Patty Klein by Jan Steeman

Patty Klein was a Dutch comic scriptwriter and poet whose career spanned more than fifty years, and is by right called the "grande dame of Dutch comics". Starting off in 1966, she was one of the few people in the Netherlands who wrote comics on a full time basis. She was furthermore the first woman with a fulltime job in the Dutch comic industry. Klein has worked with many important comic artists, and wrote stories for nearly every Dutch comic magazine. She is mostly associated with the girls' magazine Tina, for which she has written many series since 1973. Her most famous creation is the clumsy girl 'Noortje', which she created with Jan Steeman in 1975. Between 1975 and 2016 it was with its 41 years the longest-running comic strip in the Netherlands made continuously by the same team. Besides comics she wrote poetry under her married name Patty Scholten.

Early life
She was born as Patricia Cecilia Klein in The Hague in 1946. Her parents had lived and worked in Berlin, Germany, but fled back to their home country when the Russian army approached the city at the end of World War II. They named their daughter Patricia, as a tribute to their repatriation. Patty Klein grew up in Amsterdam, where she developed a fascination for animals and reading. Klein filled most pages of her high school newspaper with her stories and poems. From the age of 16, all her spare time was spent as a volunteer in the Artis zoo, where she helped the zookeeper taking care of the animals. Much like the comic industry, working in a zoo was men's work at the time, and the zoo's director was not aware of her presence. Klein recalled hiding in the reptile house on several occasions whenever he walked by.

Toonder Studio's
At age 20, she applied for a job at the Toonder Studios, which were located at the Geldersekade in Amsterdam at the time. Marten Toonder had just moved to Ireland and scriptwriter Lo Hartog van Banda had also left the studio, so additional writers were needed. She became an apprentice of studio chief Andries Brandt and within a short time participated in nearly every production. At first, she combined freelance studio work with her biology studies. After a year Klein cancelled her studies and became a fulltime writer, while enjoying the Amsterdam hippie life in her spare time. She later joined the studios at its new location in the castle of Nederhorst den Bergh.

One of the Patty Klein's 'Panda' gags with art by Piet Wijn.

Klein's test assignment was the plot of the 'Tom Poes' balloon comic story 'Tom Poes en de Woelwater' (1966, art by Wim Lensen and Frits Godhelp), which appeared in the weekly Dutch-language Disney magazine Donald Duck. The finished script was however written by Brandt, with whom she would work on a steady base during her time with the Toonder Studios. Klein didn't feel comfortable with the typical language of Marten Toonder's personal comic creations. The author was renowned for his highly sophisticated, cultivated and somewhat eccentric use of language, which was difficult to mimick, let alone surpass. Therefore Klein didn't work with the Toonder characters that much, apart from the advertising story 'Tom Poes en de Wiekschieters' (1970) for Alete-Molenaar porridge and about 20 gag strips starring 'Panda', which appeared on the wrappers of Bolletje biscuit rusk (1972). The latter were drawn by Piet Wijn.

Big Bad Wolf script by Patty Klein and Andries BrandtBig Bad Wolf by Jan Steeman
Left: Script for a 'Big Bad Wolf' story by Patty Klein and Andries Brandt
Right: The same story, drawn by Jan Steeman in Donald Duck #33, 1968.

Disney comics
Between 1966 and 1969, Klein and Brandt's main body of work for the Toonder Studios was plotting and scripting stories with the Disney characters 'Big Bad Wolf' and 'Little Hiawatha'. The original American material had run out, and the Toonder Studios were commissioned to provide the weekly back-up feature for Donald Duck weekly, with both characters appearing every other week. Klein and Brandt added many new elements to the series. The Big Bad Wolf and his Foul Fellows' Club regularly ran into trouble with Miss Schaapkens and her "Brave Damesbond" ("Descent Ladies Union"). The little indian Hiawatha got a dog called Humpie, and his tribe's medicine man got a more prominent role in the stories. Patty Klein was also responsible for the Dutch name of Hiawatha's tribe: De Rondbuiken ("The Roundbellies"). Most stories were drawn by Jan Steeman ('Big Bad Wolf') and Jan van Haasteren ('Hiawatha'), but Dick Matena and Piet Wijn were also involved in the production. One of Klein's fellow biology students was Dutch biologist Midas Dekkers, who by then still went by his own name Wandert. He disliked this name, and got the inspiration for his new name from Klein's 'Big Bad Wolf' stories (the wolf is called Midas in Dutch).

