In my childhood I read a short series of comics about;

  • Two young brothers, forced to wander around wartime Europe(?) because they had no papers/identification.
  • Common themes were difficulties with the authorities, and constantly having to flee or move on,
  • The story stayed light-hearted and humorous, with the brothers typically prevailing against their oppressors,
  • The style was similar to an Asterix or Tintin comic, possibly a French or Belgian artist?
  • I think there were at least four books - not sure if more existed.

Some plot points or scenes I remember;

  • They'd had a home with a big workshop, but were forced to leave,
  • The older brother was an inventor, who built many solutions to their problems,
  • At the end of each book they'd often have to flee offscreen to escape an angry crowd;
    • In one book they built a surprise hot air balloon and flew away,
    • In one book they followed a series of tunnels deeper and deeper underground,
    • In one book they built a few steps, then kept dismantling and rebuilding each step higher until they were high in the sky. (floating somehow?)
  • At one point they had to go around a fortified country border extending out into the ocean.
  • At one point they were stuck between two countries, about to go to war over a broken bridge - the elder brother fixed the bridge and moved on.
  • At one point they were so sick of the bureaucrats denying them access or requiring papers they didn't have, that they built a 'fence making machine' that built tidy wrought iron fences around every government building.

I have NO idea of the name of the series or the author. I read it probably in the early to mid 1990s.

  • Were there any science fiction or fantasy elements to this?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 2:07
  • It was fantasy - I don't think any of the countries they visited were "real". I remember that the machines they built were fairly eclectic/steampunk, and the floating steps in the sky bit was never really explained. (If I remembered enough to categorise it perfectly, maybe I wouldn't even be asking this question) If there's a more suitable SE site, I'm happy to move the question there.
    – MrTrick
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


Some of this sounds like The House that Beebo built, written by y Janine Ast & Alain Gree, illustrated by Philippe Fix. I've only read this one but I believe there is at least one other story. (Also I haven't read it for a while, so my memory may be fuzzy!)

Beebo inherits an old house which is neglected and overgrown. He and his friend Mop fix it up. One room is a large glass bubble where Mop blows bubbles out, there is a wooden staircase/bookcase inside. The city council decides to tear it down, (possibly for a new road?). One night Beebo and Mop refit a mechanical digger up as a dragon and scare the workers off so the council sends the police and fire department. They retreat up the house till they run out of room. Beebo builds 5-6 wooden stairs, sets them in the air and the pair climb aboard. They pull the last step up, continue the process and climb their way into the sky.

I don't remember if Beebo and Mop's relationship was stated - Mop looks young but I don't think they were father and son.

I would say this question fits here as this is a fantasy book.

edit: found a lovely picture: enter image description here

  • 1
    That's it! Thank you so much! ...WOW are they expensive.
    – MrTrick
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 3:26

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