Tarzoen, by Paul Schuurmans

Paul Schuurmans was a Belgian comic artist, who in the 1970s and 1980s gained notoriety with sex parodies of famous comic characters. He is best known for 'De Sex Avonturen van Lucky Luke' (1975), 'Tarzoen' (1977) and 'Sex in Smurfenland' (1978), spoofs of respectively 'Lucky Luke', 'Tarzan' and 'The Smurfs'. He also published non-parody cartoon collections, like 'Porno Sex Cartoons' (1976) and 'Sex Kartoon Humor Strips' (year unknown). Considering the illegal nature of his production, and the variations in style, it is possible that the name Paul Schuurmans was used as an alias by more than one artist.

Lucky Luke parodies
Even though Schuurmans' books were promoted with the byline - "drawn especially for you by the famous artist Paul Schuurmans" - very little is known about the artist. His illegally published comic books are also not always easy to date. A 26 June 1982 article in newspaper De Volkskrant mentioned that Paul Schuurmans was the pen name of a young, Belgian artist. By 1975, Schuurmans was a contributor to the Dutch alternative magazine Cash. In issue #28 of Cash his sex spoof of Morris and René Goscinny's cowboy comic 'Lucky Luke' debuted. Signing with "Paul", he made mostly three-page stories starring the famous cowboy in compromising positions, pushing the slogan "the cowboy who shoots faster than his shadow" to the limit. In establishing shots, Schuurmans clearly copied or traced original Morris drawings, but for the more explicit situations he - understandably - had to rely on his own skills. In some instances, entire panels and gags were lifted from the original stories. 

'Lucky Luke' creator Morris was not amused by Schuurmans' satirical take and Oberon, the company that owned the publishing rights to the series in the Netherlands, demanded Cash to instantly cancel the parody. Cash publisher Paul Merz indeed cancelled the magazine serialization, but he 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, mostly sold "under the counter" in book stores. Both were reprinted between 1982 and 1985 with new cover illustrations, presumably made by Ger Rijff. In July 1990, 'De Sex Avonturen van Lucky Luke' was reprinted in issue #8 of the controversial Belgian magazine Dol/Belge by Jan Bucquoy, who was sued by Morris three years later.


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

Tarzoen
Schuurmans didn't limit himself to 'Lucky Luke', however, and also made sex spoofs of other famous characters. In 1977, he released 'Tarzoen. 1001 Sexavonturen', which suggests a porn parody of Tarzan in the title. In reality, not all stories in the book are about the vine-swinging jungle hero. Some are straightforward porn stories in different settings, with different characters. On top of that, the book doesn't really deliver on its promise to feature "1001 Sex Adventures". Although the title 'Tarzoen' is very similar to Picha's animated sex comedy 'Tarzoon, the Shame Of The Jungle' (1975), it is not an adaptation, and has nothing to do with this infamous film.

Sex in Smurfenland
Schuurmans tackled Peyo's Smurfs in the anonymously released book 'Sex in Smurfenland' (1978), featuring four short stories. In the first one, the evil sorcerer Gargamel makes a Smurfette to seduce the Smurfs into having sex. His plan works, although it is unclear what use this is to the sorcerer. When Papa Smurf finds out the truth, he retaliates by making an ugly woman, who rapes Gargamel. The second story is about a sexual affair between Little Red Riding Hood and a voyeuristic Smurf. Frustrated that he is too small for her, the blue gnome visits a witch who gives him the size of a human for a couple of hours. Inevitably the Smurf "smurfs" her, inspiring Papa Smurf to also secretly pay the witch a visit. The third story is very similar to the previous one. Instead of a growing Smurf, humans shrink to Smurf size, leading to a giant orgy, until Papa Smurf turns everyone back to their original size. The final tale does not have much of a plot, and shows the sex life of some individual Smurfs. As page filler, the book also contains some one-panel porn cartoons starring Peyo's iconic blue gnomes. Like Schuurmans' 'Lucky Luke' spoof, 'Sex in Smurfenland' copies a lot of imagery from original 'Smurfs' stories. In July 1990, all stories were reprinted in Jan Bucquoy's magazine Dol/Belge.

Porn parodies in the Low Countries
In the late 1970s, Paul Schuurmans was at the vanguard of the Dutch-Belgian sex parodies boom. In the United States, porn parodies of famous comic characters were already known 50 years earlier through the so-called "Tijuana Bibles", made by Wesley Morse and a host of anonymous scribblers. It took until the 1970s before the Low Countries had their turn. When publishers, creators and distributors of these types of books were sued by copyright holders, the phenomenon was widely covered in the Dutch and Flemish media. One of the first parodies causing a scandal in the Netherlands was the 1978 'Tintin' spoof 'Tintin in Switzerland' by the Frenchman Filip Denis. When it was serialized in the Dutch underground magazine Caramba, publisher Pim Oets was sued by Hergé and his representatives. To many people's surprise, the judge ruled that the comic book was clearly a parody and therefore not prosecutable. This caused not only a tidal wave of similar themed books, but also a heated public debate about the dividing line between parody and plagiarism. Since most of the parody books were published anonymously, it was difficult for proprietors to find out who to sue. This was made even more difficult when the porn parodies themselves were bootlegged by unknown sources. In several cases, the comic shops that distributed them were held responsible.

The 'Suske en Wiske' parodies 'De Glunderende Gluurder' (by Ben Jansen and others, 1982) and 'De Keizerkraker' (by Johnn Bakker, 1982) were pulled back from the shops after a judge ruled in appeal that the imitation of the original book covers went further than necessary for parody purposes. Other notable parodies where the anti-nuclear statement 'Asterix en de Kerncentrale' (1979), the 'Asterix' sex parody 'Rammerix - Le Condôme' (by Willem Vleeschouwer and Aad Labadie) 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, the popularity of crudely drawn sex parodies faded away, as did the commotion.

Series and books by Paul Schuurmans you can order today:

X

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.