Léonard by Turk

Philippe Turk is a Belgian comic creator, best-known for his creative partnership with writer Bob De Groot as the inseparable duo "Turk & De Groot". Spanning nearly five decades, their collaboration resulted in several comic series, characterized by slapstick humor, running gags and technical inventiveness. Their most enduring and commercially successful co-creations were the Robin Hood parody 'Robin Dubois' (1969-1989, 2007-2008) and 'Léonard Le Génie' (1974-   ), about the madcap inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci and his long-suffering assistant. In addition, Turk and De Groot continued the popular secret agent series 'Clifton', originally created for Tintin magazine by Raymond Macherot. Later in his career, Turk has worked with scriptwriter Clarke on 'Docteur Bonheur' (2007-2009), and with Zidrou on new 'Léonard' (2015- ) and 'Clifton' (2016-2023) albums.

Early life
It seems that Turk's name has always led to confusions. Despite his pen name, he has no Turkish origins. And although his real name was Philippe Liégeois, he didn't hail from the Belgian city or province Liège, but was instead born in 1947 in Durbuy, in the Belgian province Luxembourg. Durbuy is an exceptional place: it's the smallest town in Belgium and incidentally also one of the tiniest in Europe, only surpassed by the Croatian town Hum. Philippe's father was a furniture maker, while his mother ran a boarding house. Despite growing up in a rural environment, the boy was fascinated with mechanics. Any engine or appliance intrigued him. He used to deconstruct his toys to see how they work, and loved drawing machines, cars, trucks and bulldozers. As can be expected, his favorite comics were the aviation series 'Buck Danny', by Jean-Michel Charlier and Victor Hubinon, and the detective series 'Gil Jourdan' by Maurice Tillieux, which often featured dazzling car chases. Liégeois also ranked among his main graphic influences André Franquin, Will, Greg, Raymond Macherot and Peyo.

Spirou magazine
In a way, Philippe Liégeois owed his career to his mother. When he was sixteen years old, she sent one of his homemade comic strips to the editors of Spirou magazine, without his knowledge. When Turk found out, he was furious, since he considered his comic not accomplished enough. His anger disappeared when he received a call from Spirou's chief editor Yvan Delporte. Delporte was so charmed by his attempt that he invited the startled teenager over for a visit to Spirou's offices in Brussels. There, he was shown around by Maurice Rosy, who ran the magazine's art studio. Shortly afterwards, Liégeois became an apprentice and jack-of-all-trades at Spirou's art studio himself. His job was to deliver pages and documents, make photocopies and provide lettering for Spirou's Dutch edition, Robbedoes. An important task was editing comic pages for the publisher's pocket book series 'Gag de Poche'. For this collection, Liégeois had to remount original pages from Spirou magazine and rearrange them in a different lay-out, fitting to the smaller size. If necessary, he made new artwork, carefully mimicking the style of the original artists. Although it was very labor-intensive, Liégeois learned a lot about plotting and presentation. With no formal art training, Liégeois also ows a lot of his trade to the tips and tricks he received from his art studio colleagues Louis Salvérius and Serge Gennaux.

'Eustache Trompe' (Spirou #1547, 7 December 1967).

After a while, Turk was allowed to make some filler illustrations and comics for Spirou too. Some of his earliest contributions were to the humorous column 'Les 7 Jours de la Vie du Monde', where he visualized stories about incidents all over the world, chronologically grouped by the days of the week. His first comic character was 'Eustache Trompe', whose sole adventure appeared in Spirou issue #1547 of 7 December 1967. The anti-hero was directly based on Greg's Achille Talon character from Pilote magazine. Just like Achille's name was a pun on the term "achille talon" (French for "achilles heel"), Liégeois deliberately based Eustache's name on another body part (a "Eustache trompe" is French for "Eustachius tube"). It also marked the first time he used his pseudonym "Turk", in line with Greg's pseudonym, which sounded like the word "Grec" (meaning Greek).

Despite having one foot behind the door at Spirou, Turk was uncertain whether his job would last. He therefore took a job at archivist for the national aviation company Sabena, doing his Spirou-related tasks after hours. In his opinion, this offered a safer, more lucrative, long-term perspective. As fate would have it, things turned the other way around. One morning, Turk had been cutting-and-pasting all night on the 'Gag de Poche' series. The next day, he arrived late for work. Even though before he had always had been on time, his boss was furious. For the exhausted young intern, this was the final straw and he quit, slamming the door behind him.

