Peter Van Heirseele (Herr Seele)

© Filip Meutermans
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Peter Van Heirseele (Herr Seele)

1959, Torhout
Painter. Actor. Piano collector.

Herr Seele grew up in a family of artists and was already a fully-fledged writer at the age of eleven. He also composed music and was interested in making musical instruments. When he was sixteen he attended the art academy in Ghent. He did not stay long, but did get to know the artist Kamagurka, with whom he would later collaborate many times. Herr Seele eventually started work as a piano tuner, at the same time – along with Kamagurka – causing uproar with the absurd, surreal humorous comic strip Cowboy Henk. For more than thirty years the comic strip has appeared in the magazine Humo, where it continues today. In 2013 when a French-language compilation of Cowboy Henk came out through the Belgian publisher Fremok, with newly coloured pictures, Kamagurka and Herr Seele finally received the recognition they had so long deserved, the Prix du Patrimoine at the International Comics Festival in Angoulême (2014). Cowboy Henk has since been translated into more than five languages.


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Recently translated into German

Cowboy Henk
Edition Moderne Verlag, 2016
Kamagurka / Herr Seele
Translated by Rolf Erdorf
Original title: Cowboy Henk (De Bezige Bij, 2012)

Cowboy Henk: he came, he saw and he conquered. After more than thirty years, he has grown into a prominent icon, honored with murals, eco-monuments and even blow-up dolls. Cowboy Henk’s figure, with his muscled body and tall, blond pompadour, is as ambiguous as it is vigorous. He manages to survive the most adverse circumstances imaginable unscathed, although his responses are rarely predictable. Whether he seems more like a large child or just a drifting adult, Cowboy Henk never fails to leave a lasting impression with international audiences. For the first time in 30 years, the cowboy receives the book that he deserves. He is and will stay one of Kamagurka and Herr Seele’s masterly inventions.