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Creator / Gotlib

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Gotlib by himself.

Gotlib was the Pen Name for Marcel Gotlieb (14 July 1934 – 4 December 2016). He was a French cartoonist whose Franco-Belgian Comics are popular classics, who started out in cooperation with scenarist René Goscinny (of Asterix fame), and later struck out on his own.

His comics were mostly comedy, dealing with film clichés, complaints about Real Life nuisances, and What If? scenarios... which he tackled with his unique art style and humor.

He is still held in high esteem among French cartoonists. Headed the NSFW Fluide Glacial mature humour and cartoon magazine, which he cofounded, until his death in 2016.

Most of his (SFW) comics are gathered in the Dingodossiers and Rubrique-à-brac series. The NSFW ones are collected in Pervers Pépère and the Rhaâ- series.

Not to be confused with the game company Gottlieb.

Gotlib's works provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Achilles' Heel: Not even a Groin Attack brings down Superdupont. Bruce Lee must resort to the ultimative cruelty to a Frenchman: a Camembert in the fridge.
    Bruce Lee: He was a worthy opponent.
    • Coupled with another horror: Red Wine
  • As Long As It Looks Foreign: The comic analogue to the trope. "No Japonais": An unlucky Samurai playing in the "Theatre of Nations" is Driven to Suicide when everybody else misinterprets his Kanji as the signal for their act. About all languages that Joe Average can identify from their look (but not read - if you can actually read them, it's pure nonsense) are played through. And then some unknown, until the Caveman enters who speaks "Altamira"...And finally some step-dancing Martians speaking Wingding.
    • Possibly also Perverse Mémère and her Kamawhateva book. And then she gets out her vibrator. Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz. Turns out it's a cookbook and she's pureeing Madeleine cream. (The Japanese vaguely hints at it, but it's more an Inu nihonicus.)
  • Author Avatar: Gotlib frequently draws himself in his comics, and is recognizable by his sideburns and big square glasses.
  • Berserk Button: Perverse Pépère plays with a toddler which makes the mistake of honking his enormous nose. Alas, P.P. is not an Osmo, and dishes out a left hook. Exit an otherwise Harmless Villain, for once nonplussed.
  • Bizarro Episode:invoked The strip with the tiger statue that makes anyone who looks at it become insane. Including Gotlib himself, and, it is implied, the reader.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Sidekick in the film clichés episodes, who always gets cream pies in his face.
  • Captain Ethnic: Superdupont is a basically a bunch of French stereotypes in human form; so stereotypical in fact that even French people tend to agree (and find it amusing).
  • Catchphrase: Several!
    • "Blondeau Georges Jacques Babylas, I arrest you for MURDER!"
    • "Hell and damnation, I am done for!"
    • "Darn it, but of course!" (directly taken from Les Cinq Dernières Minutes)
    • "And now, let's go for new adventures!"
    • "Now there, my dear, you're fully into science fiction!"
    • "And now, let's go for well-deserved vacations!"
    • Thought bubble: "Universal gravitation theory"
  • Cephalothorax:
    • In the Rubric-à-brac about giraffes, this is how a nerve is represented, a muscle is similair but more muscular and the brain is also the same but with a crown.
    • An enzyme is represented like this in an other Rubrique-à-brac.
  • Comic Sutra: You bet. Shipping King Kong with a skyscraper (NSFW, what else) is only one of his crazy ideas.
  • Crossover: "Barbaralice" (Barbarella/Alice in Wonderland) and "Pinokenstein" (Pinocchio/Frankenstein). Neither work survived the parody.
  • Curse of The Ancients and Foreign Cuss Word: Sort of. When going through the various action hero occupations (pilot, pirate, Tarzan, secret agent, etc.), they use the expletives used at the time such as Gosh!, Blood'n'guts!, and Damned! (which seems the be the transcription for Dammit!).
  • Damsel in Distress: When Brick Abrack is playing blind man's buff with his girlfriend Clorinde, she gets captured by the villain and put into a Death Trap while he still thinks she is hiding despite her cries for help.
  • Dirty Old Man: Pervers Pépère is one, except (maybe) for the times he subverts his own antics For the Evulz or For the Lulz.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: Referred to when talking about film clichés.
