Krelissie en Dirrekie, by Albert Funke Küpper
'Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje' (1929).

Albert Funke Küpper was a Dutch illustrator, comic artist, caricaturist and political cartoonist of German descent, who was mainly associated with the worker's movement. A socially conscious man, he made numerous cartoons, illustrations and posters which criticized fascism and capitalism. As a comics artist he made several short-lived series like 'Krelissie en Dirrekie' (1923-1924), 'Pim en Puk' (1926-1927),  'Dicky en Dirrekie Durf' (1928-1929) and 'Rodolfinus en Eleonora' (1934). Between 1927 and 1928 he continued Gerrit Rotman's series 'Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje'.

Early life and career
He was born in 1894 in Ruhrort, Germany, as Albert Johann Funke Küpper. His father was the Westphalian painter Bernard Anton Funke Küpper, who moved to Rotterdam after marrying a Dutch girl. He got his artistic talents from his father, just like his younger brothers Frans Funke Küpper and Theo Funke Küpper, who were also active as illustrators and comic artists. Albert made paintings, illustrations, picture stories, caricatures, etchings and political drawings. In 1912 he began working as a teacher in Rotterdam, where he also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He was mobilized in 1914, and naturalized as a Dutchman in 1917. He didn't return to teaching after First World War, but focused on drawing and painting.

Krelissie en Dirrekie by Albert Funke Kupper
'De Geschiedenis van Krelissie en Dirrekie', Voorwaarts, 7 July 1926.

Krelissie en Dirrekie
He made his debut in 1923 in the social-democratic daily newspaper Voorwaarts. He initially became the paper's comic artist, after Henk Backer had ended his serial 'Hansje Teddybeer', and moved over to the Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad. Funke Küpper's first strip was 'De Geschiedenis van Krelissie en Dirrekie', about two farmer children, namely Krelis the boy and his sister Dirrekie. The comic ran in Voorwaarts from 31 October 1923 until 20 March 1924.

Pim en Puk, de Konijnenpeuters
Funke Küpper's next comic was 'Kromme sprongen van Pim en Puk, de Konijnenpeuters' from 15 March 1926 until 4 July 1927. The comic starred two little bunny rabbits. During the same period, he also made his first political drawings for this paper.

Pim en Puk by Albert Funke Kupper
'Pim en Puk, de Konijnenpeuters', Voorwaarts, 21 April 1926. 

Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje
In 1927 he took over the popular picture story 'Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje', after a dispute with the editors had motivated the original artist Gerrit Rotman to leave. Funke Küpper became a staff artist of Voorwaarts, and drew over 1,600 pictures about the two little mice until 18 October 1928. The texts were written by journalist Arie Pleysier (1891-1980), who probably also got Funke Küpper involved in the worker's movement. The comic strip appeared in more than 20 other Dutch regional newspapers, and a couple of foreign publications. During his tenure, a couple of mice from different cultures were added to the cast, such as Tji Tjong Pi (a Chinese mouse), Ali ben Gejochte (an Arabic mouse) and Labbernoekas XXII (a dark mouse).

Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje by Albert Funke Kupper
'Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje', Voorwaarts, 4 November 1927.

Dicky en Dirrekie Durf
Voorwaarts published Albert Funke Küpper's final comic strip between 3 December 1928 and 1 August 1929: 'De Wereldreis van Dicky en Dirrekie Durf', also written by Pleysier. It revolved around a boy, Dicky, and his sister, Dirrekie, who made a world voyage. 

Move to De Arbeiderspers / De Notenkraker
In 1929 Funke Küpper headed for Amsterdam, where he was employed by newly-founded socialist publishing company De Arbeiderspers. He was initially active as illustrator for his publisher's book publications, and as a political cartoonist for the socialist daily Het Volk. Funke Küpper showed a deep sympathy for the plight of the lower classes, especially children, in many of his political cartoons. From 1929 on he became one of the driving forces behind the satirical weekly De Notenkraker, for which he made many anti-fascist cartoons. Albert Funke Küpper's energy, involvement and unceasing productivity were such, that the magazine didn't last long after his untimely death in 1934.

Rodolfinus en Eleonora
Funke Küpper and Pleysier teamed up again in 1934, when Pleysier wrote the text comic 'Rodolfinus en Eleonora', which was prepublished in Voorwaarts and later published in book form too. The fairy tale revolves around two dolls, Klaasje Vaak & Lang Dun en Lekker, who are abducted by Haaievel the witch, but manage to escape. They end up in a forest, where a group of gnomes mistake them for their king and queen Rodolfinus en Eleonora... 

Death
Unfortunately 'Rodolfinus en Eleonora' happened to be Albert Funke Küpper's swan song, as he passed away on 23 November 1934 in Nunspeet at the age of 40, when his car crashed with a train at an unguarded railway. He was the first of his brothers to pass away. 

cover van De Notenkraker, door Albert Funke Küppercover van De Notenkraker, door Albert Funke Küpper

Dutch biography in De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

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