Havank - Hoofden op hol, by Daan Jippes (12/1/2006)
Havank - 'Hoofden op hol'.

Daan Jippes is considered as one of the Netherlands' best comic book artists, and one of the few who has gained international fame. He is mainly noted for his work on Disney comics, especially for his ability to work in a near-mint copy of Carl Barks' style. After training most of the original artists of the Dutch Disney comics production in the 1970s, he went to work for the Walt Disney Company in the USA, and then became a leading artist for the Danish Disney publisher Egmont. As a true comics chameleon, Jippes can easily adopt the drawing style of other artists, including such giants as André Franquin, Floyd Gottfredson, Morris and Albert Uderzo. From his cover illustrations with classic Franco-Belgian comic characters for Pep magazine in the 1960s to his adaptation of Jan Kruis' personal drawing style which became a standard for the studio production of 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' in 1999, most of his work was done anonymously. Therefore, Jippes has not become a household name among the general public like his contemporaries Martin Lodewijk and Dick Matena. In fact, for many years his only personal comic was the influential one-shot album 'Twee voor Thee' (1972), better known as 'Bernard Voorzichtig', which established his image of an "artist's artist".

Early life and career
He was born in 1945 as Daniël Jan Jippes in Amsterdam, and grew up reading comic magazines like Donald Duck and Robbedoes. He picked up drawing at an early age, and had several of his submissions published in the readers' section of the latter magazine. Franquin and other artists of the so-called "School of Marcinelle" have had a great influence on Jippes' work. From the other side of the Atlantic, one can count Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, Walt Kelly, Cliff Sterrett and MAD's Mort Drucker among his influences. As a youngster he carefully studied and copied artwork of the artists he admired. A self-taught artist, Jippes' professional career began right after he fulfilled his military service, at age 19. He went from art agency to art agency to present his illustrations portfolio, but all in vain. Eventually he was directed to the publishing house De Geïllustreerde Pers in 1966.

'Hipper contra de Kuddefabriek'.

De Geïllustreerde Pers
There the young artist was initially hired to work in the lay-out department of the magazines Margriet and Revu. Revu also published his first comic story, the somewhat psychedelic flower power strip Hipper' (1967-1968). Written by advertising copywriter Hans Ferrée, 'Hipper' was a product of its time, dealing with a long-haired, flute-playing hippie and his struggle against the establishment. Some readers had problems with the comic's free spirit, and it ended about as quickly as it had started. The work was still important since it introduced Jippes to the field of comics. While working for Revu, he regularly visited the offices of the comic magazines Pep and Donald Duck, which were situated in the same building. In 1968 he made the transition to Pep, where he was a staff artist until the summer of 1969, and then turned freelance.

Pepspotter, by Daan Jippes
'Het is een vreemdeling zeker...' (Pep #36, 1973).

Pep staple
At Pep he started out doing lay-outs and cover illustrations, mostly starring the magazine's licensed characters from abroad. He proved to be instantly capable of adapting  other artist's styles, and drew covers with Tibet's 'Ric Hochet', Jean Tabary's 'Iznogoud' and most notably Albert Uderzo's 'Astérix'. Issue #41 of 1968 featured a first short story by Jippes, written by Willy Lohmann. 'Spoedbestelling Mexico' starred a mailman who ends up in the Olympic Stadion in Mexico, where he accidentally wins each game. Between 1970 and 1973 Jippes wrote and drew several independent one-page gags for the 'Pepspotters' section. Jippes was also approached to draw Willy Lohmann's 'Engelbert', as well as Martin Lodewijk's gangster comic 'Johnny Goodbye', but these duties eventually went to Lohmann himself and Dino Attanasio, respectively. Over the course of 1969, Jippes began working on the definite showcase of his virtuoso drawing style. It helped him establish his legacy as one of the "Big Five" of Pep's artists, along with Martin Lodewijk, Dick Matena, Fred Julsing and Peter de Smet.

Twee voor Thee, by Daan Jippes
'Twee voor thee'.