Patty Klein and Andries Brandt.

Collaboration with Andries Brandt
In the late 1960s, Klein and Brandt furthermore wrote stories with the Hanna-Barbera characters 'Yogi Bear', 'Cave Kids' and 'The Flintstones' for the monthly 'De Flintstones' comic book published by De Geïllustreerde Pers. The artwork was done by Ton Beek, Ed van Schuijlenburg, Jan van Haasteren and Jan Steeman. Between 1968 and 1972, Klein and Brandt wrote the funny animal comic 'Polletje Pluim' on the back cover of the Christian women's weekly Prinses. The comic was originally written and drawn by Dick Matena, but continued by Jan van Haasteren in 1968, and then by Frits Godhelp in 1971. Patty Klein also assisted Andries Brandt in the plots for his own creations for newspaper De Telegraaf. The first was the supernatural and somewhat absurd text comic 'Horre, Harm en Hella' (1968-1971), with art by subsequently Juan Escandell, Jan van Haasteren (with Thé Tjong-Khing) and Georges Mazure. Between 1971 and 1973, she participated in the newspaper comic about 'Aafje Anders', whose adventures were set in Amsterdam and were always loosely based on current affairs. The first stories had art by Jan van Haasteren and then Robert Hamilton and Richard Klokkers took over. Another project was 'Toef de Tiller', a comic strip set in the Stone Age with art by Van Haasteren. Klein provided much of the comic's wordplay and puns, but it was never completed nor published. Other collaborations with Van Haasteren were 'Ole en Kreutel' for the dairy company Vecomij, and 'Bartje en Opa' in the free local paper Aspect from Amsterdam (1967-1971). The latter comic was about a boy and his grandfather, a former sailor, and can be considered the first Dutch family comic, three years before Jan Kruis' 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' (1970).

Synopsis for a 'Pelle Svanslös' story from one of Patty Klein's notebooks.

While most comic productions of the Toonder Studio's came to an end in the early 1970s, the division managed to survive through orders from foreign publishers. Patty Klein and Andries Brandt wrote stories with characters like 'Fix und Foxi', 'Pauli', 'Tom und Biber' and 'Die Pichelsteiner' for Rolf Kauka's publications in Germany, and a story for the western comic 'Silberpfeil' for Bastei Verlag, a creation of Frank Sels and his studio in Belgium. Patty Klein also wrote about 200 gags and a couple of longer stories about the anthropomorphic cat 'Pelle Svanslös' (a creation of Gösta Knutsson) for Semic Press in Sweden. The artwork was provided by Wim Lensen, Frits Godhelp and Børge and Joanika Ring. The comics department eventually closed its doors in 1973, and Patty Klein had to apply for work elsewhere. Later in life, Patty Klein has been openly critical about Marten Toonder and how he treated his artists, especially regarding their financial compensation and Toonder's refusal to give credit where credit is due.

Distel by Borge Ring
Final panels of the 'Distel' comic, with the authors bidding their farewell (Pep #5, 1974).

