January Jones by Eric Heuvel
January Jones -Dodenrit Naar Monte Carlo

Eric Heuvel is a Dutch comic artist and illustrator based in Zaandam. He is the artist of retro-styled comic series like 'January Jones' and 'Bud Broadway', and of many comics in commission. His educational historical comics about World War II and the Dutch Indies are the best-known of these productions. He works in the Clear Line style, in the tradition of authors like Hergé and Edgar Pierre Jacobs. He also ranks Jean Giraud/Moebius, André Juillard, André Franquin, Jean-Claude Mézières and classic MAD authors like Mort Drucker and Jack Davis among his influences.

Born in Amsterdam in 1960, Heuvel worked as a customs officer between 1983 and 1997 before turning to comics fulltime. Heuvel made his debut in the sci-fi fanzine SF-Terra with the comic story 'Frontkolder' in 1982, and then did contributions to fanzines like Krest, Rebel Comics and Yèch. He made his professional debut after presenting his work to Martin Lodewijk. Lodewijk advised Heuvel to work in the Clear Line style, and created a series about a 1930s female pilot for him. 'January Jones' made her debut in Eppo/Wordt Vervolgd in 1987, and fought against ruthless nazis and conspiring Soviet leaders with her loyal companion Rik in the magazine's successors Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad and SjoSji until 1995. The series was initially collected in four books by Big Balloon between 1987 and 1995, which were also published in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.

Bud Broadway, by Eric Heuvel
Bud Broadway

Heuvel did both text and artwork for 'Bud Broadway', a comic strip created in the vintage Dutch text comic format. The main character is a successful Broadway stand-up comedian, who has to flee the country after a quarrel with gangster Bugsy Siegel. On their flight, Bud and his manager Harvey experience a wide range of adventures set in the World War II timeframe. Nine stories were serialized in Algemeen Dagblad from 1995 until 2000, which have been collected in book format by Boumaar since 2002. In March 2003, Algemeen Dagblad also picked up Heuvel's next strip, 'Het Geheim van de Tijd' ('The Secret of Time'), which he made with scriptwriter and letterer Frits Jonker. The comic deals with the recently divorced mother Sabina, who gets entangled in a web of crime and mystery. The newspaper serialization ran for four years with large intervals, which made the rather complex story difficult to follow. The four book collections released by the publishing houses M and L (2004-2007) were widely praised however.

Outside of the general comics audience, Eric Heuvel is well-known for his commercial work, which he does through the Comic House agency. In the early 1990s he made the comic strip 'Bos & Beemd' with Hanco Kolk for the military magazine Appèl. Heuvel and Kolk made comic strips starring 'Meneer Van Looij', the character played by Rijk de Gooyer in the advertising spots of insurance company Reaal ('Ken ik effe vangen?', 1993). From 1998 to 2003 Eric also drew a comic strip based on the Dutch television comedy 'Toen Was Geluk Heel Gewoon' for Studio and Mikro Gids, the magazines of national broadcasting company KRO. The series, starring Gerard Cox and Joke Bruijs from 1994 to 2009, followed the lives of the Dutch couple Jaap and Nel in the post-war years. The strips were at first written by Rein Post, a pen name of Hanco Kolk, and then by members of Studio Noodweer.

Blokker comic by Eric Heuvel
Comic for the Blokker-Holding

Heuvel has furthermore made comics for the annual reports of the Blokker Holding, as well as a book about the history of the chain stores owned by the Blokker family ('De Historie van het Blokker-concern', 2004). His comics for the Amsterdam public transport company GVB include 'De NoordZuid' (2000), about the new subway line, and 'Lila & Kross' (2004, script Patty Klein), an educational comic about public transport for children and immigrants. 'De Zaak Sven' (2004) dealt with stalking and was made as a companion book to the musical drama 'Oresteia' by Iannis Xenakis, performed by Muziektheater Hollands Diep. Other commercial work is an educational series about the weather starring Dutch forecaster Peter Timofeeff in newspaper Metro (2003) and a comic book celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of Geertruidenberg's city rights ('De raadselachtige reis van Geert Uytdenberghe', 2013).

