Thursday, 2 March 2017

1968, Belgian Comics: Suske en Wiske “De zeven snaren”

In 1968 a new "Suske en Wiske" (UK: "Bob & Bobette" or "Spike and Suzy", US: "Willy and Wanda") album is published: "De zeven snaren" (translation: "The seven strings"). The series "Suske en Wiske" was created by Willy Vandersteen in 1945.

No 79: "De zeven snaren"
  • four colour (CMYK)
  • never published in English
  • story and drawings by Willy Vandersteen
  • published in French ("Bob et Bobette") as "La Harpe perdue"
  • published in Finnish ("Anu & Antti") as "Kadonnut harppu"
  • published in Norwegian ("Finn & Fiffi") as "Den forheksede harpen"
  • published in Swedish ("Finn och Fiffi") as "Den förhäxade harpan"
No 79: "De zeven snaren"
The story was pre-published in the newspapers "De Standaard" and "Het Nieuwsblad" from 5 August 1967 until 15 December 1967. The main characters are Suske (Spike), Wiske (Suzy), aunt Sidonia, Lambik (Ambrose), Jerom (Jethro), Professor Barabas, Antanneke (the witch), Mac Monocel (the wizard), The Grand Master of the Order of Wizards and Blacksoul. The locations for this story are a village in Belgium or The Netherlands struck by a tornado and Ireland.
Antanneke and Professor Barabas
The Grand Master of the Order of Wizards
Jerom (Jethro) and Lambik (Ambrose)
Suske (Spike), Wiske (Suzy) and Aunt Sidonia visit a village hit by a tornado. On the way home lightning strikes an old oak tree just before their car. Under the oak tree Wiske discovers a secret pit but she can't open the cover. On a placard she reads that Antanneke, a witch from the sixteenth century, was locked away in the secret pit...
Jerom (Jethro) and Wiske (Suzy)
Mac Monocel
Suske (Spike), Wiske (Suzy) and aunt Sidonia
Wiske (Suzy) and Antanneke
  • Central theme in the story are "The Seven Works of Mercy" (1.To feed the hungry, 2.To give water to the thirsty, 3.To clothe the naked, 4.To shelter the homeless, 5.To visit the sick, 6.To visit the imprisoned, 7.To bury the dead).
  • The village hit by a tornado could be Oostmalle (Belgium), Cham (The Netherlands) or Tricht (The Netherlands). All three were partly destroyed by a tornado on June 25, 1967.
  • The first man Lambik (Ambrose) asks to enumerate "The seven works of Mercy" is a caricature of Willy Vandersteen.
  • Lambik clothes the statue "Het Meisje met het Geitje" (translation: "The girl with the little goat") by the French sculptor Marcel Courbier (1898-1976). This real statue can be seen since 1932 at the Louise-Marielei in Antwerp.
  • At the beginning of the story the message about the tornado on the TV is followed by the cheerful news that the government bought Zeropardtanks for several millions. This is a reference to the fact that the Belgian authorities placed a large order for Leopard tanks in 1967.
Tornado: Oostmalle, Cham or Tricht
Lambik (Ambrose) and a caricature of Willy Vandersteen
Lambik (Ambrose) and the statue "Het Meisje met het Geitje"
The real statue "Het Meisje met het Geitje" in Antwerp
Zeropardtanks reference to large order for Leopard tanks
  • Ford Fairlane 500 (1967)
Ford Fairlane 500

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