comic, presumably by Henk Gijsbers
Radiobode, 29 December 1957.

Henk Gijsbers was a Dutch illustrator and political cartoonist, also known as simply "Gys". Over the course of his career, he made illustrations and cartoons for newspapers, weeklies, union magazines and TV programs. Among his regular clients were Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Radiobode/Avrobode, Haagsche Courant and Elsevier.

Early life
Born in 1930, Hendrik Jacob Gijsbers grew up in Utrecht. Not much is known about his early years, except that he apparently had an early talent for drawing. On 2 April 1942, newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad listed 11-12 year old Henk Gijsbers from Utrecht among the winners of a drawing contest held by Amsterdam department store De Bijenkorf. Shortly after the 1944 Liberation, at age 15, he won another contest, organized by VIVO, a purchasing organization of grocers.


Final episode of 'Casper en de Neminskdiamant', in which the protagonist tells his adventures to the cartoonist, "mister Gijsbers" (Opregte Steenwijker Courant, 20 April 1954).

Caspar
Early in his twenties, Gijsbers created the newspaper comic serial 'Caspar en de Neminskdiamant' (1953-1954, AKA 'Caspar en de Neminsky-diamant'), about a keen investigator who has to safeguard the precious Neminsky diamond (although in some papers the title says "Neminsk" diamond). It was made in the traditional text comic format, with dialogues and captions below the panels, and serialized in a couple of local newspapers, including De Nieuwe Meppeler and Opregte Steenwijker Courant (between 17 July 1953 and 20 April 1954).


Rhyme and illustration for Utrechts Nieuwsblad, 8 January 1966.

Work in Utrecht
From the 1950s on, he designed advertisements and record covers, and was a satirical cartoonist and house illustrator for the local newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad. Besides giving satirical commentary on the news with his cartoons, he wrote and illustrated rhymes for the children's page. From December 1964 on, he also illustrated the text serials about 'Professor Lepidus' by W.N. van der Sluys, about two boys joining a professor on his sci-fi adventures. He also served as jury member during local drawing contests and was a live cartoonist at charity events.

Paul Vlaanderen serial by Henk Gysbers
'Paul Vlaanderen' serial from 2 September 1958.

Radiobode
Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Gijsbers was also a prominent illustrator for Radiobode (later Avrobode), the radio guide of broadcasting corporation AVRO. He alternated with Henk Albers and Eppo Doeve as illustrator for the magazine's 'Paul Vlaanderen' serials. These were adaptations of the radio plays of the same name, which in turn were based on the British 'Paul Temple' crime stories by Francis Durbridge. Between 15 December 1957 and 1 February 1959, he also illustrated 'Eddy de Televisie-aap', a funny animal text comic serial, written by Paul Biegel.


Segment of Henk Gijsbers' comic strip for Haagsche Courant, 27 September 1975.

Cartoonist
Later in life, Gijsbers was an editorial cartoonist for other newspapers and magazines. In the 1970s and 1980s, his satirical political drawings notably appeared in opinion magazine Elsevier and the newspaper Haagsche Courant. In 1975, the latter also ran his untitled comic strip about the generation gap between a teenage daughter and her old-fashioned father, a feature obviously inspired by Peter van Straaten's comic strip 'Vader en Zoon' (1968-1987) in Het Parool. Sports cartoons by Gijsbers appeared in the magazines Sport Intermedium (1980-1984) and Nationaal Sport Magazine (1985-1989).


Illustration for Rabioband, 1 June 1976.

He also provided drawings to union and staff magazines. Along with Arend van Dam and Herman Jonkman, he was a regular cartoonist for Raboband, the in-house magazine of Rabobank (period 1976-1981). From 1984 on, he made many cartoons for VAGWW, the Association of Contractors for Soil, Water and Road Construction. In 1994, a collection of these cartoons was published under the title 'Zand erover...'.

Recognition
In 1979, the city of Utrecht awarded Gijsbers the "Zilveren Komkommer" ("Silver Cucumber") for his satirical takes on the everyday news.

Death
In 1999 Henk Gijsbers passed away in Groenekan.


Henk Gijsbers as live cartoonist during a youth event in support of the charity work of a Utrecht couple in Southern Italy (Utrechts Nieuwblad, 16 March 1959).

Series and books by Henk Gijsbers in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

X

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.