De Ontdekking, by Eric Heuvel
De Ontdekking

Heuvel, who studied to become a history teacher from 2001 to 2003, made educational comic pages about World War II for the Anne Frank Foundation, which were published in the Anne Frank Krant. This eventually evolved into 'De Ontdekking', an educational comic book about the occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. 'De Ontdekking' was published in cooperation with the Anne Frank Foundation in February 2003 and got wide media attention. Heuvel made a follow-up which dealt with the Holocaust in general, called 'De Zoektocht' (2007). The book was also translated in Hebrew. He finished his World War II trilogy with 'De Terugkeer' (2010), about the Dutch Indies during the war. Heuvel additionally made 'Frontstad Rotterdam' (2006), an oblong comic about the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940, created in commission of the War-Resistance Museum in Rotterdam. With writer Frank Jonker, he made 'Het Van Walraven Testament' (2009), about the history of labor relations in the Netherlands, set against a family chronicle. The book was published in commission of the Dutch employers' association AWVN in 2009. Heuvel and Jonker also cooperated on 'Nieuwe Vrienden' (2014), another comic book in commission of the Anne Frank Foundation. Heuvel returned to depicting actual historical events with 'Quaco' (2015), a story about transatlantic slavery in the 18th century, which was written by Ineke Mok for Walburg Pers.

De Zoektocht by Eric Heuvel
De Zoektocht

In 2007, Heuvel made the newspaper strip 'Bureau Warmoesstraat' in cooperation with ex-police officer Piet Middelkoop in Het Parool. The series consisted of comic adaptations of real anecdotes about the notorious Warmoesstraat police station in the 1980s. Since 2009, Heuvel is also present in the relaunched Eppo magazine with new 'January Jones' stories. He initially worked with Martin Lodewijk again, but later wrote his own stories. Don Lawrence Collection has published new 'January Jones' albums since 2012. With Eppo's publisher Rob van Bavel, he made the story 'Alleen Rond De Wereld' (2010), about a young girl who sails the world on her own. The comic was inspired by Laura Dekker, a fourteen-year old Dutch girl who made world news in 2009 when she single-handedly made a trip across the Atlantic Ocean by sail boat. In 2012 he was present in automobile magazine Autoweek with 'Carbeau, Barones & Bolides', which was written by Noël Ummels. The 'Carbeau' series was transferred to Eppo in 2014. For Samsam, a monthly about children in development countries, Heuvel has made the comics serial 'Tjin & Charlie' with Mirjam Bonting in 2014-2015.

Carbeau by Eric Heuvel
Carbeau - Shelby contra Dragonsnake (2014)

In 2016, he was one of the six Dutch artists to draw a comic book starring Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' for S.O.S. Children's Villages, based on a story by a Dutch celebrity. Heuvel made the story 'De Schaal van Moraal' with TV host Wilfred Genee. The other other artists involved were Michiel de Jong, Hanco Kolk, Gerard Leever, Romano Molenaar and Gerben Valkema. Eric Heuvel and novelist Jacques Post were guest editors-in-chief of the fifth edition of StripGlossy in May 2017. The issue also started the publication of 'De Meimoorden', their adaptation of Post's 1983 novel about an intrigue during the days prior to the Rotterdam bombing of May 1940.

Eric Heuvel won the Dutch Stripschap Prize for his entire oeuvre in 2012. He is also the subject of an occasionally appearing fanzine called Heuvel Magazine by publisher Kippenvel since 2004.

Kees Kousemaker welcomes Eric Heuvel to Galerie Lambiek in March 2003
Kees Kousemaker welcomed Eric Heuvel to Lambiek for a signing of 'De Ontdekking' on 15 March 2003.

Eric Heuvel in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis (in dutch)
www.eric-heuvel.nl

Series en boeken door Eric Heuvel op voorraad in de Lambiek Webshop:

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