Margreet de Heer, who sometimes uses the pseudonym Senoeni, is a Dutch comic artist who has gained international recognition through her informative comic books. She was born in Leiden and grew up in the North of Holland into a family of two reverends in the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1990, she moved to Amsterdam, where she studied Theology at the University of Amsterdam. From 1994 until 1996, she was an exchange student in Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon her return to Holland, she started to take her hobby of drawing comics more seriously and joined Maaike Hartjes' comic studio De Zwarte Handel. 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 first self-published comic, 'Misc. I', appeared in 1999, and was soon followed by 'How To Get Over Your Ex?'. Around the same time, Margreet graduated as a theologist. Not feeling that she had a "calling" in the church, however, she decided to look for a job around comics and 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 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.
During her period with Lambiek, Margreet steadily continued to work on her comics oeuvre. In the autumn of 2002, she started the self-published comic book series 'Kinderleed Komix', about her experiences as a stepmother. In the following year, she founded Senoeni Comics Productions, through which she published her own comics, but also those of children who showed a talent and interest in comics. She continued to coach young talent through the Daily Danger website between 2008 and 2011. Among the young authors guided by Margreet are Wouter Goudswaard, Daniël Arruda Massa, Pim Steinmann, Aimée de Jongh and Emma Ringelberg. Senoeni Productions also released the collective books 'Strips in Stereo - Bootleg' (2006) and 'Sprookjes in Strookjes' (2006).
In addition, 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 'Stella' ran on the back pages of Flo' magazine by Malmberg in the period 2005-2008. Her longest running comic has been 'Mijntje', which is published in Zij aan Zij, a magazine for lesbians, since the Spring of 2004.
Shorterlived 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). 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 served as a cartoonist at conventions and board meetings.
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".
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.
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.
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. Margreet and Yiri also participate in theatrical activities, such as the Terra:Extremitas art event with the theatre company FoolishPeople in 2008, and in the annual Summer courses at Oxford University. Events that are afterwards regularly chronicled in online comic reports. In 2013 Margreet made an informative comic book about the history of Dutch comics in commission of the Meermanno Museum in The Hague. She also has a regular page in Predikant & Samenleving, the magazine for pastors in Holland, and makes the historical strip 'Zo Zat Dat' in Wetenschap in Beeld.