'On sonne chez Archimède' (Dutch version from Robbedoes #1593, 24 October 1968).

Collaboration with Bob De Groot
Having quit his art studio job, Philippe Turk now focused all his time and energy on becoming a comic creator. But he quickly realized he was better in drawing than writing. Luck was on his side when his Dupuis art studio colleagues introduced him to Bob De Groot. In the early 1960s, De Groot had worked for Spirou himself, but left the publication to offer his services to magazines like Pilote and Spirou's biggest rival, Tintin. From time to time, he still paid his old colleagues at the Dupuis art studio a visit, and so Turk and De Groot got in touch. One day, Turk helped Bob De Groot out with reaching his deadline for a '4x8=32 L'Espion Caméleon' (1968) comic for Pilote magazine, marking the start of a lifelong friendship and creative collaboration. One of their earliest collective projects was 'Archimède' (1968), a feature printed in Spirou's mini-book section. It follows the unlucky adventures of a bespectacled office worker, who finds himself in increasingly wacky problematic situations.

Over the decades, Turk and De Groot worked on many comic projects. The two men shared a love for absurd, metafictional comedy and visual background jokes. Both loved the zaniness of classic Hollywood cartoons by Tex Avery and Hanna-Barbera, with Turk deliberately imitating cartoony, dynamic action scenes in his drawings. The collaboration between Turk and De Groot was democratic: if a joke failed to make the other laugh, it wasn't used. Originally, the duo shared duties on the artwork, but De Groot eventually felt continuously redrawing the same characters and situations was becoming routinuous. Therefore, he eventually stepped back to exclusively focus on scriptwriting, while Turk concentrated on drawing. Turk had less problems with the routinuous aspect of drawing comics, since to him, his characters were like old friends: "A comic character isn't just a drawing: it's somebody who lives, whom we feel deep inside. This is even more true within the humorous genre. The author really enjoys the main characters, since he has to direct them (…) much like in a comedy film."

Robin Dubois, by Turk
'Robin Dubois'.

Robin Dubois
Turk and De Groot's 'Archimède' comics had caught the attention of Greg, who recruited the duo for Tintin magazine, where they created their first major series. In 1969, Turk and De Groot watched the 1938 Hollywood classic 'The Adventures of Robin Hood', starring Errol Flynn as Robin Hood and Basil Rathbone as the Sheriff of Nottingham. They laughed at the melodrama and theatricality, which inspired them to create a Robin Hood parody. The title of their version, 'Robin Dubois', is based on the French name for Robin Hood, 'Robin du Bois' ("Robin from the woods"), with "Dubois" spelled as if it's the character's last name. The series debuted in issue #1061 of Tintin magazine (27 February 1969), and was originally intended as a one-shot spoof. However, readers enjoyed it so much that chief editor Greg ordered more episodes. The early 'Robin Dubois' tales were short stories, following a continuous narrative. They had more suspense and the comedy, while silly, remained faithful to its historic setting. Robin (still drawn with a feathered hat) and the Sheriff were depicted as a clear hero and villain pair. The Sheriff also had an incompetent advisor, Adalbert, who is slapped whenever he says or does something stupid. Graphically, Turk drew short characters, with chubby bodies and short limbs. Eventually, only Robin and the Sheriff remained as recurring characters, while the series evolved into a straightforward silly one-page gag comic.

Right from the start, 'Robin Dubois' had little in common with the original Robin Hood. All the action is indeed set in Nottingham, near Sherwood Forest, where the Sheriff lives in a castle and Robin robs people in the woods. But otherwise, Turk and De Groot invented their own crazy universe, deriving further and further from the original folkloric tales. After a few episodes, Turk no longer drew Robin with a hat. Robin also robs people completely on his own and usually with a sword instead of a longbow. His catchphrase is "La bourse ou la vie?" ("Your purse or your life?"). He never gives any of his loot to the poor, either. His relation towards the Sheriff also depends from gag to gag. In some, Robin and the Sheriff are rivals, in others they are good friends and drinking buddies.

