"The Sex Life of Jan Bucquoy", written by Jan Bucquoy and drawn by Jean-Philippe Vidon (Dol #5, 1990).

Jan Bucquoy is Belgium's only true anarchist. The man is notorious for his repeated but failed coups to overthrow his country's monarchy. He and his partner in crime Noël Godin also pie high-profile celebrities. They made international headlines in 1998 when they pushed a pie in the face of Microsoft boss Bill Gates. Bucquoy made provocation a lifetime goal. He used various artforms to express his anti-comformist statements. He tackled many taboos, including politics, religion, royalty, the extreme-right and prudence. Throughout his work he enjoys toying with various Belgian icons. Bucquoy made paintings, sculptures, museums (his 'Slip Museum' devoted to underwear), films (of which 'La Vie Sexuelle des Belges' and 'Camping Cosmos' are the best known), and comics. He established the short-lived comics magazines Spetters (1981-1982) and Dol/Belge (1990) which featured offensive sex parodies. But Bucquoy has also written more clever scripts which were drawn by artists such as Jean-François Charles ('Le Bal du Rat Mort', 1980), Marianne Duvivier ('Stone', 1984-1987), Marc Hernu ('Alain Moreau', 'Jean-Pierre Leureux'), Jacques Santi ('Chroniques de Fin de Siècle', 1981-1988), Erwin Sels ('Frenchy', 1989-1991), Tito ('Jaunes', 1980-1989) and Jean-Philippe Vidon ( 'Het Sexuele Leven van Jan Bucquoy', 'Het Sexuele Leven van Boudewijn'). Unfortunately his promising and praised career as a comics scriptwriter was largely sabotaged by his own abrasive behaviour. Soon he was banned from most media and frequently taken to court for defamation, lèse-majesté and copyright infringement. For instance, he was sued for his 'La Vie Sexuelle de Tintin' (1992) and 'La Vie Sexuelle de Lucky Luke' (1993) by the estates of Hergé and Morris.


Jean-Pierre Leureux, another semi-autobiographical sex comic, drawn by Marc Hernu.

Early life
Jan Bucquoy was born in 1945 in Harelbeke, West Flanders. Even though Bucquoy was technically born in Flanders, both the French and Walloon border were only 20 kilometres away. His father was a Walloon construction worker and electrician, specialized in building wooden stairs for large homes. His mother was Flemish, thus he was raised bilingual. Bucquoy's father was a communist and disliked the monarchy, though he did want his children to have a steady job. Bucquoy grew up in a folksy neighbourhood, where people were raw and direct. He always preferred this attitude over pretentious refinement. During his youth he read both Tintin and Spirou magazine and was fascinated by André Franquin and Hergé, who artistically and ideologically were each other's polar opposites. He enjoyed the anarchism of Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe' but felt 'Tintin' was an odd comic about a parentless, wifeless youngster who enjoys a homosexual-like friendship with a virile sea captain. Nevertheless he liked Hergé's "Clear Line" and used it to communicate visual ideas in his own artworks. Other graphic influences were H.G. Kresse's 'Eric de Noorman', Marc Sleen's 'Nero', Hara-Kiri/ Charlie-Hebdo and painters Raoul Vaneigem and Pablo Picasso. His favorite film director was R.W. Fassbinder, while his favorite playwright was Antonin Artaud.

In 1967-1968 Bucquoy studied political science in Strasbourg, where he also worked as a theatre director with the experimental ensemble People's Action Laboratory. He performed plays by Flemish writers, such as Cyriel Buysse's 'Het Gezin van Paemel' and Hugo Claus' 'Vrijdag', but in the French language. He also staged plays by Bertolt Brecht, Erwin Piscator and Vsevolod Meyerhold. He eventually left to study film at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion in Brussels. The young student combined it with another study - moral philosophy - at the University of Ghent. During this period he also studied literature at the Université Grenoble-Alpes. Eventually he finished none of them, feeling out of place amidst the intellectual and elitarian students. Bucquoy's father was very angry that his son failed to pass a job application as electrician.

Activism
Like many people of the babyboom generation, Bucquoy was liberated by rock 'n' roll. During the 1960s he was influenced by the free-spirited atmosphere of the era, particularly May '68. One of his earliest happenings was 'Jetez votre télé dans la rue' (1965), which promoted throwing TV sets in the streets. He and his co-activist combined it with handing out flowers to everybody, long before the "flower power" movement reached Europe. Bucquoy read novels by Hugo Claus and the philosophical books of Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Laçan, but was particularly swept away by the anarchist-situationist work of Guy Debord. His happening, 'Remplacement des Drapeaux Belges par des Drapeaux d'Union Soviétique' (1966), advocated replacing Belgian national flags with the Soviet flag. He enjoyed designing different national flags too and was a host on the local radio station Radio Uilenspiegel.

