Superlul by Nico van Welzenes

Nico van Welzenes was a Dutch commercial artist and painter, specialized in landscapes. As a cartoonist, he drew political caricatures for Het Vrije Volk and sex comedy comics for the porn magazine Smile. His two comic stories were 'Peter Pik' and the superhero parody 'Superlul' (1971). The latter was published in book format too. Van Welzenes goes down in history as one of the earliest Dutch comic artists to create sex parodies, which became a whole industry during the 1970s and 1980s. 

Painter in Rotterdam
Nico van Welzenes was born in 1936 in Rotterdam, where he also attended the local Art Academy. After graduation, he was mostly active making surreal paintings, often with much nudity and eroticism. Recurring themes in his work were philosophical questions of life and death and the fundamental relation between humans and their surroundings. He later switched to landscape painting.

Between the early 1960s and 1976, Van Welzenes lived in Schiedam, making many drawings and watercolor paintings of this historical harbor city. Many of these works have hung on the walls of Schiedam's municipal buildings. He also took part in collective expositions, like the December 1962 Groep Oase show in the Branderssoos gallery at the corner of the Dam and Lange Haven. Also a commercial artist, Van Welzenes produced artwork for Schiedam Glassworks and the Wilton-Feyenoord shipyard. For the Schiedam edition of the daily newspaper Het Vrije Volk, he made caricatures of local politicians.

Nico van Welzenes, as portrayed with one of his surreal paintings, Algemeen Dagblad, 17 March 1962.

In the early 1970s Van Welzenes drew satirical sex comics like 'Peter Pik' and 'Superlul' for the porn magazine Smile, published by Schada Press in Rotterdam. By then, there was already a flourishing underground comix movement in The Netherlands. Among the notable artists were people like Theo van den BoogaardAart Clerkx, Evert GeradtsPeter Pontiac and Olaf Stoop. Van den Boogaard in particular drew a straightforward pornographic series titled 'Ans en Hans Krijgen De Kans' (1969) for the pop magazine Aloha. While many indeed had gratuitous offensive content and titillating sex scenes, they ought to be understood in the free-spirited atmosphere of the times. Young people felt liberated to finally read comics about uncensored adult topics.


'Superlul' (1971) was Van Welzenes' most notable comic strip. The one-shot is a parody of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman. The story stars a bespectacled teenager, Tinus Trauma, who never got laid. One day he notices dozens of potency pills on the road. He mistakes them for candy and - like any sane person would do - picks them off the ground and eats them. Unbeknownst to Tinus, the pills are actually cargo from a truck, which crashes off the road. As the narrator ironically explains, “the chauffeur violated the regulations” by having sex behind the wheel. Tinus is arrested by the police who blame him for the road accident. They also assume the pills are amphetamines. But Tinus transforms into his alter ego, Superlul ("Super Dick"), and surprises them with his colossal cock. He uses his male organ to fence off the policemen and screw one female officer. Superlul is soon recruited by the Association for Crime Prevention By Group Sex. The head of the organization, Mr. Kruisgraayer ("Mr. Crotch Grabber") believes that if people would have more sex, crime rates would go down. Tinus will fight for sexual freedom, assisted by his lewd secretary Olga Orgasme ("Olga Orgasm").

Superlul and Olga fight the supervillains De Klotenkapper ("The Balls Chopper") and De Kutloze Vrouw ("The Cuntless Woman"). To set up a trap, our heroes organize a sex show, with help from the editors of Smile magazine. In a series of remarkable plot twists, both villains turn out to be robots. The actual head of the global anti-sex movement is Mr. Kruisgraayer. He explains that he has a small penis. Therefore he invented a "dick shrinking spray" so he could shrink the penises of all men on Earth, while enlarging his own with the potency pills on the crashed truck. But Tinus unintentionally prevented his plans. Although Mr. Kruisgraayer is eventually defeated, his "dick shrinking spray" is still released. This leaves Tinus with a normal-sized penis. The tale has a tragic conclusion when Superlul is ravished by dozens of women and dies from exhaustion... 


'Superlul' spoofs several superhero comic tropes, combined with sex-themed puns. As far as pornographic comics go, the plot is fairly well-structured and easy to follow. This could explain why Superlul's well-endowed adventures were collected in a 1971 comic book by De Dam, a Schiedam-based imprint for sex, comics and sci-fi publications. In 1982 it was even reprinted.

Final years and death
By the mid-1970s, Nico van Welzenes settled in Goes, in the province of Zeeland, where he continued to make landscape paintings, this time watercolors of the isle of Zuid-Beveland and the Goes area. His work was exhibited on many occasions, either in solo shows or combined expositions with his wife, fine artist Paula van Buren. Nico van Welzenes died in his hometown Goes on 4 December 2021, at the age of 85.

Superlul by Nico van Welzenes

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