Daan Jippes is considered as one of Holland's 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 has even worked 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 comics characters for Pep magazine in the 1960s to his adaptation of Jan Kruis' personal drawing style to a standard for the studio production of 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' in 1999, most of his work was done anonymously. Therefore, Daan Jippes didn't 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', which established his image of an "artist's artist".
He was born 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. He began his professional career doing the layouts for magazines like Margriet and Revu at the layout division of publisher De Geïllustreerde Pers in the 1960s. Revu also published his first comic story, the somewhat psychedelic 'Hipper', that was written by copywriter Hans Ferrée, in 1967-1968. He then joined the team of comics magazine Pep, where he did layouts and cover illustrations, as well as some installments in the series 'Pepspotters'.
After a short story in cooperation with Willy Lohmann, Jippes teamed up with Martin Lodewijk to create 'Bernard Voorzichtig'. Only one story appeared of the character, called ' Twee voor Thee'. After publication in Pep in 1972, it was published in book format by Oberon in the following year. Jippes worked on 'Twee voor Thee' for three years and used a virtuoso drawing style that alternated between influences from the Dupuis school (Franquin) and Floyd Gottfredson's 'Mickey Mouse'. Many Dutch artists still use it as a reference and source of inspiration.
While still working for Pep, Jippes illustrated covers and an occasional story for the Dutch Donald Duck weekly and the monthly De Flintstones comic book, that was filled with stories starring Hanna-Barbera characters. In 1975, Jippes became art director of Oberon's local production of Disney comics. Dutch stories had been created since 1969, but gained in quality under Jippes' guidance. Jippes drew many covers, wrote several stories, and trained and guided artists like Ben Verhagen, Michel Nadorp, Ed van Schuijlenburg, Wilbert Plijnaar and Robert van der Kroft. He also drew stories himself, in a vivid style that nearly had the same quality as Carl Barks' drawings, but he also did only lay-outs, that were finished by artists like Freddy Milton.
His work was noticed by Don McLaughlin, art director of the Disney Studios in Burbank, California, who invited him to come and work in the States in 1980. He started out working at the department that produced the daily newspaper comics with Disney characters like 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Donald Duck'. He was a character designer for Disney films like 'The Black Cauldron' (1984), 'The Rescuers Down Under' (1990), 'The Prince and the Pauper' (1990), 'Beauty and the Beast' (1991) and 'Aladdin' (1991). One of his best known designs is that of Jafar, the villain from 'Aladdin'.
While in the USA, Jippes continued to make cover illustrations for Oberon's Disney publications, most notably for the series 'De Beste Verhalen van Donald Duck' and 'Oom Dagobert', that collected the Barks comics in book format. By 1999 Daan Jippes returned to The Netherlands to set up Studio Jan Kruis at the editorial offices of women's magazine Libelle in Hoofddorp, after the retirement of Jan Kruis. In the periods 1999-2000 and 2002-2003, he served as art director and supervised the production of the weekly 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' comic by artists like Rob Phielix, Gerben Valkema and Peter Nuyten.
Sketch for a Winnie the Pooh children's book
Daan Jippes was awarded the Stripschapprijs in 2001. In that same year he started to write and draw 'Donald Duck' stories directly for the Danish publisher Egmont. Besides his own stories, Jippes redrew the remaining 'Junior Woodchuck' and 'Donald Duck' stories that Carl Barks had written, but not drawn, after his retirement. He had already started this project for the Dutch publisher in 1992. Jippes managed to give these stories the Barks touch, that they lacked in the original versions that were drawn by Tony Strobl and Kay Wright.
In 2005, he began working on a comic adaptation of the detective novels starring 'The Shadow' by Havank, which he signs with Danier. The first story, 'Hoofden op hol', was serialized in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad and then published in book format in 2006. A second story in his 'Havank' series started publication in the relaunched Eppo magazine in 2009. Daan Jippes currently works through his own Studio Lijnlust in Bussum, that he shares with Rob Phielix, Gerben Valkema and Pascal Oost. He continues to make new Duck stories for Egmont, either from his own scripts or in cooperation with Byron Erickson, Don Markstein and Pascal Oost. He has also made a series of 'Goofy' gags in cooperation with Ulrich Schröder and François Corteggiani.
Jippes was guest editor-in-chief of the first issue of the Dutch Stripglossy, that was launched by the publisher Personalia and presented at the Haarlem Comics Festival in May 2016.
Jippes has a talent for adapting other artists' styles. 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', 'Lucky Luke' or 'Gaston' can hardly be distinguished from ones by the original artists, Albert Uderzo, Morris and André Franquin. At one point, Jippes and writer Lo Hartog van Banda were working on a 'Astérix' story for a montly Asterix magazine, but the legend goes that Uderzo felt threatened by Jippes' graphic talents and the project was cut short. 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 and Cliff Sterrett among his influences.
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.
Original version by Kay Wright from 1972