Bucquoy became a committed anarchist, republican, atheist, anti-capitalist and anti-conformist. He doesn't believe in possessions, nor saving money, since "we all die anyway and have to leave it all behind." Naturally it always left him in debt, but since he barely owns anything tax collectors can't pluck him. As a staunch critic of monopolies, Bucquoy advocates total abolition of inheritances. Inspired by Aristotle, he favours a lotto system. That way, all citizens can play along, allowing the lucky winner to be a millionaire for a while. On the same token he wants to abolish the monarchy, clergy and political elections too. Unlike many other so-called rebels Bucquoy actually put his words into action. In the 1990s he teamed up with Belgian activist Noël Godin, who had been pieing celebrities since 1967. Godin enjoyed shoving pies in the faces of people who take themselves too seriously, including novelist Marguerite Duras, film director Jean-Luc Godard and far-right politician Jean-Marie LePen. Their favorite target is philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, because he hates being pied. Between 1985 and 2015 Godin and his co-activist managed to pie him at least eight (!) times. Bucquoy has occasionally contributed to these pie attacks, for instance on French Minister of Culture Philippe Douste-Blazy (1996) and later film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier. Godin's most famous pie attack happened when Microsoft owner Bill Gates visited Brussels in 1998. The attack instantly made major international headlines and was broadcast on all TV news channels. 

Although Bucquoy doesn't believe in elections because "if they would be able to change anything, they would be banned", he still made himself a candidate. In the late 1990s he was active within the minor parties Vivant, Spirit and the joke party Banaan/Banane. During the 2010 elections he was a candidate for the left-wing Front des Gauches. In favor of revolution, Bucquoy wrote a new national anthem with the lyrics "Amusons-nous, faisons les fous, la vie est courte après tout". ("Let's have fun, let's act mad, after all life is too short") and designed a new flag, with a yellow banana and red letter "B" against a black background. Between 2005 and 2009 he organized five consecutive coups, always around the same date - 21 May - "because it usually doesn't rain then. You can't commit a coup when it rains." Bucquoy and his associates tried to storm the Belgian royal palace time and time again, but since he announced the exact date in the press, police forces were always ready to arrest them long before they reached the gates. On 21 May 2008 Bucquoy managed to plant his flag in the palace garden, the closest he ever got to achieving his goal. He claimed to have a sponsor deal with Chiquita to help the financial costs of the coup, hence the fruity image on his flag.

If Bucquoy had succeeded he would've executed the king by sword on the Great Market of Brussels "to bring back that medieval tradition". He'd already practiced for it in 1992, when he decapitated a bust of king Baudouin/ Boudewijn on the market square and was promptly arrested for lèse-majesté. The rest of the royal family and government would be submitted to forced labour, for example repairing the road system in former colony Congo and/or work as cleaner for a Moroccan family. The empty palace would be used to harbour 100 homeless families. Elections would be replaced by his aforementioned lottery system, because "even a supermarket employee, artist or tram conductor ought to be able to seat in parliament". Private possession would be abolished: every citizen receives a basic income and only has to work two years in their entire life, "which is more than enough." Bucquoy added that he considered it "scandalous that people can be exploited for only 40,000 francs a month throughout their entire lifespan." Euthanasia would be a right for anyone above 16 years of age, "because we all came into this Earth without asking to be born, so we ought to be able to step out of it, if we want." The anarchist furthermore wants to legalize sex in public, "because a recent study of bonobo behaviour proved that it diminishes aggressiveness." To round it all off public transport and distribution of energy would be free and God officially declared dead.


Dolle Mol plays an important role in the second 'Gérard Craan' story by Bucquoy and Jacques Santi.

Dolle Mol
Like many icons of counterculture, Bucquoy was a regular client at the artists' café Dolle Mol in the Rue des Éperonniers/ Spoormakersstraat 52 in Brussels, not far from the Central Station. Originally a counterculture bookstore at nr. 12, it became a café to remain financially stable. Dolle Mol organized many happenings, lectures and exhibitions over the decades. Many counterculture icons, both from within Belgium (Jotie T'Hooft, Kamagurka, Hugo Claus...) as abroad (Simon Vinkenoog, Léo Ferré, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits...) paid visits. The café offered a forum for political activists, including rebels from Congo and South Maluku. In secret they also helped Spanish anti-Franco refugees get a fake Belgian passport to help them hide in Amsterdam. Once the café owners helped Provo activist Roel van Duyn smuggle German terrorist Andreas Baader to France. Unsurprisingly, the police often held razzias at the place, but everyone was always freed again without proof. In 1971 Dolle Mol had to close its doors because "the ceiling was too low", but the bar continued illegally on the first floor for a year. Visitors had to ring the doorbell to be let inside. In 1972 Dolle Mol reopened at house number 52. Two years later they established a new publishing company, vzw Free Press, which eventually went bankrupt in 1987. By 2002 Dolle Mol went the same way. However, Bucquoy refused to acknowledge this fact. On 1 May 2006 he and Arne Baillière simply reopened Dolle Mol and kept it running illegally, until he and other inhabitants were removed by police force six weeks later. A few hours later, on 24 June, they simply squatted inside the building again and were promptly jailed for a night. Thanks to Flemish Minister of Culture Bert Anciaux, Dolle Mol was able to legally continue as a non-profit organization on 1 June 2007. For a while it was mostly used as an exhibition hall. In 2015 it closed down again, but since 19 October 2018 it's back in business thanks to financial support from loyal customers.


