Jan-Dirk van Exter was born in Amsterdam in 1915, and started his comics career at the Heldersche Courant in 1932. Beginning in 1934, he did freelance illustration work for magazines and newspapers like De Tijd, Waterkampioen, and the Algemeen Handelsblad. For the magazine Doe Mee, he created the strip 'Avonturen onder de Waterspiegel'. During the war mobilization days, he created the soldier 'Jan Kordaat' for Algemeen Handelsblad newspaper, but the publication was cancelled when World War II broke out. In 1943-44, van Exter worked for the Marten Toonder Studios.
During the War he published for the illegal press. He was arrested, and sent to a prison camp near Hannover, Germany. After the War, he went to work for the satirical magazine Sic, for which he created illustrations, cartoons and the text strip 'Atomo'. In 1946, he created the balloon strip 'Rikki en de Waterdemon van het Alkmaarder-meer', which appeared in all the journals of the Regionale Dagblad Pers. Van Exter's children's comic, 'Pim, Pam & Pom', first appeared in 1947. 'Rikki' was replaced by 'Fred Frame' in 1956.
Van Exter's most successful comic was 'Brommy and Tommy', which appeared in the newspaper Het Parool from September 1958. In the seventies, many of his comics were reissued. In 1980, Van Exter got together with Gé Tol to work on an educational comic about sailing, which was reprinted many times and even translated into German: 'Segeln Lernen - Kinderleicht'.