The Upside Downs of Gustave Verbeek
Gustave Verbeck (1867 - 1937) was the son of a Dutch missionary in Tokyo. He was born in Nagasaki, grew up in Japan and studied arts in Paris. Around 1900 Gustave moved to the United States, where his name was misspelled as Verbeek by an immigration officer. He continued to use both names. Gustave worked as a cartoonist, illustrator and painter, but he's remembered for his incredible upside-down comics The Upside Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo which appeared in the New York Herald from October 11, 1903 to January 15, 1905.

He made a total of 64 upside down comics, which must have been an incredibly difficult task. Every image should not only be reversible on its own, but should also fit into the story. The most famous drawing he ever made is the one at the top of this page. First you see how Muffaroo is attacked by a big fish in his canoe. Turned upside down, you see Lovekins being caught by a giant bird.

Five upside-down comics, including A Fish Story, follow. Each will require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To see a particular comic upside down, download the pdf file, then open it with Acrobat Reader. Select View, then Rotate View, and Clockwise to rotate the image 90°. Repeat to turn the image upside down.

The Thrilling Adventure of the Dragon
The Fairy Palace
Exciting Times at the Sea Shore
The Mermaid and the Floating Mine
A Fish Story

Verbeek Restorations by Harold R. Jacobs