Robin Dubois by Turk
'Robin Dubois' (Kuifje #23, 8 June 1982)

The real star of the series is the Sheriff. Turk and De Groot gave him the name Fritz Alwill, though everybody calls him by his official title. In reference to western sheriffs, Turk always draws Fritz with an anachronistic star badge on his shirt. Despite his high-profile position, the Sheriff is a complete loser. He is short-tempered, dumb and naïve. Whenever bad luck strikes, the Sheriff is usually the victim. By the time he realized Robin has bad intentions, he has already been clobbered down and robbed, shedding a tear in agony. He also fails as an authority figure, since nobody takes him seriously. His towering wife, Cunégonde, keeps him under her thumb. She forces him to accompany her while shopping, but it takes hours, sometimes months(!), before she decides her perfect outfit. Another running gag are the Sheriff's convoluted schemes to sneak out for a drink. Cunégonde forbids her henpecked husband to go to bars, so he either tries to speak up to her, or trick her into believing he has an urgent business to attend outside. But Cunégonde always gets her revenge. When he arrives home, late at night and drunk, she waits with her rollerpin in hand. It comes to no surprise that the Sheriff, and other males, are scared to death of her.

Apart from Robin and the Sheriff, Turk and De Groot didn't use any other major characters from the 'Robin Hood' legend. Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian, or any of Robin's merry men, are rarely seen and often mere background characters with barely any lines. Other recognizable cast members are the Teutonic Knights, based on the real-life historic German chivalry order. Like their medieval predecessors, the Teutonic Knights in 'Robin Dubois' are depicted with wings on their helmets. Turk adds extra visual comedy by drawing other objects on their headwear, like bicycle handles, chandeliers or faucets. He also portrays the front part of their helmets as if they are part of their faces, showing the same facial expressions as characters who don't wear helmets. Another source of comedy are their strong German accents, accompanied by verbal tics like "Ja?", "Oder" and "Was?".  All other people in the comic are medieval stock characters, like monks, inn keepers, knights, archers, jesters, witches, tax collectors, giants, dragons and hairy dungeon prisoners.

'Robin Dubois'  'Négoce en Écosse'. (Dutch-language edition from Kuifje #27, 3 July 1984).

The comedy in 'Robin Dubois' is deliberately silly and anachronistic. Characters are seen visiting hairdressers or waiting for trains, while Japanese tourists with cameras suddenly pop up. In one gag, the Sheriff is singing Frank Sinatra's 'Strangers in the Night', while cleaning his castle. Cameos from other comic characters are common too. In one gag, Robin lets a horde of buffaloes trample the Sheriff, which turn out to have been imported by Chief Redeye from Gordon Bess' gag comic of the same name (which also ran in Tintin magazine throughout the 1970s and 1980s). In the longer story 'Negoce en Écosse' (1984), Robin and the Sheriff travel to Scotland, where they mention that "the landscape looks familiar", while gazing at the cover of the Tintin album 'The Black Island'. Other gags break the fourth wall.

While most episodes of 'Robin Dubois' are one-page gags, some stories made in the 1980s are full-length adventures. In 'La Promenade des Anglais' (1983), the cast members are forced to go on a crusade, while in 'Négoce en Écosse' (1985), Robin and the Sheriff travel to Scotland to find the Monster of Loch Ness. By far the oddest story of them all is 'L'Eldoradingue' (1988), in which Robin, the Sheriff and the rest find themselves in a strange, dream-like universe with anthropomorphic pencils, a joke-telling compass, dangerous erasers, Henry Morton Stanley trying to find Dr. Livingstone, many references to 'Alice in Wonderland', and the characters eventually walking out of their comic pages, meeting other comic characters, like Dupa's Cubitus, Dany's Olivier Rameau and Turk and De Groot's own Clifton. In general, the full-length stories received less appreciation from fans than the one-page gags.

In 1985, Turk and De Groot left Tintin and took 'Robin Dubois' to Pif Gadget, where it ran for another five years until Pif's final issue. In 2007 and 2008, 'Robin Dubois' made a comeback at Lombard, again with De Groot as scriptwriter, but this time with Turk only on board as a creative supervisor. The artwork of these two new albums was provided by the team of Miguel Díaz Vizoso and Ludo Borecki

'Robin Dubois', from book 9.