Twee voor Thee
'Twee voor Thee' (1972) was written by Martin Lodewijk, and settled around a Dutch family of 19th century tea merchants. The main star was Bernard Voorzichtig, an avid tennis player who inherits the faltering family company. Accompanied by his butler, a black Frisian called Siebe, he heads for the Indies (nowadays Indonesia) to investigate a mysterious tea forgery scam. Always the perfectionist, it took Jippes three years to complete the story. When he had finished the first twenty pages in a style similar to the classic Dupuis school, André Franquin in particular, he put the story on hold to first finish off his assignments for the Dutch Disney weekly Donald Duck. By the time he resumed 'Twee voor Thee', he had underwent so much influence from 'Mickey Mouse' artist Floyd Gottfredson, that he finished the story in a completely different drawing style. The story was finally serialized in Pep issues #33 (12-18 August) through #52 (23-29 December) of 1972, and published in book format in the following year. Even though no further stories starring Bernard Voorzichtig were made, 'Twee voor Thee' has become an all time Dutch comics classic, especially among Jippes' peers. Many Dutch artists still use it as a reference and source of inspiration. According to legend, Martin Lodewijk had begun working on a second script, but accidentally left it in a phone booth one day...

Flintstones cover, by Daan JippesPep cover, by Daan Jippes

Disney comics
After turning freelance in mid 1969, Jippes began working for the other comics publications of De Geïllustreerde Pers as well. For instance, he made cover drawings with Hanna-Barbera characters for the monthly De Flintstones comic book, and began a fruitful collaboration with the Dutch Disney magazines. One of his first jobs was remounting an American pocket story into regular page format in 1970, while Jippes' first solo comic was a five-page 'Mickey Mouse' story drawn in a pure Gottfredson style. It was published in issue #13 of 1972. He would continue to provide a great many cover illustrations in the following years, as his role in the local production of Disney comics gained importance. Artists like Endre Lukács and Lex Overeijnder had made original artwork for the Dutch Donald Duck weekly as early as the 1950s, while the Toonder Studio's provided most of the back-up stories in the 1960s. But the Dutch Disney production truly came to blossom during the 1970s, especially after the publisher regrouped its comics activities in the Oberon division. Chief editor Paul Deckers had proposed a local art studio in 1974 to overcome the lack of sufficient American source material. Jippes was appointed art director in 1975, during which the Dutch Disney comics gained in quality. Jippes drew many covers and wrote several stories, but also trained and guided artists like Ben Verhagen, Michel Nadorp, Ed van Schuijlenburg, Wilbert Plijnaar, Robert van der Kroft and Mark de Jonge. The 'Donald Duck' stories he drew himself had a vivid style with nearly the same quality level as Carl Barks' drawings. For other stories he stuck to doing lay-outs, while artists like Freddy Milton provided the finished art. During this period, the foundations were laid for the steady production of Disney stories in the Netherlands, which lasts until this day. Dutch stories have been syndicated all over the world, from Europe over the USA to Indonesia and China. By the 2000s, the Dutch are leading producers of Disney comic worldwide, along with Egmont in Denmark and Disney Publishing in Italy.

Mickey Mouse by Daan Jippes
Comic strip from Donald Duck 1973-33. © Disney.

Move to the USA
His work for the Dutch licensee did not go by unnoticed. In 1980 Don McLaughlin, art director of Disney Consumer Products in Burbank, California, invited him to come and work in the States. Jippes was stationed in the Burbank studios from the fall of 1981 until December 1989. His main body of work during this period were the Disney newspaper comics. He drew the 'Mickey Mouse' Sunday comic by Del Connell from 3 May 1981 until 3 January 1982. Mike Royer provided most of the inking. Between 1986 and 1988 he regularly worked on Bob Foster's 'Donald Duck' daily and Sunday strips, collaborating either as a penciller or inker with artists like Jim Franzen, Jules Coenen, Ulrich Schröder or Disney veteran Tony Strobl. Jippes furthermore co-wrote and illustrated the comic book adaptation of the feature film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988). Jippes took care of the cartoony characters, while Dan Spiegle drew the "real life" human ones and backgrounds. In the Netherlands, the story marked Jippes' sole publication in Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad, one of the successors of Pep. The Consumer Products division was furthermore responsible for producing artwork for merchandising, retail and licensing purposes, while Daan Jippes also illustrated many covers for comics licensee Another Rainbow. In 1989 Jippes transferred to Disney Animation in Glendale, California. One of his first jobs was working with Hans Bacher on character designs and storyboards in Don Hahn's unit in the production of 'Beauty and the Beast' (1991). He then worked on the animated featurette 'The Prince and the Pauper' (1990) and the Disney classic 'Aladdin' (1992), for which he designed the villain Jafar.

