'Ben X'.

Veerle Colle, who often signs with NDurlie, is a Flemish female illustrator and (web) comic artist. Her career took off as a creator of humorous autobiographical web comics. She made her debut in print with the graphic novel 'Ben X' (2015), based on the award-winning film 'Ben X' (2007) by Nic Balthazar.

Early life
Veerle Colle was born in 1988 and hails from Ghent. She once made a short video against bullying, which happened to be nominated for an award on the Belgian music video channel TMF. Colle studied film at the RITS department in the Free University of Brussels, where she graduated with a master's degree. Veerle Colle worked as a script supervisor, recording leader and editor of several film and television productions. After a near burn-out she decided to work for more socially conscious projects, among them 'The Climate Express' and campaigns to ban plastic. Since 20 August 2018 she and her friend Kristof present a weekly podcast, 'Zero Waste', on her site on how to waste as little products as possible and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Comics career
During her student years, between 2011 and 2012, Colle created a gag webcomic which she weekly posted on her Facebook page nDurlie's Art. Most episodes feature herself and were set at her university campus.

From: 'Colle' (2016).

Ben X
In 2005 radio and TV host Nic Balthazar wrote a novel, 'Niets Was Alles Wat Hij Zei' (2003), about a teenager with Asperger's syndrome who is frequently bullied. His only escapism are video games. The story was based on a real-life teenager who jumped off the top of the Gravensteen castle in Ghent. In his suicide note he claimed that bullies drove him to desperation. Balthazar knew the boy's mother personally. The novel received good reviews and in 2006 Roel Vanderstukken adapted the work into a theatrical play. In 2007 Balthazar adapted this into a screenplay and directed the feature-length film, 'Ben X' (2007). The picture was an unexpected critical and commercial success, even outside the borders. It won the Grand Prix des Amériques, the Black Pearl Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film in Abu Dhabi and the Efebo d'Oro at the Film Festival of Agrigento in Italy and the Audience Award and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival. In 2012 'Ben X' received a Swedish remake, 'IRL' (2013), directed by Erik Leijonborg. The same year Frank Van Laecke adapted it into a theatrical musical.

Veerle Colle was one of many people who saw 'Ben X' and was touched by its themes, particularly since many of her own family members suffer from autism. She contacted Balthazar to ask him whether she would be allowed to adapt the story into a graphic novel? The title was published by Lannoo and marked her print debut, though she used the pseudonym nDurlie. Colle based her drawings on a script written by creative producer Senne De Beul, while mimicking the colour schemes used in the film. Her graphic novel makes use of two different graphic styles, one portraying Ben's real-life world, the other his video game fantasies. It's notable that she sometimes draws Ben without eyebows or a mouth, which - according to her - reflects the fact that he shows no emotions.

Her graphic novel, 'Ben X' (2015), received enough media attention to result in the first self-published comic book collection of her web comics: 'Colle' (2016).

'Ben X'.


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