René Windig and his high school buddy Eddie de Jong are best known as the comics duo Gezellig en Leuk ('Cozy and Nice'). They have created hilarious parodies of such classic comics as 'Oom Wim', 'Donald Duck' and 'Dick Bos', and of course their infamous cat 'Heinz'. They began their collaboration during their highschool years, forming the artist's collective "De Vijf Slijmerds" with three other friends. Together they drew for Aloha magazine, and launched the first issue of Gezellig & Leuk magazine (1973). Windig and De Jong introduced their parody on 'Oom Wim', the wise uncle from Spirou magazine, and created stories with this character in a variety of magazines (Caramba, Gummi) over a period of ten years.
Dikku Boshu-san (De Balloen #60, August 1983)
For a brief period the two even worked for the Dutch edition of Donald Duck magazine, but after a few contributions the editor-in-chief kicked them out. Their Duck parodies grew even more acerbic and hilarious after this memorable event. After working on an animation project for a while, the duo returned to comics with new (annual) issues of Gezellig & Leuk, that featured their parodies on 'Donald Duck' and 'Oom Wim', and the new characters 'Père Leonard', 'Pietje Pelikaan' and the farmer 'Theun'. In addition, they created the clowns 'Zappo & Pipetti' for Caramba (1978).
Oom Wim (Gezellig & Leuk 2, April 1977)
The hilarious parody on Alfred Mazure's 1940s action hero 'Dick Bos', aptly renamed to 'Dick Bosch', first appeared in Supergum magazine in 1980. The strip, that was full of exagerated oldfashioned language and cliches, later appeared in comic magazine Wordt Vervolgd (1981) and De Balloen (1982) and as a newspaper comic in De Waarheid (1983) and Het Parool (1988). Windig and De Jong's work has been collected in albums by Ger van Wulften's Espee since 1980, starting with 'Ouwe Troep' and 'Fnirwak, Boek vol Vertwijfeling en Hoop'. A collection of Windig's scribbles were published in the 1982 book 'René Windig Drawings'.
Under the label Stichting Gezellig & Leuk (1984), Windig and De Jong published new versions of their magazine, now also including work by Paul Bodoni, Aart Clerkx, Mark Smeets, Kamagurka, Herr Seele, Hein de Kort, Eric Schreurs, Peter Pontiac and Wim Stevenhagen. They also published books, not only their own, such as 'Dick Bosch in: Tuinen, Dick!' and 'Rockin' Belly', but also by Bodoni, Smeets and Clerkx.
For the squatter's magazine Bluf, they had created the comic 'Rockin' Belly', based on the band that Windig was part of, for the squatter's magazine Bluf, in 1983. By 1986, the comic appeared on the children's page of Amsterdam daily Het Parool, and marked the introduction of the cat with an attitude, 'Heinz'. The cat acchieved great popularity and got its own comic in Het Parool from 1987. 'Heinz' also appeared in foreign newspapers, a series of books, and was also featured (in color) in the comic magazine Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad.
Donald Duck (Gezellig & Leuk 2, April 1977)
When De Jong and Windig considered calling it quits in 2000, many fans were flabbergasted. Fortunately, Heinz continues and lives on in more than 20 comic albums. A proposed animated film storyboard was adapted for publication in the newspaper Het Parool, where Heinz re-appeared in March 2004. The new 'Heinz' strip was supplemented with strips featuring other characters, such as 'Eend', 'Kabouter', 'Sliske' and 'Hund', that were collected in the book 'Beffen IJf' in 2006.
Windig and De Jong opened a new exposition, 'The Heinz-Imperium' (Heinz Empire) in our gallery on 24 August 2006, where two new books were introduced, and a lot of their recent art was unveiled. Previously, a "miniatures" exhibition was opened in Galerie Lambiek in December 2002. On Friday the 13th of November 2009, the duo introduced their new book, 'Heinz van H tot Z' in Galerie Lambiek. 'Heinz de graphic novel' was published in 2011. This "graphic novel" was partially based on the script from the aborted animation film.
Windig's homage to George Herriman