Donald Duck scenario door Frank Jonker
Script panel for a Donald Duck story, with scribbles by Frank Jonker.

Frank Jonker is one of the most productive Dutch comic writers, and probably the one person in the Netherlands who can make a living out of this profession. He is a regular scriptwriter for the Dutch Donald Duck weekly as well as the girls' magazines Tina and Penny. He is known for his collaborations with Hans van Oudenaarden ('Bob Evers'), IJsbrand Oost ('Max Miller') and Eric Heuvel ('Het Van Walraven-testament', 'Nieuwe vrienden').

Early life and career
Frank Jonker was born in 1965 in Hoogerheide. He studied biochemistry, but decided to focus on a full time career in writing in 1990. In 1989 he participated in a scriptwriters contest organized by Donald Duck weekly and comics news magazine Stripschrift.

Donald Duck
Since 1989 Jonker has written hundreds of stories with nearly every Disney character around. Apart from Donald Duck and his family, Jonker has written stories with 'Little Hiawatha', 'Aladdin', 'Robin Hood', 'Gyro Gearloose', 'Winnie the Pooh', 'Jose Carioca', 'Basil the Mouse Detective', etc. His favorite Disney character is 'Mad Madam Mim', whose universe he often combines with characters and settings from classic fairy tales. His stories have all appeared in the Dutch Disney publications by VNU, Sanoma and DPG, and have subsequently been syndicated to many other countries. In 1998 and 2000 he has written three long stories for the pocket books of Danish publisher Egmont.

Frank Jonker (on the right) awaiting the arrival of Carl Barks to the Dutch editorial offices in 1994, together with Mau Heymans, Kirsten de Graaf and Bas Heymans.

Together with Evert Geradts, Jan Kruse, Ruud Straatman and Mau Heymans, Jonker is one of the most fruitful contributors to the popular weekly, with nearly 1000 stories to his credit. Most of the artwork is provided by Studio Comicup in Barcelona, or by artists like Sander Gulien, Bas Heymans, Mau Heymans, José Ramon Bernado, José Colomer Fonts, Fred Milton and Jaap Stavenuiter. The 34th volume in the album series 'De Grappigste Avonturen van Donald Duck' (2011) was completely devoted to stories by Frank Jonker. Jonker also regulary writes his Disney stories together with Paul Hoogma, and sometimes with Remco Polman or Rob Klein.

Nick en Simon scenario van Frank Jonker
Script page for a Nick and Simon story involving the annual Tina Day.

For the same publisher (VNU/Sanoma/DPG), Jonker has been a scriptwriter for girls' magazine Tina since 1996. He created the gag strip 'Puck' (1999-2005), which was at first drawn by Pieter Dorst (1999) and then by Paul Hoogma (1999-2002) and Peter FitzVerploegh (2002-2005). He also provided a great many independent short stories, illustrated by Carry Brugman, Peter FitzVerploegh, René Bergmans, Aloys Oosterwijk, Fred de Heij, Richard van de Pol or Spanish artists from the Creaciones Editoriales agency, such as Edmond, Purita Campos, Juliana Buch, Maria Barrera, Jesus Redondo, Trini Tinturé, etc. Between 2010 and 2013 he was also one of the writers of the celebrity comic about the Volendam singers Nick and Simon. The other writers were Ruud Straatman, Thom Roep and Bas Schuddeboom, while the art was provided by the Comicup artists Carmen Pérez and Rafa Ruiz. Together with either Saskia Janssen or Cindy Horevoorts, he is a contributor of gags to the series 'Karlijn, Catootje en de Ouders' since 2011. The feature is a spin-off to Jan Kruis' family comic 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' from the women's weekly Libelle. The gags in Tina are illustrated by Josep Nebot or Joan Espinach. In 2018 Frank Jonker wrote the remaining gags of Tina's 'Noortje' when Patty Klein was unable to after suffering a stroke. The episodes were drawn by Lucas Steeman. Tina turned to reprinting older 'Noortje' gags in 2019.