Robin Dubois: success
Together with Dupa's 'Cubitus' and Tibet's 'Chick Bill', 'Robin Dubois' was one of the few humor series in the otherwise serious and realistically-drawn Tintin magazine. It received the honor of appearing on the magazine back page, closing every issue off. Book compilations were published by Lombard since 1979. The series was so popular that it topped annual reader's polls in Tintin for seven consecutive years. In the 4 September 1979 issue of Tintin, 'Robin Dubois' celebrated its 10th anniversary, with graphic felicitations from within Tintin's entourage, but also by artists from Spirou, like André FranquinFrançois WalthéryWilly LambilPaul DeliègeMorrisMarc WasterlainWill and Raymond Macherot

'Robin Dubois' was translated in Dutch as 'Robin Hoed' and appeared both in the Dutch-language version of Tintin (Kuifje) and the Flemish comic magazine Ons Volkske. The series was additionally exported in German ('Robin Ausdemwald'). In the latter translation, the Teutonic knights don't speak German-sounding French but Swabian, a dialect variation of standard German.

Clifton #9 - 'Kidnapping'.

While Turk and De Groot had just launced their successful 'Robin Dubois' spoof, they already embarked upon new projects shortly afterwards. In 1970, Turk and De Groot took over the humorous detective series 'Clifton', originally created by Raymond Macherot between 1959 and 1961 and revived in 1969 with a new story by Jo-El Azara and Greg. After one episode, Turk and De Groot took over, still working with Greg as co-scriptwriter for their first two stories 'Le Mystère de la Voix Qui Court' (1970-1971) and 'Le Voleur Qui Rit' (1972). Over the course of the 1970s, Turk and De Groot brought the adventures of the phlegmatic English private investigator back to the mood of Macherot's original stories. They knew they were on the right track when Macherot gave them a call to tell them he was impressed with their reboot. The duo also added their own flavor to the stories. They poked fun at British stereotypes, like their hyper politeness and total respect for Her Majesty, the Queen. In 'Alias Lord X' (1974-1975), a thief escapes from prison by playing the national anthem on his transistor radio, making all the police officers rise and stand in salute, while he gets away. Turk and De Groot also fleshed out some of the secondary characters. Clifton's housekeeper Miss Partridge received a bigger and more comedic role as a demanding surrogate mother. She often insists that Clifton only leaves his house if everything is left in neat order and if he wears a scarf. Turk and De Groot also introduced a new recurring character, commissioner John Haig, whose imbecility and clumsiness often irks Clifton. In '7 Jours Pour Mourir' (1978), Clifton also adopts a striped kitten, which he names James.

Turk and De Groot continued Clifton's adventures for 14 years. In 1983, Turk and De Groot's short story 'Un Pépin Pour Clifton' (1974) was adapted into an animated short, produced by Lombard's Belvision studio. In 1984, Turk passed the pencil to Bédu, while De Groot remained on board as scriptwriter until 1989. Bédu continued the series on his own until 1995. After a hiatus of 8 years, 'Clifton' was rebooted in 2003, with De Groot returning as scriptwriter and Michel Rodrigue joining him as co-scriptwriter and artist. Disappointing sales brought 'Clifton' to another halt in 2008. The brush-mustached detective returned to the scene in 2016, this time drawn again by Turk, but with Zidrou as new scriptwriter. With their third collaboration, 'Le Dernier des Clifton' (2023), Turk left the series again.

'Buzz & Toby'. Toby the horse is tired of always eating apricots, but changes his mind when Buzz suggests eating horse meat instead.

Additional Turk-De Groot collaborations
In addition to their main series, 'Robin Dubois', 'Clifton' and later 'Léonard', Turk and De Groot have collaborated on several other comics. For Tintin Sélection, for instance, they created one-shot humor comics like 'Adonis sur le Plateau!' (1970) and 'Opéra Cosmique' (1976). For Le Soir Jeunesse, the juvenile supplement of the newspaper Le Soir, the duo created the humorous western gag comic 'Buzz & Toby' (1971), about the cowboy Buzz and his talkative horse, Toby. In 1972, a movie version of Lewis Carroll's fantasy novel 'Alice in Wonderland' was released in theaters, directed by William Sterling. Greg scripted a comic strip adaptation ('Alice au Pays des Merveilles'), drawn by Daluc and Turbo. In reality, these names were collective pseudonyms for Dany ("Da"), Dupa (whose real name was "Luc" Dupanloup), Turk ("Tur") and Bob De Groot ("Bo"). The story was serialized in Le Soir and afterwards made available in book format by Lombard. In 1987, it was reprinted by MC Productions.

