On January 7, 1957, a new strip was published in the Flemish newspaper De Standaard. It featured a somewhat strange little guy, blessed with an enormous, bolbous nose and wearing a white labcoat. Meneerke Peeters, as he was called, was the creation of Flemisch cartoonist Joë Meulepas (or Pil, as he liked to sign his work).
Even though Meneerke Peeters was an everyman in many ways, Pil tended to steer his hero into situations that were fairly bizarre, absurd and quite often macabre. Still, he never aimed at shocking his readers, the newspaper being aimed at the cultivated, well-to-do (even bourgeois) strata of the Flemish population, and he steered clear of many hot topics. In his political cartoons, though, he would tackle all of them with a venom that did not leave much to the imagination.
Meneerke Peeters would run in De Standaard until Pil’s retirement in 1983, after a total run of more than 7000 strips, or stop-comics, as they were known at the time. In 2007, Pil passed away in Brussels, at the age of 92.
After the break, we present a first series of Meneerke Peeters strips. We selected the (more or less) silent ones, since these were more likely to be appreciated by an international audience as well. They were taken from the Meneerke Peeters collection that was published by Heideland-Orbis in 1972, in the Vlaamse Pockets series. We hope you like them.
(All artwork © the estate of Joë Meulepas)