Raket Ridders by Rod. Draga

Dick Dreux was a Dutch writer of children's literature and radio plays, whose oeuvre was mostly of an historical nature and related to the sea. In the 1940s and early 1950s he was additionally active as a cartoonist, creating the sci-fi comic 'Raket-Ridders' (1950-1951) under the pen name Rod. Draga.

Early life
Dreux was born in Amsterdam in 1913. After completing secondary school at the age of 16, Dreux spent the following years roaming the seas as a sailor, living an adventurous life. He was a man with a strong will, who stood by his ideals. A follower of council communism, Dreux fought against Franco's troops during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). He returned to his home country before the outbreak of World War II, during which he fulfilled his military service. He spent the final years in the transit camp Amersfoort and a labor camp on the German Wadden isle Borkum. Already during the German occupation, Dick Dreux had made satirical drawings for the Dutch resistance. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam, where he began his career as an author and, initially, as a cartoonist.

Cartoonist
In second half of the 1940s, Dreux provided cartoons to magazines like Cheerio! and the left-socialist weekly De Vlam, signing with either Dreux or DX. He was also responsible for the sci-fi space opera 'Raket-Ridders', which appeared in the weekly magazine De Week in Beeld from 11 November 1950 until 8 September 1951. The style reminds somewhat of the science fiction comic books 'Lex Brand' and 'Tom Wels', drawn by Ben Abas. De Week in Beeld was a weekly family magazine published by De Geïllustreerde Pers from 1935 to 1953. Other comics that appeared its pages during the 1950s were 'Gijsje Goochem' by Jacobus Grosman, 'Blix-Kater' by James Ringrose and 'Verowin' by Piet Wijn and Waling Dijkstra. Dreux used the pen name "Rod. Draga" for this comic, probably because the genre was so far away from his personal field of interest. The original pages of the story popped up Dick Dreux's archives after his death.

Writer for De Geïllustreerde Pers
From the 1950s onwards, Dreux focused mainly on his writing career, still appearing in magazines published by De Geïllustreerde Pers. Text story serials by Dreux appeared in the relatively new Dutch Disney weekly Donald Duck as early as 1954. 'De kinderen van de zeerover' (1954-1955) had illustrations by Jan Lutz, while 'De verdwenen Prins' (1956), 'Het geheim van het oerwoud' (1957) and 'Randar de bevrijder' (1961) were beautifully illustrated by Hans G. Kresse. He returned to the magazine's pages once again in the 1970s with 'Naar de onbekende wereld' (1975), illustrated by Arne Zuidhoek. Dreux was again paired with Hans Kresse in the late 1950s for historical series about explorers from the 17th century and world conquerors for Revue magazine.

Novelist and radio play author
By the late 1950s Dreux and his wife lived on a houseboat in Bussum, where he picked up building ship miniatures as a hobby. His love for the sea was never far away. Many of his stories dealt with ocean ships and its many historical navigators, while they also reveal his solidarity with the working class. Dreux had several books released at De Arbeiderspers, De Geïllustreerde Pers, Zomer en Keuning and other publishers, including works like 'Ik wil geen Beul zijn', 'De Vrije Nering', 'Vals Goud', 'De Modderjongens', 'Degens in het Duister', 'De Boekaniers', 'Jan Volckertzoon', 'De Grote Leugen', 'De Stormvogel van Edam', 'Ritmeester Buat', 'Verzwegen Journaal', 'Dolle Dirck de Zaankanter', 'Des konings glorie', 'Reinier', 'Reinier Aedriaansz.', 'De Kreet van de Clauwaert', 'Vuur aan de Horizon', 'De Poorten van Ieper' and 'U bent lastig, dokter'. His job with the press got him in touch with the socialist broadcasting company VARA, for which he wrote more than 450 radio plays in the period 1959-1970. Many of them were created in cooperation with director Jan C. Hubert, and broadcast on Schoolradio.

Dick Dreux passed away in a Naarden hospital on 6 December 1978.


Dick Dreux in Hobby Bulletin (1958)

Bert van Vonder about Dick Dreux

Series and books by Dick Dreux in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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