'Who Framed Roger Rabbit', by Daan Jippes and Dan Spiegle - © Disney.

After a stint at Disney's European Creative Centre in Paris, France, Jippes joined Steven Spielberg's Amblimation studio in London, where he did the storyboard for 'Balto' (1995). He then returned to the States to do assignments for Universal Pictures and Dreamworks. Jippes was brought back to the Netherlands for a first time in 1997, when entrepeneur Han Peekel had the ambition to set up a comics-related theme park in Rotterdam, called Cartoondam. He also desired an animated series based on Peter de Smet's 'De Generaal', for which Jippes would make the storyboards. Both projects however proved a deception for all parties involved, and Jippes returned to the USA. He finally ended up at Disney Television, where he worked on some direct-to-video sequel films and the TV series 'Mouse Works'.

Winnie the Pooh by Daan Jippes
Sketch for a Winnie the Pooh children's book.

Further work on Dutch Disney comics
While in the USA, editor Thom Roep continued to hire Jippes to draw cover illustrations for Oberon's Disney publications, most notably for the series 'De Beste Verhalen van Donald Duck' and 'Oom Dagobert', which collected all the Barks comics in book format. He also provided occasional scripts and story art, most notably for a couple of Barks-style ten-pagers starring 'Donald Duck' and his family. Another remarkable contribution was the short non-Disney story 'Botje Beer' (1981) for the monthly Mickey Maandblad. It was in fact a reworked story with MGM's 'Barney Bear' written and drawn by Carl Barks. In 1991 he provided the pencil art for the celebration story of the weekly's 40th anniversary, written by Evert Geradts and inked by Michel Nadorp. In the following year he embarked upon the ambitious project of redrawing the 'Junior Woodchucks', 'Uncle Scrooge' and 'Donald Duck' stories which Carl Barks had written, but not drawn, after his retirement. Jippes managed to give them the Barks touch, which the original versions by Tony Strobl and Kay Wright lacked. Jippes reworked several of these stories for the Dutch publisher until 1999.

'Botje Beer' (Mickey Maandblad #8, 1981).

Studio Jan Kruis
In 1999 Jan Kruis and his business partner Joop Wiggers had sold their rights to the Dutch family comic 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' to Sanoma, who publishes it in its women's weekly Libelle. To preserve its production, the publisher set up an in-house studio where the weekly gag page and the related merchandise would be written and drawn. Jippes was appointed as art director, while Kruis would stay on board as supervisor. Jippes recalled they never saw Kruis at all, only when he was unsatisfied. Among the early artists employed by the studio were Rob Phielix, Gerben Valkema and Peter Nuyten. Jippes remodelled Kruis' trademark shaky linework into a more streamlined house style, while also compiling model sheets and a style guide. Jippes left after creative differences between the studio and the Libelle editors in early 2001, but returned for a short period in 2002-2003. Rob Phielix eventually became the lead artist of 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen', while Maarten Gerritsen and Michiel van de Vijver provide pages on a regular base as well.

Donald Duck als apenvanger by Daan Jippes
Donald Duck - 'Rarest of the Rare' (2013) - © Disney.

With his regular stint at Studio Jan Kruis coming to an end in 2001, Jippes returned to Disney comics, this time for Egmont in Copenhagen, Denmark. He notably resumed redrawing the classic stories scripted by Carl Barks, and with the publication of 'King Scrooge The First' in 2007, all of the legendary artist's remaining scripts had received an appropriate treatment. A total of 450 pages. Since 2001, Jippes has furthermore drawn a great many of his own stories and gags with the Duck characters, but also many cover illustrations in cooperation with Ulrich Schröder. Many of his stories were written by Jippes himself, but he also worked in cooperation with Byron Erickson, Don Markstein and Pascal Oost. In addition to his Duck-related work, Jippes has made a series of 'Goofy' gags in cooperation with Ulrich Schröder and French scriptwriter François Corteggiani between 2007 and 2016.

Havank by Daan Jippes
Havank - 'De Schaduw op de tast'.