Sjors & Pep magazines
It didn't take long before Patty Klein found work with the leading Dutch comic magazines of the time. Master scriptwriter Lo Hartog van Banda needed all his time to work on the TV series 'Ti-Ta Tovenaar' (1972-1974), and proposed Klein to succeed him on his comics projects for publisher Oberon. He even managed to get her the same page rate he had, instantly making her one of the best paid comic writers, even though she wasn't a household name back then. Most of her Toonder work was done anonymously. One of her first assignments was the funny animal comic 'Distel' in Sjors magazine, drawn by Børge and Joannika Ring. She succeeded Banda in late 1972, and wrote the stories 'Distel en de Wenswurm', 'Distel en Boem-Boem', 'Distel en Sloffie' and 'Distel en Henkie' until early 1974. Patty Klein and Jan van Haasteren succeeded Banda and Dick Matena as the authors of 'De Argonautjes', a series based on Greek mythology, in Pep magazine. They made one story, 'Het Water van de Styx' in 1974. For the same publication, she wrote gags for Jan van Haasteren's absurd humor comics 'Baron van Tast' and 'Tinus Trotyl' in 1974 and 1975. She replaced Martin Lodewijk and wrote the stories 'Gangsters en grafkransen', 'Hanky Panky' and 'Klopjacht op een kleuter' of the gangster comic 'Johnny Goodbye' for Dino Attanasio (1973-1975).

Erik en Opa
'Erik en Opa' (Jippo #9, 1977-1978), art by Jan van Haasteren.

Malmberg magazines
She also became a regular writer for Okki, Jippo and Taptoe, the educational children's magazines of Malmberg. In Okki, she published short stories and poems, as well as the title comic 'Okki Bokki Boef' (1971-1975) with art by Ton Beek and 'Joep, Jolleke en Pots' (1976) with Jan van der Voo. Klein and Beek also cooperated on the comic series about the boy Flip and the girl Flossie for Jippo (1973-1974). In this same magazine, she and Jan van Haasteren revived 'Bartje and Opa' under the title 'Erik en Opa' (1974-1980). Another notable creation was the poetic pantomime comic strip 'Annemoon', drawn by Piet Wijn for Okki between 1980 and 1982. Patty Klein and Piet Wijn have also created text stories with trolls for Jippo. In Taptoe, she wrote the puzzle comic about private investigator 'Sulle Hooms' (1978-1981). The artwork was provided by Prutswerk (Gerrit de Jager and Wim Stevenhagen). Klein also contributed to Paul Bodoni's feature for Jippo, 'Het verhaal van...', of which the end of the story always returned to the beginning. Klein's final work for Malmberg was the gag strip 'Marloes' (1991-1992) with Fred de Heij in Taptoe. The strip was cancelled after only one year, largely because De Heij's artwork was deemed too realistic.

Sulle Hooms
'Sulle Hooms', by Patty Klein and Prutswerk (Taptoe 1981-1982 #29).

When Sjors and Eppo merged into the new comic magazine Eppo in 1975, Patty Klein was assigned to write the classic 'Sjors en Sjimmie' comic, which was by now drawn by Robert van der Kroft. The editors wanted a return to the original 1930s set-up, when Frans Piët drew gag pages in a typically Dutch setting, instead of the science fiction adventures by Jan Steeman of the previous years. Patty Klein wrote the comic until mid 1977, when Wilbert Plijnaar and Jan van Die "hijacked" the comic away from her. The new writers had turned to the editors and claimed they could do a better job. After a couple of test pages, the editors were convinced and unceremoniously took Klein off the comic. In the following years, she anonymously wrote some stories of 'De Leukebroeders' for Uco Egmond and Peer Coolen, and also succeeded Toon van Driel as the scriptwriter of 'De Sukkels' (1985-1986) for artist Bart Slijp.

Further comics work of the 1970s include advertising comics for the 3 Musketeers chocolate bars of Mars, two political comics for Groningen Nu, short stories and quizzes for Tina Club, cartoons for Ryam notebooks, an instruction booklet for the Nieuw Rotterdam Groep, and some plots for the 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' comic by Jan Kruis. Klein also wrote plots for 'Moeps Pepernoot', a comic strip developed by Jan Kruis and Jan van der Voo for the society magazine Story in 1974. In addition to comics, Klein wrote episodes for Lo Hartog van Banda's TV series 'Ti Ta Tovenaar', as well as an audio play adaptation, released on vinyl record. With Eli Asser, she wrote comical anecdotes about Dutch history for the section 'Zij maakten geschiedenis' in the TV show 'NOS-Kiosk', a production of Joop Geesink. A compilation book was published in 1973 with illustrations by Frits Kloezeman and Jan van Haasteren.

