Prinses Aster by Wilma van den Bosch
Prinses Aster (2001)

Wilma van den Bosch has worked as a staff artist for the Dutch Disney magazines since the 1980s. She is also known for illustrating children's books, and for her own comics series 'Prinses Aster'. Since 2013 she also draws for the girls' magazine Tina.

Van den Bosch was born in 1956 in Welland, Canada, as the daughter of Dutch immigrants. When Wilma was ten years old, the family moved back to the Netherlands. She got interested in comics through the work of Charles Schulz ('Peanuts') and children's book author Dr. Seuss. She decided to pursue her own artistic career after reading an interview with Morris in newspaper De Volkskrant. She wrote a story and tried to sell it to Dutch publishers. She was eventually asked by Ed van Schuijlenburg, art revisor of the Dutch Disney magazines, to write scenarios with Disney characters for Donald Duck weekly. She sold her first story to editor-in-chief Thom Roep in 1984, and continued to write for the magazine on a regular basis in the following years. Most of her initial stories were drawn by José Colomer Fonts, Dick Matena or Carol Voges, and had mostly B-characters in the lead role, such as 'Bucky Bug', 'Gyro Gearloose', 'Little Hiawatha', 'Pluto', 'Panchito' and 'Dumbo'. Several of her stories also starred 'Witch Hazel' or 'Elmer Elephant', two more obscure characters from the Disney universe.


Timbuktu story from Donald Duck #28, 2002

From 1986 on, she started illustrating her own stories, starting with the character 'Little Hiawatha'. She eventually became a staff artist at the editorial offices of the publishing house VNU (and later Sanoma), where she has worked under supervision of Frans Hasselaar alongside such artists as Ed van Schuijlenburg, Michel Nadorp, Viktor Venema and Jan-Roman Pikula, throughout the decades. Van den Bosch has provided illustrations for covers and editorial pages in Donald Duck weekly, most notably the mail page, games and puzzles, funny articles from the Duckburg newspaper and the etymological section 'Weet Wat Je Zegt!' by editor Jim van der Weele. She also drew several crowded posters, most notably the ones with the 'Find the Four' theme in 2011 and 2012. Although Van den Bosch mainly worked on illustrations for the weekly from the 1980s, she wrote and drew a notable series of stories about Donald Duck set in Timbuktu (1999-2001). Timbuktu (which is somewhat different from the real-life location in Morocco)  had been a running gag in many of Donald’s adventures before. Stories usually ended with him creating havoc in Duckburg and then fleeing to Timbuktu until things calmed down again, but  long-time readers had never actually seen visit this country before.

Winnie de Poeh by Wilma van den Bosch

Van den Bosch' main body of work during the 1990s was for done the pre-school magazine Disneyland, however. She provided a great many illustrations, often with the character 'Winnie the Pooh', as well as the 'Disney Baby's' comics feature (1990-1998), which starred Donald and his friends during their earliest years. The feature originated in France, where Claude Marin had been drawing installments of the 'Bébés Disney' since 1986. The Dutch gags had either scripts by Wilma van den Bosch herself, or by Pascal Oost. Between 1996 and 2002 she drew many spreads starring younger Disney characters like Huey, Dewey and Louie, April, May and June, and Mortie and Ferdi in several activity and fantasy settings. These drawings were reprinted in Donald Duck Junior from 2008.


"We dreamt our house was made of candy" (Donald Duck Junior #25, 2009, originally from Disneyland #7, 1999)

Between 1999 and 2006 she provided the core of the editorial artwork for Daisy Duck's own magazine Katrien, which appeared six times a year. This included most of the cover illustrations, but also gag strips and stories starring Daisy and her nieces April, May and June. Van den Bosch wrote most of this material herself, but also in cooperation with her partner Pascal Oost and the magazine's editor, Simone Ruitenbeek. Between 2008 and 2010 she also produced artwork for Donald Duck Junior, including games and puzzles with Ruitenbeek and a couple of stories written by the editors Jos Beekman, Jim van der Weele and Ferdi Felderhof.