By 2004 Jippes was back in the USA working at Dreamworks, when he was reading a 'Gil Jourdan' album by Maurice Tillieux. The Franco-Belgian classic gave him the idea of adapting the Dutch detective novels by Hans van der Kallen (1904-1964), who worked under the pen name Havank. Van der Kallen wrote about thirty crime novels between 1935 and 1959, most of which starred the French police inspector Charles C.M. Carlier, nicknamed "The Shadow". The publishing house Helmond had already released two anonymous and more forgettable 'Havank' adaptations in 1972. Jippes picked the key episode 'Hoofden op hol' (1939) as his first project. He however completely reworked the plot, while maintaining Havank's typical humor and archaic language. He also changed the name of the protagonist from Carlier to Havank, as a tribute to its creator. The drawing style as well as the "waffle iron" panel lay-out carefully mimicked that of the School of Marcinelle in the 1950s, with André Franquin as main representative. Because of the French setting and the Franco-Belgian drawing style, Jippes assumed the pen name Danier for the occasion. To further carry out his Danier persona, he wore a French baret and smoked a pipe during promotional events and signings. 'Hoofden op hol' was serialized in Dutch newspaper AD in 2006, and published in book format by Uitgeverij L in 2006. When Rob van Bavel relaunched comic magazine Eppo in 2009, Danier was present with his second 'Havank' adaptation, 'De Schaduw op de Tast' (2009). The project then stranded due to a lack of sufficient funding and publication opportunities.

Later work
Since 2006 Jippes has been working through his own Studio Lijnlust in Bussum, which is also regularly frequented by Rob Phielix, Gerben Valkema and Pascal Oost. Besides making new Disney comics, Jippes was guest editor-in-chief of the first issue of the Dutch Stripglossy by Seb van der Kaaden's publishing house Personali. It was presented at the Haarlem Comics Festival in May 2016. For later issues of Stripglossy, Jippes has illustrated a story of Frans Hasselaar's superhero parody 'Beterman' (2018) and served as the artist for the revival of Dino Attanasio's classic character 'Spaghetti' (2019), again in cooperation with Hasselaar.

Graphic contributions
In 2017 he was one of many comic artists to pay tribute to André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe' in the collective homage album 'Gefeliciflaterd!' (2017). In 2018, Jippes wrote and drew 'Dossier Trollenland' for Eppo, a short story starring 'Agent 327' in tribute of its creator Martin Lodewijk. In 2020 he 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. 

During the 2001 Stripdagen in Den Bosch, on 22-23 September Daan Jippes was awarded the Stripschapprijs by comic appreciation society Het Stripschap. 

Daan Jippes signing in Gallery Lambiek on 6 June 2009.

Legacy and influence
Daan Jippes ranks as one of the most influential Dutch comic artists. As an artist he never chooses the easy way out. His pages make use of virtuoso lay-outs and unusual perspectives, which make him highly praised among his peers. Many Dutch artists rank him among their top influences, such as Maarten Gerritsen, Pieter Hogenbirk, Maarten Janssens, Hein de Kort, Gerard Leever, Michel Nadorp, Wilbert Plijnaar, Jan Steeman and Gerben Valkema. In Finland, Kari Korhonen ranks him as an influence. However, Jippes' meticulously cramped panels and somewhat archaic use of language might require some extra effort from the general reader. Nonetheless, Jippes chameleonic drawing talent is undisputed. It is no wonder that he was chosen to maintain the legacies of Carl Barks and Jan Kruis. Also, his Pep cover illustrations with 'Asterix' or 'Lucky Luke' can hardly be distinguished from ones by the original artists, Albert Uderzo and Morris. At one point in the early 1980s, Jippes and scriptwriter Lo Hartog van Banda were working on a brand new 'Astérix' story for a planned montly Asterix magazine. Legend goes that Uderzo felt so threatened by Jippes' graphic talents that the project was cut short, while the fact that the monthly never saw the light of day is probably a more plausible explanation.

Lambiek will always be grateful to Jippes for illustrating the letter "V" in our encylopedia book, 'Wordt Vervolgd - Stripleksikon der Lage Landen', published in 1979.

Wailing Whalers by Daan Jippes
1999 version of Carl Barks story 'Wailing Whalers' by Daan Jippes. © Disney.

Wailing Whalers by Kay Wright
Original version by Kay Wright from 1972. © Disney.


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