Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Boule et Bill

Go To

Boule et Bill (Billy and Buddy in the English translations) is a Belgian comic series created by Jean Roba in 1959 and still running since.

Inspired by Peanuts, the series is in its vast majority composed of one-page gags about a little boy and his dog from the 60's European middle class.

For the other series by Roba, see La Ribambelle.

Boule et Bill provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All-CGI Cartoon: A CGI cartoon was created in 2015.
  • Alliterative Title: Boule et Bill.
  • All There in the Manual: According to a concept book, Boule's dad and mom are respectively named Pierre and Carine.
  • Animal Jingoism: Bill hates cats, especially the neighbor's cat.
  • Animal Talk: Mostly played straight, but played with on one occasion, when Bill found himself unable to understand other dogs of foreign pedigree, each speaking in his own country's language.
  • Advertisement:
  • Animated Adaptation: Two, the 2005 one being the only famous one (if only slightly).
  • Art Shift: One gag had Boule telling Bill he needed to be more "serious". Bill then attempted to become more "serious" for a moment and he was drawn as a photo-realistic cocker dog for a panel.
  • Ascended Extra: One of the last gags by Roba featured a thief who befriended Bill. Said thief is a half-reoccurring (appears at least once an album) character of the Verron period.
  • Balloonacy: Bill once accidentally bit into a stick attached to balloons and flew away with it.
  • Becoming Part of the Image: Dog Bill crashes head-first through a fence during a game of soccer. On the other side of the fence, there turns out to be a giant advertising poster with a dog on it, and Bill’s head has crashed through it in such a way that it replaced the head of the dog on the poster. People that walk by even comment on how original this poster looks because of it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Berserk Button: Bill truly hates cats and even attacked Boule for just saying the word.
  • Blinding Bangs: Pouf, Boule's best bud. In one stripes he even comments that he likes windy days because he sees a lot better!
  • British Royal Guards: Bill unsuccessfully tries to make them laugh... but they are actually dummies !
  • Butt-Monkey: Boule's dad is always on the receiving ends of Boule and Bill's antics.
  • The Cameo:
  • Canine Companion: Bill.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Bill was distracted by a billboard with a female dog promoting dog food, much to Boule's dad frustration. Next panel, Boule's dad is distracted by a billboard with a topless woman, much to Bill's annoyance.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Bill go see a fellow dog who works at the customs. His friend's job is to search for drugs in suspicious luggages by sniffing at them. Bill finds him completely stoned.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Boule's mom was once totally creeped out by a mouse in her kitchen so she stood on a table and asked Bill to chase it. This was played totally straight. The joke of the story was that Bill then broke everything in the kitchen but Boule's mom was very grateful towards him.
  • Foot Bath Treatment: One gag sees Boule and Bill walking home through a snow storm, with every person they encounter wishing them good health. The final image depicts the two having caught a cold, and getting a foot bath treatment.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Boule's mom.
  • House Wife: Boule's mom.
  • Intellectual Animal: Bill doesn't speak but understands perfectly everything. Also Caroline, to a lesser extent.
  • Interspecies Romance: Bill has a passionate relationship with the other pet of the family, Caroline the turtle.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Boule's dad freaks out when he gets a call by tax assessors—who show up dressed in vampire regalia and introduce themselves as "Leviathan and Lucifer".
  • I Should Write a Book About This: The 2013 live-action movie ends with Boule's dad deciding to make a comic book out of Bill's antics and it's revealed he is Roba himself. In real life, however, Roba started the comic in 1959, and the film is explicitly set in the 70s.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Charlie Brown and Snoopy have a cameo in the album "Globe-trotters". To make it lawyer friendly, a footnote is included on the page that says "Thank you, Charles M. Schultz".
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Boule always wears the same yellow shirt and jean overalls. Lampshaded when his father takes him shopping for a new outfit, and he ends up buying the exact same one.
    • In the live-action film, he instead wears a striped long-sleeved collared shirt.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: In 2013 came a live-action film based on the comic. It starred Franck Dubosc as Boule's dad (cue the WTH, Casting Agency? accusations) and Marina Foïs as Boule's mom.
  • Loophole Abuse: Boule's father is building a doghouse as he wants Bill to sleep in it once and for all. Boule doesn't want Bill to sleep outside and his mother is taking his side. However, his father remain unmoved and his decision is final. Later that night, Bill is sleeping in the doghouse, on Boule's bed.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Boule went to school naked with wearing Bill's collar while Bill wore Boule's clothes. Boule was fully naked during that scene. Needless to say, Boule's dad was not happy.
  • Meddlesome Patrolman: Agent 22, a recurring nemesis of the characters in the early albums.
  • No Name Given: Boule has no more a family name than his own parents.
  • Non-Human Sidekick
  • Not What It Looks Like: Boule's father just bought a stack of cookware. He noticed a poor dog who's tail was attached with a cookware. Boule's father bent down and untied cookware. Only problem, an angry mob formed around him and everyone assumed HE was the one attaching the cookware at dog's tail. This did not end well for Boule's father.
  • Period Piece: The 2013 live-action movie explicitly takes place in The '70s.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • Bill has to make Boule stop watching a movie at the theater because he needs to pee outside. The joke? The movie is set at the Niagara waterfalls (popular idea is that looking or hearing water dripping makes you want to pee).
    • Bill, again, found a very beautiful lamppost that he could enjoy peeing under. However, a pack of tourists came by to photograph it and Bill is forced to hold it until they leave, but it's painful.
  • Running Gag: Bill hates taking a bath and the family find many creative ways to bathe him, usually through trickery.
  • Shout-Out: In one gag, Bill is upset about Boule laughing to tears on a Peanuts comic book. To attract his attention, he covers himself with flour and executes Snoopy's dance! Peanuts was referenced a second time when, while Boule's family was travelling in the USA, Charlie Brown and Snoopy made a brief Cameo.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis.: Corporal, the neighbor's cat, is this for Bill.
  • Smooch of Victory: Boule caught a little girl's lost balloon and she gave him a peck on his cheek, much to Bill's amusement. Then a nasty chased a female dog. Bill chased him away and the female dog gave him lick much to Boule's amusement.
  • Speech-Impaired Animal
  • Suburbia: Boule lives in the house of a residential district (of Brussels, one could figure).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bill loves bones. A lot. And regular meat too. Caroline likes lettuce a lot.
  • Unnamed Parent: Through according to a concept book, it's averted: the dad is Pierre and the mother is Carine. Played straight however in the comic itself.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?:
    • Boule means "ball". It was always an inherently funny word in French, but nowadays, it has the same unfortunate connotations as "ball" has in English...
    • Boule's best friend is named "Pouf". Really. It translate in English to "Footstool" and it's also a 18th century hairstyle popularized by Marie Antoinette.