Celebrity comics are comics based on the fame and popularity of a celebrity.[1] They are a byproduct of merchandising around a certain media star or franchise and have existed since the mass media and comics came into existence in the 19th century. Celebrity comics are usually not held in high esteem by critics, because of their purely commercial nature. They are solely created to capitalize on media trends and therefore published so quickly and cheaply that drawings and narratives tend to be of very low quality.[1]

DefinitionEdit

Celebrity comics are usually written and drawn for commercial purposes.[1] Publishers try to cash in on the fame of a well known radio, TV, film star or series by launching a comic book or an entire comic book series about these media stars.[1] Comics about sports champions or theatrical actors fall in the same category. The line of thought behind these works is that the audience will be more likely to buy something they already recognize from theatre, film, radio or TV than a brand new series about an original creation.

Despite the commercial potential few of these celebrity comics last long. Their sales are usually based on the amount of attention a certain celebrity receives during a certain period. If the media craze or fad dies down the comic version usually fizzles out as well.[1] Another reason why many of these comics fail in the long run has to do with the fact that companies usually pass both the writing and drawing to less skilled artists, many of which don't have much experience in their profession. Apart from that the artists in question are put under pressure of a TV channel, company or the media star himself to follow their own demands and expectations as much as possible.[1]

Celebrity comics should not be confused with satirical comics or political comics, which lampoon celebrities. While these can sometimes be made to play-off the fame of a celebrity, they usually tend to be less respectful towards the media stars in question and are seldom made with their own participation.

Despite the fact that celebrity comics are considered pure pulp some people have interest in these titles as a mere nostalgic or historical curiosity, of which they enjoy the campiness.

HistoryEdit

 
Dan Leno's Comic Journal, Issue No. 1, February 26, 1898

Celebrity comics have existed since the late 19th century. The earliest example was the magazine Dan Leno's Comic Journal (1898), based on the popularity of British music hall comedian Dan Leno. The paper was primarily aimed at young adults and featured a fictional version of Leno. He personally wrote most of the gags and stories, while Tom Browne contributed many of the illustrations.[2] The comedian retained editorial control of the paper, deciding which items to omit.[3][4] After a run of nearly two years the novelty wore off, and Leno lost interest. The paper shut down on December 2, 1899.[2][3] Another early example was a comic strip drawn between 1909 and 1913 about the local village eccentric Robert W. Patten by John Hager, which was published in the Seattle Daily Times.[5] When Hollywood started making slapstick films many comics series were made about popular film comedians. E.C. Segar's Charlie Chaplin's Comic Capers is perhaps the most famous example and ran for a solid two years, between 1916 and 1918. Between the 1920s and early 1960s the British magazines Radio Fun and Film Fun were even completely based around comics about radio and film celebrities. In the mid 1930s American artists like Alfred Buescher,[6] Clifton H. Crittenden,[7] Roland Jack Scott, and Arthur J. Palmer also made text comics based on the lives of celebrities who made headlines at the time. When television became popular in the 1950s and 1960s it opened the door for a whole stream of comics based on popular TV shows and stars. In every country with a comics industry examples of celebrity comics can be found.

The longest-running celebrity comic in the world made by the same two creators is the Belgian series Urbanus by Urbanus and Willy Linthout. It's been in production since 1982 and, as of 2019, new albums are still drawn.[8]

Celebrity animated cartoonsEdit

A subgenre is celebrity animated cartoon series, based on the popularity of a well known musical artist (Hammerman), band (The Beatles, The Jackson 5ive, The Osmonds, New Kids on the Block), film stars (The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show, Jackie Chan Adventures, Amigo and Friends, Laurel and Hardy, Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, The New Three Stooges,...), TV star (The Gary Coleman Show, Partridge Family 2200 A.D., Mr. T, Laverne & Shirley in the Army, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang) and/or sports champion (Harlem Globetrotters, I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Ronaldinho Gaucho's Team,...).

