Principiƫle Peter by Tom Borremans
'Principiële Peter' (Humo #4005). Peter asks a hungy African to hand in his possessions, because if all developing countries would reach Western living standards it would "ruin the planet." 

Tom Borremans is a Belgian animator, comic artist and cartoonist. He is best known for his animated TV segments, 'Sociaal Incapabele Michiel' ('Socially Incapable Michiel', 2015), which he adapted into an ongoing gag comic, published in Humo. His second best known comic series 'Principiële Peter' (2016-2018) ran in the same magazine. Borremans' comedy thrives on socially awkard and pathethic characters who hail from the province Antwerp. 

Early life and career
Tom Borremans was born in Hoboken in 1986. He initially studied Chemistry and later Archaeology, but dropped out twice. He eventually enrolled at St. Lucas in Antwerp, where he got his degree as a Master of Arts in 2013. Among his influences are Monty Python, Kamagurka, Gummbah, Jeroom, Olivier Schrauwen, visual artist David Shrigley and John Kricfalusi's 'Ren & Stimpy Show'. Originally he worked as a cleaner of offices and staircases. This left him enough spare time to concentrate on drawing. He started posting cartoons and comics on his personal website and launched his own YouTube channel in 2013, where self-made animated cartoons could be viewed.

'Sociaal Incapabele Michiel' (Humo #4069, 28 August 2018). Translation: "Me and my nephew often buy Lego, because we like to put things together." A pun on the Dutch expression "in elkaar steken" (="putting things together") and literally "putting things in each other". 

Sociaal Incapabele Michiel
In 2015 Borremans applied for a job as photoshop artist for the satirical TV show 'De Ideale Wereld' on the channel VIER. He was hired, but not because of his job interview. His future bosses had watched his YouTube cartoons and liked them so much that he became the daily animator of the program. Soon Borremans animated daily segments for 'De Ideale Wereld', initially titled 'Power to the potlood ("potlood" is Dutch for "pencil"). The episodes originally also tied in with current events. Eventually the shorts were retitled after the recurring character 'Sociaal Incapabele Michiel'. Michiel is a a lonely, pitiful middle-aged man who wears Crocs. He lacks any social skills and therefore frequently embarrasses everybody, including himself. The only things that provide him satisfaction in his miserable existence are Flemish pop singer Belle Perez, TV journalist and stock exchange expert Paul D'Hoore and drinking Fristi. Michiel was originally called 'Rare Mark' ('Odd Mark') and originated from Borremans' thesis. He had to present a work in front of jury and chose to do this as a personal comedy act. It was here that he first performed an embryonical version of the character who would later become Michiel.

Borremans animates all his cartoons personally and provides his own voicework. Only when confronted with his writer's block he occasionally accepts help from the show's hosts Jelle De Beule and Koen De Poorter (both members of the comedy ensemble De Neveneffecten, alongside Jonas Geirnaert). 'Sociaal Incapabele Michiel' quickly became a hit with viewers and spawned his own cartoon book, 'Michiel: Autobiografie van een volksheld' ('Michiel: Autobiography of a folk hero', 2016). The book has audio buttons with sound bites of Michiel's voice. The character was also used in a campaign to help the youth.

"Socially Distant Michiel" (Humo #4158, 12 May 2020). Michiel invites a girl to "go drinking in 'De Zeeman'", implying he means the Antwerp bar of the same name. But in his next sentence it becomes clear that he actually meant the supermarkt store 'Zeeman'. In the topper comic below Michiel's mother refuses her son's entrance, because she invited four friends to come over. Despite the fact that she's in Michiel's house! 

In issue #4044 (6 March 2018) of Humo 'Sociaal Incapable Michiel' received his own column, traditionally published on the final page (not counting the back cover). Titled 'Sociaal Incapabele Michiels Linkerlaatste Pagina', the page is devoted to little doodles, absurd photo montages and at least one comic strip starring Michiel. Most episodes are self-contained gags, but some continue a longer story told in episodes. In 2019, for instance, Michiel and real-life Swedish activist Greta Thunberg went on a boat trip.

Meneertje Peertje
'Meneertje Peertje'.

Principiële Peter
In October 2016 Borremans created a weekly gag comic in Humo, 'Principiële Peter' (2016-2018). Peter is a loud, abrasive, glazy-eyed man from Antwerp who – despite his nickname – isn't a man of genuine principles at all. He usually has rather daft opinions and tends to change them if they suit him better. The character originated from the artist's web cartoons and shares the same physical features as his creator. His sidekick Kenny is constantly bewildered by Peter's bizarre behaviour. Borremans also redesigned new logos for Humo's weekly sections 'Open Venster', 'Dwarskijker' and 'Uitlaat', columns which had in the past been designed by respectively Ever Meulen, Tom Schamp and Kamagurka. In May 2017, when Humo celebrated its 4000th issue Principiële Peter and Kenny got drunk in one of their cartoons and started stumbling through the 'TTT' pages of the magazine. On each of the in total 20 pages devoted to rock music they did something stupid or embarrassing, even interfering with the articles themselves. The series was discontinued in 2018. 

Musical career
Tom Borremans is also a guitarist with the rock band Hears.

Tom Borremans
A blind man asks for a "small one with mayonaise and a bear's paw", hinting at a French fries dish called "bear's bite" (sliced meatball on a skewer). Yet he is given a dwarf escort with a literal bear's paw.

Series and books by Tom Borremans you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.