'Het Sexuele Leven van Boudewijn'/'La Vie Sexuelle de Baudouin' by Jan Bucquoy and artist Vidon appeared as a comic strip in Bucquoy's magazine Dol in 1990.  The scene depicts Belgian king Baudouin/ Boudewijn and then senator Herman van Rompuy. 

Artistic career
Bucquoy has dabbled into various art forms over the decades, all intended to shake people out of their conformity. As early as the 1970s he made collages inspired by Hara-Kiri/ Charlie-Hebdo and Marcel Mariën. Some were copies of popular comics, like Hergé's 'Tintin', Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske', Morris' 'Lucky Luke' and Albert Uderzo's 'Astérix', while he scribbled huge genitals on the characters. He published a poetry collection in 1976, combining poems with playful drawings. Bucquoy's work often degrades iconic celebrities and fictional characters, because "desanctifying things is the first step towards freedom." He also makes uses of Belgitude, satirizing all icons of his fatherland, including the royal family, René Magritte, Manneken Pis and Tintin. Together with Paul Ilegems, Jef Meert and Jo Cauwenbergh he created a traveling museum in the 1980s with Belgian fries as subject. In his autobiography 'La Vie est Belge' (2005) Bucquoy said: "I and Belgium are a couple, even though we only have sex once a year." From 1988 on Bucquoy made 50 paintings and collages ridiculing the Belgian royal family, '50 Portraits de la Famille Royale', with such provocative titles as 'Portrait of Fabiola with tampon as jewelry' and 'Boudewijn wearing a slip as head dress'. It was followed by 'Kings, Queens and Tintin' (1989) and the even more provocative 'La Vie Sexuelle de Baudouin' (1990), which depicted the sex life of king Baudouin/ Boudewijn and queen Fabiola. Ridiculing the beloved royal couple was already offensive enough, but to add insult to injury their marriage had remained childless due to medical problems. This had always been a press taboo, because most Belgians pitied their plight. Combined with their devout Catholicism, their childless marriage had made the royal couple only more otherworldly. Bucquoy made several other collages about the sex lives of other untouchable Belgian and international icons: "Imagining a sex life for the giants of this world only has one purpose: making them human and dethrone them. I understand that it upsets them. The king of the Belgians, the pope, Muhammad, Franco, Tintin and others have hidden their sexuality throughout their entire life to distinguish themselves. To establish their powers, they had to distance themselves from the unusual, claim to be pure, without stains and especially without having sex."


Collage art by Bucquoy for his Slip Museum. The man depicted in the collage is French 2007-2012 president Nicolas Sarkozy. 

In July 1990 Bucquoy created 'Le Musée de la Femme' ('Museum of Women'), because "women need to be preserved more than art, since they turn more and more into males." He exhibited 13 kinds of women, including "Belgian woman", "child woman", "dumb woman", "toilet woman", "virgin", "pregnant woman", "nude woman"... These were represented by real women sitting on a chair. He was actually surprised that the press took him seriously, but remembered the experience as a way to attract attention. His most well known art project is his Muséé du Slip/Slipmuseum, a museum dedicated to underwear of celebrities. The idea actually came about by a slip of the tongue (pun not intended) when he and his friends talked about the Belgian Comics Museum and Bucquoy accidentally mispronounced the word "strip" (comic strip) as "slip". What started out as a joke actually became a real-life museum in 1990. Bucquoy liked the idea of exposing what's behind people's undergarments, because it's such a social taboo. Part of the collection are underpants worn by people like Plastic Bertrand, Jean-Marie Pfaff, Axelle Red, Herman Brusselmans, Didier Reynders and porn actress Brigitte Lahaie. On 22 January 2014 the underpants of politician Yvan Mayeur were stolen from the museum. The culprit was never found. Originally on permanent exhibition in Dolle Mol, it was relocated to the city Lessines in September 2016.

While most of Bucquoy's artworks were pornographic collages and paintings, he also bought several old paintings at flea markets, crossed the signature out and replaced it with his own. Or he just hung up an empty canvas and wrote his name on the wall. In both situations the art works were unsellable. On 18 October 1990 he caused further outrage by burning an aquarel by René Magritte, 'Soleil à travers bois'. Debate still rages whether it was an authentic work or an imitation? Bucquoy said he had a certificate, signed by Magritte's widow, which confirmed it was indeed real. He used the remains to create a new work: 'The Ashes of Magritte'. Through these methods he wanted to make a statement against commercialisation in the art industry. In 1998 Bucquoy issued his own nudity calendar, 'The True Story of the Naked Man', featuring nude photos of himself.