Donald Duck cover by Wilma van den BoschKatrien cover by Wilma van den Bosch

Wilma van den Bosch is also the author of her own comics series 'Prinses Aster' (1999-2001). Aster is the princess of the small and isolated planet Eureka. Because her father, king Zolaf Leeuwenmoed, is afraid of the dark, the planet is always covered in light. Therefore the people of Eureka are not aware of the rest of the universe. Aster wants to know more and goes on a space trip with the help of astrologist Zenitnadir. Her quest to catch a star brings her to other planets, where she encounters colorful characters, including a gang of space pirates. Van den Bosch started working on the comic when her daughter was born. It took her and her partner and colorist Pascal Oost seven years to complete the project. Two long stories with the character were published in Donald Duck in 1999 and 2001, and then collected in book format by Sanoma and Silvester. In 2002, Wilma van den Bosch received the Stripschapspenning in the category Best Dutch Children's Comic for 'Het Licht van Eureka', the first album of 'Prinses Aster'. The scripts for a third and fourth story are completed, but have remained unfinished.


Editorial strip from Tina #8, 2016

Besides her regular work for Donald Duck, Wilma has also made cartoons and comics with the mascot of girls' magazine Tina since 2013. Tina's new title comic was created by Jan Vriends and introduced in 2013. It stars a far younger Tina than the original mascot, who was cancelled in 2010. From her home garage, Tina helps her parents to fill the magazine's pages, together with her friends Puck and Fabio. Van den Boch has inked several pages pencilled by Vriends in 2014, but has mostly made the weekly cartoons and gag strips for Tina's mail section, and special episodes for seasonal books and specials, all from scripts by editor Bas Schuddeboom. 

comic from Inktpot #1, featuring Dick Bruna, art by Wilma van den Bosch, 2003
Greetings from Neverland (Inktpot #12, 2007), featuring a cameo from the Shinigami from Tsugumi Ohbaen and Takeshi Obata’s manga series ‘Death Note’.

In 2005, she succeeded Wout Paulussen as the artist of 'Jan Kaman' (also known as 'Jan de Man'), a soccer comic created by Herman van Veen for the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). She drew the comic for two years, until 2007, when the KNVB cancelled its member magazines. Wilma was affiliated with Teken Mijn Verhaal (2000-2010), a foundation initiated by Gerrie Hondius to let comics artists draw a story created by children with a handicap. She has also contributed autobiographical stories to the Utrecht art magazine De Inktpot (2003-2007), to the ten-year anniversary book of the Kennemer Gasthuis hospital (2001), the homeless paper Straatnieuws (2007), the comics paper of the Dutch comics authors' association BNS (2010) and to the Martin Lodewijk issue of Stripglossy (December 2016). Together with members of the Inktpot team, she has contributed to 'De halsdoek van Cunera' (2015), a collective book about the patroness of the city of Rhenen.


Bartje Krulstaart (from: BNS Stripkrant, 2010)

Wilma van den Bosch is additionally writing and illustrating children's books. She has made the illustrations for 'Jack de ruimteridder' (2016) and 'Vlucht uit het spullenparadijs (2017) by Martine Glaser, 'Fien is een vijfhoekje' (2017) by Nadja van Sever, and the children's songbook 'Het Grote Kinderliedjesboek' (2017) by Walter Verbeecke and Bettine van der Sluis. Her own story about the little monster 'Ikniet' ('The Notme') was released in the iStore in 2013. Together with Pascal Oost, she has made comics in commision, including the album 'Guus & Truus maken er (meer) werk van' (2005) for the employees of De Meergroep, an agency for provision of sheltered workshops. In 1988 she had already made the short comic story 'Gowo en het grote ruimteavontuur' for Golden Wonder crisps, in cooperation with Ed van Schuijlenburg.

Wilma van den Bosch has futhermore drawn Disney merchandise for Hausemann & Hötte (Jumbo), Depa Disposables, Vadobag and Wings Sportsware. 

Wilma van den Bosch
Wilma van den Bosch in the Disney art studios in Hoofddorp (2016)

Wilma and Pascal's website
INDUCKS entry

Dutch biography in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Wilma van den Bosch in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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