Bob Evers door Frank JonkerBob Evers door Frank Jonker
'Bob Evers'.

Bob Evers and other adventure comics
From 2003 to 2009, Jonker worked with Hans van Oudenaarden on a series of comic adaptations of the classic 1950s children's book series 'Bob Evers' by Willy van der Heide. Jonker succeeded Koen Wynkoop, who had adapted the first installment. The stories were serialized in newspaper AD and then in comic magazine Eppo, while the five albums were published by Arboris and Boumaar between 2004 and 2010. Frank Jonker took over the scriptwriting of the action comic 'Max Miller' by IJsbrand Oost in Eppo in 2013. In 2016 he also assumed the writing duties of 'De Avonturen van Hel' from the second album for Danker Jan Oreel.

Other comic scriptwriting
Other comic series written by Jonker are 'Luuk en Lotte' (1997-2001) with Giovanni de Reus and later Gerben Valkema for the Malmberg school magazine Okki, the irregularly appearing gag strip 'Vera en Victor' (1999-) with Remco Polman for Sport- en Vrijwilligerskrant and other publications of NOV, and 'Klein Napoleon' with Dick Heins for Eppo (2009). He has written tie-in comics for the TV shows 'De Club van Sinterklaas' and 'Ernst, Bobbie en de Rest' with Piet Voordes since 2007, and also stories with 'Bert & Ernie' and 'Elmo' for Sesamstraat magazine (based on Jim Henson's creations), with art by Silvio Spotti from the Brazilian Magic Eye Studios.

Max Miller door Frank JonkerHet van Walraven testament
Cover for Eppo and 'Het Van Walraven Testament'. 

Since 2006 Frank Jonker is also a frequent provider of comics and photo stories for the horse-related girls' magazine Penny by Holco Publications. Among his contributions are the photo comic series 'Duinmanege' (2014), gags with 'Penny de Pony', 'Rakker' and 'EzelPedro', and the serials 'Sarah de Shire' (2012) and 'Hecksehoef' (2012). Holco released the story 'De Verdronken Paarden van Ameland' (2011) directly in book format. The tale was based on a true story. On 14 August 1979, eight horses died during a storm on the West Frisian island of Ameland, when they were used to pull a rescue boat into the sea.

De verdronken paarden van AmelandDonald Duck
'De Verdronken Paarden van Ameland' and 'Donald Duck Extra nr. 34'. 

Comics in commission
Through Comic House, Jonker has also worked on a couple of comics in commission. For the Dutch Employers' Association, he has made the book 'Het Van Walraven Testament' (2009) with Eric Heuvel, a chronicle of 90 years of labor in the Netherlands through the stories of two families: the Volder family represents the unions and the Van Walraven family the employers' organizations. It was followed in 2014 by 'Nieuwe Vrienden' (2014) for the Anne Frank Foundation, an educational story about identity, friendship, prejudice and discrimination. Jonker and Piet Voordes have cooperated once again on a promotional children's book 'De Magische Schatkist' (2013) for Redband candy. In 2020 he joined 75 Dutch & Flemish comic authors to make a 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. Jonker wrote new stories for his regular colleagues IJsbrand Oost and Danker Jan Oreel.

Literary stories
Short text stories by Frank Jonker have appeared in Donald Duck, Okki and the Flemish magazine Zonnestraal. The author provided the texts for the comics fables published in GRNVLD, a magazine published by Castle Groeneveld and edited by Caroline van der Lee.

An exhibition of Frank Jonker's career was held for the anniversary of his 25 years as a comic writer in the Amsterdam comics shop Het Beeldverhaal in 2014. The 57th edition of comics news magazine Stripnieuws was also dedicated to his work for this occasion.

Frank Jonker (right) and Eric Heuvel signing in Valkenswaard (2011). Photo © Martin van Meenen.

Series and books by Frank Jonker you can order today:


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