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Comic Creator

Eelco Harmsen van Beek

Eelco Marinus ten Harmsen van der Beek

(8 October 1897 - 24 July 1953, The Netherlands)  Netherlands

Eelco Harmsen van Beek

Flipje van Tiel, by Harmsen van Beek

Eelco Marinus ten Harmsen van der Beek, who signed his work Harmsen van Beek, was the father of 'Flipje van Tiel', Holland's most famous advertising comic. He attended art school and often cooperated with his wife Freddie Langeler, whose main occupation was book illustration. In the early 1930s, Harmsen van Beek was approached by jam factory De Betuwe to design an advertising comic. He came up with 'Tielsch Flipje', a little man who was made of berries. Every issue dealt with a precarious situation, in which Flipje saved the day, which was then celebrated by consuming one of the Betuwe products.

from Ons Eigen Tijdschrift, by Harmsen van Beek (1925)

Together with his wife, Harmsen van Beek created the comic with the two rabbits 'Kootje en Pietje' for an electricity company. During the War, Harmsen van Beek and Langeler had difficulties finding work because they refused to register with the German chamber of culture. Langeler passed a way a couple of years after the War, and from then on, Harmsen ten Beek focused completely on his work.
Sometimes, signing his work with simply Beek, he became known in England as the first illustrator of the 'Noddy' books by Enid Blyton. After a dispute with De Betuwe over introducing 'Flipje' in England, Harmsen van Beek broke off his association with the factory, and passed away a few days later. After Beek's death in 1953, his assistant Peter Wienk continued to work on 'Noddy' for several years. His daughter Fritzi finished 'Flipje' series 46 and made series 47.

cover for Kiekeboe, by Harmsen van Beek

Harmsen van Beek biografie
(in dutch)

Laatste update: 2012-04-13

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