Religie in Beeld by Margreet de Heer
'Liefde in Beeld'.

Margreet de Heer is a Dutch author of mainly informative comics, and one of the foremost promotors of the comic medium in the Netherlands. Originally a theologist, she started out in the Dutch small-press scene of late 1990s and early 2000s with a variety of autobiographical comics, including her 'Kinderleed Komix' series. Her regular comic features for Dutch magazines, such as 'Mijntje' (2004-   ), 'Isa' (2004-2008) and 'Stella' (2005-2008, 2012-2013), paved the way for a professional career. She gradually shifted towards comic reports on philosophical subjects, with herself in a starring role. These resulted in her informative comic book series 'Discoveries in Comics' (since 2007), which she has made in a steady collaboration with her husband, colorist and soulmate Yiri T. Kohl. These insightful and funny looks at diverse topics like philosophy, religion, science, world domination and love have earned her international recognition with translations in English, Portuguese and Korean too. As the original editor of the Lambiek Comiclopedia (2000-2005), Margreet de Heer developed a wide knowledge of Dutch comic history and a keen eye for young talent, which she has guided through her own publishing label Senoeni and the online platform Daily Danger. Between 2017 and 2020, she served as "Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands" ("Stripmaker des Vaderlands"). Her spearpoint during her three-year term was promoting the usage of comics in the Dutch educational system. In the 2020s, she became a regular presense in the Dutch comic magazines, contributing extensively to the Personalia titles Stripglossy and Jump, as well as creating her own comic 'Casa Kiki' (2022- ) with husband Yir for girls magazine Tina. In 2023, she created the graphic novel 'Jij Gaat Dood', based on the gripping autobiographical novel by Munchausen by proxy survivor Nina Blom.

Early life and career
Margreet de Heer was born in 1972 in Leiden. She grew up in several towns in the northern provinces of the Netherlands into a family of two reverends in the Dutch Reformed Church. Her brothers are film editor Paul de Heer (1975) and animation artist Maarten Isaäk de Heer (1977). In 1990, Margreet moved to Amsterdam, where she shortly attended the Film Academy before studying Theology at the University of Amsterdam. From 1994 until 1996, she was an exchange student in Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon her return to the Netherlands, she started to take her hobby of drawing comics more seriously and joined Maaike Hartjes' comic studio De Zwarte Handel in 1998. Her first self-published comic, 'Misc. I', appeared in 1999, and was soon followed by 'How To Get Over Your Ex?' (1999). Around that time, Margreet graduated as a theologist. Her lifelong mentor and inspirator with regard to religion and philosophy was the poet, theologist and writer Karel Eykman (1936-2022). For her comics, she ranks Hartjes as one of her main artistic influences, together with Michiel van de Pol, Bill Watterson, Scott McCloud and the 'Van Nul tot Nu' series by Thom Roep and Co Loerakker. Her overall passion for all aspects of comics culture and its history was fuelled by Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker, her next employer.

Lambiek webteam
Margreet with the Lambiek webteam in August 2004.

Not feeling that she had a "calling" in the church, she decided to look for a job involving comics. She found one at the comic store Lambiek in Amsterdam, where she worked for five years as a web designer. Margreet edited the Comiclopedia on this website together with Bas Schuddeboom, and also set up the Dutch section about the history of comics in the Netherlands; all under the watchful eye of Lambiek's founder Kees Kousemaker. Together with Kousemaker she also compiled 'De Wereld van de Nederlandse Strip', a richly illustrated book about Dutch comics, published by Terra in 2005. De Heer has called this period at the "Kousemaker Academy" the actual foundation of her future career.

Kinderleed Comix Kinderleed Comix

Kinderleed Komix / Senoeni
During her period with Lambiek, Margreet steadily continued to work on her own comics. In the autumn of 2002, she started the self-published comic book series 'Kinderleed Komix', about her recent experiences as a stepmother. In the following year, she founded Senoeni Comics Productions, through which she published not only her own comics, but also those of children who showed a talent and interest in comics. As print publications became too expensive during the financial crisis in 2008, she continued to coach young talent through the Daily Danger website between 2008 and 2011. Among the young authors guided by Margreet throughout the years are Wouter Goudswaard, Daniël Arruda Massa, Pim SteinmannAimée de Jongh, Emma Ringelberg, Melanie Kranenburg and Jonathan van Engelenhoven. Senoeni Productions also released the collective books 'Strips in Stereo - Bootleg' (2006) and 'Sprookjes in Strookjes' (2006), which contained comics interpretations of songs and fairy tales, respectively.

