Reumatik Park, by Geert Kinnaert
Jacques Vermeire - 'Reumatik Park'.

Geert Kinnaert is a Flemish advertising designer, comics artist and radio host, known for his celebrity comics series about Flemish actor and comedian Jacques Vermeire (1993-1995). In 2004 he also created a propaganda comic to support former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and his son Tom during the elections. 

Early life and career
Born in Leuven, Geert Kinnaert grew up as an avid doodler. He got his graphic education at the Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels, and eventually ran his own advertising firm. In the 1980s he was also active as a radio host at Radio Scorpio in Leuven. Between 1982 and 1996 he was furthermore involved with Radio Sinjaal, co-founded by him and his good friend Jan Dewijngaert (who later became a journalist for commercial TV network VTM). The duo hosted the children's radio show 'De Rekel en de Mier' and the talk show 'De Tokshow', while Kinnaert and Daniel De Laet starred as the fictional hosts De Haes & Van Mol in the satirical radio show 'Krikkedol' (1984). Although Radio Sinjaal went off the air in 1996 it was decided in 2018 to bring it back on 4 January 2019, albeit under a slightly different name: "Radio Singjaal". 


Jacques Vermeire - 'Den Boer Op'.

Jacques Vermeire
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Flemish comedian Jacques Vermeire enjoyed tremendous popularity with his cabaret shows (which were broadcast every New Year's Eve on the Flemish public channel TV1 for a while). During the same period he often appeared on television too, particularly as panel member of the humoristic game show 'De Drie Wijzen' (1989-1999) and as angry garage keeper DDT in the phenomenally popular TV sitcom 'F.C. De Kampioenen' (1990-2011, only during the first 7 seasons). As such he became one of many Flemish media stars to have his own celebrity comics series, 'De Ongelooflijke Belevenissen van Jacques Vermeire' (1993-1995), initiated by Geert Kinnaert. The comic strip was prepublished in the popular TV magazine Dag Allemaal. It managed to last longer than average celebrity comics - at least 7 albums were published by Creadis-Schelle and Inodis-Ruiselede within two years! 

At the time 'Jacques Vermeire' didn't receive much serious attention in comics circles, but in 1995 the TV debate show 'Schermen', hosted by Jan Van Rompaey, devoted an episode to the recent controversy over an anonymous porn parody of Jef Nys' children's comics series 'Jommeke'. This parody comic book, 'Pommeke: Hete Avonturen!' (1995), was sued by Nys for copyright infringement. During the broadcast, censorship, parody, plagiarism and freedom of speech were discussed, with Nys himself explaining his position in the studio. At one point Van Rompaey made a live phone call with Jacques Vermeire to give his opinion on the matter, "since he has his own comic strip too". This was the only time the 'Jacques Vermeire' comic strip was ever taken seriously in the media and even then it was Vermeire himself who responded, not Kinnaert. 

Reumatik Park, by Geert Kinnaert

Kinnaert's comics series wasn't Vermeire's only entry in the comics world, though. He appeared as himself in the 50th 'Urbanus' story 'De Hete Urbanus' (1995) by Willy Linthout and Urbanus, which was an exclusive photo comic rather than the usual hand drawn comic. In the story Vermeire plays a customer in Urbanus' self-improvised restaurant. When Hec Leemans launched his long-running celebrity comic 'F.C. De Kampioenen' in 1997 Vermeire was part of the cast too, since his character DDT was the major antagonist in the eponymous TV show. Even though the real Vermeire left the sitcom soon after, Leemans kept using him in the comics series in guest roles. 

De Dehaenes
When the 'Jacques Vermeire' comic was terminated in 1995 Kinnaert went back to his old job in advertising. He only made one brief comeback to the comics world in 2004, with yet another celebrity series. This time he drew a propaganda comic to promote the Christian democratic party CD&V during the elections. Titled  'De Dehaenes', it starred and supported former Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and his son Tom. The comic was part of the CD&V election pamphlets which were put in people's mail boxes. Other Belgian cartoonists who once made propaganda comics promoting local politicians have been Luc Cromheecke and Mark Janssen.

Series and books by Geert Kinnaert in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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