Le Bal du Rat Mort
His first comic book was 'Le Bal du Rat Mort' (1980), which he already wrote in 1977 but only found a suitable artist (Jean-François Charles) and publisher (Michel Deligne) three years later. 'Le Bal du Rat Mort' takes its title from the annual ball in the casino of Ostend (Oostende), Belgium. The story revolves around police inspector and pathological criminologist Jean Lamorgue who is asked to solve a strange case in the casino. A young woman was slaughtered in what seems to be a passion murder. Meanwhile the city seems to be under some kind of spell. A power break casts darkness over Ostende, while a rat plague bursts out... Bucquoy said that the story was influenced by novelists Michel de Ghelderode, Hugo Claus, Albert Camus, Hermann Kesten and the 'Nero' comic book 'Het Rattenkasteel' by Marc Sleen. 'Le Bal du Rat Mort' already exhibited some of his own trademarks. It's a story that exclusively takes place in Belgium, from the beaches of Ostend to the darkness of Brussels. The comic book combines magic realism, eroticism and body horror with political subtext. Apart from these elements, it's also a solid and creepy crime thriller.'Le Bal du Rat Mort' was reprinted by Glénat in 1986 and received excellent reviews. In 1981 it won the Prix Saint-Michel for "Best Realistic Comic" and the Prix Oscar Désiré Vandemuyzewinkel.

Jaunes
In 1980 Bucquoy created his longest-running and most popular series, 'Jaunes' (1980-1989), drawn by Spanish artist Tito in what was his debut as a comics artist. 'Jaunes' follows a young Belgian police detective, Daniel Jaunes. As a man of Jewish descent, he is scarred by World War II. He nevertheless tangles many controversial events from Belgium's past and present, including Belgian Nazi party Rex, king Leopold III's Nazi sympathies and various royal scandals. In 1983 former monarch Leopold III passed away, which Bucquoy wrote into the narrative. Since the event was still "too soon", some pages were blacked out by censors at their initial release. On his personal blog Tito remembered that he and Bucquoy often went location scouting, taking photographs and making sketches of real-life streets, houses and woods to use in their comic strip. At one occasion they looked for a home suitable as the private clinic of side character Dr. Gilles. They found a beautiful house in Spa, where the owners gave them a tour in their building and the accompanying park. After a while the creators learned that the owners were nephews of the Belgian monarch. Tito whispered to Bucquoy that "if they knew who they are they were bound to release their hounds on them", though Bucquoy assured him that not all Belgians are up to date with comics. When they left, the owner suddenly told them that he was indeed familiar with 'Jaunes' and politely advised them: "You were a bit strong in your last few episodes. I hope it will quiet down in the future."

The first episodes of 'Jaunes' ran between February and April 1980 in the monthly magazine Aïe! When it folded after three issues, the series continued in Circus magazine from issue #34 (January 1981) on, throughout most of the 1980s. 'Jaunes' was praised for its realistic artwork and stories, which dared to address many taboos. While some episodes of this solid adult thriller did occasionally wander off into sensational fantasy, Bucquoy's scripts often turned out to be visionary. In the 1980s there was more general interest for Belgium's war past, thanks to Maurice De Wilde's investigative documentary series 'De Nieuwe Orde' (1982). And when the Tueurs de Brabant scandals broke out, allegations about far-right conspiracies and high-class cover ups dominated the media. 'Jaunes' therefore seemed all the more current than before. Between 1980 and 1989 seven albums were published by Glénat.

Glénat magazines
With 'Jaunes', Jan Bucquoy had become a regular contributor to Circus, one of the comics magazines published by Jacques Glénat. It became a breeding ground for new collaborations, as the subversive writer contributed many short stories and longer serials until the final issue in 1989. Of all artists, Marc Hernu provided the artwork for most of Bucquoy's one-shot comics and text stories, at least 19 between 1983 and 1987. With Marianne Duvivier, Bucquoy made seven short stories for Circus between 1983 and 1986, as well as the spy series 'Stone' (1984-1987), about a British spy who is ordered to infiltrate in pro-Soviet organisations in London, but starts to wonder about his own ideology. Bucquoy's other short stories were drawn by Jacques Santi, Louis Joos and Dominique David. Circus #113 of September 1987 printed an excerpt of 'Lou Strass: Only You', a historical economic-sexual story pitting macho publishers, bankers and feminists against each other. It was drawn by Veronik and published in full in book format by Glénat in 1988. Besides Circus, Bucquoy also appeared in Vécu, Glénat's magazine dedicated to historical comics.There, he was the original scriptwriter of 'Les Chemins de la Gloire' (1985-1990), a series drawn by Daniel Hulet. Hulet wrote and drew the fourth and final album on his own in 1994.

Crime comics at Ansaldi
By 1982 Bucquoy was also working with the artist Marc Hernu, with whom he created the Brussels police officer 'Alain Moreau' (1982-1987). After a first album, 'Retour au Pays Noir', was published by Michel Deligne, the gritty and hard-boiled series continued at Ansaldi for four more albums. Later that decade, Jean-Louis Le Hir drew 'Charles Miller' (Ansaldi, 1986), based on Bucquoy's script about a good-natured police officer in a depraved version of Antwerp.


