Luc Cromheecke has been active in several artistic fields, but he is best known as the creator of absurd humorous comics like 'Taco Zip', 'Tom Carbon', 'Roboboy' and 'Plunk'. Cromheecke's first comic pages, which he signed with Maf, were published in Robbedoes ('Bob Burk', 1978) and Blondie ('Zap'). In the early eighties, he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, in the section painting, graphics and advertising.
He abandoned his studies, because he wanted to draw silly stories with his pal, Laurent Letzer, for their own alternative magazine Flan Imperial. Later on, they created the character Tom Carbon which they got published in the weekly magazine Robbedoes and its French counterpart Spirou in 1985. Tom Carbon started as an "uncle" who told weird and funny fables and stories, but later he got involved in hilarious adventures himself. 'Tom Carbon' also starred in the long stories 'Luna Toys' and 'Tannenbaum', but eventually became a one-page gag strip on demand of the publisher. Éditions Dupuis collected the series in four albums until 1994.
Together with Fritzgerald, Cromheecke created the more absurd 'Taco Zip'. This strip initially appeared in the mail section of Robbedoes, and later continued on a daily base in newspaper De Volkskrant. 'Taco Zip' also appeared in the Flemish newspapers De Morgen, Het Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg and eventually returned to the pages of Robbedoes/Spirou. The character also appeared on the cover of the final issue of Robbedoes in 2006. Several albums of the strip were released by Dutch publishers Oog en Blik and BeeDee.
Taco Zip and Plunk!
For the French magazine Astrapi (Bayard Presse), Cromheecke and Letzer created 'Ben, le Forestier' ('Ben de Boswachter') in 1996. This strip also appeared in Suske en Wiske Weekblad. With Willy Linthout, he created the funny children's comic 'Roboboy', which appeared in Taptoe, Suske en Wiske Weekblad and Spirou.
The 'Taco Zip' side character 'Plunk!' got its own spin-off in 2006. The character was originally created for the Belgian Centre of Comic Art to illustrate the creation of a comic strip from initial idea to best-selling franchise. The character has become somewhat of a mascot for Belgian comics - he has lent his name to the Flemish comics prize De Plastieken Plunk and even got its own statue in Kapellen.
In 2010, Cromheecke began a new comic with French scriptwriter and cartoonist Sti for Spirou, called 'L'île Carrément Perdue', that is published in Dutch as 'Het godvergeten eiland'. Cromheecke resumed his original character 'Tom Carbon' in 2010, when Dutch publisher Strip 2000 reissued the original books with new covers, and also added previously unpublished stories to the collection. Deviating from his usual comics, Cromheecke has been working with writer Bruno De Roover on a comics biography of the French painter Daubigny, called 'De Tuin van Daubigny'.
L'île Carrément Perdue
In 2005 there was a big exposition of Taco Zip in Turnhout, Belgium. Thereafter, the expo has been travelling through Europe, and also visited Galerie Lambiek in February 2006. Luc Cromheecke is one of the most prominent Flemish comics humorists, and his worked has been published in Dutch, French, Spanish, Danish and Indonesian. In 2015, he received the Bronzen Adhemar, the official Flemish Community Cultural Prize for Comics.