Jong Geluk, a story by Patty Klein and Thé Tjong Khing for De Vrije Balloen #2
'Jong Geluk', a story by Patty Klein and Thé Tjong Khing for De Vrije Balloen #2.

De Vrije Balloen
The 1970s were also a period of more adult-oriented and experimental comics. Inspired by new French magazines like Hara-Kiri and L'Écho des Savanes, Patty Klein and Jan van Haasteren wanted to establish a new comic magazine with full artistic freedom for its contributors. The initiative was largely fueled by the insecurities following the cancellation of the magazines Sjors and Pep, and the limitations of working for children's magazines. The first edition of De Vrije Balloen was published in 1975 and was truly a group effort with no hierarchy. Patty Klein, Robert van der Kroft, Jan Steeman, Thé Tjong-Khing, Andries Brandt and Jan van Haasteren indulged in a variety of graphical exercises, saucy stories and other rowdy experiments. The team was helped by Van Haasteren's brother Herman for the production, Hans van den Boom for the finances, and by Patty's husband Huub Scholten for all sorts of chores. Later on other artists joined, most notably the newcomers Gerrit de Jager, Wim Stevenhagen, Eric Schreurs, Paul Schindeler and Paul Bodoni. After doing the publishing and distribution themselves, the team turned to publishers like Theo van den Broek, De Vrijbuiter and eventually Ger van Wulften for the production. The final issue appeared in 1981, after which it continued as De Balloen through Van Wulften's publishing house Espee until 1984.

Vera van de Risico
'Vera van de Risico' (1974), art by Nico van Dam.

According to Patty Klein, publisher Oberon wasn't all too keen on the new project. Especially when newspapers focused on the artists' dissatisfaction with the work atmosphere at the children's magazines. Oberon now felt that Klein had "bitten the hand that fed her". Her side of the story is that the publisher urged his editors to boycot her as a result. Truth of the matter is that she still maintained a steady presence in both Eppo and Tina, even increasing her production the next decades! In the 1980s almost half of Tina magazine was filled with her series. Patty Klein's long association with this girls' magazine had begun in 1973. Her first work was the gag strip about madcap office girl 'Fleurtje', which appeared on the back cover with art by Børge and Joannika Ring in 1973 and 1974. Her first serial was 'Conny Wildschut' (1973) with art by Dino Attanasio. It is the story of a girl who does volunteer work in an animal shelter. The melodramatic tone of this series was similar to most of the British girls' comics translated and published in Tina at the time. Another early adventure serial was 'Vera van de Risico', about inland navigation. The stories were well-documented, since Klein had a friend with an inland ship at the time. The artwork was done by Nico van Dam, and four stories appeared between 1974 and 1977. Other early work was an comic adaptation of Johanna Spyri's 'Heidi' novel, which appeared with artwork by Piet Wijn in 1976. The sequel 'Heidi en Peter' commenced publication in the same year.

Noortje by Patty Klein and Jan Steeman
First 'Noortje gag', published in Tina #39, 1975 (art by Jan Steeman).

Klein's best-known and longest-running comic for Tina is the gag strip about the red-headed 'Noortje', drawn by Jan Steeman. The character made her first appearance in issue #37 of 1975 and still goofs around in Tina's pages to this very day. Between 1975 and 2019 it was the longest-running Dutch comic series still in production. It has survived all the magazine's restylings and incarnations, and is still one of its most popular features. 'Noortje' is a young teenage girl who frequently blunders and makes clumsy mistakes. At the time it was purely intended as a filler page. Yet as the only gag comic in Tina it naturally stood out amidst all the more serious content. Audiences laughed and sympathized with Noortje and thus she became an icon for generations of Tina readers. Browsing through decades of 'Noortje' pages gives a good impression of the changing fashions, stars, trends and all the other important stuff in a teenage girl's life throughout the years. But the most important elements of her life have never changed: her ongoing fear for spiders, her annoying brother Sander, her friendship with Marlies and of course her clumsiness.