Isa, by Margreet de Heer

Isa / Stella / Mijntje
Gradually, Margreet's work found its way to magazines. Sanoma's weekly magazine for girls Yes published her strip 'Isa' between 2004 and 2008, while her strip 'Het Dagboek van Stella' ran on the back pages of Flo' magazine by Malmberg in the period 2005-2008. A slightly older Stella later returned in Francine Oomen's Hoe Overleef Ik magazine in 2012-2013. Both comics where humorous depictions of the everyday life and worries of an adolescent girl. Margreet's longest running character is the free-spirited 'Mijntje' (2004-   ), which was published in the lesbian's magazine Zij aan Zij since the Spring of 2004. 'Mijntje' goes down in history as the Netherlands' first (and only) bi-sexual comic character. In 2017, the magazine switched from print to online, and by 2020, De Heer decided to quit 'Mijntje', feeling the character's cheerful politcal incorrectness no longer worked in a time of grim polarization. In 2022, she revived 'Mijntje' in Stripglossy magazine.

Mijntje by Margreet de Heer

Other comics in the 2000s
Shorter-lived series were 'Robin & Julie' for the Belgian magazine Farfelu (2006-2008), 'Rens & Gevoelens' for Margreet Dolman's magazine Mens & Gevoelens (2006) and 'Babytalk' for VivaMama (2007-2008). Her character 'Roos' was created for, a website for fetish supplies, while 'Shrooma' advertised for magic mushrooms on She was also hired as a scriptwriter for magazines Jippo ('Nino & Nena', art by Floris de Smedt), Okki ('Okki', art by Adrie Janssen and other members of Tekenteam) and National Geographic Junior ('Stuntelman', art by Sander de Fouw), and was for hire as a cartoonist at conventions and board meetings.

War on Terror, by Margreet de Heer
Part of Margreet's comical take on the "War On Terror", which went viral short after its online publication in March 2003.

By 2006, she also ventured into the field of newspaper comics with the autobiographical series 'Echt', which she made in alternation with five other artists for NRC.Next. The other artists involved were Michiel van de Pol, Floor de Goede, Maaike Hartjes, Gerrie Hondius, and Barbara Stok. But it were the monthly comic reports on philosophical subjects that she made for newspaper Trouw between 2007 and 2010 that paved the way for her groundbreaking series of "Discoveries in Comics" as they caught the attention of Meinema publisher Kees Korenhof.

Comics report by Margreet de Heer
Part of Margreet's philosophical comic dealing with the death of Kees Kousemaker in 2010.

Discoveries in Comics
The first of this series, called 'Filosofie in Beeld', dealt with western philosophy and was published by Meinema. The book was presented in Gallery Lambiek in March 2010. The follow-up, 'Religie in Beeld', took a look at the five world religions and was presented in Lambiek on 25 February 2011. 'Wetenschappen in Beeld', the third installment, dealt with science and was published in October 2012. 'Wereldheerschappij in Beeld' dealt with world domination and was published in 2015. 'Liefde in Beeld' (2017) is for now the final volume in the series.

Philosophy: a Discography in Comics by Margreet de Heer
'Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics'.

The books are widely praised for the playful and readable way they deal with difficult subject matter. The author treats the sometimes sensitive subjects from several points of view, thus avoiding partiality, and interweaves the informative parts with doubts and personal thoughts through representations of herself and her husband. Her book about philosophy was the first to be translated into English. It was published as 'Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics' by the US publisher NBM in August 2012. 'Science: a Discovery in Comics' followed in September 2013, and 'Religion: a Discovery in Comics' in 2015. The books have also been published in Brazil and Korea.

Collaboration with Yiri T. Kohl
Since 2008, Margreet has worked in close collaboration with her husband, comic artist, painter and poet Yiri T. Kohl, who acts as her sounding board and colorist. The two have also developed the gag strip 'ZMan - De Man van de Straatkrant' (2016), which was intended for free street newspapers, but was eventually published in StripNieuws and Stripglossy. Margreet and Yiri also participate in theatrical activities, such as the Terra:Extremitas art event with the theatre company FoolishPeople in 2008, the annual summer courses at Oxford University and the on location performances of the Frisian theater group WIG Producties. Events that are afterwards often chronicled in online comics reports.

