Elise Linotte, by Lukas

Luk Moerman, also known as "Lukas Moerman" or "Lukas" (sometimes spelled with a "c"), is a Belgian comic artist who was mostly active during the 1980s. He occasionally published under the name "Baixinho" too. Moerman created two political satires, 'De Denkende Krijgsman' (1980), which satirized the Portuguese colonial war in their former African colonies, and 'De Papevreters - De Popebusters' (1985), lampooning pope John Paul II's visit to the Low Countries. The artist was furthermore an assistant of Eddy RyssackWilly LinthoutJean-Pol and Steven Dupré.

Early life and career
He worked as an illustrator, cartoonist and poster designer for left-wing progressive publications, and signed with Lucas or Lukas. One of his early publications was 'Le Dictature Vermoulue' (1977) in Le Zinjanthrope, the first story starring his heroine Elise Linotte. Eddy Ryssack helped him launch his professional comics career, which started at the newspaper De Morgen, where he published 'De Denkende Krijgsman' (1978-1979), a political satire again starring Elise Linotte. The plot was inspired by the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal and the aftermath in their former colonies Angola and Mozambique. A completely redrawn version of 'De Denkende Krijgsman' was published in album format in 1980. The story was translated as 'Les Capitaines' for its French-language publication in Oxygène, the monthly of the Jeunesses Communistes Belges (the Belgian Communist youth).

Elise Linotte by Lukas Moerman
'De Denkende Krijgsman'.

De Papevreters - Popebusters
In 1985 Moerman drew 'De Papevreters - Popebusters' (1985), a vicious satire of Pope John Paul II, who visited Belgium and the Netherlands that year. The comic book revolves around the papal visit and features many blasphemous jokes. Anti-clerical terrorists try to assassinate the Holy Father, while Catholic fundamentalists also want to take advantage of the situation. The anarchic and somewhat chaotic story also lampoons the Belgian royal couple Boudewijn and Fabiola, Prime Minister Wilfried Martens, Minister of Finance Willy de Clercq, Minister of Justice Jean Gol, Minister of Traffic Herman De Croo, mayor of Voeren/Fourons José Happart, PVV politician Guy Verhofstadt, fraudster William Vandergucht, journalist Maurice De Wilde, TV host Jan Theys and football keeper Jean-Marie Pfaff. Foreigners aren't spared either. Dutch "bacon priest" Werenfried van Straaten, Dutch talk show queen Sonja Barend, Dutch novelist Dolf de Winter, Polish labor activist Lech Walesa, American pop singer Prince, and Wim T. Schippers' character Sjef van Oekel also have cameos. Even Kees Kousemaker, founder of comic shop Lambiek in Amsterdam, makes an appearance in the final panel!

'De Papevreters': panel satirizing the papal visit to the Belgian royal couple Boudewijn and Fabiola. The man holding two buckets of 'Plash' washing powder is TV host Jan Theys who appeared in similar commercials to promote 'Dash' washing powder. The rich "white washing" banker visited in the final panel is Belgian Minister of Finance Willy De Clercq.

Moerman published this subversive comic book under the pseudonym Baixinho, the Portuguese word for "in secret". Its scriptwriters were Prosper and Modest Van Droogenbroeck, who also appear in the story under their own names. In reality they were both pen-names for Jef Meert, owner of the publishing company Loempia, who also distributed the album. Around the same time a similar Belgian satirical comic book about the Pope was published by Zak and Bert Verhoye: 'De Vliegende Paap' (1985), which is even referenced in 'De Papevreters' plot.

'King Urbanus', from Parodies #3.

Later life and career
In 1991 Moerman contributed to a parody album, 'Parodies. 20 Jaar Later' (Oranje, 1991), which spoofed well-known comic series by presenting their heroes at an older age. The entries were written and drawn by Scotch Arleston, Philippe Aubert, Bom, Serge Carrère, Bob de Groot, Paul Deliège, Steven Dupré, Paul Glaudel, Dirk Nuyts, Turk and Walli. Moerman picked out Willy Linthout and Urbanus' series 'Urbanus', targeting its vulgar reputation and primitive artwork. When Linthout was interviewed in 2012 for De Stripspeciaalzaak by David Steenhuyse and Koen Claeys, the reporters asked his opinion about this parody. Linthout commented: "Moerman (...) once worked for me and I fired him at a certain point. It reads like a revenge, but it doesn't bother me. Let him take off some steam. I don't mind."

Moerman was furthermore an assistant to Jean-Pol on the first 'Kramikske' album 'De Valseblunders' (1986), and between 2005 and 2010 he was working with Steven Dupré on 'Wolf', a series set in a mythological Viking age. He has also worked with Eddy Ryssack and Willy Linthout. Moerman lettered the Dutch translations of Quino's comic series 'Mafalda'.

Final page of 'De Papevreters', starring Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker.

Series and books by Luk Moerman you can order today:


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