Noortje by Patty Klein and Jan Steeman
Just like Patty Klein, Noortje has also taken care of zoo animals! (1993).

'Noortje' is a typical example of Patty Klein's rich imagination. She uses everyday situations and settings for a teenage girl, and gives them an absurd twist. For instance, when Noortje goes out to borrow a cup of sugar, she ends up at the door of a sugar factory instead of a next door neighbor. When she reads about a tip to enjoy a bath with Coca Cola and potato chips, Noortje actually fills the bath with coke, and is then puzzled about what the fuss is all about? And when she goes to a sleepover party, she misses the entire thing because she actually fell asleep right away. These events would appear more common in a caricatural strip, but the fact that 'Noortje' has a semi-realistic drawing style enhances the awkwardness of the situations, yet makes it more recognizable and plausible to young girls. This combination of humor and realism make 'Noortje' a unique gag strip. Klein stated that much of Noortje's crazy ideas and illogical thinking came from her own puberty years, and that the character can be considered her alter ego.

Patty Klein and Jan Steeman
Jan Steeman and Patty Klein.

In 2005 Noortje's publication rhythm changed from weekly to bi-weekly. A new gag alternated with a reprint every other week. Although the comic has appeared since 1975, it took until 1994 before an actual album series was launched. By now over 25 volumes have appeared. The poor girl's 500th blunder was celebrated in 1986, the 1000th in 1996, and a look-a-like contest was held on the occasion of the 1500th gag in 2006. Her 25th anniversary was the theme of a special issue in 2000, and for the 40th anniversary in 2015, a special issue of Tina was released with tribute comics by Gerard Leever ('Suus & Sas'), Jan Vriends ('Roos'), Rene Bergmans ('SfinX'), Bas Schuddeboom ('Tina', 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen') and Thom Roep ('Madelief'), combined with a lot of editorial attention for to Tina's oldest serving character. The comic was made continously by the same team until health issues forced Jan Steeman to retire in 2016 at the age of 83. In November of that year, Jan's son Lucas Steeman took over the pencil from his father.

'Doebidoes', with art by Angeles Felices (1987).

Other Tina comics
Most of Patty Klein's other comics for Tina were drawn in Spain by artists affiliated with the Creaciones Editoriales agency. Jesús Redondo provided the artwork for 'Wendy' (1975), an adventure serial about a girl who inherits her aunt's cottage and has to deal with a vicious and mysterious housekeeper. Between 1975 and 1982, Patty Klein wrote 14 stories with the circus girl 'Mimi' with artwork by Edmond. Another comical series written by Klein was 'Pension Woefmiauw' (1978-1983), about a dog and cat shelter, with artwork by Jose Casanovas. Another long-running series was the girl band 'Doebidoes' (1979-1997) with artwork by Angeles Felices. Angeles also drew the experiences of receptionist 'Madelon' in the farcical hotel Stending, which appeared in Tina from 1982 to 2003. Klein's third series with Angeles was 'Het huishouden van Janneke Steen' (1991-2008), about a girl whose unemployed father invents all kinds of zany solutions for domestic problems. 'Marleen' (1993-1997) was the story of a girl who moves to the United States with her parents, and becomes friends with an Navajo girl. The artwork was by Emilio Freixas.

Janneke Steen by Patty Klein
'Janneke Steen' (2006), art by Angeles Felices.

Besides contemporary stories, Patty Klein has also written a couple of historical series for Tina. 'Louis en Louise' (1988-2000), drawn by the British artist Bert Hill, told the tale of two upperclass children who flee from their stiff upbringing and have the wildest adventures. The medieval series 'Blanche en Gijske' (1994-1997, 2005) was drawn by Dutch artist Aloys Oosterwijk. With Fred de Heij, she made the first series of gags about 'Fanny' (1994-1997), an overenthusiastic fan of popstar Don Key. De Heij later continued the series on his own. Additional work for Tina includes three stories of 'Marjon en Jonathan' (1987-1989) with Maria Barrera and a couple of one shot stories with art by Redondo, Freixas, Purita Campos and Lucas Steeman. Patty Klein furthermore filled in for Andries Brandt on one story of the title comic 'Tina en Debbie' with art by Purita Campos. She also wrote the 1985 episode 'Krokodilletranen', which appeared shortly after Andries Brandt passed away. Patty's sister Conny Möricke has also written several comics for Tina in the 1980s and 1990s, including the final story of 'Vera van de Risico' with Nico van Dam (1980-1981), two stories of 'Tina en Debbie' with Purita Campos (1988), 'Marnie en Sanne' with Juliana Buch (1986-1995) and 'Micky' with Trini Tinturé (1991-2002).

