Korbo: Curriculum Vitae of a Politically Incorrect Comic Artist from Flanders in the artificial State of Belgium.
Korbo, one of the many pen-names he used, was born into a large Flemish family of three generations of painting-artists in Etterbeek, a municipality of “Gross Brüssel” in the Blitzkrieg-year of 1940 (the family originated from the little town of Lier near Antwerp). At the age of 13 he was inspired by Hergé, the famous spiritual father of Tintin, and realized he had the talent to become a comic artist. When he was 14 he went to work as a “printer’s devil” in a lithographic print shop (looked like in the Stone Age!) in Brussels and later in a big newspaper and comics printing business also in Brussels. In 1962 he was employed as a decoration designer in a textile screen printing firm. In 1969 he worked as a cartographer in the Geographic Institute of the University of Leuven, after which he went to Antwerp as an illustration, advertisement and logo designer in a publicity agency. In spring 1971 he joined the crew of a new comic-studio in Antwerp producing comics (scenarios as well as drawings) for the German children’s magazine Fix und Foxi, which defined his interests for the rest of his career! From mid 1973 until 1991 he became poster artist, graphic designer and publicity and editorial illustrator for the promotion service of the biggest magazine publishing and distributing firm in Belgium. Meanwhile he worked freelance as comic artist, cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer for lots of publishing firms, manufacturers as well as individuals. As well as his official career he also had a parallel political one.
He collaborated with an impressive number of nationalist and national-conservative periodicals. EG: Europa Een (1965), Europapost (1966-1970), De Anderen (1967-1968), Alarm (1974-1977), Le Nouvel Europe Magazine (1975-1977), Haro (1977-1978), Austrian Aktuell/Sieg (1978), Vlaams Blok/Inzet (1980-1986 and occasionally), West Magazine (1981-1983), Revolte (1984 and 2010), De Jonge Geus (1985), Forces Nouvelles (1990-1991), Ket (1996-1999), Nation (2000-2001), Polémique (2002-2003), ‘t Pallieterke (2005 and 2006-2009). Since 1998 he collaborated on Belhamel and in 2001 ‘t Scheldt, on the Internet. For all these publications he produced headings, front-pages, comics, cartoons, illustrations, and in some cases he was simultaneously layout man and editor. With Korbo’s agreement a number of his comics was republished in some periodicals abroad such as Italian La Voce della Fogna (1980), German Gäck (1980-1984), Swiss Le rat noir (1980-1984), Austrian Sieg (1978-1988), French Pas de Panique à Bord (1993). His works were arbitrary republished and plagiarized on a massive scale all over Europe and also the USA and South Africa (and this before internet was in common use!).
From 1980 until 1990 Korbo was also the propaganda campaign-designer of the Vlaams Blok political party. Later on more occasionally for instance in the 1999 election campaign of Brussels. Motivated by the sensational case of the police Chief Johan Demol, Korbo made a comic booklet. In 1978 he produced his first comic album, a Haro special of 52 pages named Kraaiepoten. It contains a compilation of former comics and of new ones, and comics of two companion authors Jack Marchal and Julius. In 1981 he was commissioned to write a study about extreme right wing comics. It was published under the title Politieke strips: de rechts-radikalen in Opmarsj? in the Stripgids Collectie nr. 26 with 56 pages. In 1984 a second Kraaiepoten album of 50 pages named De Schizofreaken was edited by Korbo as an assembly of his comics already published in West Magazine and completed with some new ones.
In 1990 the Glasnost album of 43 pages was published in French, consisting partly of translated comics of West Magazine and partly of new ones, edited by the enigmatic Editions Mystère et Boule de Gomme. In 1995-1996 he collaborated on the French fanzine Bédésup of Marseille where he was making a study about hidden masonic aspects in the collected works of Hergé during the war. It was to become a book, Hèrgé decodé, but the series of articles was interrupted by the death of the publisher of Bédésup, Jean Claude Faur. Meanwhile the material already published about the subject has been copied and plagiarized in a book edited in France in 2010.