Piet van Elk got his artistic education at the Kunstnijverheidschool in Amsterdam. In 1942, he and his brother John self-published the comic book 'De avonturen van Drie Musketiers' ('The Adventures of the Three Musketeers'). Shortly afterwards, the brothers published another book, 'De Avonturen van Ridder Rudolf'.
The Van Elk brothers began an animation studio in Amsterdam in 1942. They created the kitten 'Bim', initially for an animation project, but eventually for a newspaper comic. The character later became a human boy because of a possible resemblance to Marten Toonder's 'Tom Poes'. 'De Avonturen van Bim' was initially written by John van Elk, who died in the Neuengamme concentration camp after having written only three stories. Piet van Elk continued 'Bim' with scriptwriter Eddie Bayer, and when the series stopped in 1951, 28 stories had been published in various newspapers.
Shortly after the War, Van Elk began the magazine Stripfilm, which he filled with the work of Henk Albers, Albert van Beek and Siem Praamsma. When the magazine folded, the studio focused on producing comics for regional and Belgian newspapers, and was joined by the artists Francis Paid, Willy Kuyper, Flip van der Schalie and Hans Nije.
During the same period, Van Elk and Bayer published 'Dokie Durf' in several newspapers through the Persbelangen agency. In addition, Van Elk made 'Berry en Terry' in Het Parool and 'Oem' in Trouw. Piet van Elk settled in the south of France in 1952. Upon his return, he went to work in animation. In 1962, he left for the U.S., where he did animation work for the Hanna-Barbera Studios, painting backgrounds on among others 'Scooby Doo'. He died in 1994, during a visit to Holland.
Piet van Elk biografie