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"Urbanus" is a long running (1982) Flemish comic strip, based on the popular Flemish comedian and singer Urbanus, who also writes the stories. The strip itself is drawn by Willy Linthout. It's by far one of the most popular comic strips based on a celebrity by far and thanks to the popularity of the comedian in the Netherlands also a success there.
The stories revolve around Urbanus, a ten year old boy with a full beard, who is basically a bad boy. His father, César, is a drunk, pipe smoking fool who constantly cheats on his very pious wife Eufrazie. Urbanus has two pets: a yellow dog with a floating head just above the lower jaw called Nabuko Donosor and Amedee the intelligent fly. Just like the real Urbanus the characters all live in the village Tollembeek. The strip has many secondary characters who are all either stupid or corrupt, or both. "Urbanus" is a children's strip, but has a lot of bawdy, blasphemous and violent jokes.
Urbanus provides examples of:
- Amusing Injuries
- Animated Adaptation: One short cartoon film was made, called "Het Lustige Kapoentje".
- April Fool's Plot: The album "De Hete Urbanus" takes this as a plot development start.
- Art Evolution: The early albums were very amateuristic, yet over the years this has improved.
- Art Shift: Frequent cameos of other comic strip or cartoon characters can be found in the strip. The authors also collaborated with comic strip author Merho of De Kiekeboes to have a special crossover album.
- Backwards-Firing Gun: In "De dochter van Urbanus", there are three of them.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Characters frequently address the audience.
- Breast Expansion: Eufrazie implants silicones into her breasts in the album "Urbanus zijn snippelepipke rekt uit".
- Buddy Cop Show: René and Modest, two brainlessly agressive cops.
- Butt Monkey: Dikke Herman, a fat kid with glasses, rabbit teeth and a large quiff, usually ends up being punished or beaten. Sometimes justified, but not always.
- The Cameo: Many over the years.
- Christianity Is Catholic: All churches are Catholic, Urbanus' mother is a pious woman and Urbanus frequently visits Heaven and Hell.
- Comedic Hero: Urbanus
- Corrupt Church: The local priest is a hypocritical drunk who frequently visits the town's whore.
- Creative Closing Credits:
- At the end of "De Sponskesrace" the stories continues on the grey back cover of the album, because the characters are late with the conclusion of the story.
- Crossover: Urbanus had a crossover with the comic strip De Kiekeboes in the album "Kiekebanus".
- Cultural Translation: This comic is as Flemish as it gets. All characters speak the Flemish dialect and even in the Netherlands no attempt is made to speak standard Dutch. Sometimes a small caption gives an explanation of an expression to the Dutch readers.
- Ethnic Scrappy: Non-Caucasians will frequently be portrayed in ways that can be considered racially or ethnically offensive.
- Case in point is a black kid called "Het Negerken" ("The Little Nigger"), but who is otherwise treated with respect by the others.
- Freestate Amsterdam: The Netherlands are depicted this way in the album "De laatste Hollander" (the last Dutchman).
- Housewife: Urbanus' mother, Eufrazie.
- Humans Are Bastards: Most characters don't seem to have any kind of conscience.
- Innocent Prodigy: Urbanus is a child with a beard. Sometimes he is childishly naive or innocent. Other times he thinks just like an adult.
- Losing Your Head: Nabuko Donosor the dog's head and upper jaw float above the rest of his body.
- Manipulative Bastard: Urbanus
- National Stereotypes
- Police Brutality: René and Modest are two policemen who are very fond of beating suspects up.
- Print Long Runners: Since 1982.
- Really 700 Years Old: Urbanus' uncle, "Nonkel Fillemon", was over hundred years old, but never seemed to die. This irritates Urbanus' family, because they want to inherit his fortune.
- Sadist Teacher: Urbanus' teacher, Mr. Kweepeer.
- Talking Animal: All animals talk in this comic strip.
- The Theme Park Version: Belgium and Holland, mainly.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Urbanus in "De kleine tiran".
- What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids?? Although very popular with kids the comic often shows vulgar, sexual, violent or anti-establishment scenes or topics that aren't suitable for young children.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Urbanus disguises himself as a girl in "Urbanellalla".