Meneerke Peeters, by Pil (Joë Meulepas)

Joë Meulepas (Pil) was a Flemish comic artist and cartoonist, as well as a journalist and art critic. He was born in 1915 in Hampstead, London as the son of Belgian parents, but spent most of his life in Brussels. He studied literature in Leuven and became a journalist in 1936. He already drew for several student magazines before World War II, and designed various posters. During World War II he was editorial secretary for Le Soir, a Belgian newspaper under Nazi control. Hergé too published in its pages. After the war, Meuleplas was sentenced for Nazi collaboration, but released early. In May 1947 he already became part of the group who revived the pre-war Flemish newspaper De Standaard. He made a daily satirical cartoon in De Standaard from that month on. Also in 1947, he began his satirical column 'Met Pijl en Pen door de Week' in newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. From the first issue in 1948 until the last in 1964 he was present in magazine De Vlaamse Linie (later shortened to De Linie). There, he drew caricatures of famous Flemish people, as well as a comic about the vulgar life of 'Doreke Das' and an untitled stop-comic featuring a shadow figure. 

Meneerke Peeters gag 5000

In the 1950s, Pil was a regular contributor to magazine De Volksmacht, doing cartoons but also comics ('Kapitein Fok' and the satirical 'Avonturen van de Wonderjager, door Kapitein Zeldenthuis'). He created his most famous character, 'Meneerke Peeters', as a pantomime stop-comic in newspaper De Standaard. The name "meneerke Peeters" ("little man Peeters") was an old Flemish expression which referred to people one couldn't take seriously. Pil drew 7.008 newspaper strips starring the character from 7 January (other sources claim 31 January) 1957 until his retirement on 1 October 1983. 'Meneerke Peeters' also ran in French in the Walloon newspaper La Dernière Heure. From 1952 on, Pil frequently participated in the Salon van de Vlaamse Humor. He worked as an illustrator for Het Davidsfonds in Leuven, Hernieuwen-Uitgaven, Levend Nederlands and in the 1960s mainly for F. van Belle in Brussels. At the same time, he produced several untitled stop comics for Ons Volk, among others for the Breugel-Brevier section and 'De Lotgevallen van Dries' comic strip. 

In 1961 comedian Jef Cassiers made a series of slapstick shorts which were broadcast on BRT 1 (nowadays Eén), the main channel of the Flemish public TV network. They starred a comedic character, simply named 'Het Manneke' ('The Little Man'), performed by Cassiers himself. The same year a newspaper comic adaptation ran in Het Laatste Nieuws and the magazine Kwik. Pil was the original artist behind the series, while Cassiers wrote the gags. In 1962 Pil passed the pencil to Paul Ausloos and Mark Payot, who continued 'Het Manneke' for a few years

Pil died in 2007 at age 92, after a long illness.

Meneerke Peeters, by Pil

Series and books by Pil in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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