'Zo Zat Dat'.

Other comics
In 2013, Margreet made an informative comic book about the history of Dutch comics in commission of the Meermanno Museum in The Hague. Since 2012, she has a regular page called 'Dominee De Heer' in Predikant & Samenleving, the magazine for Dutch pastors, in which she presents an alternate version of herself that did end up dedicating her life to theology. One of De Heer's most widely spread productions was her 2015 'Global Goals' comic in commission of the organization Reading with Pictures. Translated and distributed all over the globe, this free comic spread the word about the 17 "Global Goals of Sustainable Development" by the United Nations in comic format. For the scientific magazine Wetenschap in Beeld, she makes an informative strip about history called 'Zo Zat Dat' (2016-). In 2017 and 2018, she was also one of the cartoonists for the popular childrens' science magazine Quest Junior. In 2017, Margreet made comic strips about the Ten Commandments for the book 'Zodat Het Je Goed Gaat', which also features short stories by theologist Karel Eykman.

Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands
Between 2017 and 2020, Margreet served as "Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands" ("Stripmaker des Vaderlands"). The function was initiated by the aaStrips foundation, and aimed to represent the comic medium in the Netherlands in all its facets, in a way similarly to what the "Poet Laureate" does for poetry. On 12 October 2017, Margreet was elected over three other contestants: Robert van der Kroft, Pieter Hogenbirk and Maaike Hartjes. Right from the start, her goal was to promote the use of comics in the Dutch educational system. Together with former Comiclopedia colleague Bas Schuddeboom and high school teacher Willard Mans, she compiled a guide of 55 Dutch and Flemish graphic novels for inclusion on high school reading lists, presented on 7 November 2018 in the Scheltema book store in Amsterdam. In late 2020, the team compiled a follow-up with 33 new graphic novels released in the period 2018-2020 alone. To win over still hesitant teachers, Margreet and Willard held presentations at teachers' congresses and other events. The initiative was well received, with a lot of press coverage. Between September 2018 and June 2019, she also made a comic column for the teachers' magazine Van Twaalf Tot Achttien.

One of the comic timelines made by Margreet during her tenure as "Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands" (English version).

As the comic representative, she additionally handed out the annual Stripschap Awards, successively to Peter van Dongen (2018), Typex (2019) and Wasco (2020), and acted as co-host of Robin Vinck's Stripjournaal podcast, where she had her own "Comic Artist Laureate Reading Section". During her three year term, she chronicled the progress of her activities in comic timelines, appearing in magazines StripNieuws and Stripglossy. Further experimenting with the genre of comic journalism, she made comic interviews with several people from the Dutch comic scene, published in Eppo, Stripglossy and StripNieuws. At the end of her period as "Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands", Margreet compiled all the comics she made while in function in a luxury book. To fund the project, she organized a playful crowdfunding campaign. For promotion, she kept true to her initial slogan: "She strips for her country!". She let herself be photographed in the nude, and asked several comic artists to further decorate these "blotos" ("bloot" means nude in Dutch) with their art. Besides artistic and funny results, the initiative and the ensuing press coverage also turned into a powerful statement of body positivity. With her project fully funded, the book 'Strip Holland Strip' (Personalia, 2021) appeared in March 2021 with a print run of 1,000 copies. By then, Margreet was already succeeded in her role as "Comic Artist Laureate" by Herman Roozen. Margreet continues her quest to promote comics in schools in the role of "OASE" ("Openbaar Aanspreekpunt Strips en Educatie"): the "Public Contact Point for Comics and Education".

Comic interview with Spider-Man for Jump magazine #8, 2021(English version).

Work with Personalia
A great help to Margreet's Comic Artist Laureate projects was publisher Seb van der Kaaden of Personalia, and this resulted in further collaborations. She was guest editor-in-chief of the 16th edition of Personalia's Stripglossy (March 2020), fully devoted to the (canceled) 2020 Songfestival. She gathered enough comic material to fill a supplemental songfestival comic book, appearing in the following year as 'SNGFSTVL & STRIPS' (Zero Points Publications, 2021), co-edited by Dolly Bellefleur (stage name of cross-dresser Ruud Douma). Her art has continued to appear in later issues of Stripglossy; Margreet contributes comic interviews, new episodes of both 'Mijntje' and 'Zman', and comic strips with the 'Stripgekkie' ("Comic Loony") character, a cartoony version of publisher Van der Kaaden.

