Getekend: Gelukkige Tijden – Comic Book Review
Follow Genre: History, Drama
Written by: Eric Warnauts
Illustrations: Guy Raives, Eric Warnauts
Coloring: Guy Raives
Publisher: Le Lombard

Getekend: Gelukkige Tijden – Comic Book Review

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Good: Interesting part of history is being told
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It’s hard to imagine for young people in this day and age what the world looked like in the 1950s. The situation in Germany was still very troublesome after the Second World War. Countries like Belgium and France still had colonies in Africa, yet rebels started to make the situation unsafe. The war may have been over, but peace didn’t exactly return.

Gelukkige Tijden

Thomas is a Belgian colonist in Belgian Congo in the late 1950s and owner of a coffee plantation. While he spends lots of his time in Congo, it’s time to go home now, as Rose, the woman who raised him and his brother as her own, had a stroke and is slowly slipping away. He’s right on time to bid Rose last farewell, and after the funeral he takes some time to meet up with old friends at the world exhibition in Brussels, and with his daughter Bernadette, whom he hasn’t seen in a long time.

At the same time in France, the political situation isn’t very stable. There is a war in Algeria, reactionaries seized power and attacks are bound to happen on French soil if something doesn’t happen soon. Bénédicte, journalist of an influential newspaper, is in on something not too kosher, be it with the right intentions.

In the following years, the situation becomes worse in Congo, with rebels extruding all Europeans and raiding houses and plantations, including that of Thomas. He goes back there as soon as he can, but that might not have been the best idea…

This comic book is divided into several storylines that stretch from Congo to Belgium, over France and Germany, and back. It makes sure that the flow is quite rapid all the time, yet it’s also hard to follow, certainly at the beginning. So many things are happening at once, that you’ll really have to keep your focus. Nonetheless, it’s quite fascinating to realize what a mess the world was at that time, and how all those seemingly separate events are all connected. By adding the main storyline of Thomas, the link between the big events in the world, and the small pawns such as Thomas, becomes very fascinating.

Overall, the illustrations look nice enough, yet not always particularly detailed. They seem to speak more through the broad color spectrum they use, rather than through the actual drawings themselves. The whole looks pretty good though, and gets the job done well.

At the end of this elaborate comic book, that consists out of two parts, there is a chronology of the important events that happened during the late 1950s and early 1960s. We found it a good addition, as it helps to see the events in the comic book in the right perspective.


Getekend: Gelukkige Tijden tells a complex story, with many different angles. It gives a good idea of what was  going on in Europe after the Second World War though, and is both interesting as well as relaxing, exciting and fun to read. It’s definitely one worth checking out, as it handles an important period of time that hasn’t been explored much before in comic books, we found.

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