Special drawing by Angeles Felices for the 50th anniversary of Tina, with characters from 'Doebidoes', 'Janneke Steen' and 'Madelon'. Patty Klein opened the exposition dedicated to Tina's anniversary in the Comic Museum Groningen on 23 June 2017.

Additional projects
In addition to her work for Tina, Patty Klein has worked on other projects as well. Yet another collaboration with Jan van Haasteren was 'Sjaak en oom George' (1978-1987), about a boy and his inventor uncle, which appeared in Studio, the radio and TV guide of Dutch broadcasting organization KRO. Between 1982 and 1985 she wrote more stories starring Disney characters like 'Goofy', 'Bucky Bug', 'Uncle Scrooge', 'Chip 'n' Dale', 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Donald Duck' (artwork by Jules Coenen, Studio Comicup, Carol Voges, José Colomer Fonts, Børge Ring, Dick Matena, etc.). Her final work for Donald Duck weekly was a 'Pocahontas' story in 1997. Patty and her sister Conny furthermore wrote many melodramatic and "true" stories for magazines like Anoniem, Story and Mijn Geheim.

Patty Klein by Jan van Haasteren
Patty Klein by Jan van Haasteren in the 1970s.

In 1985 Patty Klein was the initiator of the anthology book 'Tegenaanval' (De Lijn, 1985). The book protested against the conviction of comic artist Wim Stevenhagen who refused to fulfill his military service. Various cartoonists made a graphic contribution to this pamphlet-like publication, like Willy Lohmann, Fred Marschall, Fred Julsing, Jan Steeman, Gal (Gerard Alsteens), IJf Blokker, Berend J. Vonk, Arend van Dam, Peter van Straaten, Peter de Smet and many more (though in some cases the material in question were reprints, rather than new material). In 1989, Klein was approached to write the gag comic 'Schanulleke', a spin-off comic about Wiske's rag doll from Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' series. Vandersteen had originally published two longer stories starring Schanulleke, 'Eiko de Wijze Boom' (1986) and 'Schanulleke in de Dierentuin' (1986), in which she became a sentient toy, flanked by a sidekick, the clown doll Duddul. Klein, on the other hand, was asked to turn the initial idea more into a one-page gag comic. All episodes take place in a domestic setting, usually the house or the garden, where Schanulleke and Duddul often interact with anthropomorphic animals like the striped cat Ponpon. The artwork was provided by Eric De Rop, and published in Stripkrant (the children's supplement of De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad), Suske en Wiske Weekblad, Okki and Minitoe (the children's supplement of Nieuws van de Dag) over a period of ten years. Four albums have also been published between 1990 and 1993.

'Schanulleke' by Patty Klein and Eric De Rop (Suske en Wiske Weekblad #13, 1997).

Commissioned comics
In later years, Patty Klein's additional comics projects have been mainly comic stories in commission. As early as 1981 she made an educational comic strip about asthma with Willy Lohmann, called 'Mijn kind heeft astma'. She even worked with Marten Toonder again on two stories with  Tom Poes and Olivier B. Bommel for farmaceutical company Pfizer in 2002 and 2003. 'Tom Poes en de goede gedachte' and 'Tom Poes en de smetvrezers' were drawn by Wil Raymakers. Her renewed working relationship with Marten Toonder was not a very rewarding experience. Toonder, who by then lived in the Rosa Spier retirement home, changed much of her script without her knowledge. Nevertheless, she returned to the characters once more after Marten Toonder's death. In 2012 she wrote the script for 'Tom Poes en de i-Padden'  in commission of the Dutch Association of Information Professionals NVB. The artwork was handled by Gerben Valkema.