Jacques Santi and Jan Bucquoy, from the back covers of the 'Chroniques de Fin de Siècle' albums.

Work with Jacques Santi
Together with Jacques Santi, Bucquoy also created 'Gérard Craan' (1983), an alternative history story set in the 1970s, about the NATO establishing a far-right dictatorship. The second album, 'Au Dolle Mol' (1982), is set in Bucquoy's home café Dolle Mol. After two albums published by Michel Deligne, the series evolved into 'Chroniques de Fin de Siècle' (1985-1988), while the main character was renamed Gérard Mordant. Mordant is a former terrorist who becomes a staff chief at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When he has an affair with the daughter of the French ambassador, France uses this as a pretext for war. Meanwhile a Belgian anarchist group, Autonomous, tries to overthrow the extreme-right dictatorship. Serialized in Spatial, the first two albums were published by Ansaldi, and a third by Alpen Publishers. Bucquoy and Tito also made 'Jérôme Tailleriche' (Ansaldi, 1984), about a Parisian journalist in the 1930s, who investigates the murder of three of his friends and acts out his revenge.


'Jean-Pierre Leureux', drawn by Marc Hernu.

Jean-Pierre Leureux
Bucquoy and Marc Hernu also explored the humorous field with 'Jean-Pierre Leureux' (1986-1987), whose initial adventures were published in Circus. The main character looks like Bucquoy and has sex adventures. One famous story, where the protagonist can't make a woman climax, was later included as part of the plot of Bucquoy's film 'Camping Cosmos' (1996). Glénat released one album in 1987. The Dutch edition didn't beat around the bush and simply named the comic 'De Avonturen van Jan Bucquoy'. Bucquoy continued in the same tradition with another semi-autobiographical sex comic, this time drawn by Jean-Philippe Vidon. This second version was originally published in Dutch in Bucquoy's own paper Dol, under the title 'Het Sexuele Leven van Jan Bucquoy'. It had more direct references to Bucquoy and the Dolle Mol café. An album was published in French under the 'Jean-Pierre Leureux' banner by Magic Strip in 1990.

Work with Erwin Sels
With the comics artist Erwin Sels (Ersel), Bucquoy made the comics series 'Frenchy' (1989-1991), published in French by Éditions Himalaya and in Dutch by Loempia. Frenchy is a young man who visits the United States during the 1950s, where he is confronted with local puritanism and racism. At first Ersel was impressed that he could collaborate with Bucquoy, but after a while he felt the stories went downhill. In issue #318 of Stripschrift (July 1999) he said that for example, Frenchy taught French to an American girl in one scene, which was stretched out to two pages. When Ersel tried to alter things, it led to a conflict with Bucquoy. Ersel finished the third and final story, but then threw the towel in the ring. In the aforementioned interview he said that he grew disillusioned with Bucquoy, who only wanted to continue 'Frenchy' for the money and who once admitted to him that he merely provoked without really meaning it. Nonetheless, Bucquoy and Ersel also cooperated on 'Epopée Française: Indochine' (1990), about the French war in Indochina, published by Glénat.


Covers for Spetters #1 and #5, drawn respectively by Picha and Marver.

Spetters
In April-May 1981 Bucquoy launched the adult comics magazine Spetters, ironically described as "the comics magazine for the modern man and woman". Distributed by Blues P.V.B.A. it mostly featured contributions by Picha, Pirana, Pjotr & Erik Meynen, Tito, Brasser, Moons, Benoît Sokal, Ian (Jan De Graeve), Marc Verhaegen (as Marver), Knut Kersse, Gommaar Timmermans, Veroniek Goossens, Seraphine, J. Clair Lacroix, Chantal De Spiegeleer and foreign artists like Philippe Druillet, Santi, Solano Lopez, Guido Crepax, Carlos Sampayo, F'Murr and Cabu. It lasted eight issues, with the final one appearing in February 1982.


Editorial scribble in Spetters #5, drawn by Erik Meynen. 

In the seventh issue (January 1982) Bucquoy made a Hergé-themed special in an immediate reaction to the ongoing trial against Filip Denis' 'Tintin' porn comic 'Tintin en Suisse', a case which Denis eventually lost. In his editorial Bucquoy defended Denis' freedom of speech and attacked Hergé as "grand inquisitioner, old friend of Léon Degrelle and contributor to the Fascist magazine Le Petit Vingtième and the Nazi paper Le Soir during the war." Along with these blunt accusations, Bucquoy scripted another 'Tintin' parody, 'Kuifje in Holland', published in the same issue and drawn by the Swedish artist D'Arcosta. In the story Tintin meets chief editor V.J. (which stands for "Vuile Jood" - "Filthy Jew" - according to a caption) and gets recruited as a Nazi. Together with Captain Haddock he blows up a bunch of Jews and travels to concentration camp Auschwitz to exterminate even more victims. Bucquoy deliberately wanted to piss off Hergé, but nevertheless it had no legal consequences. Though it did cause a lot of uproar, which changed Bucquoy's career into a different direction.