  • Disney Villain Death: In an episode about film clichés, he explains the villain must never die and be back in the next episode, and shows a villain falling from a cliff, but then is shown in the "ending" panel as being alive and well.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: A cartoon short where several people tell themselves increasingly dirty jokes, with increasing facial distortion by laughter. The last one evidently is too contrieved for one of them. When she finally exclaims: "Oh, his *penis*!" all faces go to disgusted deadpan unisono.
  • Droste Image: La Vache qui exhibit.
  • Drugs Are Good: Pervers Pépère as God (or God as Pervers Pépère) takes the white middle line of a street and sniffs it up like cocaine. It's a line after all...
  • Exact Words: Pervers Pépère, on the toilet, sees a contact ad of a homosexual, something with loving pipesnote . He arranges a meeting and gives the guy a present: A beautifully crafted meerschaum pipe. Still, ceci n'est pas une amused victim.
  • Eyepatch of Power: A recurring villain in the episodes about clichés is a bald, eyepatch-wearing villain who speaks with a German accent. Probably a melding of Blofeld and his eyepatch-wearing henchman.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Subverted/parodied in the strip Dans l’espace profond on ne vous entendra pas gerber ("In deep space no one will hear you barf"), an Alien spoof (what else?). Pervers Pépère's mouth/face is apparently so disgusting that the facehugger detaches on its own without completing the implantation process and slithers off, nauseated, to go puke in a corner.
  • Flirting Under Fire: His action heroes do this all the time, passionately kissing the Bond Girl while shooting a bad guy (without looking) and delivering an Offhand Backhand to another.
  • For Want of a Nail: One story is about a time traveller who goes into Isaac Newton's time, sleeps under his apple tree, and because Isaac Newton was not here to have the apple fall on his head, he couldn't have thought about the law of gravitation and therefore, the lack of it will have prevented the invention of time travel in the future; the time traveller is stuck.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: He has drawn some fairy tales straightforward, others go into parody.
  • Groin Attack: Naturally. Hamster Jovial gets one on the cover of his book, and Superdupont one from Bruce Lee (in self-defense).
  • Hands in Pockets: In an episode, he describes different kind of cartoonists and how their temper defines what they draw. The description of a "cheating" cartoonist is the latter hiding a complicated scenery with simple objects, so, as an example, a panel describes the terrifying battle of Waterloo but most of the battlefield is hidden from the viewer by a big cannon and a pile of cannonballs.
  • The Hero: Brick Abrack is meant to be the archetypical hero.
  • It Will Never Catch On: An episode was a sarcastic Take That! at cynical officials who dismiss innovative scientific hypothesises with the phrase "Now there, my dear, you're fully in science fiction!" and show it happening to famous scientists of History.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Hamster Jovial tries to change that by hearing Tina Turner, but it probably doesn't work.
    Hamster Jovial: Pop music is full of contradictions.
  • Love at First Sight: A story is about a prince who totally falls in love, head over heels, with a pretty shepherd girl, and almost becomes sick because of it.
  • The Mermaid Problem: In one comic, Mowgli the wolf-boy and Tarzan the ape-man are competing to seduce a singing woman in the middle of the forest. After fighting, they decide to go woo her together... and are shocked to find out that she is a fish-woman.
  • Messy Pig: Parodied in the "animal documentary" episodes with Professor Burp: despite the pig who is shown as being a messy and unrefined animal, Professor Burp is all dressed up, with a top hat and monocle, and talks about the pig in a very respectful way, while The Ladybug is very sloppy and vulgar. Later, in the episode about the deer, who is shown as a classy and beautiful animal, Professor is the one who is sloppy, vulgar and very laconic about the deer, while The Ladybug wears this time the top hat and monocle.
  • Mockumentary: The animal-themed strips. For example, one starts out about rhinoceroses that suddenly acquire duck traits (migrate, taste good with oranges...) because the author's daughter messed up his files.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In the Rubrique-à-brac about marmots, Professor burp try to observe a couple of the titular animal in their burrow, but the marmot husband come after the professor and thinks his wife cheated on him.
