Archie de man van staal, by Bert Bus (Sjors #3, 1974)
Archie de man van staal (Sjors #3, 1974)

Bert Bus was born in the town of Santpoort, near Haarlem. He began working for publisher De Spaarnestad shortly after World War II. He stayed with this company for his entire career. Therefore, almost all of his comics have been published in Sjors magazine. Bus started out doing paterns and illustrations for the women's magazine Libelle. He took evening art classes and began a lifelong friendship with fellow artist Nico van Dam.

Olaf Noord, by Bert Bus (1954)
Olaf Noord, by Bert Bus (1954)

After his military service from 1950 to 1952, Bus returned to the Spaarnestad Studio at the Nassauplein in Haarlem, where he worked alongside Nico van Dam and Harry Balm for many years. His first comic series was the science-fiction saga 'Olaf Noord', which ran in Rebellenclub and then Sjors from 1953 to 1956. In addition, he did the gag strip about the pre-historic boy 'Skokan' from 1955 to 1956.

Olaf Noord, by Bert Bus (1954)
Olaf Noord (1954)

After the cancellation of 'Olaf Noord', Bus took on the historical comic series 'Theban, de Eerste Wereldreiziger'. This series ran until the restyling of Sjors magazine in 1959. In the restyled magazine, Bus made three independent historical stories: 'De Brug in het Oerwoud' (1960-61), 'De Gouden Kraag' (1962) and 'De Slavenkoopman van Pompeï' (1963).

Lance Barton by Bert Bus
Lance Barton (Sjors van de Rebellenclub #12, 1967)

Bus then began a new science-fiction series, called 'De Avonturen van Cliff Rendall', that ran ran from 1963 to 1965. In addition, he did a comics version of 'Huckleberry Finn', and 'Lance Barton', another science-fiction comic. Bus was then the first original artist for girls' magazine Tina with stories like 'Jola' (1970) and 'Nancy Drew' (1969), the latter based on the American children's book series.

Nancy Drew by Bert Bus
Nancy Drew (Tina, 1969)

For Nico van Dam, he wrote the comic 'Woep en Wap', that was published in the women's magazine Rosita from 1958 to 1967. He returned to Sjors in 1971 to draw a modernized version of the British comic 'Archie, de Man van Staal'.

Bus illustrated ten stories with 'Archie', and during this period publisher De Spaarnestad merged with De Geïllustreerde Pers into Oberon. The Spaarnestad Studio was discontinued, and Bus continued to work for Eppo, the continuation of Sjors and Pep.

Jola by Bert Bus
Jola en de ruimterace (Tina 21, 1970)

For Eppo, he began the new series 'Stef Ardoba' (1975-1982) and 'Malorix' (1983-1985) and did painted cover illustrations for the Dutch 'Trigian Empire' albums. In addition to his work for Eppo, Bus made the erotic comic 'De Vechters van Shar-Yaban' in the SF magazine Essef, using the pseudonym Max Mutesius.

Stef Ardoba, by Bert Bus
Stef Ardoba

Bus subsequently made the 'Russ Bender' trilogy in Eppo Wordt Vervolgd and Sjors en Sjimmie Stripblad from 1986 until his retirement in 1989. After his retirement, much of Bus's work has been reprinted, which made him a frequent guest on comics festival signings. Together with his former studio colleagues Harry Balm and Nico van Dam, he was awarded the Bulletje & Boonestaakschaal for his contributions to their contributions to the Dutch comics field in 2004. He still does an occasional illustration job and is active as an amateur archeologist.

Sjors cover by Bert Bus
Sjors #8, 1967

Bert Bus in De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis
(in dutch)

Last updated: 2012-08-03

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