Bim in Amerika, by Piet van Elk

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'.

De Drie Musketiers, by Piet van Elk

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.

Oem, by Piet van Elk

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 and Bayer made 'Berry en Terry' in Het Parool, 'De Avonturen van Oem' in Trouw and the more adult 'De terugkeer van graaf Cagliostro'. Piet van Elk settled in the south of France in 1952, where he further developed his painting skills. Upon his return to Holland in 1955, he went to work in animation, participating in the creation of the film 'Moonglow' by the Toonder Studios, among other projects. He eventually left for the USA, where he found employment with the Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1962. Among his jobs there were  painting backgrounds on TV series like 'Scooby Doo'. He retired in 1982 and from then on spent his summers back in Holland. He died in 1994, during one of these visits.

Avonturen van Bim, by Piet van Elk

Piet van Elk biografie
(in dutch)

Series and books by Piet van Elk in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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