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Comic Strip / Kabouter Wesley

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"I like existing"

Kabouter Wesley (“Gnome Wesley”) is a Belgian series of short comics written and drawn by Jonas Geirnaert, first published from 2008 to 2010 in Belgian magazine Humo. From fall 2009 onwards, the comics were adapted as cartoon shorts on television for Man bijt hond.

The series revolves around “Kabouter Wesley”, the titular grumpy gnome. It has a very simplistic and surreal style, and often portrays violent and obscene material.

Geirnaert created Wesley while working on his short film Flatlife, to let off some steam, which explains the silly stories with a simple art style. Wesley is voiced in the series by Jonas himself, while the supporting cast is voiced by Jelle De Beule.


Trope examples in Kabouter Wesley:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Parodied when a robot appears in front of Wesley and claims to be from the future. Which time period? Next Wednesday.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied when Wesley is called by someone, who convinces him that he’s really his future self by stating how many times a day he pulls his own pe-
  • Anachronic Order: Episode 25 starts with the end card and Wesley in a bar stating that Memento sucks. The episode starts making small jumps into the past, piece by piece revealing the story of how he got there.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Magic watering can: If you say “Turbo” twice, I catch fire!
    Wesley: (beat) And what is the practical use of that?
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: When entering a computer competition, Wesley's self-made computer “Sloeber” suddenly exclaims: “Jan fucks goats”. Jan immediately admits having done only once, out of curiosity. Sloeber then shows everyone a censored picture of him in the act. Wesley wins the competition.
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  • Bigger on the Inside: Kabouter Wesley's home mushroom appears to be barely bigger than himself on the outside, but actually contains, among other rooms, a neogothic chapel and an illegal chicory plantation.
  • Black Comedy: The series has featured death, bestiality, violence and abuse for the Rule of Funny.
  • Call-Back: In episode 15, there is a newspaper ad offering a magic watering can for 9.50. This item appeared in episode 4, where a spell could set the can and others on fire.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: If you say “Turbo Turbo” to the magic watering can, it gets set on fire, which is incredibly painful. Everyone else finds it gut-bustingly hilarious.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Implied. After a friendship-fairy challenges Wesley to a battle to the death, the episode cuts to a perfectly fine Wesley, commenting on how surprisingly quick it went.
  • Death as Comedy: There are several occasions on with characters die in quite bizarre ways. Even Wesley himself has died several times over the series.
  • Deus ex Machina: Wesley is shot by a police officer in one episode. After the officer mourns to Jesus that he regrets it, Wesley is revived again.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: To make the pig survive, both of the pig exterminators suddenly die with no explanation given. They Lampshade it in deadpan voices.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Featured in the comic with the magic watering can.
  • Grammar Nazi: One of two pig exterminators has the ability to hear dt-mistakesnote . He keeps pointing out the other's mistakes.
  • Grumpy Bear: There are a number of things that Wesley hates, like mushrooms, gardening, skiing, reading books, the film Memento, nice walks and all of nature. He is usually disliking things for the sake of it, and angrily shouting.
  • Jerkass: Wesley. He has a tendency to beat the crap out of everyone, even for petty reasons. This is also zigzagged, as he is seen to have a caring side towards others sometimes. At least, until he loses his patience.
  • Loads and Loads of Roles: In the cartoons, every single character exept for Wesley himself (who is voiced by its creator Jonas Geirnaert) is voiced by Jelle De Beule.
  • Medium Awareness: Lampshaded in a short in which Wesley comes across several things that are extremely difficult to animate, such as an extrely detailed vintage car, six firefighters on a motorcycle and a dog with six legs which starts to juggle with star shaped tetrahedrons while doing back flips. The short ends with Wesley apologizing to the animators by offering them a bouquet of flowers which continuously change colours.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: One episode lacks every dialogue as it only features Wesley walking past multiple signs with unnecessary information while whistling. Finally, Wesley accidentaly falls into a pond and drowns.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Wesley tells a joke to cheer up a crying penguin. Only the punchline (Then I will go to my bike on foot) is heard, to which the penguin exclaims that he doesn't understand the joke.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: How is a pig that looks like a poorly drawn cat hidden from pig exterminators? Hat, glasses and beard. Then it gets subverted when it turns out the “pig in disguise” was an actual gnome who owns a tree where he let the pig hide itself behind.
  • Straw Misogynist: One comic has Wesley getting a visit from the commission for equal opportunities because his adventures never feature women. Wesley replies that this is because he thinks women are stupid (which the commission agrees). After a woman is sought to participate, Wesley urges her to clean his house...
  • Stylistic Suck: Everything is low-detail, backgrounds are only used if the characters need to interact with it, the characters go Off-Model all the time and everything has very rough outlines.
    • Lampshaded by a pig that Wesley mistakes for a cat because of this trope. Wesley agrees and says that it applies to him too.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • After Wesley punches a hedgehog:
      Wesley: What were you gonna do, call the cops?
      Hedgehog: Yes.
    • Wesley is getting shot at, three kilomters away, two gnomes are filling the worlds largest water balloon:
      Gnome: Almost nothing can go wrong now.
      (cue both of them getting hit by the stray bullets)
  • Toilet Humor: Has a few people eating poop. And poop falling down.
  • Undignified Death: Used several times for a comedic effect.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Clearly the case with Wesley.
  • Visual Pun: Wesley causes a mushroom to loose its spores after beating it, after which Wesley is hit and killed by the train of seven o'clock.note 
  • Widget Series: Antropomorphic animals might be some of the least weird things to happen.
  • Younger Than They Look: Although Wesley sports a white beard and sounds a little like an elderly man, there are no signs of him being any older than middle-aged. He apparently is very physically fit, running long distances and beating up others with powerful blows. Besides, he never acts like an old man either, and is actually revealed to be in his 40s.
  • Your Television Hates You: One comic has Wesley watching a television programme about manufacturing faults that make certain television sets, including Wesley's, impossible to turn off or suddenly turn into the most bizarre objects.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: Another gnome tells Wesley that since he wears glasses, Wesley isn’t allowed to beat him up. So Wesley says he’ll then continue beating up the guy's mushroom instead. Glasses gnome takes his glasses off, puts them on his mushroom and laughs at Wesley. He gets smacked for his efforts.

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