De geschiedenis van Vlaanderen
Hugo Leyers was a Flemish architect and comic artist, born in Ruisbroek. Between 1957 and 1963 and again from 1982 to 1986 Leyers made political cartoons for the satirical newspaper 't Pallieterke. As Hug, he was the author of the comic books, 'De Geschiedenis van Vlaanderen' (1984) and 'De Geschiedenis van Nederland' (1985), which told the history of respectively Flanders and the Netherlands in a humoristic way. Both comics were prepublished in the newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. Contrary to what the titles claim the books don't tell the entire history. Both end their chronological journey in the early 19th century, when Flanders became Belgium in 1830 and the Netherlands an independent state in 1815. Near the end of both books the author hinted at a possible sequel in the future, but this plan never came to fruition. Leyers did make a special comic strip in 1985 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Fall of Antwerp (1585), when the Habsburg Empire reconquered the Southern Netherlands. This comic strip was published in de Gazet van Antwerpen, but not elsewhere.
Under the pen name Haschèl, he was the artist of a short-lived series of comics called 'Met De Neus en Co op Stap' in 1986 and 1987. The comic was written by Piet Schepens (Pisché) and also pre-published in De Gazet van Antwerpen. Only two albums were made, 'De Putsch van de Poesje' (1986) and 'Brabo's Broek' (1987), and featured characters from the folkloric Antwerp puppet theatre "De Poesje" as its main protagonists, namely De Neus (The Nose), De Schele (The Cross-Eyed One), Nele and De Bult (The Hunchbacked One). The stories were very local in atmosphere and featured celebrity cameos of the mayor of Antwerp, Bob Cools, well known window painter Rubbes and controversial Walloon politician José Happart. All of Leyers' comics were published in black-and-white and are notable for their use of caricature and Antwerp dialect.
In 1988 he also illustrated a book about this celebrated Antwerp puppet tradition, 'Poesje in Antwerpen' (1988) by Piet Schepens and Guy Van De Casteele, as well as the beer promotion book 'Het grote Bierbuyck-boek' the same year. Hugo Leyers passed away in Kontich in 2007. He was the father of Belgian pop singer and TV host Jan Leyers, who had a hit with the song 'The Way To Your Heart' with the band Soulsister in 1987.