List of celebrity comics by countryEdit

ArgentinaEdit

BelgiumEdit

  • Albert en Co (since 2013 Filip van België), based on the Belgian Royal Family, written and drawn by Charel Cambré. The series has a mild satirical tone.[11]
  • Baba Yega, a children's comic based on the Belgian dance group Baba Yega, written by Leon and drawn by Steve Van Bael.[12]
  • Les Diables Rouges, a humoristic sports comic (2013-2014) about the Belgian national association football team by André Lebrun (writing) and Philippe Bercovici (drawings).[13]
  • En Daarmee Basta!, a humor comic (2006–2009), based on the children's TV series En Daarmee Basta!, written by Tom Bouden[14] and drawn by Wim Swerts[15] and Vanas.
  • Les Fabuleux Exploits d'Eddy Merckx, a sports comic (1973) about cyclist Eddy Merckx, written by Yves Duval [16] and Christian Lippens.[17]
  • Familie Backeljau, a humor comic based on the popular TV sitcom De Familie Backeljau, drawn by Luc Morjaeu.[18]
  • F.C. De Kampioenen, a humor comic (1996) based on the popular TV sitcom FC De Kampioenen, written and drawn by Hector Leemans.[19] It's currently one of the most successful Flemish comics series, still selling strong even though the TV series itself came to an end in 2011.
  • Flikken, an action comic (2010) based on the TV police series Flikken, written by Zaki Dewaele and drawn by Michaël Vincent.[20]
  • Gaston en Leo, a humor comic (1985) based on the comedy duo Gaston en Leo, written and drawn by Jeff Broeckx.[21]
  • Geschipper Naast Mathilde, a humor comic (1955) based on the TV sitcom Schipper naast Mathilde, written and drawn by Willy Vandersteen.[22]
  • De Geverniste Vernepelingskes, a satirical gag-a-day comic (1997) in which the main characters are comedian Urbanus[23] and comics artist Jan Bosschaert,[24] who consequently also write and draw the gags. The series also features numerous cameos of Flemish celebrities.
  • Get Ready!, a humor adventure comic based on the popular boys band Get Ready!, written by Danny Roelens, drawn by Patriek Roelens.[25]
  • Le Grand Jojo, a humor comic (2014) based on the Walloon singer and comedian Le Grand Jojo by André Lebrun (writing) and Philippe Bercovici (drawings).[13]
  • Jacques Vermeire, a humor adventure comic based on the popular comedian Jacques Vermeire, written and drawn by Geert Kinnaert.[26]
  • Jean-Marie Pfaff, De Held van München, a humoristic biographical comic about association football player Jean-Marie Pfaff by K. Luyckx and F. Defossez.[27]
  • John Massis, a humor comic about acrobat John Massis, written and drawn by Pirana, who was a close friend of his.[28]
  • Jommeke in Bobbejaanland, a 1979 one-shot comic book featuring a cross-over between the comics character Jommeke and popular singer and theme park owner Bobbejaan Schoepen.[29][30]
  • Justine Henin, a 2007 sports comic by Yves Duval [16] and Edouard Aidans about tennis champion Justine Henin.[31]
  • De avonturen van K3, a humor adventure comic (2000–...) based on the popular girls group K3, written by Jan Ruysbergh, drawn by Patriek Roelens[25] and later Charel Cambré.[11]
  • Kabouter Plop, a humor comic based on the popular children's TV show Kabouter Plop, written and drawn by Jean-Pol.[32]
  • Kamiel in Vuur en Vlam, a one-shot comic book about fire prevention by Marc Daniels [33] and Rik De Wulf, starring Kamiel Spiessens, a comedic character created by Flemish comedian Chris Van den Durpel.[34]
  • Katastroof, a humor comic about the local Antwerp band Katastroof written by Tom Metdepenningen,[35] a member of the group.
  • Kim, a humor adventure comic (2004) about tennis player Kim Clijsters, written by Hector Leemans[19] and drawn by Wim Swerts[15] and Vanas.
  • Marc Coucke, a humorous adventure comic based on business man and sports chairman Marc Coucke, written by Leon and drawn by Steve Van Bael.[12]
  • Het Manneke, a gag-a-day comic (1962) about the popular TV sketch show Het Manneke, written by the actor himself, Jef Cassiers, and drawn by PIL[36] and later Marc Payot.[37]
  • Margriet Hermans, a humor comic (1993) about singer and TV presenter Margriet Hermans, written by Peter Verbelen and drawn by Erik Vancoillie.[38]
  • Mega Mindy, a humor adventure comic (2007–2009) based on the popular children's TV show Mega Mindy, drawn by Charel Cambré.[11]
  • Merlina, an adventure comic (1986) based on the popular children's TV show Merlina, written by Dick Durver (pseudonym for singer and Vlaams Belang politician Jef Elbers, who was also the TV series' script writer) and drawn by Danny De Haes.[39]
  • M-Kids, a humor adventure comic (2002–2004) based on the girl group M-Kids, written by Jan Ruysbergh, drawn by Luc Morjaeu.[18]
  • Nachtwacht, a fantasy comic by Peter van Gucht and Steve Van Bael, based on the eponymous children's TV series.[12]
  • De Pfaffs, a humor adventure comic (2003–2004) based on the reality TV series De Pfaffs, written by Ronald Grossey and drawn by Charel Cambré.[11]
  • De Planckaerts, a humor comic (2003) based on the reality TV series De Planckaerts about former cyclist Eddy Planckaert and his family.[12]
  • Samson en Gert, a humor adventure comic (1993–2005) based on the children's TV show Samson en Gert, drawn and written by Wim Swerts[15] and Jean-Pol.[32]
  • Spring!, a humor adventure comic (2004–2007) based on the children's TV show Spring, written by Luc Morjaeu[18] and drawn by Charel Cambré.[11]
  • De Strangers, a humor comic (1984) about the Flemish comedic band De Strangers, written by Patrick Vermeir, drawn by Dirk Stallaert.[40]
  • De avonturen van Tommeke, a humor comic (2007–2008) based on the cyclist Tom Boonen, written by Ivan Claeys and drawn by Patrick Van Oppen.[41]
  • Urbanus, a humor comic (1982) based on the popular comedian Urbanus, written by himself[23] and drawn by Willy Linthout.[42] It has been in continuous syndication since 1982, making it the longest-running and best-selling celebrity comic of Flanders and in the world.
  • Van Rossem, a semi-satirical comic (1991–1992) based on the politician and economist Jean-Pierre Van Rossem who also wrote the scripts. The drawings were made by Erik Meynen.[43]
  • Vertongen & Co, a humor comic (2011), based on the children's TV show Vertongen & Co, written by Hec Leemans,[19] drawn by Luc Van Asten and Wim Swerts.[15]
  • W817, a humor comic (2003–2011) based on the children's TV show W817, written by Hec Leemans[19] and Tom Bouden[14] and drawn by Luc Van Asten and Wim Swerts.[15]
  • Wendy Van Wanten, a humor comic about the pin-up model Wendy Van Wanten (1992), written by Tony Beirens and drawn by Yurg.[44]
  • X!NK, an adventure comic (2004–2006) based on the music band X!nk, written and drawn by Mario Boon.[45]
  • Zappy Max, a humor comic (1959–1960), based on the popular radio presenter Zappy Max, written and drawn by Maurice Tillieux.[46]
  • Zornik, a humor comic (2005) about the Belgian rock band Zornik, written by Mario Boon[45] and drawn by Freek van Haagen.

