Okki, by Ton Beek 1973
Okki Bokki Boef

Ton Beek was a Dutch comic artist who was active for the Toonder Studios, Dutch Hanna-Barbera comics and various children's magazines, like Okki and Bobo. Together with Patty Klein he co-designed Okki's 1970s mascot, 'Okki Bokki Boef'. He furthermore made numerous advertising comics. His best known series of his own hand was 'Birre Beer' (1954-1959).

Ton Beek was born in 1926 in the Oud West neighborhood of Amsterdam. He studied at the Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs and at the School for Graphic Arts. He was affiliated with the Marten Toonder Studios between 1946 and 1966, where he cooperated on newspaper comics like 'Koning Hollewijn', 'Panda' and 'Kappie', as well as Tom Poes Weekblad. Beek was presumably the artist of 'De Avonturen van Klaas Volvet en zijn Knechtje Plus', a promotional strip for cheese which appeared in Algemeen Handelsblad between 30 April and 24 December 1954. He and Phiny Dick subsequently developed a new comic, 'Birre Beer', which was published in that same newspaper between December 1954 and March 1959. During its introduction on 18 December 1954, the character was presented as the son of Mary Tourtel's 'Rupert Bear', whose adventures had previously appeared in the Handelsblad. 'Birre Beer' continued to run with reprints in Trouw and 't Kapoentje during the 1960s and 1970s. The first episodes of the strip were by Dick, later episodes were written by Andries Brandt and Eiso Toonder.

Birre Beer by Ton Beek
Birre Beer

Beek has made several advertising comics during the 1950s, including 'De avonturen van Goudrekeltje' for Maggi (1955), 'Hendrik Hamster's hachelijke avonturen' for AssuMij (1957) and 'De wondere werken van Prof. S. Have' for Philips. He is also believed to be the artist of the mini-comic book 'Raddraaierij en deszelven bijverschijnselen' (1961), a comical Stone Age take on the invention of the bike, which was issued by the Batavus bicycle factories in 1961.

Beek was employed by several advertising studios between 1959 and 1967. He then worked for Joop Geesink as an inker for Jan van Haasteren and Frits Kloezeman on the 'Rick de Kikker' strip in Heintje, a promotional children's paper by Albert Heijn supermarkets. He was also a freelance artist on 'Yogi Bear' stories for the Flintstones comic book by De Geïllustreerde Pers through the Toonder Studios.

Yogi Bear by Ton Beek
Yogi Beer en Dokter Peter Selie (De Flintstones #66, 1969), artwork by Beek, script by Patty Klein & Andries Brandt

In the 1970s, he worked for the educational children's magazines by Malmberg. He created the mascot and title comic for Okki, called 'Okki Bokki Boef', with Patty Klein between 1971 and 1975. He was also present in Jippo with 'Flip en Flossie' in 1973 and 1974. Furthermore, he made illustrations for Donald Duck, Bobo, Liselotje, and Wij En Onze Kinderen.

Flip en Flossie (Jippo #1, 1974)
Flip en Flossie (Jippo #1, 1974)

He was a regular illustrator for the pre-school magazine Bobo in the 1970s, for which he notably worked on a comics version and text stories based on the television puppet series 'De Bereboot' (1976-1978) by Rolf and Lo Hartog van Banda. He did the artwork in cooperation with Rolf Hartog van Banda, with whom he also illustrated the children's booklet 'Wendy Wiebel leert vliegen' by Helen Arends (Rolf's sister). Beek was mainly tasked with the inking and coloring duties. Ton Beek was living and working in Zwolle from 1974. Ton Beek's final known comics work are 'Pink Panther' stories for Semic Press in Sweden during the 1980s. He passed away on 27 October 2016.

Okki cover by Ton Beek, 1973Okki cover by Ton Beek, 1973

Ton Beek in De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Ton Beek in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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