Japie Lef by Hanni Bal
'Japie Lef', 1936. 

Hanni Bal was the pen name of an early to mid-20th century, presumably Dutch comic artist working for the Catholic publishing house De Spaarnestad during the 1930s.

No information is known about the artist's identity or background. The name "Hanni Bal" alludes to the name of the Carthagian general Hannibal and "Hannie", a Dutch girl's name. Art by the mysterious Hanni Bal appeared in the children's and humor supplements of the family magazine Katholieke Illustratie by the Catholic publishing house De Spaarnestad in Haarlem. Since most comic pages were printed uncredited at the time, it is all the more  remarkable that Hanni Bal's pseudonymous name appears prominently in the headers. Other Dutch creators like B.J. Reith and Piet Worm were not given the same treatment.

Hanni Bal's comics appeared predominantly in OKKI ("Onze Kleine Katholieke Illustratie"), a children's supplement with an edifying Catholic nature. This included the 'Hannies Droom' ("Hannie's Dream", 1936-1937) feature, as well as 'Japie Lef' (1936), a picture story series about a young boy who tries to get out of doing chores, but always gets the short end of the stick. 'Japie Lef' also appeared in the humor supplement of Katholieke Illustratie, Humor en Ontspanning and its successor De Narrenkap.

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