Ridder Geert by Carrie Anne
'Geert Grijpt In!'.

Ann van de Velde is a Belgian comic artist. She was a former co-worker of Studio Vandersteen, where she was one of the inkers of 'Bessy' (1971-1985) and 'Robert en Bertrand' (1985-1993). Prior to this, she made the chivalry comic series 'Ridder Geert' (1968-1969) for publisher Sinfra in Mechelen.

Ridder Geert
Born in 1952, Van de Velde grew up reading Willy Vandersteen's comics, most notably 'Suske en Wiske' and 'Bessy'. As a child, she also enjoyed drawing her own comic stories with these characters. While still a teenager, she got the opportunity to draw the adventures of the medieval swordslinger 'Ridder Geert' for the Catholic publisher Sinfra (short for Sint-Franciscus) in Mechelen. Based on characters and stories created by Gregor Boude, she adopted the pen name Carrie Anne and completed two comic books: 'Ridder Geert grijpt in' (1968) and 'Geert Vogelvrij' (1969). Stylistically, the stories are very reminiscent of Willy Vandersteen's series 'De Rode Ridder' ('The Red Knight'). A third installment, 'Geert en de Gemaskerde', was announced, but never released. The books' title pages also mention 'Ridder Geert' books in children's novel format. Comic stories by Van de Velde also ran in the magazine De Tijd van Sint Antonius.

Through her baker, she got in touch with Jacky Pals, one of the artists at Studio Vandersteen. She applied for a job and was instantly hired in February 1971. She was set to work in Vandersteen's Antwerp studio, where 'Bessy' stories were produced for the German publisher Bastei Verlag under supervision of Jeff Broeckx. Her main job was boosting up and inking the pencil artwork of Jacky Pals, a technically less skilled artist. In alternation with Patrick Van Lierde, she also inked Broeckx's own 'Bessy' stories, which were in general the ones selected for the Dutch-language book series. Occasionally, she inked a story for Vandersteen's 'Safari' series as well.

Robert en Bertrand
One of the few staff artists on Vandersteen's payroll, she stayed with the studio after the mid-1980s takeover by the publisher, Standaard Uitgeverij. With the Bastei production coming to an end in 1985, Van de Velde became the regular inker for the 'Robert en Bertrand' series, drawn by Ron van Riet. Together with scriptwriter Marck Meul, Van Riet and Van de Velde were responsible for all subsequent 'Robert en Bertrand' albums, starting with 'Jacht op nr 17' (book 67, 1985) and ending with the final one, 'Zilvertand' (book 98, 1993).

Later career
The cancellation of 'Robert en Bertrand' also meant her discharge from Standaard Uitgeverij. Van de Velde subsequently went to work for the educational publishing house De Sikkel, until this firm's merger with publisher De Boeck in 2000. After a short stint as a mail carrier, she worked several years as a driving instructor. She lives in the city Bouillon, in the Belgian province Luxembourg, near the French border.

Ridder Geert by Carrie Anne

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