Leonardo is a gag comic of short stories in each album based on the famous italian medievil inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. It's comprised of our favorite genius and his assistant coming up with the most outlandish things usually only found in modern society. Sometime Basil the assistant would invent something as well only to be met by ridicule by his employer even though Basil's inventions are a lot more technically advanced than his master's. One gag could be 1 page or up to 6 pages.
The original series is in french and consists of 46 albums as of 2015. Of those, 28 have been translated into dutch which are the subject of this particular volume. Even though not all are translated, the numbering still follows the original french one, hence there being gaps in the numbering.
An english translation was also produced but that series only consisted of the first 4 albums and have gone out of print.
Leonardo was first introduced as an additional character in the comic Robin Dubois in 1975 from the same artist, Philippe Liégois. Here he was called Mathusalem and was a one-time appearance during which he had invented a parking meter. The then-editor of Achille Talon Magazine thought Mathusalem had enough potential to be a principal character and the idea for Leonardo was born.
The structure of each short story can be boiled down to several running gags:
- Every morning the apprentice gets woken up by Leonardo in an ear shattering fashion
- Basil the apprentice would go find and the weirdest places to fall asleep
- Basil is supposed to test the inventions but won't do it until put at gun point
- All the inventing happens at great physical expense of Basil
- Ludicrous inventions that are also very much out of time
- Local villagers being extremely unhappy with the results of the inventions if it reaches them
- Inventions being named some sort of pun on the name Leonardo