Besides their own creations, the Turk & De Groot duo assisted Greg on his 'Les As' comic series for Pif Gadget magazine in the early 1970s. Between 1972 and 1976, Turk and De Groot also lended a helping hand to Tibet for his kids' gang adventure series 'Le Club-de-Peur-de-Rien', which appeared in the Junior supplement of the Chez Nous weekly. Turk assisted on the background, while Bob De Groot took over the scriptwriting duties from André-Paul Duchâteau for the five final stories. Also for Junior, Turk and De Groot created gags with the character 'Valentin'. In 1973, Turk and De Groot went on a more commercial route by making advertising comics for the cornflakes multinational Kelloggs. In 1984, Turk and De Groot made the short-lived three-panel gag comic 'Zoo-Zoo' for the comic news magazine Hop!. Each episode featured anthropomorphic animals in funny situations.

Early 'Léonard' gag.

In 1974, scriptwriter Bob De Groot wanted to add a new secondary character to his 'Robin Dubois' hit comic. He came up with a mad, bearded scientist, named Methusaleh. Tintin's chief editor Greg liked the character and suggested building a series around him. Turk and De Groot further developed this mad scientist into an expy of Leonardo da Vinci. The debut episode of their series, 'Léonard le Génie', usually shortened to 'Léonard', ran in the first issue of the short-lived Achille Talon Magazine (1 October 1974), based on the popularity of Greg's 'Achille Talon' comic. 'Léonard' is set in 16th-century Italy and has the same zany, anachronistic historical comedy as 'Robin Dubois'. Just like the real-life Da Vinci, Léonard is a genius inventor, far ahead of his time. In each episode, he comes up with a groundbreaking tool, machine or concept, which he often already announces at the start of the story by its modern name. Most of his inventions are constructed out of thin air, with tools or methods that are conveniently present for the sake of the gag. Léonardo, for instance, invents a radio, despite the fact that electronics don't exist yet. To the readers' amusement, he regularly deems some of these modern-day inventions "useless", or fails to see their future potential, because he simply uses them incorrectly, adds unneccessary accessories or because they lack an essential supplement. In one gag, for instance, Léonard invents the tin can, but forgets to invent a can opener. The mad scientist has additionally created stuff that follows no logic and only causes weird transformations. Regardless, his inventions either don't work, or a bit too well, making him unable to keep them under control, causing hilarious mayhem, with lots of collateral damage.

'Léonard', waking up Basile. Dutch-language version.

The main victim of Léonard's exploits is his goofy, lazy and clumsy assistant, Basile. Almost each episode kicks off with Léonard storming into Basile's bedroom, ordering him to "wake up". As a running gag, Basile is always asleep, or hides in unusual locations. The flexible assistant has been able to fit himself inside toasters, drawers and even bananas, just to avoid being disturbed. Basile has good reasons for not wanting to help Léonard. The lazy oaf claims he needs more than "22 hours of sleep every day" in order to feel fit. His master always forces him to do hard, exhausting and dangerous labor. In one episode, he makes Basile almost drown because he didn't realize that a lifebuoy shouldn't be made out of concrete. No matter how much Basile suffers, Léonard's only concern is that he will have to temporarily halt his scientific experiments until his "ungrateful" assistant has recovered. He doesn't tolerate criticism or disobedience either. Whenever Basil dares to doubt his master's intelligence and long-term vision, or simply doesn't want to help him, Léonard gets furious and beats or shoots the young intern black and blue. Basile is particularly frustrated since his master never gives him credit, nor pays him for his work. He does name inventions after Basile's endless list of brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts and other relatives, but never after Basile himself.

Basile always gives in to his master's commands, reminding himself of his motto: "Je sers la science et c'est ma joie" ("I serve science and that's my joy"). But he clearly doesn't believe it, given that he often changes its phrasing and meaning. As pitiful Basile comes across, he sometimes owes his misfortune to his own stupidity. In one story, Léonard wants to prove that the world is round and the duo walks all around Earth, with Basile carrying his master's luggage. Eventually, they arrive at the back of their house, as Léonard predicted. Exhausted, Basile sighs he's glad the trip is finally over… only to turn around and begin the journey home, walking all the way back. Léonard's cook and housemaid Mathurine also dislikes the mad scientist, as his inventions often mess up rooms she has just cleaned, or because he and Basile mock her obesity. When her anger overpowers her, she thrashes the two around. Funny enough, her intelligence far exceeds Léonard's genius and she would probably have been hailed as a groundbreaking inventor in her own right, if Léonard wouldn't force her into doing chores instead.

