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Comic Strip: Urbanus

"Urbanus" is a long running (1982) Flemish comic strip, based on the popular Flemish comedian and singer Urbanus, who also writes the stories. The strip itself is drawn by Willy Linthout. It's by far one of the most popular comic strips based on a celebrity, and thanks to the popularity of the comedian in the Netherlands also a success there.

The stories revolve around Urbanus, a ten year old boy with a full beard, who is basically a bad boy. His father, CÚsar, is a drunk, pipe smoking fool who constantly cheats on his very pious wife Eufrazie (Usually Played for Laughs). Urbanus has two pets: a yellow dog with a floating head just above the lower jaw called Nabuko Donosor and Amedee the intelligent fly. Just like the real Urbanus the characters all live in the village Tollembeek. The strip has many secondary characters who are all either stupid or corrupt, or both. "Urbanus" is a children's strip, but has a lot of bawdy, blasphemous and violent jokes.


Urbanus provides examples of:

  • Alcoholic Parent: Cesar.
  • Amusing Injuries: Pretty much Once per Episode.
  • Animated Adaptation: One short cartoon film was made, called "Het Lustige Kapoentje".
  • Anti-Hero: Urbanus, who is just a bad boy.
  • April Fools' Plot: The album "De Hete Urbanus" takes this as a plot development start.
  • Art Evolution: The early albums were very amateuristic, yet over the years this has improved.
  • Art Shift: Frequent cameos of other comic strip or cartoon characters can be found in the strip. The authors also collaborated with comic strip author Merho of De Kiekeboes to have a special crossover album.
  • Backwards-Firing Gun: In "De dochter van Urbanus", there are three of them.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Characters frequently address the audience.
  • Breast Expansion: Eufrazie implants silicones into her breasts in the album "Urbanus zijn snippelepipke rekt uit".
  • Buddy Cop Show: RenÚ and Modest, two brainlessly agressive cops.
  • Butt Monkey: Dikke Herman, a fat kid with glasses, rabbit teeth and a large quiff, usually ends up being punished or beaten. Sometimes justified, but not always.
  • The Cameo: Many over the years.
  • Christianity is Catholic: All churches are Catholic, Urbanus' mother is a pious woman and Urbanus frequently visits Heaven and Hell.
  • Comedic Hero: Urbanus
  • Composite Character: In-universe, Nabuko Donosor actually is two characters, usually treated as one.
  • Conspicuous CG: The 3D album.
  • Corrupt Church: The local priest is a hypocritical drunk who frequently visits the town's whore.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • At the end of "De Sponskesrace" the stories continues on the grey back cover of the album, because the characters are late with the conclusion of the story.
  • Cross Over: Urbanus had a crossover with the comic strip De Kiekeboes in the album "Kiekebanus".
  • Cultural Translation: This comic is as Flemish as it gets. All characters speak the Flemish dialect and even in the Netherlands no attempt is made to speak standard Dutch. Sometimes a small caption gives an explanation of an expression to the Dutch readers.
  • Death Is Cheap: The main characters have died numerous times, but always find ways back to life.
  • Dirty Old Man: Most adult characters on occasion, but Cesar and Nonkel Fillemon regularly.
  • Female Angel, Male Demon: Cesar and Eufrazie on the few occasions when they die and go to heaven and hell respectively.
  • Freestate Amsterdam: The Netherlands is depicted this way in the album "De laatste Hollander" (the last Dutchman).
  • House Wife: Urbanus' mother, Eufrazie.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Most characters don't seem to have any kind of conscience.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Eufrazie is practically saintly in her religion. Played for Laughs, as she often becomes the Butt Monkey because of this, but also often an important plot point.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Urbanus is a child with a beard. Sometimes he is childishly naive or innocent. Other times he thinks just like an adult.
  • Losing Your Head: Nabuko Donosor the dog's head and upper jaw float above the rest of his body.
  • Man Child: Urbanus, who is a little boy with a full grown beard, just like the real life comedian.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Urbanus
  • National Stereotypes: Mainly Belgian and surrounding countries.
  • Only Sane Man: Amedee.
  • Police Brutality: RenÚ and Modest are two policemen who are very fond of beating suspects up.
  • Print Long Runners: Since 1982.
  • Raymanian Limbs: Nabuko Donosor, whose head is split above the lower jaw. His upper head is completely separate and has a separate sentience from his lower body, making him technically two characters, Nabuko and Donosor. They are usually treated as one character, making him a literal Composite Character.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Urbanus' uncle, "Nonkel Fillemon", was over hundred years old, but never seemed to die. This irritates Urbanus' family, because they want to inherit his fortune.
  • Reference Overdosed: Several references to other comics, TV shows, films and Dutch and Flemish pop culture stuff.
  • Sadist Teacher: Urbanus' teacher, Mr. Kweepeer.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: The character Ed Luived is actually Satan in disguise. ("De Duivel" is Dutch for "The Devil".)
  • Talking Animal: The animals in the Urbanus household, as well as some other animals, can speak. When an animal eats soup letters mixed with rotten eggs, they become very intelligent and can speak as well.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Het Zwarte Winkeltje had one of these, that appeared whenever Urbanus was nearby.
  • The Theme Park Version: Belgium and Holland, mainly.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Urbanus in "De kleine tiran".
  • Uncle Pennybags: Nonkel Fillemon, Urbanus' rich uncle.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Urbanus disguises himself as a girl in "Urbanellalla".
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Urbanus never inherits his rich, old uncle's money.
    • This happens all the time to Urbanus and his family.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cesar, who constantly chases after other women.

U.S. AcresNewspaper ComicsWhat's New? with Phil and Dixie
De KiekeboesPrint Long Runners    
De KiekeboesTurnOfTheMillennium/Comic BooksBatgirl 2000
TiteufBelgian ComicsValerian
Archie ComicsThe EightiesAmbush Bug
De KiekeboesThe NinetiesDoonesbury
De KiekeboesThe New TensTransformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers

alternative title(s): Urbanus
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