In "Wie Zoekt Die Vindt", Jommeke and his friends travel to several places on Earth to search for a treasure, only to find out that it is buried in their own village, where it all turns out to be a simple All for Nothing joke.
- Shouldn T We Be In School Right Now: Jommeke and the other children always have spare time to go on adventure.
- Single Malt Vision: A running gag in the series is that everyone who first encounters the twin girls Annemieke and Rozemieke thinks he's seeing double.
- Single-Minded Twins: Annemieke and Rozemieke.
- The Sky Is an Ocean: People in the album "De Luchtzwemmers" float in the sky, but manoeuvre themselves by swimming, hence the title "De Luchtzwemmers" ("The Air Swimmers")
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Professor Gobelijn.
- Spaghetti Kiss: Done by two dogs near the end of the album "Tobias Snuffel".
- Sudden Intelligence
- Happens to all the children in "Kinderen Baas", but then all the adults act childlike.
- Super Hero Episode
- Jommeke's moeder, Marie, becomes superintelligent and superstrong in "De Supervrouw" thanks to a potion by professor Gobelijn.
- Talking Animal: Everybody is able to talk with Flip, the parrot. In some albums other animals also are able to speak.
- Treasure Map: Plot device in "Wie Zoekt Die Vindt", "Schildpaddeneiland" and "De Schat van de Zeerover"
- Witch Hunt: The plot of "Op Heksenjacht"
- Yellow Peril: In "De Gele Spin" and "De Stenen Aapjes", a Chinese gang is a threat to society.