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

Albert Funke Küpper was a Dutch illustrator, comic artist, caricaturist and political cartoonist, who was mainly associated with the worker's movement. He was born as Albert Johann Funke Küpper in Ruhrort, Germany, in 1894. 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
Voorwaarts, 7 July 1926

He made his debut in the social-democratic daily newspaper Voorwaarts in 1923. 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's first strip was 'De geschiedenis van Krelissie en Dirrekie', about two farmer boys, that ran in Voorwaarts from 31 October 1923 until 20 March 1924. His next comic was 'Kromme sprongen van Pim en Puk, de Konijnenpeuters' from 15 March 1926 until 4 July 1927. During the same period, he also made his first political drawings for this paper.

Pim en Puk by Albert Funke Kupper
Voorwaarts, 21 April 1926

In 1927 he took over the popular picture story 'Snuffelgraag en Knagelijntje', after original artist Gerrit Rotman had left after a dispute. Funke Küpper became a staff artist of Voortwaarts, and drew over 1,600 pictures of the two little mice until 18 October 1928. The texts were written by journalist Arie Pleysier, who probably also got Funke involved in the worker's movement. The strip was published in more then 20 other Dutch regional newspapers, and in a couple of foreign publications. During Funke's tenure, a couple of mice from a 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
Voorwaarts, 4 November 1927

Voorwaarts published Albert Funke Küpper's final comic strip between 3 December 1928 and 1 August 1929: 'De wereldreis van Dicky en Dirrekie Durf', that was also written by Pleysier. The artist then 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 showed a deep sympathy for the plight of the lower classes, especially children, in many of his political cartoons. From 1929 he became one of the driving forces behind the satirical weekly De Notenkraker, for which he made many anti-fascist cartoons. Albert Funke's energy, involvement and unceasing productivity were such, that the magazine didn't last long after his untimely death in 1934. He passed away in Nunspeet at the age of 40, when his car crashed with a train at an unguarded railway on 23 November 1934.

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

Dutch biography in De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Albert Funke Küpper in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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