Banjer, by Maarten Janssens
'Banjer'. September 1996. 

Maarten Janssens is a Dutch illustrator and concept artist, who has spent several parts of his career working on Disney material. Earlier in his career he also drew the children's comic 'Banjer' (1996-1998). 

Early life and career
Born in Eindhoven in 1972, Maarten Janssens grew up reading Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' and Donald Duck weekly, before switching to superhero comics (most notably John Romita's 'Spider-Man' and the 'Batman' stories by Jim Aparo and Neal Adams). He first came to notice at age 15 when he won a comic talent competition organized by comics appreciation society Het Stripschap and the TV guide Veronica-gids. After having drawn for his high school newspaper and some club magazines, Janssens got his first official assignment from a printer in Sittard, on the occasion of that city's 750th anniversary. Together with Wout Paulussen, he made the comic book 'Funs en Finke in 'Sittard 750 Jaar Stad' in 1993. Paulussen has served as a tutor the young artist, who also ranks Moebius and Daan Jippes among his influences. Janssens made several attempts at graphic educations in the 1990s, including at the Sint Lucas Academy Boxtel and the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming Tilburg, but eventually preferred to go his own way.

Early magazine work
In the following years, Janssens drew for magazines like Noppes, and he made illustrations and the title comic of VNU's children's magazine about nature, Banjer (1996-1998). The 'Banjer' comic starred the magazine's mascot, a playful and curious dog, and was written by Pascal Oost. The final episode was drawn by Marcel Bosma.

Donald Duck, by Maarten Janssens
'Donald Duck'.

Disney comics
Between 1996 and 2007 Janssens regularly worked in the art studio of the Dutch Disney publications at Sanoma in Hoofddorp, alongside artists like Ed van Schuijlenburg, Michel Nadorp, Wilma van den Bosch and Viktor Venema. He illustrated covers for the Donald Duck weekly and the monthly Donald Duck Extra, provided the artwork for editorial sections like the pages from the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook and World Treasures (written by Jos Beekman), and also made an occasional letterbox strip and contest comic. Janssens also designed the first version of the official Donald Duck website, which was online from 2004 until 2009. It allowed readers to visit Donald's house, with all the content organized in the several rooms, visualized through animated Flash pages.

Cover illustration for Donald Duck Extra #8, 2002 and the 'From the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook' column in the Dutch Disney weekly Donald Duck.

Concept artist
Today, Maarten Janssens works as an illustrator/concept artist, making concept designs and art direction guides for art studios through his graphic design studio Buro-lamp. He was one of the artists working on the Dutch animated series 'Kika en Bob' (2007-2008), produced by Submarine, and also made the designs and concept art for Sanoma's online Disney game 'DuckWorld Smart Adventures' (2014-2015). Janssens has largely left the comic industry; his final excursion being his contribution to Menno Kooistra's horror anthology 'Bloeddorst' (2007). Since 2005, he has gained international fame with his paper kits of little animal creatures, created and promoted under the 3EyedBear banner. Most of his designs can be downloaded for free from his website. An exhibition of his many designs called 'Urban Paper Toys' was held in Winschoten in 2009. After working for several years in Amsterdam, Maarten eventually returned down south and settled in Den Bosch, from where he continues his activities doing concept art, designs and illustration for animations, games, posters and other projects.

Selection of Maarten's little paper universe.

Series and books by Maarten Janssens you can order today:


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