From: 'La Vie Sexuelle de Tintin', by Jan Bucquoy.

Tintin parodies & trials
All throughout the 1980s Bucquoy started a whole string of attacks aimed at Hergé and Tintin. He wrote and drew another comic book, 'La Vie Sexuelle de Tintin' (translated in Dutch as 'Een Jonge Reporter Aan De Rol', 1982) in which the asexual characters from Hergé's comics were now transformed in horny degenerates. Tintin performs bestiality with his dog Snowy, but also has sex with Bianca Castafiore - who now happens to be married to Dr. Müller. Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus have a homosexual relationship. One of the Thompsons is actually a woman who dressed like a man to keep his affair with the other Thompson a secret. Lazlo Carreidas is an exhibitionist, while Irma and Nestor perform S&M. To top it all off, Roberto Rastapopolous is a creepy pedophile who has sex with Nouchka, the little girl from the movie 'Tintin and the Lake of Sharks' (1972). Even Hergé's death in 1983 didn't stop Bucquoy. His blunt attacks in Circus got even saucier when former Belgian monarch Leopold III passed away a few months later. Much like Tintin's creator, the king had also been accused of Nazi collaboration after World War II. Bucquoy kept kicking their legacy in the grave, which led to numerous angry letters. Publishers and editors tried to tone him down, but he refused to listen.

Bucquoy wrote (and drew?) several follow-ups to his porn comics, including 'La Vie Sexuelle d'Astérix' (CD Éditions, 1985). He also reprinted older porn parody comics, such as Paul Schuurmans' 'De Sex-avonturen van Lucky Luke'. Now he was frequently sued for defamation and copyright infringement. The police confiscated all issues of Spetters and Circus with articles and comics attacking the royal family. In 1992 Bucquoy travelled all the way to the Comics Festival of Angoulême to promote 'La Vie Sexuelle de Tintin', well aware that it would cause commotion since Hergé's work was at the center of that edition. Eventually his wish was fulfilled and in February 1992 he was sued by Hergé's widow for defamation and copyright infringement. Bucquoy won the case by proving that his claims about Hergé's war past were based on facts, if somewhat exaggerated for satirical purposes. His lawyers showed an antisemitic fable by Rolande de Vroylande, 'Les Deux Juifs et Leur Pari', which Hergé illustrated during the war. Jean Weil, who defended Hergé's estate, had parents who survived the concentration camps and pulled back from the case after being informed of this. In the end Hergé's estate had to pay the legal expenses to Bucquoy. In 1993 Bucquoy was also sued by Morris for publishing the porn parody 'La Vie Sexuelle de Lucky Luke'. On 11 October 2016 Bucquoy auctioned some of erotic 'Tintin' cartoons and managed to raise 22,000 euro which he intended to use for future film projects.


Dol issues #2 and #5 of 1990, with cover art by Jan Bucquoy.

Dol/Belge
On 16 March 1990 Bucquoy launched the weekly magazine Dol, whose name was derived from his home café Dolle Mol in Brussels. The French-language edition carried the name Belge. In the first issue alone, he depicted the sex life of the royal family, including queen Fabiola having sex with a pig. This issue was banned in the Netherlands, not because of lése-majesté but because bestiality porn is illegal there. Dol/Belge insulted the Belgian parliament, business people, Congolese dictator and "friend of the Belgian government" Mobutu and all kinds of media celebrities. It printed the "exclusive diary" of former Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants, who only recently had been victim of a kidnapping. Naturally not a word of it was true. Each week Bucquoy elected a "political whore". Other issues listed various suicide methods or printed photographs from porn magazines.

The earliest issues featured contributions by writers such as Johan Anthierens, Luc Boudens, Herman Brusselmans, Herman Claeys, Guido Lauwaert and Guy Lee Thys, while cartoonists like Pirana, Philippe Vuillemin and Jean-Philippe Vidon also livened up the pages. Reprints of Charles Bukowski and Jean-Marc Reiser were featured too. However, Dol/Belge was so random and pointless in its slander, that a French article described it as "worse than Hara-Kiri". Many people complained about its content. The police once again confiscated several issues. Numerous store owners all over the country refused to sell Dol/ Belge. They phoned the authorities on their own account or simply sent all copies back to Bucquoy. He felt this was hypocritical, since plain porn magazines could just lie in stores without any problems. After only five issues most of his contributors left. Bucquoy padded all following issues out by reprinting his older porn parody comics or other works in the genre he could get the rights too. At this point Dol / Belge was a pure comics magazine in the fullest sense of the word. Within a year it was cancelled: Bucquoy had spent his entire parents' heritage on it.


Jan Bucquoy, "before and after Dol" (Dol, 1990). Artwork by Vidon.

