I’m not much of a patriot, I’m afraid. My guess is that I’ll give a half-baked whoop when one of my fellow countrymen and -women excels like somebody from Chicago would when somebody else from the windy city makes it big.
There is two exceptions to that rule: musicians and illustrators. If a Belgian band makes it big abroad, I’ll gladly pin them on my sleeve as “one of us”, and if a Belgian illustrators lands an acclaimed gig, I’ll blog about it.
Case in point: Benoît Van Innis, probably one of the most idiosyncratic cartoonists Belgium ever sent forth, makes his comeback to the New Yorker on the cover of the February 22 issue, and it is an amazing one. It immediately fits in with the absurdists cartoons he has been making since the mid-80s, featuring awkward bourgeois men of a certain age doing strange but unremarkable things. It’s Addams meets Baxter with some Magritte for good measure.
Read more about this cover in Françoise Mouly’s article on the New Yorker‘s website.
Also, I cannot let this go by without thanking my mother, who introduced me to Benoît when I was too preoccupied with mainstream comics to have noticed.