De Kiekeboes #142 Tot op de Bodem – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Written by: Merho
Illustrations: Merho, Thomas Du Caju, Peter Koeken
Coloring: Ine Merhottein
Publisher: Standaard Uitgeverij

De Kiekeboes #142 Tot op de Bodem – Comic Book Review

Site Score
Good: the plot isn't too straightforward
Bad: Frida Kihlo's appearance
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Marcel Kiekeboe and his family, created by Merho, first appeared in Flemish newspapers in 1977 and over the years, their popularity has only grown. This resulted in their own play, ‘Baas boven baas’, in 2007, to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Now, eight years and many albums later, they star in their newest album ‘Tot op de bodem’.

The Kiekeboes are just an ordinary Flemish family. Father Marcel works an office job and mother Charlotte works temporary jobs through an employment agency every now and then. Fanny is a typical teenage daughter, dating, reading ‘Toproddel’ and falling in love all the time; and let’s not forget about Konstantinopel, their sharp, spry son. However, don’t be fooled: ordinary people can experience big adventures too. Welcome to the world of the Kiekeboes.


This time, the Kiekeboes fly off to Mexico together with Jens, one of Fanny’s former boyfriends. As a filmmaker Jens was asked to shoot a documentary about Mexico, following an ordinary family around on their trip. Naturally he thought of the Kiekeboes and they happily agreed to come along. They are invited to stay at the hacienda of a woman named Frida Kihlo, CEO of an international chocolate company and sponsor of the documentary. Soon after, Konstantinopel finds out that Frida is involved in some shifty business with local gangs and he alarms Fanny and Jens. The next day things get even more peculiar when Jens gets kidnapped. Luckily their guide Jesus Ernesto Chorizo decides to come clean. He explains that his real name is Diego Placebo and that he is working on an undercover police operation to unveil Frida Kihlo’s involvement in arms and drug trafficking. Of course the family’s curiosity is aroused, and together with Diego, they decide to go after the truth behind Frida’s obscure operations. Hopefully, that way they will also be able to find Jens in time.

Because there is a lot of action going on, the story moves at quite a rapid pace. Even though it is clear almost from the start that Frida Kihlo has a hidden agenda, you are kept in the dark for quite some time as to what exactly she is up to. Every now and then you also get a glimpse of what is going on somewhere in the gulf of Mexico, leaving you with more questions and keeping the story interesting and exciting.


Illustrations seem to be a key aspect of the series as well. The colors are very bright and the background is usually drawn with quite some detail. The images don’t always have the same size, which makes the story more fun to read, but at the same time allows Merho to pay a lot more attention to the surroundings. This way, as a reader, you get drawn into the story even more.

Lastly, as always Merho was quite ingenious with the names of characters like Frida Kihlo, Jesus Ernesto Chorizo, Diego Placebo and Carmelo Viagras. Frida Kihlo’s name is an allusion to Frida Kahlo, a Mexican surrealistic painter. Kihlo’s appearance is also based on this painter, namely her unibrow. Merho also used his artistic freedom and gave her a moustache and hairy legs, making her quite an eccentric character. However, this raises the question whether more is less, or less is more.


‘Tot op de bodem’ is another great De Kiekeboes album. The story isn’t too straightforward, leaving you with many questions along the way. The pictures also contribute to the lively air, as they are drawn with quite some attention to detail, background and color. If you’re looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, this is definitely worth considering.


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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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De Kiekeboes #142 Tot op de Bodem - Comic Book Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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