TV scandal
By the early 1990s, Bucquoy had gained such notoriety that he was invited to several live talk shows. In one French TV show he dropped his pants. In another he showed the so-called tampon of the Moroccan queen. In 1991 he appeared in the TV talk show 'Incredible', hosted by Dré Steemans, better known as Felice Damiano. At a certain point he showed two figs and compared them to the wrinkled old vagina of queen Fabiola. Journalist and co-guest Paul Jambers got so fed up that he seriously questioned whether Bucquoy was a "true anarchist", which led to a fierce argument. In July 1992 Bucquoy was a guest in the talk show 'Entre Nous' on RTL-TV1 where he and various other guests, including Professeur Choron of Charlie-Hebdo, discussed the topic "provocation". He managed to top them all by bringing a blow-up doll and food products along which he compared with genitalia of members of the royal family. Bucquoy caused so much rucous that the presenter had to interrupt him several times. The provocateur wanted to leave the studio twice, but eventually stayed to start a pie fight with Noël Godin. Apart from a heated debate, the transmission seemed to have gone well, until the credits started rolling. One audience member came forward and socked Bucquoy in the face. He instantly fought back, while chaos broke loose. Within the same week RTL-TV1 decided to cancel 'Entre Nous' because of this trashy episode. It didn't take long before Bucquoy was banned from appearing in most TV shows.


In 1990 Jan Bucquoy already hit the stages with his sex doll (ad from Dol #1, 1990).

Film career: La Vie Sexuelle des Belges
Ever since 1965 Bucquoy made six short films, including the 50 minutes long 'Déterrement du cadavre du général de Gaulle à Colombey-les-Deux-Églises' (1976) in which Charles de Gaulle's corpse was supposedly dug up. He decided to adapt his comic strip 'La Vie Sexuelle Avec Mes Femmes' into a feature-length film, which he named 'La Vie Sexuelle des Belges' ('The Sexual Life of the Belgians', 1993). He found a producer, Francis De Smet, and enough budget to make the picture without government subsidies. Despite the title, 'La Vie Sexuelle des Belges' isn't really about sex, but an autobiographical story, chronicling the director's own life between his birth and the late 1960s. The film shows his father as an alcoholic, his mother as thrifty and his aunt as an exhibitionist. Bucquoy's sexual awakening happens through a pedophile in a beach-side caravan who shows him a Laurel & Hardy movie as a way of seduction. Bucquoy is played by Jean-Henri Compère, while Bucquoy has a small cameo as Andreas, a dada poet. Even though Bucquoy was raised in a Flemish family all dialogue is in French, probably to provoke his background even more. British film critic Barry Norman famously mocked the film with the one-liner: "An one and half hour movie about the Belgian's sex life? What do they do in the remaining 89 minutes?", though praising it as one of the best movies he recently saw. The film won the André Cavens Award and got good reviews all over the world, bringing in some much needed income.

Camping Cosmos
Bucquoy's best known film is 'Camping Cosmos' (1996). Set on a beach campsite at the Belgian coast during the summer of 1986, the movie depicts a young Bucquoy as a "cultural animator". He tries to bring culture and anarchism to his spectators, but barely anyone cares about it. They are far more interested in the Belgian national team working themselves up during the World Championship Football. Many characters are Belgian archetypes, such as a fries salesman, a cyclist obsessed with Eddy Merckx, a pedophile who looks like former Prime Minister Paul Vanden Boeynants and a beach entertainer who looks like Tintin. In fact, Tintin is seen in so many scenes that it almost feels like a raised middle finger to Hergé's estate after Bucquoy won his trial against them! 'Camping Cosmos' has several Belgian celebrities in guest roles, including Bucquoy himself (as Zbigniew Cibulsky), Noël Godin and Herman Brusselmans, but also actors Jan Decleir, Antje de Boeck, boxers Jean-Pierre Coopman & Freddy De Kerpel and rock singer Arno Hintjens. However, the film is most remembered for the presence of French porn actress Lolo Ferrari and her infamously large breasts. In several scenes she appears nude or has sex with any male on the camping site, including Tintin. She eventually reaches orgasm when someone reads 'Tintin in the Land of the Soviets' to her, not coincidentally the one 'Tintin' story Hergé was ashamed of! Ferrari's presence was also the main reason why the picture was denied government subsidies. Through financial aid by director Jan Verheyen, the movie could still be completed and a few months later the Belgian Council of State settled the case in Bucquoy's favor, forcing the government to pay the desired sum anyway. The picture wasn't widely distributed but did find a cult following on video and DVD.


One episode of Jean-Pierre Leureux, where the protagonist can't make a woman climax, later inspired part of the plot of Bucquoy's film 'Camping Cosmos' (artwork by Marc Hernu).