BrazilEdit

CanadaEdit

  • Fous Comme Brac, a 1950s humor comic based on the radio show Fous Comme Brac, drawn by Galiana.[51]
  • Sergeant Renfrew by Dave Broadfoot and Olga Urbansky, a humor comic based on the eponymous comedy character by Dave Broadfoot.[52]
  • Willie Lamothe, a comic strip based on country singer Willie Lamothe, drawn by Charles Brunet.[53]
  • Zézette, a comic based on a popular radio show of the same name, drawn by Paul St-Jean.[54]

Costa RicaEdit

  • Las Figonas de Paso Ancho, humor comics series based on the play and TV series by Samuel Rovinski, drawn by Hugo Díaz Jiménez.[55]

CroatiaEdit

  • Mendo Mendović, based on the popular children's puppet TV series, drawn by Bordo.[56]

FranceEdit

  • Les Bario, based on the clown ensemble Les Bario, by Jean Ache.[57]
  • Les Cinq Sous de Lavarède, a 1939 text comic based on the film Les Cinq Sous de Lavarède (1938) starring Fernandel.[58] The comic was written and drawn by Pellos.[59]
  • Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ça, a 2012 humor comic based on the TV show Fais pas ci, fais pas ça, drawn by Philippe Bercovici and written by Dal.[60]
  • Signé Furax, based on the popular radio play Signé Furax, drawn by Henry Blanc.[61]
  • Les Aventures d'Ulysse, a comic strip based on the 1977 children's TV show Le Club d'Ulysse, drawn by Pierre-Yves Gabrion.[62]
  • Zinedine Zidane, a 2005 comic about football player Zinedine Zidane by Alexis Nolent, Marco Venanzi and Michel Pierret.[63]

GermanyEdit

  • Die Geschichte vom General Hindenburg (1915), a propaganda comic about Paul von Hindenburg, drawn by Arpad Schmidhammer.[64]

ItalyEdit

  • La Cicciolina, a 1980s erotic comics series by Giovanni Romanini and Lucio Filippucci, based on Hungarian-Italian porn actress and politician La Cicciolina.[65][66]
  • La Genesi di Freak, a 2008-2009 comics series by Roberto Antoni, Stefano Ianne and Marcello Albano based on Roberto "Freak" Antoni himself, lead singer of the comedy punk band Skiantos.[67]
  • Roberto & C., a 1981 comic by Enrico Borgatti and Sergio Corteggi about actor and comedian Roberto Benigni.[68]

