Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber
"Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber" was a Belgian/Flemish comic strip series drawn by Jozef Van Hove (1919) under the pseudonym "Pom". It ran from 1950 until 1995 and featured the adventures of two good friends, Piet Pienter and Bert Bibber.
Piet is the clever one, as his name indicates ("pienter" is a Dutch synonym for being smart). He often smokes a pipe and is generally a normal human being. Bert is the Anti-Hero. He is clumsy, naïve, impulsive, not very bright, frequently overestimates his own powers and often bad-tempered when his luck runs out. But in general he has a good heart and sometimes shows moments of pure genius or craftiness. Other important main characters are:
- Susan: the young and pretty daughter of an American millionaire. She often comes to aid when Piet and Bert have financial troubles or need stuff that regular folks cannot afford. Bert has a secret crush on her.
- Theo Flitser: a young and enthusiastic photographer who works for a news paper and always searchs for a sensational scoop. Susan admires his professionalism and therefore Bert Bibber envies Theo.
- Professor Kumulus and Professor Snuffel: two very smart and absent-minded professors.
- Commissaris Knobbel: The unsympathetic and useless head of the police whose actions only make things worse. Still, whenever Piet and Bert solve a case, he pretends he did him solely by himself.
Tropes used in Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber include:
- Absent-Minded Professor: The series even has two: professor Kumulus and professor Snuffel.
- Alliteration: Piet Pienter and Bert Bibber
- Anti-Hero: Bert Bibber
- Beware the Nice Ones: Many people that behave friendly or nicely at first turn out to be villains who cannot be trusted.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens ALL the time. Small captions or notes often give ironic comments about the plot developments.
- Butt Monkey: Bert Bibber
- Comic Book Time: A very strange example. The characters themselves don't age, but the backgrounds, fashions and expressions always kept a 1950s look. This is even more astonishing considering this comic strip was published until 1995.
- Crapsack World
- Creator Cameo: Pom sometimes gives himself a cameo.
- The character Theo Flitser is a young version of himself.
- Cultural Translation: The comic strip always remained a Flemish phenomenon.
- Defector From Commie Land: The Eastern Bloc is often visited and usually full with Cold War stereotypes.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Many albums were published in black-and-white, because for many years author Pom refused to publish in color!
- Deus Ex Machina: Susan, the rich and attractive young woman, who always helps out Bert and Piet when they have financial troubles.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: See below.
- Fictional Country: San Doremi, Buldarije,...
- The Fifties: Originated in the decade and remained so until the very last album in 1995.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: Many names are Flemish dialect expressions.
- Gravity Screw: In "De Anti-Zwaartekracht Generator" professor Kumulus invents a device that makes people float in the air when you aim it at them.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Bert is very jealous of Theo Flitser who frequently impresses his love interest Susan.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Piet and Bert share the same house together, but are definitely not gay since Bert has a secret crush on Susan. Near the end of the series Susan moves in with Piet and Bert.
- Idea Bulb
- Lemony Narrator: Pom enjoyed giving ironic commentary on the plot developments in his stories.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Meaningful Name: Piet Pienter, professor Kumulus,...
- Police Are Useless: Commissaris Knobbel is the local head of the police who doesn't like the fact that Piet and Bert always solve his cases. He always makes wrong decisions that cause the villains to escape. Knobbel only appears on the scene when a case is closed and STILL he has the nerve to run away with the honor.
- Print Long Runners: From 1950 until 1995.
- Punny Name: Many characters have names that are puns of Flemish dialect expressions
- Slapstick: Several moments.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Both professor Kumulus and Snuffel wear glasses.
- Smoking Is Cool: Pom himself smoked pipe and thus Piet Pienter shares the same habit.
- Time Machine: Plot element in the album "De Tijdmachine".