Later movies
Since Bucquoy made himself highly unpopular in the Belgian film industry, his later movies received far less media attention. In 1997 French automobile company Renault closed their factory in Vilvoorde. Bucquoy made a docu fiction movie about it, 'Fermeture de l'Usine Renault à Vilvoorde' (1997), which mixes real-life footage of the striking workers with a fictional plot where the workers kidnap the Renault boss. 'La Jouissances des Hystériques' (2000) is an anthology film about intrigueing questions such as 'What do psycho-analysis and movies have in common?', 'Why do directors always quarrel with their actresses?' and 'Why go to Bali for holidays?'. 'Vrijdag Visdag' (2000) had a sillier plot about a man who can't make love with women unless they strongly smell of fish. He wants a mermaid, but even then they would lack a vagina. In his documentary 'La Vie Politique des Belges' (2002), Bucquoy reported about the 1997 parlementarian elections, but from the viewpoint of two minor political parties, Vivant and Godin's party Tarte/Taart (Cake). 'La Société du Spectacle et Ses Commentaires' (2003) is a loose adaptation of Guy Debord's philosophical book 'La Société du Spectacle' (1967), where young people read from the book, but contrasts it with real-life reflections on love and humour. 'Les Vacances de Noël' (2005) is a home movie about Bucquoy and Godin's trip to Cannes and their tragicomical attempts to preach revolution and seduce girls. His next movie, 'L'Art du Couple' (2009), looks back at his relationships of the past years, even bringing in his former girlfriends. He works from the insight that "love is something magical, even if it is condemned not to last in the long term. The couple can only be that magic moment, in the same way that art is." After a decade of silence, Bucquoy began working on his next film, 'La Dernière Tentation des Belges' (2020). The tragicomical picture follows an animator working in Wallonia, trying to understand the local identity. Meanwhile his daughter Marie feels neglected and threatens to commit suicide... The plot is autobiographical, as Bucquoy's own 33-year old daughter jumped off a bridge in July 2008, because she felt emotionally neglected by him. He always struggled with this tragic event, because it proved "how he failed as a parent". As he said in an interview: "When Marie died, of part of myself died with her. (...) I felt alone and nude in front of the fundamental question: 'Is life worth to live?'".

Bucquoy has also contributed to movies by other directors, such as Gérard Courant's experimental picture 'Cinématon', which is an ongoing project since 1978. In Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern's black comedy road movie 'Aaltra' (2004) he played a lover and in Nabil Ben Yadir's 'Les Barons' (2009) a cabaret artist. In Jean-Henri Meunier's 'Faut Savoir se Contenter de Beaucoup' (2009) he and Noël Godin appear as themselves. 'Silver Bliss 3: A Certain Love, A Certain Irony, A Certain Belgium' (2014) is an anthology work, in which various directors, among them Bucquoy, Axel Claes, Jef Cornelis, Luc Gobyn, David Helbich, Jan Kempenaers, Jacques Lennep, Ria Pacqué, Jan Vromman and Thierry Zéno take an ironic look at Belgium, "because it is impossible to portray it in a serious manner." Bucquoy was also interviewed in the documentaries 'Homo Cinematographicus' (1998) and 'L'Annexion de l'Occitanie par Groland' (2014).


Back sleeve of Bucquoy's 'Love Me Too' single.

Music
Bucquoy released two singles, 'Love Me Too' (1992) by Bucquoy and Rainy Days and his own rendition of the Belgian national anthem, 'Hymne National Belge' (2005).

Teaching
In the 1990s Bucquoy was a guest lector at the Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels, training students in the field of "comics" to write long comics scripts. Nix educated pupils to write short comics scripts, while Johan de Moor gave drawing lessons. One of Bucquoy's students there was Conz.

Legacy and influence
Jan Bucquoy remains a highly controversial and polarizing individual. Some see him as a lunatic attention-seeker who just acts contrarian for the sake of shock. After all, he was well on his way to become an accomplished comics writer until he deliberately decided to sabotage his own career through a never-ending series of offensive stunts. He has been attacked, sued, arrested and jailed many times. Throughout most of his life he has been in debt. Yet Bucquoy once gave a reason for his behaviour. Success frightens him because the system will assimilate him. Therefore he preferred to vandalize and outrage everyone and everything.

Bucquoy has his admirers too. Some people see him as a charming clown and magnificent bastard, even something of a national treasure. An artist maintaining Belgium's reputation for surreality and anti-establishment comedy. On 9 September 2008 Belgian novelist Théophile de Giraud threw red paint on a statue of Leopold II at the Troonplein in Brussels to protest the Belgian king's crimes against humanity. Giraud claimed that all statues of Leopold ought to be brought down and replaced by statues of other people, like Bucquoy for instance. All in all, Jan Bucquoy is a colourful personality, whose antics will be talked about in decades to come.

Books about Jan Bucquoy
For those interested in Bucquoy's colourful life and career his autobiography 'La Vie est Belge' (2007) and the trilingual book 'Jan Bucquoy Illustrated 1968-2009, van het erotisch jaar tot het jaar van de rat' (2009) are a must-read. It features written contributions by François Coadou, Théophile de Giraud, Paul Ilegems and Corinne Mayer and an interview with Bucquoy, conducted by Alain de Wasseige. The book comes with a DVD, containing interesting archive footage.


Bucquoy portrayed on the editorial page of Spetters #1.

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