I was on Dutch TV, in a 25-minute interview that covered everything from my image of God to the upcoming Stripmaker des Vaderlands election. The program is called ‘Het Vermoeden’ and set in an old-fashioned train compartment, to facilitate guests talking about their life’s journey and the next station they expect to arrive at.
Of course, it was all done in a studio, and this is what it looked like:
The interview was done by Marleen Stelling, and felt like a very pleasant, almost casual conversation about Life, the Universe and Everything:
I was a bit nervous about how I would come across on TV – I hardly ever see myself move or talk the way others perceive me, so it was really er, interesting to watch myself. The thing that struck me most was how lively I gesticulate:
And second, I was touched to find myself mirroring my long deceased grandfather, Hendrikus Berkhof, who was professor of Theology and would have loved to see his granddaughter carry on his legacy, in a way:
The whole interview (in Dutch!) can be watched here.
All in all, it was a very intense and positive experience! It makes me even more confident that not only could I handle being Stripmaker des Vaderlands – voting still open until the 30th! – , I would actually enjoy the media aspect of it.
Because, let’s be honest here, I just love talking about myself.
And myself in relation to comics.
The Easter weekend is upon us… but what is it really all about?
(This comic appeared in Predikant & Samenleving, the Dutch protestant minsters’ union magazine)
For the real story on Easter and a lot more, read my book Religion: a Discovery in Comics.
Ha, got your attention with that title, right?
In this blog, I’d like to showcase the three running comics series I have right now: one is for lesbian magazine Zij aan Zij, the second for protestant magazine Predikant & Samenleving, and the third is popular science magazine Wetenschap in Beeld.
The comic about bisexual Minnie is the longest running, I’ve been drawing it for 13 years! In this episode, Minnie gets philosophical (as I get in Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics). I used this story as well in my latest book, on Love.
Reverend De Heer (my alter ego) has been running since 2012. I love drawing it, it gives me a chance to comment on a lot of current issues. Most Dutch Protestant reverends are rather laid-back people who are pretty open-minded about everything – I should know, I’m the product of two of them (see for more on this my graphic novel Religion: a Discovery in Comics).
The third comic is the newest: I’ve been drawing this for a popular science magazine for less than a year. I love doing research on different scientific topics (much like I did in Science: a Discovery in Comics) and it’s always a challenge to get all the information in the panel.
I like that being a simple comic artist gives me the chance to touch upon so many different subjects at the same time!
I live in the fortunate circumstance that my husband Yiri is also an artist and helps me with my books. Not only does he provide necessary feedback and peptalks, he has taken on the coloring ever since 2009, when we started Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics.
Since then, he has colored Religion, Science – which almost killed him (no kidding! He had a heart attack while we were working on that 192-page monster) – and World Domination. It took a lot from his health and especially caused chronic shoulder and neck pains. So we decided to do things differently for the book about Love; after all, too much love will kill you, as the song says.
Our coloring process in the last year has been this:
We’re in the last phase of the book now, the deadline for the publisher is next month. So far, this new routine is fast, fun and relatively stress-free. And Yiri is not half dead, which is a great relief to both of us.
When making a graphic novel, there are many milestones that can be celebrated with a heart-felt: “Finished!”. There’s the moment all the pages are drawn; then when they are all digitalized, lettered and put in the right order; when they’re all colored; when the file is sent to the publisher; when the file is sent to the printer’s; and then, finally, when the actual book arrives and can be held in my greedy hands. Finished!
Yiri and I especially celebrate the first finishing: when all the pages are drawn. It has become tradition to make a little doodle in a tiny booklet, marking time and date.
Here’s the first Finishing, in 2009, when we made Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics:
This one was drawn a year later, in 2010, when finishing Religion: a Discovery in Comics:
Science: a Discovery in Comics was a heavy one – it was finished in the summer of 2012:
The fourth book, about World Domination, is not out in the States yet, but I have just made an info page on my site if you want to take a look. This is how I felt when finishing it, in 2015:
And just a few weeks ago, the last pages of the book about Love were drawn!
We’re now in the process of finishing up the other finishings: the colors, the text corrections, the index etc. But those are minor finishings – the big one is out of the way!
Here’s another drawing from the little book, by the way, the only one in English:
Words to live by!
This weekend I will be at the Stripdagen in Haarlem, Holland’s most prestigious comics convention! Where to find me? Almost everywhere!
First of all, there’s a big expo of my religion-related comics work in the beautiful St. Bavochurch, right in the middle of town. It features pages from my graphic novel Religion: a Discovery in Comics, but also other work, such as Reverend De Heer and this church window depicting the shared paths of Christianity and Islam, almost 3 meters high!
The expo has been up since end of April (and will be on for another two weeks) and has already garnered lovely comments from visitors all over the world:
Another place where my work can be found at the Stripdagen, is in De Nieuwe Vide, where the expo ¡VIVA PONTIAC! takes place, about artist Peter Pontiac who passed away last year. I made a comic about it which can be seen in print, and there’s work from my amazing yet humble husband Yiri T. Kohl as well – Yiri was heavily influenced by the work of Pontiac, and even succeeded him as illustrator for magazine Mainline in the 1990s. Here’s an example of his work that can also be found at the expo:
Last week, I got the surprising news that my webcomic has been shortlisted for the Comik Web Award. I didn’t even know I was nominated! In the Philharmonie there’s an expo of all the shortlisted webcomics. To cash in on this exposure I ordered another print run of my webcomics collection, which will be for sale for 5 euros:
And then, last but not least, I will manifest in the flesh – on both Saturday and Sunday, you can find me at my own table in de Grote Zaal of the Philharmonie, together with Yiri and a bunch of our books:
I hope to see some of you there! Come by for freebies and a chat!
Every profession has its own specific nightmare. This one is for priests, pastors, reverends and the likes:
(comic drawn for Predikant & Samenleving, magazine for protestant priests)