'Léonard'. Dutch-language version.

Much like George Herriman's Krazy Kat and Ignatz the Mouse, 'Léonard' also features a cat and a mouse who started out as mere background characters, but eventually received larger roles. In the early stories, the cat is named Prosper, but De Groot eventually felt Raoul sounded better. Raoul Chatigré and Bernadette the mouse were originally normal, mute pets. The only thing that set Raoul apart from other felines was his inability to see in the dark. But in the third album, an invention by Léonard gives him and Bernadette the power of speech. From that moment on, Raoul starts to comment on all the action around him. His ironic observations add extra comedy, especially since he often breaks the fourth wall. Bernadette the mouse also serves as a nurse whenever Léonard's inventions get Raoul hurt. Strange enough, a skull on Léonard's desk is also able to talk, without any explanation. He frequently starts monologues, complaining about the minor roles he has in the series. Turk and De Groot named him Yorick, after Hamlet's deceased friend in the famous Shakespeare play. The final recurring character in the series is Da Vinci's adopted daughter, Mozzarella. While Léonard and Mathurine serves as her surrogate parents, Basile regards her as a rival, since he lost his bedroom to her.

The comedy in 'Léonard' is the wackiest of all of Turk en De Groot's series. Basically, anything can happen, just like in a classic Hollywood cartoon. Léonard and Basile harm each other in painful ways, but a couple of panels later, they are back to normal. Each slapstick sequence is visualized with wild takes and funny body deconstructions. Although all action is set in the 16th century, Turk and De Groot don't let this get in the way of a funny joke. The cast members are seen using or referencing things that wouldn't be introduced until centuries later. In one gag, for instance, a writer takes interest in Léonard's submarines, space rockets and air balloons. When Léonard wonders whether he's a rival inventor who will steal his ideas, the man reassures him he is actually a novelist and introduces himself as Jules Verne. In another gag, Léonard invents television, but hasn't discovered a way to keep all the images within the TV set. As a result, all the cowboy movies, political debates, deep sea documentaries and children programs happen right in Léonard's living room. In another memorable episode, Basile flees to Tibet's comic series 'Ric Hochet', where the realistic atmosphere unfortunately makes his injuries more life-threatening.

'Léonard' - 'La Guerre des Génies', 1983, Dutch-language version. Léonard fights against a rival scientist wearing colorful gigantic robot suits, a reference to the anime series 'UFO Robot Grendizer' (based on the manga series by Go Nagai and Gosaku Ota), which was tremendously popular with French youth under the name 'Goldorak'. 

The 'Léonard' gags are also filled with meta humor. One episode kicks off with Basile screaming at his master, who then tells him to stop, "since these big-lettered speech balloons cost a fortune in Chinese ink." Hypocritically enough, Léonard starts screaming himself, whereupon Raoul the cat puts on a Chinese straw hat and comments: "That speech balloon costs at least 4 euros worth of ink!". In another story, Léonard and Basile mix Latin citations in their speech. Raoul complains he can't understand them, until he notices the translation boxes for the readers, underneath each panel.

Since Léonard is a mad scientist, it allows for weird experiments, long voyages, time travel, cool robots, space exploration and other "scientifically illogic technology." But no matter how little sense each machine makes, Turk still took great care in making everything look technically possible. His childhood fascination with mechanics made this dedication a dream come true. In the same way, De Groot documented himself by reading biographies about the real-life Da Vinci. The historical Da Vinci, for instance, really had a housemaid named Mathurine. The comic writer also consulted the science magazine Science & Vie for additional inspiration.

Later 'Léonard' gag by Turk and Zidrou.

When Achille Talon Magazine folded after six issues, 'Leonard' found a new home in the Dutch comic magazine Eppo, where it ran under the title 'Leonardo'. Around the same time, the Belgian publisher Dargaud launched a book series, both in French and Dutch. Dutch readers grew enormously fond of 'Léonard' and it remained a mainstay in Eppo's pages even when the magazine underwent several name changes during the 1980s and 1990s. The final incarnation folded in 1999, but when Eppo was relaunched in 2009, 'Léonard' made his comeback too. In French language, the 'Léonard' gags were prepublished in Pif Gadget, from 1979 until the final issue in 1993. After Bob De Groot's retirement in 2015, Turk continued the 'Léonard' series with the scriptwriter Zidrou.

