Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands

I’m proud to announce that as of yesterday, I can call myself the first Stripmaker des Vaderlands, which translates to the impressive sounding Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands – and well, it is pretty impressive: for the next three years, I’ll be the ambassador of Dutch comics!

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I’m extremely honored to receive this task, and have been bowled over by the amount of media attention today. Who said comics are under the radar? I’m especially happy with a 5-minute item on national TV, which not only showed me being proud and drawing, but also visited a school where my comics are used, and talked to Caroline van der Lee from aaStrips Foundation which launched the initiative. I’m so happy to have such enthusiastic people supporting me! Here’s an impression:

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My ambition: to bury Holland in comics. Like this:

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I love what’s happening right now, and this weekend I’ll be at the Breda Comics Festival where I hope to talk to a lot of people, colleagues, teachers, fans… And next week I’ll probably be asleep.

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By the way, I’m also bowled over by the many congrats and encouraging words from friends and colleagues online (join me on Facebook!). Some even made me congratulatory drawings – thanks Marc ScherbateyevPeter van de Wiel and Pieter Hogenbirk!

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You’ve got mail!

Physical mail (the stuff that gets delivered to your door by a postman, as opposed to digital mail in your inbox) is under fire in The Netherlands. There’s less of it, so there are huge cuts in delivering hours and postman wages, while stamp prices go up and up.

Nevertheless, nothing beats the thrill of getting a personal letter by snail mail. And it’s been a thrilling time for me in that respect – here’s some stuff that got delivered to me recently:

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My wonderful Californian proofreader Dan Schiff sent me two copies of Resist!, the revolutionary magazine that my Minnie-comic was featured in. It’s great to finally be able to browse it (96 pages!) AND it came with lovely personal stuff from Dan, who’s also a gifted artist and a big James Joyce fan – that’s his drawing on a James Joyce bag, and he even added a little doodle especially for us!

Thanks, Dan!

cephalopod

She used to do my accounts for me, now Olga Nagtegaal is dabbling in linoleum prints and I just had to get my hands on this beautiful cephalopod. She even threw in a “misprint” which is just as lovely! (I’m cheating a bit, because Olga actually delivered this to my door, but it was in an addressed envelope, so it still counts as mail).

Thanks, Olga!

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My brother Maarten de Heer recently launched a successful Kickstarter to fund his unique lenticular painting BIOSCOPE. Yesterday, the rewards arrived – pieces from the experimental prints he made in the process. Especially for us, he added a print of these animations Yiri made on the DS:

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(The real-life picture moves when you change the angle – it’s made from a 15-frame animation)

Thanks, Maarten!

argibald

Artist Willem Bentvelzen (a.k.a. Argibald) makes hilarious cartoons, but also these lovely artistic drawings. For a few years now, he has produced one a day, offering them for a reasonable price of which 20% goes to the food bank. It’s the second time I’ve received his art, and I especially love this stack of cats. It arrived with a personal card and a stack of his cartoons.

Thanks, Willem!

Apart from receiving mail, I have also sent out some. In order to win votes for becoming Stripmaker des Vaderlands, I’m offering original doodles and sending them out on postcards. Here’s a selection:

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I’m continuing this until the end of September, by the way, so if you want one too, drop me a line!

(Netherlands only, but if you live abroad and you ask nicely, I’ll consider it)

Dutch elections

It’s time to vote again in The Netherlands – not for government this time, but for a Comic Artist Laureate (Stripmaker des Vaderlands). And I am one of the four nominees!

In October the result will be announced – until then, I’m campaigning like crazy, shunning no means, including bribery and blatant sexism. Vote for me because I have boobs!

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All kidding aside: I do think I am a good candidate for the job – which would entail being the ambassador of Dutch comics for three years, starting up all kinds of initiatives that will put comics in the picture, and of course drawing comics about important national events.

To practise a bit, I recently drew this comic about the fallout of the Dutch elections for government – the formation of a cabinet is still going on, and here’s a bit of information about it.

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