The principal cast. Note how the villain is actually more prominent...Tif et Tondu
is a Belgian comic book series that currently counts 45 albums. It was originally created by Fernand Dineur in 1938 in the Spirou
magazine. The art was eventually handled by Willy "Will" Maltaite, and several writers followed. Maurice Rosy would be the most influent one. The series ended with Alain Sikorski (art) and Denis LapiÃ$re (writing).
The plot is about two short fat guys called Tif and Tondu, a bald guy and a hairy and bearded guy. In the very beginning, Tif was on his own and a few weeks later, he met Tondu.
The heroes being not much more than Everymen
, the series became popular mostly for its main villain: Monsieur Choc (created by Rosy), head of Nebulous Evil Organisation
The White Hand, and being the reason the series is still remembered today. Tall and thin, wearing a tuxedo and his head being hidden by a knight's helmet and occasionally smoking with a cigarette holder, he was considered one of the great examples of evil coolness
. Albums featuring him as the villain got a recent re-edit, with him prominently displayed.Despite their names
, Tif (slang for "hair") is the bald one and Tondu ("shaven") is the hairy and bearded one.
Interstingly enough, the series did get a prequel series, which however revolves around Monsieur Choc. This is little wonder, considering he's one of the most interesting characters in franco-belgian comic book history. There sheer number of tropes below that are based on him are proof of this.
Some of the tropes used are:
- Artistic License - Biology: Transplanting a mechanical heart and a human brain on a gorilla turning him invisible!
- Breakout Villain: Originally, Monsieur Choc was only created to re-animate the series, which had been mediocre up to that point. His second appearance saw him arrested and de-masked. However, no one could have forseen his insane popularity, causing him to return quickly. In the end, he became the villain of the series and even got a prequel series for himself.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: Monsieur Choc, with his tuxedo and helmet.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Monsieur Choc of course. His planning is really good and it takes the heroes lots of effort to counter it and come on top at the end.
- Darker and Edgier:
- The last albums, which tended to more realistic storylines such as Tif and Tondu dealing with a hostage crisis.
- The prequel series. Let's say it this way: Monsieur Choc can finally show why's so feared.
- Dreamwalker: Monsieur Choc is an evel variant of this in The Great Battle. The stuff he does to people in their dreams and threatening to turn them insane unless they comply with his demands is really nasty.
- Everything Is Better With Monkeys: John Fullshoke in The Shadow Without A Body.
- Everything Is Even Worse With Sharks: Monsieur Choc about to get eaten by one in the very last panel of Choc 235. Of course he does escape.
- The Faceless: Monsieur Choc. At least until the prequel series, which finally shows his face and gives him a name and origin.
- Fountain of Youth: What the Nazis are seeking in Swastika.
- Giant Spider: Tif has hallucinations of seeing one in A Diabolical Plan.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Monsieur Choc uses a cigarette holder to smoke. Not only is it because he is a snappy villain, but also because it'd be difficult to smoke without it through his knight's helmet.
- Humongous Mecha: Monsieur Choc piloting the giant Toar statue in Toar Awakens.
- Improvised Weapon: Several.
- Tondu uses an underwater cutting torch in Curse of the Lighthouse to repel an attacking diver.
- In Tif and Tondu against the White Hand, they use a carpet... two times in the same story.
- The Return of Choc saw them and the crew of a dock use water hoses and instant cement to defeat attacking gangsters.
- Invisibility: In The Shadow Without A Body.
- Killed Off for Real: Monsieur Choc, apparently. On the other hand, we thought so before and were always wrong.
- La Résistance: The Stubs in Magdalena, broken automatons who are denied repair.
- Latex Perfection: When not wearing his helmet, Monsieur Choc wears latex-perfect masks. He has even fooled a whole nation by wearing one under his helmet and being arrested.
- Nice Hat: Monsieur Choc's helmet.
- No One Could Survive That: Monsieur Choc goes through these several times. "Choc is never dangerous only when you believe he is alive!"
- Odd Couple: Tif and Tondu themselves.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: In Magdalena. Choc's remote-controlled robots in The Villa of the Long Cry at least look like it on the outside.
- Robot Girl: The titular Magdalena. Her creator locked himself in a room for hours with her, supposedly to enjoy her company. Subverted as she is not a sentient robot but a portal to a world populated with Ridiculously Human Robots who dress like a Masquerade Ball.
- Rubber Man: Tif turns into one in a two-album story arc (The Green Matter and Tif Bounces Back).
- Strip Poker: Tif plays strip-dart-throwing with a woman. At first, she cheats by giving him unbalanced darts, but he gets better... and she's a sore loser.
- Super Speed: In Choc Treatment, Monsieur Choc uses a special serum that gives super speed. It does come with all the theorized side-effects.
- The Unreveal: A short story was about an agent who managed to get a photograph of Monsieur Choc without his helmet. The end revealed the photograph to be Choc's - useless - baby picture.
- Those Wacky Nazis: In Swastika.
- Villain Protagonist: The prequel series is this, although it can be excused since Monsieur Choc is simply that good of a character.