Spike and Suzy celebrate their 75th birthdays

Two of Flanders’ best-known comic strip figures Spike and Suzy are celebrating their 75th birthdays. On 30 March 1945 Spike and Suzy appeared for the first time in the daily newspaper ‘De Nieuwe Standaard’. Although Spike is now known as “Suske” in the original Dutch-language version of the comic strip series, his original name was “Rikki”. The comic strip artist Peter Van Hooydonck says that the series has remained popular over generations as “the characters and the stories move with their time”.  

The first ever Spike and Suzy comic strip by Willy Vandersteen was published on 30 March 1945. It was entitled “Rikki en Wiske in Chocowakije”.

Rikki was Wiske’s older brother. “He was 10 years older than Wiske. The age difference was so great that Rikki and Wiske didn’t really work well together”, Peter Van Hooydonck told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp. Suske joined Rikki and Wiske a couple of months later in the comic strip album ‘Het Eiland Amoras’ (The Isle of Amoras’). Suske was taken back to Flanders from the island Rikki disappeared and the legendary comic strip duo that was to become known as Spike and Suzy in English was born.

But what is the secret of Spike and Suzy’s enduring success? “This is because Spike and Suzy have been able to transcend different generations. Willy Vandersteen was always watchful that his characters and the storylines always adapted to modern times”, Peter Van Hooydonck explained.

“The old albums don’t look anything like what is published now. The characters look different and the stories have evolved”. For example in 2016 an album entitled “Game of Drones” was published. 

75th anniversary album

To mark the 75th anniversary of publication of the first album a special 75th anniversary album (the 352 in the series) is being published. It is entitled ‘De Preutse Princes’ (The Prudish Princess). The album was drawn by Paul Geerts.

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