Twelve crafte, no accidents
Marc Legendre, creator of the cartoon character Biebel and Amoras scriptwriter, is the latest winner of the Bronze Adhemar, the official Flemish Community Cultural Prize for Comics. “Live and draw cartoon strips,” the 57-year-old Legendre answered when asked what he planned to do with his 12 500 euro prize he will receive from Flemish minister for culture Joke Schauvliege CD&V later in the year. Legendre says he never expected to win the prize for Biebel, and was never that intent on winning, but he is nevertheless happy with the award. He is without a doubt the most all-round cartoonist in Flanders. In 1983 he gained popularity with Biebel, the comic character that would eventually be his most famous creation, under the pseudonym Ikke. In 1995 he left Flanders with his partner Kati to embark on a soul-searching trip around the world. During this time he continued to write stories on the boat. But the couple stranded on Mogán, an idyllic port town of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. They later swapped this location for the smaller, greener neighbouring island El Hierro, where he lives to this day. This location served as breeding ground for Legendre’s most creative projects. He also wrote a number of youth novels and started experimenting with graphic novels. In 2005 he published the dark ‘Finisterre’, which told the story of a young woman during the Balkan War who faces the hard reality of her seemingly loving husband’s secret life. His choice of publisher in the Amsterdam Atlas was not a coincidence. The literary world lauded the book, which Legendre turned into a trilogy, with ‘Verder’ the second part, winning him a nomination for the Libris Literary Prize. He continued with his comics throughout this period, producing a script for the Suske en Wiske spinoff series Amoras in addition to writing the script for the De Rode Ridder The Red Knight series. He also went on to write a follow-up for Leopold Vermeiren’s De Rode Ridder series of youth novels and is also busy with a new graphic novel for Atlas. The Bronze Adhemar’s jury lauded Legendre for his “extreme versatility” and praised him as an artist who “assiduously seeks the boundaries of the cartoon and other media; more often than not with a deeply rooted social engagement”.