Also in 2020, she participated in the launch of Personalia's new children's comics monthly Jump. It is named after the comic series by Charel Cambré, and contains mainly translated foreign material and reprints of classic Dutch comics, including Margreet's own 'Dagboek van Stella'. A new production each month is a video call interview of ten-year old editor-in-chief Tim (the son of publisher Van der Kaaden) with one of his heroes. It is then transformed by Margreet into a comics collage of stills from the video and illustrations. De Heer is also part of Jump's editorial team, making illustrations and scouting new talent like Mas Hab to contribute to the magazine. Together with publisher Seb van der Kaaden, Margreet has also remained co-host of the Stripjournaal podcast by Robin Vinck, resulting in insightful and entertaining talks with many professionals, both young and old, from the Dutch comic scene. 

Casa Kiki - 'Bergen vol herinnering' (Tina #7, 2023).

Since 2022, Margreet de Heer is also a regular in the Dutch girls magazine Tina. In 2021, she was approached by Bas Schuddeboom - also comic editor for the DPG children's magazines - to create a new comic feature for girl's magazine Tina. Based on an initial idea by Schuddeboom and Marloes de Vries, she further developed the concept into 'Casa Kiki' (2022-   ), about a thirteen year-old Dutch girl who moves with her family to Italy to rebuild an old ramshackle country estate into a hotel. The comic was her first real venture into fiction comics for children, and is again made in steady collaboration with Yiri T. Kohl, who does the coloring and additional background art. 'Casa Kiki' debuted in the 6 January 2022 issue of Tina, and the first book collection appeared at Personalia in September 2022.

Producing two five-page episodes of 'Casa Kiki' per month proved a heavy burden for De Heer and Kohl, and their publication rhythm was cut in half. It proved a blessing in disguise, because the Tina team could now fill the free spots in their magazine with comics by new creators, consisting of either one-shot stories or recurring features. Over the course of 2023, Margreet de Heer proved a fruitful scriptwriter to help these productions on the way. Together with illustrator Juliette de Wit, she created 'Ryoko' (2023- ), a comic feature dealing with prejudice and expectations. Her fantasy comic 'Kimmie en de Tijdring' ("Kimmy and the Time-Ring", 2023) was drawn by Kimberly Geelen and 'Marrie & Merrie', a humor comic about a girl and her horse, by Dorith Graef. An additional one-shot story about birdwatching was drawn by Mars Gremmen.

'Jij Gaat Dood' (2023).

Jij Gaat Dood
Ever since her activities as Comic Artist Laureate, Margreet de Heer has been an avid promotor of crowdfunding for comic book projects. One of the projects she supported the most ardently was the comic adapation of Nina Blom's 2011 novel 'Je bent een verschrikkelijk kind' ("You are a terrible child"). This autobiographical book tells the heartbreaking story of a girl who was made ill by her mother for fourteen years and was a victim of the Münchhausen by Proxy syndrome. When the initially proposed authors for the comic adaptation fell through, Margreet de Heer stepped in for both the script and artwork. Aided for the moody greytone coloring by Ruben Brinkman, Margreet turned Nina Blom's story into the 200-page graphic novel 'Jij Gaat Dood' ("You're Going To Die"), in which she took some creative freedom with the source material. Published after a successful crowdfunding campaign by Personalia in May 2023, the book is part of Nina Blom's ongoing mission to warn and educate about the Munchausen by proxy syndrome, in the hope that this form of child abuse can be detected in an earlier stage.

Graphic contributions
In 2020, she joined 75 Dutch & Flemish comic artists to make a graphic contribution to the free collective comic book 'Striphelden versus Corona' (Oogachtend, Uitgeverij L, 2020). The book is intended to support comics stores who had to close their doors for two months during the lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Science: a Discography in Comics by Margreet de Heer
'Science: a Discovery in Comics' (click to enlarge).

Series and books by Margreet de Heer you can order today:


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