Tarzoen, by Paul Schuurmans

Paul Schuurmans was a Belgian comics artist, who gained notoriety with his many sex parodies of famous comics characters in the 1970s and 1980s. He is best known for 'De Sex Avonturen van Lucky Luke' (1975) 'Sex in Smurfenland' (1978), 'Tarzoen' and 'Rammerix en Parodix en de Echte Geilaard' (1983), which were porn spoofs of respectively 'Lucky Luke', 'The Smurfs', 'Tarzan' and 'Astérix'. 

Lucky Luke parodies
Despite the fact that many of his books promoted the content as being "drawn specially for you by the famous artist Paul Schuurmans", not much is known about the artist. It is also not always easy to date his illegally published comic books. An article in De Volkskrant from 26 June 1982 mentioned that Paul Schuurmans was a pen name for a young, Belgian artist. By 1975 Schuurmans was a contributor to the alternative magazine Cash, where in issue #28 his sex spoof of Morris and René Goscinny's 'Lucky Luke' debuted. Signing with "Paul", he drew mostly three-page stories which showed the famous comics cowboy in compromising positions, pushing the catchphrase "the cowboy who shoots faster than his shadow" to the limit. In establishing shots, Schuurmans obviously copied or traced original Morris drawings, but for the more explicit situations he - understandably - had to rely on his own skills. In some instances he even plagiarized entire panels and gags from the original stories. 

Morris wasn't amused by Schuurmans' comic strip, and Oberon, who owned the publishing rights to 'Lucky Luke' in the Netherlands, demanded the prepublication to be instantly cancelled. Cash publisher Paul Merz indeed terminated the serialization in his magazine, but didn't refrain from releasing the stories in book format. Between 1976 and 1978 at least two albums were published under the "Porno cartoons" label, which were mostly sold "under the counter". Both were reprinted between 1982 and 1985 with new cover illustrations, presumably by Ger Rijff. In July 1990 'De Sex Avonturen van Lucky Luke' was reprinted again, this time in issue #8 of Jan Bucquoy's controversial and short-lived magazine Dol / Belge.


From: 'De Sex-Avonturen van Lucky Luke' by Paul Schuurmans (one of the less explicit sequences).

Other sex comics
Schuurmans didn't limit himself to 'Lucky Luke', however. Even though these books were unsigned, it was also Schuurmans who tackled Peyo's famous 'Smurfs' in 'Sex in Smurfenland' (1978) and Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny's 'Astérix' in 'Rammerix en Parodix en de Echte Geilaard' (1983). The 'Smurfs' spoof was also reprinted in Bucquoy's magazine 'Dol / Belge' (July 1990). In the early 1980s Schuurmans also spoofed Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous liana slinger 'Tarzan' in the book 'Tarzoen - 1001 Sex Avonturen'. Paul Schuurmans is also known for his non-parody cartoon collections 'Porno sex cartoons' (1976) and 'Sex kartoons humor strips' (year unknown).


'Rammerix en Parodix en de Echte Geilaard' by Paul Schuurmans. 

Porn parodies in the Low Countries
Paul Schuurmans had the questionable honour of being at the vanguard of the boom of comics sex parodies in the Netherlands and Belgium. In the United States similar types of books were already known 50 years earlier through the so-called "Tijuana Bibles" by Wesley Morse and a host of anonymous scribblers. But it took until the 1970s before the Low Countries had their turn. The phenomenon was widely covered in the Dutch and Flemish media after the serialization of the 'Tintin' parody 'Tintin in Switzerland' by the Frenchman Filip Denis in the local underground magazine Caramba in 1978. The publisher Pim Oets was sued by Hergé and his representatives, but to many people's surprise, the judge ruled that the comic book was obviously a parody and thus not prosecutable. This caused not only a tidal wave of similar themed books, but also a heated public debate about the boundaries between parody and plagiarism. Since most of these books were published anonymously, it was difficult for proprietors to find out who to sue? To make matters worse, the porn parodies themselves were bootlegged by unknown sources. In most cases, the comics shops who distributed them were held responsible.

The 'Suske en Wiske' parodies 'De Glunderende Gluurder' (by Ben Jansen, among other people, 1982) and 'De Keizerkraker' (by Johnn Bakker, 1982) were however pulled back from the shops after a judge ruled in appeal that the imitation of the main characters went further than necessary for parody purposes. Other notable parodies where the anti-nuclear statement 'Asterix en de Kerncentrale' (1979) and Jan Bucquoy's 'Tintin' parody 'Een Jonge Reporter aan de Rol' (translated in French as 'La Vie Sexuelle de Tintin', 1982). By the second half of the 1980s, most of the commotion had fazed out.

Series and books by Paul Schuurmans in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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