Kaatje et Klopje, by Jacques Eggermont

Jacques Eggermont got his education at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels. Together with Eddy Paape, he inscribed in the section Arts and Decoration, and focused on a career as a painter. Disappointed by the offers - the mostly religious art assignments didn't meet up with the artists' innovative ambitions - Eggermont and Paape switched their focus to animation. They made a short animation film for their exams, which was noted by Paul Nagant, owner of the Compagnie Belge d'Actualités (C.B.A.). The artists were hired by Nagant to work in his animation studios, where they worked on various projects during wartime under the anglicized and joint pen name Jackeddy. They were later accompanied by young artists like Franquin, Morris and Peyo.

When C.B.A. folded, his colleagues went on to make comics for the publishing house Dupuis, but Eggermont didn't feel much for this field. After the Liberation, he did some more advertising films for Nagant, before founding his own studios, L'Institut Photographique de Belgique. He did some advertising films with his assistant Julien Bal, but looked forward to make animated fiction films. He asked his old colleagues to join him, but they preferred to stick to their steady income at Dupuis. Finally, after two hard years, Eggermont's studios had to close its doors in 1950. In order to earn some money, Eggermont made a handful of comics, published in several magazines. Amongst his creations were the sailor 'Bicky', and the series 'Kaatje et Klopje'.

Kaatje et Klopje, by Jacques Eggermont

Eggermont still wanted to fulfill his ambitions in animation, and sent a book with scribbles inspired by 'Snow White' to Walt Disney in the States. He hoped to get advice from Disney and perhaps even work for him. Instead, the Disney Company sent him an angry letter, in which they threatened to sue him if he'd continue with this plagiarism. This reaction devastated Eggermont, and he remained bitter for the rest of his life. He began to make caricatures for 'Pourquoi Pas?', but he left the magazine when he inherited a lot of money from his father. He settled in the South of France, where he lived in a trailer in a nudist camp. He eventually returned to Belgium, where he painted and worked as a piano tuner. Jacques Eggermont died in November 1998.

Jacques Eggermont
Jacques Eggermont working in his studio

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