Johan van Dijk was a longtime illustrator for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Prior to this, he illustrated several educational and scientific features through Ton de Zwaan's Swan Features Syndicate. These included 'Onze rusteloze aarde' (1961-1964) and 'Wonderen der natuur' and were written by geologist and publicist A.A. Manten. The strips dealt with subjects like the planetary system, the origin of the earth, wildlife and water cycles, and ran in regional newspapers like Nieuwsblad van het Noorden.

Onze rusteloze aarde by Johan van DijkOnze rusteloze aarde by Johan van Dijk
Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, 30 December 1961 and 16 March 1963

Van Dijk also illustrated features about subjects like police research and aviation, which even found their way abroad. The Quebec newspaper La Presse ran one of Van Dijk's series under the title 'La Science en Images' in 1960. The feature was also published in the Flemish magazine 't Kapoentje. Episodes about aviation and space travel were collected in the book 'Hoe werkt... Luchtvaart' by Nijgh & Van Ditmar in 1963. The drawings were accompanied with texts by model plane builder J.J. van Tol. Some of the strips carry Van Dijk's signature, others have "tech.-v. dijk" as a credit. The illustrator of the book is credited as "Joh. A. van Dijk".

Illustration about the European hockey championships in a special supplement of De Telegraaf on 17 August 1983

Van Dijk began his career with newspaper De Telegraaf in the second half of the 1960s, and remained their house artist until his retirement in the late 1980s. He mostly illustrated the paper's larger news reports, applying an effective classic style with no artistic pretensions. He specialized in portraits with a touch of caricature and was also a whizz in complicated explanatory illustrations, which would nowadays be called infographics. These included highly detailed drawings about space travel for the articles by scientific editor A. Huguenot van der Linden. A large picture by Van Dijk appeared on the frontpage of De Telegraaf after the moonlanding on 20 July 1969, when no photo material was available yet.

Johan van Dijk exhibited his work in the Amsterdam-based barbershop of "Figaro Pasquale" in 1988 (De Telegraaf, 6 December 1988)

The articles evolved into in the books 'Eerste maan-dag' (1969) and 'Sprong zonder einde: Ruimtevaart eergisteren en overmorgen' (1969), which were published by the paper's publishing label Teleboek. Johan van Dijk was one of the editors of Minitoe (1980-1981), the comics supplement of De Telegraaf's additional paper Courant Nieuws van de Dag. He furthermore made designs and illustrations for carnival federations, including the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC). He passed away on 3 January 2008 at the age of 80.

Drawing for an article about the city of Almere (De Telegraaf, 27 September 1975)

Series and books by Johan van Dijk in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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