Mickey Mouse door Jos Beekman en Cesar Ferioli
Adventurous Mickey Mouse story 'De geheimzinnige kist', written by Jos Beekman and drawn by César Ferioli (Donald Duck #43, 2011) - © Disney

Jos Beekman is a staff editor, translator and writer for the Dutch Disney publications, published by VNU and later Sanoma in the Netherlands. He oversees the local production of comics scripts, and is the creator of popular features like 'Uit het Handboek van de Jonge Woudlopers' (since 1997), 'Goofy Geeft Les' (since 1999) and 'Mickey lost 't op' (since 2000). Besides the legendary Duck artist Carl Barks, Beekman ranks among his influences such diverse comics authors as Willy Vandersteen, Raymond Macherot, Gilbert Shelton, George Herriman and the masters of EC Comics, as well as sci-fi novelists like Jack Vance.

He was born in 1965 as Johannes Antonius Beekman in Roosendaal, and has since lived throughout the Netherlands, including Julianadorp, Cuijk, Schagen, Haarlem and currently Velserbroek. In late 1985, he applied for a job with Donald Duck editor-in-chief Thom Roep at Oberon, VNU's comics division. He was qualified for the job, but his military service postponed his employment until March 1987. His first job was at the editorial offices of comics magazine Eppo/Wordt Vervolgd, under editor Peter van Leersum. Beekman's passion lay more with Disney however, thus in September 1989 he was exchanged with Donald Duck editor Conny Schot, and simply never went back.

Donald Duck's editorial team in the early 1990s. From left to right: Harry Balm, Ria Uijtten Boogaart, Frans Hasselaar, Jos Steenstra, Jos Beekman, Marja van de Nes, Guido Matena, Ed van Schuijlenburg, Pascal Oost, Loes Spijker, Lucas Abedy, Joan Lommen, Conny Verweij, Wilma van den Bosch

Since then, Beekman has edited a great many locally produced comics stories with the Disney characters, and translated an even greater amount of foreign ones. Ever since the 1990s, he is the responsible editor of the monthly title Donald Duck Extra. With the retirement of Stef Keizer in 2006, Beekman was appointed "senior editor", and since then does the final editing of all the comics stories printed in the weekly and the monthly. When Thom Roep left in 2013 he also got the supervision over the local production of comics scripts, of which by then the main body of work was provided by Frank Jonker, Jan Kruse, Ruud Straatman, Evert Geradts and Mau Heymans. During Beekman's tenure, a new wave of additional writers rose to prominence, including Remco Polman, Wilfred Ottenheijm, Robbert Damen, Sieger Zuidersma, Hugo Sauers and Carlo Gentina. He has also applied himself to recruiting new talent, which resulted in occasional Duck scripts by Stefan van Dinther, Willem Ritstier and Erik Haverkort.

SuperDonald - De invasie van de Magmamonsters (XD Magazine #11, 2010, art by José Antonio Gonzalez) - © Disney

Since 1990, Beekman has written a great many comics scripts himself, with almost every Disney character imaginable, from the Ducks and the Mouse family to 'Br'er Rabbit', 'Bucky Bug', 'Jose Carioca' and 'The Big Bad Wolf', as well as rare movie tie-in stories with 'Oliver & Co', 'The Fox and the Hound', 'Pocahontas' and 'Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather'. The artwork was mostly provided by artists affiliated with Studio Comicup in Barcelona, but also by Mau Heymans, Bas Heymans, Wilma van den Bosch, Dick Matena, etc. His early work also includes cut-and-paste comic stories with stills from classic Disney shorts. Beekman reintroduced the classic Mickey Mouse "in short trousers" in the Netherlands in a series of adventure stories drawn by Italian artist César Ferioli in 2011, and with his colleagues Jim van der Weele, Bas Schuddeboom, Ferdi Felderhof and Simone Ruitenbeek he was responsible for nearly all the scripts for Donald Duck Junior, the younger edition of the weekly (2008-2010). Beekman and Schuddeboom also wrote Dutch comic stories with the originally Italian character 'The Duck Avenger' ('Superdonald') for Disney XD Magazine (2010-2011). Jos Beekman writes regular comic stories for B2B purposes, according to himself to "guard the tone and nature of Donald Duck". Besides scripts for Sanoma's own Disney titles, he and his colleagues provide gag strips related to Dutch TV shows for TV guide Troskompas since 2012.

Woudlopers door Jos BeekmanWoudlopers door Jos Beekman
Two pages from the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook (artwork by Maarten Janssens and Jan-Roman Pikula) - © Disney

As an editor, he is responsible for several popular editorial sections in the magazine. Since 1997 he creates the educational feature with pages from the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook ('Uit het Handboek van de Jonge Woudlopers'), which gives information about all sorts of geographical, biological, meteorological, historical and physical subjects. Most of the initial pages were illustrated by Maarten Janssens, who was succeeded by Jan-Roman Pikula in 2007. In 2000 he set up the 'Mickey Mouse' riddle comic 'Mickey lost 't op', which has become the most popular editorial feature in the magazine. The initial episodes were drawn by Michel Nadorp, with Pikula taking over in 2010. While Beekman still writes the core of the production, other members of the editorial team also regularly contribute. Since 1999 Jos Beekman is the writer of 'Goofy geeft les', a comics rendition of the classic 'How To' cartoons, in which Goofy explores all sorts of different subjects. The main artist for this feature is Michel Nadorp. Further editorial work includes concepts for game pages and posters, translations in rhymme of text stories from the US magazine Good Housekeeping, and spreads with character scrapbooks. A first series of the latter was made in cooperation with Frans Hasselaar and Almar Kesselaar in 1991-1994, and new ones were created by Beekman himself from 2002-2010.

Goofy geeft les door Jos Beekman
'Goofy geeft les' from Donald Duck #11, 2005 (artwork by Michel Nadorp) - © Disney

Additionally, Jos Beekman has contributed to several of the publisher's non-print activities. With Van der Weele, Schuddeboom and Felderhof, he participated in the Disney characters' Twitter conversations from February 2010. The initiative quickly gained a wide following, and got a lot of press coverage by Dutch media. It marked the launch of Donald Duck weekly's widely praised social media activities, which are currently managed by Esther Holtkamp, Jim van der Weele and Lotte Roep. Jos Beekman and Bas Schuddeboom were also involved in the concepts and development of the online typing course DuckTypen (launched in 2014) and the educational game world DuckWorld Adventures (launched in 2015).

Concept art for unused segments of "DuckWorld"

Although mainly a "Duck person", Beekman has contributed to a couple of non-Disney comics as well. While still with Eppo (which was by then renamed to Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad) he provided plot ideas to the 'Sjors & Sjimmie' comic, drawn by Hein Haakman under supervision of Robert van der Kroft. For girls' magazine Tina, he wrote the script for three stories with real-life Dutch singers Nick & Simon (2010-2013), with art by Comicup's Carmen Pérez or Rafa Ruiz. In alternation with Bas Schuddeboom and other editors, he writes most of the 'Professor Breinstein' gags which appear on the backpage of children's science magazine Zo Zit Dat since 2011. The artwork is provided by the Comicup artists Dany Fernandez, Sònia Albert and Andrea Dotta. Jos Beekman is additionally an amateur musician/composer, and a hobby painter.

Redactie Donald Duck
Scriptwriting session of the Dutch Disney editors in 2015 From left to right: Esther Holtkamp, Bas Schuddeboom, Simone Ruitenbeek, Ferdi Felderhof and Jos Beekman. At the front: Jim van der Weele. (Photo: Lotte Roep)

Jos Beekman in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis
Inducks entry

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