As a lover of all kinds ephemere, I simply adore almanacs, old (one would almost say antiquated) reference systems for information on sunrise, sunset, moon phases, saints days, etc. One of the mainstays of the kind in my country is De Druivelaar, now in its 101st year. I was absolutely delighted to get one at christmas from my family, and it sits quite prominently on my desk, reminding me of a world beyond the internet.
Every month De Druivelaar features a cartoon by Bubbs (ps. André Sanders – article in French) from a series that was originally published in 1950 as Poiret, a strip steeped in innocence and naivety both in content and execution. Each cartoon follows a strict framework of setup, elaboration and punch, in which Poiret solves a mundane problem in quite an original way. The strips are alway wordless, making them fit for publication in both regions of the country and adding a nice spot of belgitude.
I love the earnestness and the simplicity of the stories, which you also find in other (pantomime) strips of that era (more particulary in Soglow’s The Little King and Mikkelsen’s Ferd’nand). The hunt for the 1950 collection is on…
Bubbs, incidentally, was also the creative force behind a series of illustrations for each of the streets in the Brussels European Quarter.