'El Gordo and Zombie Chicken' (2022).

Larie Cook - pen name of Arie Plas - is a Dutch cartoonist, painter and designer, working in the Amsterdam region. Active in the Dutch small press scene, his self-published mini-comics and other artistic exploits are characterized by their absurdism, strange animal creatures and pop culture references. 

Life and career
Born in Amsterdam in 1975, Arie Plas grew up an avid comic reader, often joining his father on his visits to comic shop Lambiek. Citing Shel Silverstein, Bill Watterson and Sergio Aragonés as his main artistic influences, he began making his own art, using the pen name Larie Cook (a pun on the word "lariekoek", meaning "baloney"). A dayjob in a copy shop allowed him to print and produce his first DIY comic zines. Originally based in Amsterdam and later in Zaanstad, Larie Cook makes mini-comics, coloring pictures, funny paintings, posters, murals and designs for delivery bicycles, T-shirts and birth announcement cards. He also gives workshops at schools in the Amsterdam-West borough, and is a regular attendant of comic events and festivals. Among his commercial clients are local entrepeneurs and private individuals in Amsterdam and the pop stage Patronaat in Haarlem.


Small press comics
Since the early 2000s, Larie has been making a great many mini-comics, which he sells on festivals and in comic shop Lambiek. His output includes the series 'Hey Baby' (12 issues), 'Do & Make' (5 issues), 'Justin Case' (2 issues), 'State of US' (4 issues) and a liberal adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story 'The Father Thing' (3 issues), as well as the one-shots 'Clyde', 'Dr. X', 'Rocky Raccoon', 'The Man Who Never Got It', 'Zaklab' and the coloring book 'Paint it black'. A collection of his mini-comics from the 2002-2008 period was released under the title 'Lariebus!!'. Recurring characters in his zines are Zombie Chicken and the pig superhero El Gordo, that Larie uses to comment on the meat industry. Other zines are inspired by pop culture, most notably Beatles and Frank Zappa songs.

'Hey Baby', a collection of cartoon sketches of strange animals.

Group projects
Larie Cook was one of the driving forces behind two issues of the small press comic anthology Hocus Pocus Comix, published in 2009 and 2012. The other contributors were Bone, Gijs Weijer, Maarten Schuurman, Maia Matches, Cees Aloserij, Wayne Horse, Qsera and Michiel Schuurman. He has also participated in the free comic papers Orient X Press (2012), Wat Wil West (2014) and Oeverloos (2015), edited by Maia Matches and distributed respectively in the Amsterdam districts Oost, Oud-West and Noord. Besides comic strips, he also contributed humorous activity pages, like the fold-out playgrounds poster in Wat Wil West. Since 2017, he is one of the regular cartoonists and illustrators for the children's science magazine Quest Junior. In 2021, his Zombie Chicken and El Gordo characters appeared in an 8-page story included in the comic anthology 'Megillah', edited by Chad Bilyeu.

"The Shave Ice Lab". Larie's contribution to Orient X Press, dealing with the shave ice salesman in Amsterdam-East.

A regular customer in the Amsterdam comic shop Lambiek since his childhood, Larie has participated in several editions of the 24 Hour Comics event, held in the store gallery, resulting in the mini-comics '24-uurs Detective' (2009), 'Kip & Ei' (2010), 'Zwets - Zwanger van een idee' (2013), 'Zwetsuit' (2014) and 'Zwets - Vogelvrij' (2015). By request of store owner Boris Kousemaker, he made new version of the promotional Lambiek bike at the store entrance, carrying a wooden cut-out of Willy Vandersteen's Lambik character and a stash of books on the luggage carrier. In 2010, he also made a new "ZIP" signboard to replace the previous worn-out version. In December 2011, a selection of his work was exhibited in Lambiek's gallery. Since 2016, Arie is working as a Lambiek salesman at the current location on Koningsstraat 27.

Real Guys
During the Summer of 2022, Larie used his spare hours to fill his notebook with an improvised superhero comic story drawn in ballpoint, starring himself and his childhood gang of friends (which also includes comic writer/editor Stijn Schenk). Through a small crowdfunding campaign, he had the story published in book format under the title 'Where are those Real Guys' (2023), and presented during a festive evening at comic shop Lambiek on 13 January 2023.

Larie Cook also painted the new Lambiek sign in 2010. The original sign was painted in the 1980s by Onno Docters van Leeuwen, based on an idea by Herwolt van Doornen and Job Goedhart.


Series and books by Larie Cook you can order today:


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