Comic Creator Fritzi Harmsen van Beek

Fritzi Harmsen van Beek

Fritzi ten Harmsen van der Beek

(28 June 1927 - 4 April 2009, The Netherlands)   Netherlands

Fritzi  Harmsen van Beek

Flipje by Fritzi Harmsen van Beek
'Flipje in Kabouterland'.

Fritzi Harmsen van Beek was a Dutch writer, poet and artist. She was born in Blaricum as the daughter of artists Eelco Harmsen van Beek and Freddie Langeler. Her father was the artist of the 'Flipje van Tiel' comic books, published by jelly factory De Betuwe. While still a child, Fritzi and her brother Hein helped their parents with the texts and the coloring of the 'Flipje' books. When her father died in 1953, Fritzi finished 'Flipje' series 46 and she made series 47, but with little success. Her drawings were deemed not gentle enough by her Reformed client. Her so-called "lost story" wasn't reprinted until September 2015, by De Bezige Bij.

When she and her brother Hein had spent all of her parents' heritage, Fritzi squatted the villa Jagtlust in Blaricum, that became a breeding ground for the Amsterdam art scene. The villa was frequented by artistic people like poet Simon Vinkenoog, photographer and filmmaker Ed van der Elsken, actor Rijk de Gooyer, writer Gerard Reve, novelist and poet Cees Nooteboom, illustrator Guus Boissevain and many more. She was married to writer Remco Campert from 1957 to 1960 and engaged to several other men in the years that followed, including artist Peter Vos.

De Bezige Bij published the first collection with her poetry in 1965, called 'Geachte Muizenpoot en andere gedichten', to much critical acclaim. A couple of other books followed in the 1960s and 1970s, but Fritzi mainly spent her days entertaining her guests and living from the goodwill of her friends and admirers. As an artist, she made some small drawings for magazines like Vrij Nederland. She also made an illustrated book with an Easter story that she wrote for her son in 1969, called 'Gewone Piet & Andere Piet', 

Villa Jagtlust was evacuated by the Amsterdam city council in 1971. Fritzi Harmsen van Beek then moved to the village of Garnwerd, Groningen, where she spent the rest of her life in reclusion. Dutch writer and historian Annejet van der Zijl wrote a book about Fritzi and life on Jagtlust, published in 1998.

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