'Les Aventures de Mr. Ding', Le Petit Vingtième #51, 1936.

Jean Vermeire was a Belgian illustrator, war correspondent and World War II Nazi collaborator. Despite his dubious track record during and after the war, he had a modest role in the upcoming Belgian comic culture as the cartoonist behind the signature Jiv. He drew 'Les Aventures de Mr. Ding' (1936) for Le Petit Vingtième and 'Les Aventures de Mr. Bob' (1940-1941) for Le Pays Réel.

Le Petit Vingtième
Jean Vermeire, born in 1918, was eighteen years old when he began his career as a journalist and artist with the right-wing Catholic newspaper Le XXe Siècle. In 1936, he joined Hergé's editorial team of the paper's youth supplement, Le Petit Vingtième, after the departure of the cartoonist Paul Jamin (Jam). Another artist for Le Petit Vingtième was Eugène Van Nyverseel (Evany). Jiv was responsible for a great many illustrations, and also made the pantomime comic strip 'Les Aventures de M. Ding' (1936). During this period, he became friends with Léon Degrelle, one of the magazine's journalists who in 1935 founded Belgium's Catholic-Fascist Rexist Movement. During the German occupation, Adolf Hitler named Degrelle "Volksführer of the Wallonen", making him the number one Walloon collaborator. During the Nazi occupation in Belgium (1940-1944), Jean Vermeire served as Degrelle's loyal right hand.

Illustrations for 'Le roi Dogabert et le courtisan Barbabil', a text story by Jiv (1936).

Le Pays Réel
A strong advocate of collaboration with the Germans, Vermeire was a journalist and war correspondent for the Rexist newspaper, Le Pays Réel, responsible for propaganda articles and reports, as well as the paper's weekly youth supplement, Le Magazine. As Jiv, he drew the paper's two comics serials. 'Les Aventures de Bob' (November 1940- March 1941) was about a detective investigating the murder of Dr. Erskin. The two assassins repeatedly try to kill Bob as well, but with no success. The other comic strip in Le Pays Réel was 'Boulou et l'Aventure'. It was credited to "Tiboir & Badour", but Vermeire is believed to be the artist.

World War II
In August 1941, Vermeire joined the collaborationist Walloon Legion, a Rexist SS division made up of French-speaking Belgian volunteers fighting against the Russians at the Eastern Front (Russia). The Russian troops eventually pushed the Nazi invaders on the Eastern Front back, urging Obersturmführer Vermeire to flee back to Belgium. Back home, he became part of Degrelle's inner circle, climbing the ranks to SS Captain. In 1943, Degrelle sent him to Berlin to serve as Rexist ambassador. Remaining faithful to Degrelle, Vermeire eventually became Sturmbannführer SS. He also oversaw the propaganda assocation Deutsch-Wallonische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (German-Walloon Working Community).

Post-war activities and death
Although Jean Vermeire was arrested and sentenced to death after the war, he was pardoned and released in 1951. The former prisoner became a dealer of textile machines, but remained close to Degrelle, who lived in exile in Spain. Vermeire remained affiliated with post-war national-socialist organizations, serving as leader of Les Bourguignons, an association of Walloon and Brussels SS veterans from the Eastern Front. In 1989, Vermeire organized a meeting of 150 Walloon Legion veterans in Léon Degrelle's villa in Spain. When Léon Degrelle died in 1994, Vermeire allegedly scattered the ashes of the former Rexist leader on the Obersalzberg in Berchtesgaden, Germany, where Adolf Hitler had his Berghof home. Remaining nostalgic for Nazi Germany and Rexism throughout his later life, Vermeire too spent his final years in Spain, where he passed away from a stroke in September 2009. 

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