Besides French and Dutch, 'Leonard' has appeared in English, German, Spanish, Polish, Greek, Russian, and – unavoidably – Italian translation. The comic was adapted into an animated series twice. In the early 1990s, the studio IDHR made a pilot episode, but the project wasn't further developed. In 2009, Philippe Vidal and his team made 78 episodes made in 3D animation.

'Docteur Bonheur'.

Doctor Bonheur
Between 2007 and 2009, Turk and scriptwriter Clarke created 'Doctor Bonheur' ("Doctor Happiness"), an absurd humor series about a midget-sized doctor and his voluptuous assistant (whose face is never shown) with a joyful solution to every medical problem. It marked the first time Turk worked with computer programs to produce his artwork, giving him the feeling of learning his profession from the start. Apart from three books published by Lombard, a few pages of 'Doctor Bonheur' also ran in issue #4 of the short-lived monthly Strips (2008).

With his heavy production, Turk has received assistance from other artists on occasion. During the 1970s and 1980s, he received help from Walli and Didgé for his 'Robin Dubois' stories, and from Tome and Janry for 'Léonard'. Both Walli and Michel Breton participated in the artwork of some 'Clifton' adventures. Most of Turk's later comics have been colored by his wife, Karine Léonard, who uses the pen name Kaël.

Sample of Turk and De Groot's 'Plus Grande Image du Monde'.

Graphic contributions
In 1980, Turk and De Groot made a graphic contribution to the collective comic book 'Il Était une Fois Les Belges/ Er Waren Eens Belgen', published at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Belgium's independence. The inseparable duo also paid homage to Paul Cuvelier's 'Corentin' (1981) and to Derib in the book 'Les Amis de Buddy Longway' (Lombard, 1983). The duo also spoofed their own series 'Robin Dubois' and 'Léonard' in the collective parody book 'Parodies 2' (MC Productions, 1988). They also honored Hergé at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of 'Tintin' (1979) and Dupa's 'Cubitus' when the series celebrated its 1,000th gag (1992). Turk and De Groot also paid tribute to Jean Roba's gag comic 'Boule et Bill' in 'Boule et Bill font la fête' (Dargaud, 1999). Solo, Turk contributed to 'Les Enquêtes de Leurs Amis' (Soleil, 1989), a collective tribute to Maurice Tillieux's hero detective 'Gil Jourdan'. He also contributed to 'On the Way She Meets… Artists Mobilize Against Violence Against Women' (2009) by Amnesty International.

In 1987, Turk and De Groot made more than 52 images of the same street and serialized them on a weekly basis in Tintin magazine. Combined, these 52 images provided a magnificent panorama presented in one long comic strip of 15 metres in length. The editors of Tintin claimed this was the "longest image of all time."

Leonard by Turk
'Léonard' (Sjosji #3, 26 January 1998). Dutch-language version. 

The fifth album of Turk and De Groot's 'Robin Dubois' received the Prix Saint-Michel for "Best Humor Album" (1981), while volume 16 received the Prix Alph'Art for "Best Juvenile Series" (1990) at the Comic Festival of Angoulême. The 24th volume of 'Léonard' was honored with the Soleil d'Or for "Best Juvenile Album" at the Solliès-Ville Festival. For their entire body of work, the duo received the 1999 Crayon d'Or de Bruxelles ('The Brussels Golden Crayon'). On 16 October 2010, the Belgian Postal Services released five stamps honoring the comic series 'Léonard le Génie'. Since 11 September 2015, 'Léonard' has his own comic book mural in the Rue des Capucins/Capucijnerstraat in Brussels, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route.

Turk's birth house in Durbuy (nowadays a hotel-restaurant) has a small plaquette at the door, denoting his birthplace. His work has been subject of various retrospective exhibitions, among others during the comic festival of Anzin-Saint-Aubin (June 2012) and at the Huberty & Breyne Gallery in Brussels (8-22 May 2019).

Turk and De Groot portraying themselves as actors in their 'Robin Dubois' comic. Episode created for a special issue celebrating the feature's 10th anniversary in Tintin/Kuifje #36, 4 September 1979.

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