MexicoEdit

The NetherlandsEdit

  • AbsolutLee, based on the popular singer Lee Towers, written and drawn by Rob Derks. It was eventually cancelled because Towers had not given any permission for the work.[71]
  • André van Duin, a gag-a-day comic (1975) about the famous comedian André van Duin, scripted by himself and drawn by Fred Julsing.[72] In the 1980s a similar humor comic was made, but with a different artist: Toon van Driel.[73]
  • Bakken aan de bar, a gag-a-day comic strip (1971) based on the popularity of the Dutch satirical shows De Fred Haché Show and Barend is weer bezig. It was drawn by the main actors themselves: Harry Touw and IJf Blokker.[74]
  • Bart de Graaff, a humor comic based on Dutch TV presenter Bart de Graaff, written and drawn by Rudi Jonker.[75]
  • Bassie en Adriaan, a children's humor-and-adventure comic (1983–1985) based on the popular children's duo Bassie en Adriaan, written by Aad van Toor (who plays Adriaan) and drawn by Frans Verschoor.[76]
  • Billie Ritchie en Zijn Ezel, a humor comic book by David Bueno de Mesquita about Scottish film comedian Billie Ritchie, which was the first Dutch celebrity comic ever.[77]
  • Coentje, a comic strip about the mascot of association football club Feyenoord, written by Martin Lodewijk,[78] Jan Booister [79] and drawn by Minck Oosterveer.[80]
  • Floris, a newspaper comic strip based on the TV series Floris, written by Gerard Soeteman and drawn by Gerrit Stapel.[81]
  • Jan Cremer Superstar, a 1967 comic strip about novelist Jan Cremer, drawn by Theo van den Boogaard for an edition of the Jan Cremer Krant.[82][83]
  • Juul Deeldert, a comic strip based on jazz poet Jules Deelder, illustrated by Vick Debergh.[84]
  • Made in Dollland, a 2010 humor comic based on Dutch transvestite Dolly Bellefleur. It is drawn by Wilbert van der Steen and written by Bellefleur.[85]
  • Meneer Van Looij, a humor comic based on an advertising character for insurance company Reaal. It was written by Hanco Kolk and drawn by Eric Heuvel.[86]
  • Nick & Simon, a humor comic based on the singing duo Nick & Simon,[87] drawn by Comicup Studio and written by Jos Beekman,[88] Frank Jonker, Thom Roep,[89] Bas Schuddeboom[90] and Ruud Straatman.
  • Ome Keesje, a humor comic based on the radio character Kees Mulder from the popular radio play De Familie Mulder, written by the actor himself, Willem van Cappellen, and drawn by Henk Zwart.[91]
  • Oppassen!!!, a humor comic (1997) based on the popular Dutch comedy series Oppassen!, written and drawn by Bert Witte. A notable aspect about this comic was that all the characters were anthropomorphized as animals.[92]
  • Piet Paulusma, based on the popular TV weather man, written and drawn by Piet Voordes.[93]
  • Pipo de Clown, based on the popular TV children's show Pipo de Clown, written by Wim Meuldijk[94] and drawn by Jan van der Voo.[95]
  • Radio Bergeijk, based on the popular radio show Radio Bergeijk, written and drawn by Jeroen de Leijer.[96]
  • Rockin' Belly, based on the lead singer of the Dutch punk band De Rockin' Belly Bende, by René Windig and Eddie de Jong. Incidentally, Windig was also the harmonica player in this band.[97]
  • Royaal Modaal, a 2003 web comic about the Dutch royal family, drawn by Ruud Straatman.[98]
  • Sjef van Oekel, a humor comic based on the comedic character played by Dolf Brouwers, written by his script writer Wim T. Schippers and drawn by Theo van den Boogaard. The comic was notable for running more than two decades, long after the character had disappeared from television, and was even popular in English and French translations, despite the fact that the character was unknown there. But in the early 1990s Brouwers sued, causing the series to tone down its vulgar comedy and give him part of its financial share.[99]
  • Swiebertje, based on the popular children's TV series Swiebertje, drawn by Gerrit Stapel.[81]
  • Tita Tovenaar, based on the popular children's TV series Tita Tovenaar, written and drawn by Frans Piët, who is most famous as the creator of Sjors en Sjimmie.[100]
  • Toen Was Geluk Nog Heel Gewoon, based on the popular TV sitcom of the same name, written by Hanco Kolk and drawn by Eric Heuvel.[86]

PortugalEdit

  • Laurel & Hardy, a local comic strip about the U.S. comedy duo Laurel & Hardy by Óskar Pinto Lobo created in the 1930s. American publishers eventually forced him to discontinue it.[101]

SpainEdit

  • La Família Sistacs, a comic strip based on the radio show La Família Sistacs, written and drawn by the show's host Valentí Castanys Borràs.[102]
  • Gaby, Fofó, Miliki y Milikito, a children's comic (1971) based on the Spanish comedy troupe Los Payasos de la Tele, drawn by Argentinean comics artist Felix Saborido.[9]

SwedenEdit

  • Osynliga Klubben, a 1959 comic book series by Torvald Sundbaum based on the Swedish radio series of the same name.[103]

United KingdomEdit

United StatesEdit

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