  • Nerd Glasses: Gotlib's glasses in his Author Avatar.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: More correctly "fist fight", but we don't have all trope permutations. Superdupont fights against Bruce Lee, first with the good old hidden horseshoe, but then quickly gets out the semi-automatic and finally a cannon. Alas, Bruce is simply too fast for him. (Although Superdupont is, on the other hand, too tough to bring down until Bruce resorts to exploiting his Achilles' Heel...)
  • No Smoking: Gotlib obviously dislikes smoking and describes an elephant who has become forgetful because it has taken up smoking and a time traveller who doesn't recognize his mother in the past because he is a heavy smoker.
  • Once per Episode: In every "animal documentary", Isaac Newton will have the animal of the week fall on his head, and subsequently discover universal gravitation theory. One exception was when studying the hippopotamus and it's Edison (still portrayed as Newton, though) who puts a hippo in a tub and then says "And yet it moves". A great deal of confusion ensues.
  • Only One Name: Defied. It's a Riddle for the Ages what was the surname of Dr. Mabuse. Now we know: It's "Zischöne".note  Now if there wasn't this nagging feeling Gotlib just made it up...
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: A Rubrique-à-brac is about a ant who take revange on a ant-eater in various way including beating it with raw strenght despite being smaller.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: A story is about the problem of having a non-speaking parrot.
  • Profile View Gag: One Rubrique-a-Brac strip was a Fractured Fairy Tale where a handsome prince sees a beautiful shepherdess (always from the front, as does the reader), but never manages to get close enough to talk to her. He finally approaches her from the side, suddenly mumbles an apology and gets the hell out of there, the confused shepherdess turning her head to look at him and revealing her nose juts out of her face like a trireme's ram. The dejected prince then laments that you can't see people from the side and the front at the same time... and turning his head to face the audience for the first time, revealing his own face is half-handsome, half-ugly.
  • Rage Against the Author: Alas, poor Hamster Jovial (a pathfinder). He declares he has enough of Gotlibs idiotic gags. After a GroinAttack and other inconveniences (think of the famous Bugs drawing Daffy cartoon, adult variant) he steps back in line.
  • Removable Shell: In the Rubrique-à-brac about tortoises, a female tortoise take a bath without her shell.
  • Rule of Funny: One comic asks miscellaneous manufacturing questions, such as how is toothpaste inserted inside their tubes? How is pasta hollowed? While the easy question would be "machines", Gotlib instead presents the workers manually attempting those with the most basic tools, if any.
  • Running Gag: Isaac Newton having some object falling down on his head, getting him to come up with the universal gravitation theory.
  • Self-Deprecation: In a Rubrique-à-brac telling the story of The Ugly Duckling it is said that even the ugliest people where scared of the Ugly Duckling, one of these is Gotlib himself.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: A lot, of the kind ending in an untranslatable atrocious pun.
  • Symbol Swearing: Inverted. Yes, inverted! ABCDEF!!
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Pervers Pépère's girlfriend. They have a bondage session, and she just laughs about the torture. Until PP rips her a nosehair out.
    • PP kinda counts too: The poor facehugger who hugs his face flees green in the face, in desperate need of an Alka-Seltzer.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Two kids disguised as an exhibitionist.
  • Troll : the best description one can make about his Pervers Pépère (Pervy Old Guy) character. He entirely relies on him looking and (apparently) acting like a Dirty Old Man just for playing pranks.
  • Vagina Dentata: Male variant. Pervers Pépère has some mousetrap or whatever hidden under his trenchcoat, protecting his rear entry. A cartoonist colleague of Gotlib trying to slap P.P.'s butt ends up bandaged.
  • What If?: Several comics are about "What if..." scenarios, some of them completely absurd, such as "What if... apples were pumpkins?".
  • Zany Scheme: Pervers Pépère is willing to go astronomical lengths of preparation just to get his lulz in the end.

Alternative Title(s): Marcel Gotlieb