KU Leugen

From May 2016 until May 2018, Klaas Van den Broeck and I were responsible for KU Leugen, the satirical section of KU Leuven's student newspaper Veto.

Year overview of 2016-2017
Year overview of 2016-2017

History

Throughout 2016-2017, we created an A3 of cartoons every week. The next year, this turned into only creating a page every two weeks, due to Veto switching to being a magazine and only having 13 instead of 26 editions.

We inherited this satirical section from Jeroen Baert, who managed it for several years, but had left years earlier. Veto approached Klaas and me (as we were part of Preparee) and asked to take over KU Leugen as their members prefered writing articles.

Jokes about Leuven typicalities

One key attribute of a successful KU Leugen joke was that it should be recognisable by most Leuven students, not just a small subset. One way of achieving this is by using places and people from the city, or the university itself.

Alma

All students generally know the typicalities and frustrations of student restaurants, such as ridicously expensive salads. The daily vol-au-vent dish also served as great inspiration for satirical pieces.

alma cocktail

Rik Torfs

Well-known people like our rector Rik Torfs, who is also prominent on TV and known for his philosophical quips, served really well in punchlines.

He is also well known for his tweets, and is with about 130,000 followers one of the most followed Belgians on Twitter. Beside cartoons, we also created TorfsBot to automatically parody him on Twitter.

After Rik Torfs published a book which was literally a just collection of his tweets*, we could only dream of a book collecting his beautiful policy mails as well.
After Rik Torfs published a book which was literally a just collection of his tweets*, we could only dream of a book collecting his beautiful policy mails as well.

* The left-most book sadly isn't satire, but truly exists

Luc Sels

Torf's successor, rector Luc Sels is also occasionally butt of the joke, mainly for wanting to reorder the academic year without a proper re-exam period.

sels tweede zit

Mark Peeters

Another well-known Leuven figure we often referenced is conspiracy theorist Mark Peeters, who went to all campuses to challenge students with his beliefs. He is well known for denying that the moon landing ever happened, and promises money to whoever can prove him wrong.

After several students published a book about Mark Peeters (Mark de Maanman), we created a fake follow-up comic book cover.
Mark surprisingly later thanked us for this cartoon, given that the real Tintin comic book used to be one of his favorite comics growing up.
After several students published a book about Mark Peeters (Mark de Maanman), we created a fake follow-up comic book cover. Mark surprisingly later thanked us for this cartoon, given that the real Tintin comic book used to be one of his favorite comics growing up.
A parody on Mark Peeters; Park Meeters. This figure would sometimes provide commentary on the news in his typical style.
A parody on Mark Peeters; Park Meeters. This figure would sometimes provide commentary on the news in his typical style.

Loempialand

We often poked fun at the Vietnamese spring roll restaurant called "Loempialand" (mainly due to its funny name and its reputation under students), turning the place into a popular punchline.

vr loempialand

24 urenloop

The 24 urenloop is 24 hour relay race between student faculties. It is an enormous yearly event where almost all KU Leuven students get together to support their runners, eat at the many faculty food stands and watch music performances.

Given that this is one of the main student events, it is also called the high day of the KU Leugen, as we also do a cartoon-creation marathon in parallel with the relay race there every year.

This cartoon received thousands of likes, making it the best performing post on Veto's Facebook page.
This cartoon received thousands of likes, making it the best performing post on Veto's Facebook page.
There was a large structure being built next to the race track, which we blamed on the Architecture students.
There was a large structure being built next to the race track, which we blamed on the Architecture students.
Other faculties provoked the Economics faculty by chanting "Where is Ekonomika?"
Other faculties provoked the Economics faculty by chanting "Where is Ekonomika?"
Mocking the language faculty for not participating in 2016
Mocking the language faculty for not participating in 2016
Mocking the language faculty for not participating the years before
Mocking the language faculty for not participating the years before

Series

We found that having regular series helped the KU Leugen brand, and made it easier for us to come up with many cartoons each week.

CSE

The CSE (Cumulative Study Efficiency) was a new rule at the KU Leuven where you had to succeed for 30% of your credits taken in the first year. Students failing this constraint were required to quit the university, thus having their student career "killed".

This, and the closeness of CSE to CSI prompted us to weekly make a new cartoon series based on the opening of CSI.

Pol & Sok

Pol & Sok is a comic we invented about a typical, but somewhat dumb, student called Pol and his smart ventriloquist dummy called Sok .

The name is of course a pun on Pol & Soc, being the nickname of the Political science and Sociology major.

Fun with the format

Thanks to Klaas and me usually being the sole contributors, and KU Leugen not really having well defined rules, we were able to do a lot fun, little experiments with the format.

We would sometimes turn it into a game page, had parts of the page you could cut out, jokes that crossed pages or referenced interviews or ourselves among others.

People could "make their own paper mache chicken" for easter, by just collecting small bits for hundreds of weeks.
People could "make their own paper mache chicken" for easter, by just collecting small bits for hundreds of weeks.

KU Leugen Kerststal (Nativity scene)

For christmas, we created a cutout Nativity scene with popular Leuven figures, including the new and old rector, the student police agent, some local politicians and others.

Since Veto just moved from being a newspaper to being a magazine, the paper was finally strong enough to physcially support such shenanigans.

Nativity scene cutout page.
Nativity scene cutout page.
Example after cutting out
Example after cutting out

Kabouter Wesley cartoon with Jonas Geirnaert

Every edition, Veto interviewed a famous Belgian. One week, the interviewee was Jonas Geirnaert, who is 1/4th of Neveneffecten and writer of the Kabouter Wesley cartoon

Since Klaas and I are huge fans of his work, we wanted to have some sort of collaboration for the next KU Leugen. We proposed him to work on a new Kabouter Welsey cartoon together, where we would create nine panels, and he could fill the last three however he wanted.

Given that we already worked together on an improv show with him and the other members of Neveneffecten the year before, we were hopeful to have another collaboration. Jonas Geirnaert, being the kind-hearted person that he is, accepted our offer and helped us create the following cartoon:

A Kabouter Wesley cartoon we drew with Jonas Geirnaert. We drew the first nine frames, Jonas drew the last three.
A Kabouter Wesley cartoon we drew with Jonas Geirnaert. We drew the first nine frames, Jonas drew the last three.

TorfsBot

TorfsBot is a Twitterbot that automatically parodies Rik Torfs.

He was invented during our very first KU Leugen meeting, when Klaas and I were brainstorming with the general cartoon editor about new formats we could bring to the KU Leugen.

torfsbot

FrankenSimulator

We also created a game to mock the Belgian politician Theo Francken, who was involved in a large immigration scandal.

This game was a complete reskin of my previous typing game DragonScriber, with added high scores and reviews.

In the game, the life of Theo Francken is simulated by making him keep out asylum seekers away from a passport by writing their name. While initially he only has to deal with children, soon his parents with longer names show up. In the end, judges with really long names show up (as they were enforcing penalty payments).

You can play the game here.

francken simulator
View KU Leugen

Metadata

Media mention

  • Ezel (KU Leugen Kerststal vermelding)
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