Cover illustration for 'Tintin en Thaïlande'.

Baudouin De Duve is a Belgian comic artist, best known for 'Tintin in Thailand' (1999), a parody of Hergé's 'Tintin'. Originally created to amuse his friends, this book was eventually bootlegged into infinity. De Duve claimed it all happened without his permission, but nevertheless he and other Belgian and Thai salespeople were arrested and sued for forgery and plagiarism. Eventually the cartoonist was freed of all charges and the book banned, but the bootleg market in Thailand still hasn't been destroyed. He uses the pen name Bud E. Weyzer (often misspelled as "Bud E. Weyser").

Early life
Baudouin De Duve was born in 1950 or 1951 in Belgium. His uncle, Christian De Duve, is a famous biochemist, known for his discovery of lysosomes (the cell's digestive system) and peroxisomes (organelles where crucial metabolic processes take place), which won him the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Young Baudouin grew up reading comics, with a particular love for André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe'. In 1986 he moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he worked in the local movie industry. He also published some cartoons in the English-language magazine Changmai News.

'Tintin en Thaïlande'.

Tintin in Thailand
In 1994 De Duve discovered the existence of Filip Denis' infamous 'Tintin' parody 'Tintin en Suisse' ('Tintin in Switzerland', 1976), which he felt was "badly drawn and very vulgar". But it gave him the idea to create his own 'Tintin' parody, which nevertheless still took six years to produce, due to personal issues. In 1999 'Tintin in Thailand' hit the market, published under his pseudonym Bud E. Weyzer (a pun on the beer brand Budweiser). The story takes Tintin, Captain Haddock and Professor Calculus to Bangkok, where they search for Séraphin Lampion (Jolyon Wagg), who went missing. Despite De Duve's bad review of 'Tintin in Switzerland', his own parody comic really isn't that much more professional or tasteful. 'Tintin in Thailand' features a lot of clumsily traced drawings and random cameos of familiar Tintin characters.  The plot brings the protagonists to Bangkok's red light district where they pick up prostitutes and transsexuals. General Alcazar turns up as the owner of a go-go bar, while Bianca Castafiore sings in a nightclub band called the Blue Lotus. Tchang Tchong-Yen has a surprise visit, claiming he was sexually molested by the Abominable Snowman.

All in all 'Tintin in Thailand' is very heavy on dialogue. Many panels are small and feature close-ups of talking heads, next to huge speech balloons, to avoid having to draw much background. Surprisingly enough, the erotic scenes aren't graphic. Most sex scenes take place off screen, except for Snowy copulating with a Siamese cat. Apart from the unavoidable vulgar language and pornographic situations, 'Tintin in Thailand' features a few stabs at Hergé's estate Moulinsart too. The characters are shadowed by someone from Moulinsart to prevent them from having "new unofficial adventures."

'Tintin in Thailand' was originally just intended for De Duve's friends, but one day he gave a copy to a former French mercenary who had served in Burma. Two weeks later bootleg copies turned up in Bangkok, published by the Éditions Farang. Most weren't reprints of the "original" album, but redrawn versions by anonymous artists. The comic book didn't just circulate in Thailand; French and English translations were now distributed elsewhere in the world. The situation went way out of hand, all while De Duve saw no dime of it. Disgusted about the entire experience he returned to Antwerp in February 2001.

An article about Bud E. Weyzer appeared in Gavroche of March 2002.

Legal problems
In a case of life imitating art, the real Moulinsart estate eventually found out that 'Tintin in Thailand' was being marketed as an official Tintin book. In a scene right out of 'Tintin', the Belgian police sent an undercover officer to the Belgian cities Tournai (Doornik) and Antwerp, acting as someone interested in buying a copy. Two salesmen were arrested for illegal distribution of this particular comic book. The Belgian police also conducted razzias in Bangkok, seizing about 650 copies. The entire affair happened to coincide with the Belgian prince Philippe (the later Belgian king Philippe)'s official visit to Bangkok. Belgian State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Annemie Neyts - who was part of the prince's economic delegation - made an official statement: "We cannot approve one of our most famous cartoon heroes being misused in such a way. We find it absolutely deplorable."

De Duve's home in Antwerp was raided too. He handed over all copies of the comic in his possession, but not without comparing the police with the Thompsons from the 'Tintin' series. He claimed he had nothing to do with the illegal distribution, nor had any connections with the people arrested in Belgium and Thailand. The arrested salesmen on the other hand claimed otherwise. The case was taken to court and De Duve and the other men were charged with forgery. Eventually he was freed of all charges, because he had never signed the work under Hergé's name, only a pseudonym, thus proving it was all intended as a parody. Nevertheless all copies of 'Tintin in Thailand' were destroyed and - ironically just like 'Tintin in Switzerland' - banned. This hasn't stopped other illegal copies from circulating in Bangkok and Pattaya, though.

Later years
After the trial, De Duve returned to Thailand, where he still works in the tourist industry and as a film professor. He is also active as a cartoonist for the local French-language magazine Gavroche since 2000. A selection of his cartoons caricaturing the mishaps of Western tourists in Thailand was published under the title 'Thaï-Crayons' in 2012. It had a preface by Belgian humorist Stéphane Steeman.

Translation: Man: "Obviously we'll have a Sauternes with the truffled foie gras... I'm still undecided about the scallops with mushrooms... and as for the sweetbreads...
Lady: "It's OK for him, but after all that crap I shall really fancy a nice Pappaya Pok Pok!"
(From: Thaï-Crayons).

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