Prinses Patty en de kikkers (2006), art by Pieter Hogenbirk and Metin Seven
'Prinses Patty en de kikkers' (2006), art by Pieter Hogenbirk and Metin Seven.

In 2006 and 2007, she created 'Ria en Rinus', a strip for the 50+ magazine Camé, with Gerard Leever. Leever and Klein have additionally made a series of strips about public transport, called 'Dré en Gré in 't OV'. These strips were published in the door-to-door papers in the Gelderland region in 2007. With Aloys Oosterwijk she made the book 'Werk en bijstand in Amsterdam' (2003), about the changing benefit rules, which also appeared in Turkish and English. 'Lila & Kross' (2004) was an educational comic about public transport for children and immigrants, written by Klein and drawn by Eric Heuvel. Patty Klein furthermore contributed the stories 'Prinses Patty en de kikkers' (art by Pieter Hogenbirk and Metin Seven) and 'Na het sprookje...' (art by Floor de Goede and Margreet de Heer) in the 2006 collective fairy tale book 'Sprookjes in Strookjes'. Her short story 'Een drakerige jonkvrouw' (2012) was drawn by Marlon Teunissen and published P@per, the comics supplement of Brabant Strip Magazine. When Jan van Haasteren was guest editor of the second issue of the Stripglossy (September 2016), Patty Klein wrote new stories of 'Baron van Tast' (art by Van Haasteren) and 'Sjaak en oom George' (art by Dick Heins).

De ziel is een pannenkoek

Besides writing comics, Patty Klein has resumed writing poetry since the 1990s. She took a poetry course from 't Colofon in Amsterdam, and also attended a training in writing song texts by Jan Boerstoel. Since she was married at the time, she used her married name Patty Scholten to distinguish her poetry from her comics work. Her poems, mostly sonnets, have been published in magazines like De Tweede Ronde, and she has read them at literary festivals as well. Several collections have been published by Atlas-Contact since 1995. For much of her poetry, she has returned to her roots. Both 'Het dagjesdier' (1995) and 'Ongekuste kikkers' (1997) are filled with poetry about zoo animals. She has also written a volume about the 17th century VOC merchand Rumphius ('Een Tuil Zeeanemonen', 2000). An English translation of her work by James Brockway called 'Elephants in Love and other Poems' was published in 2000 by London Magazine Edition. In 2002 she taught poetry at the Michigan University in Ann Arbor as "Dutch Writer-in-Residence". The nature in the USA had inspired her for her collection, 'Bizonvoeten' (2004). Klein has furthermore worked as a poetry teacher at the Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam. Perhaps her most personal work is 'De ziel is een pannenkoek' (2011), an open-hearted autobiography in sonnets. She then started writing sonnetes about her grandfather Ben Geijsel, a multi-musician who was famous in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s.

On 20 September 1981, Patty Klein won the Annual Prize for Special Merits, nowadays the P. Hans Frankfurtherprijs, just like Drukwerk publishers Annemieke and Har van Fulpen. She was nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize twice, in 1996 and 2001, and was also nominated to become "Poet of the Fatherland" in 2005. During the Stripdagen in Haarlem, held on 10-11 March 2012, Het Stripschap awarded her the Bulletje & Boonestaak plate for her contributions to Dutch comics. On 20 February 2019, Klein was knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion for her many contributions to Dutch culture, and Dutch comics in particular.

Health issues
Living and working in the Gelderland town Doorwerth, Patty Klein continued to write a 'Noortje' gag for Tina every other week until a stroke left her unable to continue in mid 2018. Frank Jonker wrote the remaining 'Noortje' plots for 2018, largely based on ideas from a previous brainstorm he had with Patty earlier that year. Since 2019, Tina has completely switched to reprinting older 'Noortje' gags. Patty Klein spent the final months of her life in a nursing home, and passed away in the morning of 15 March 2019. She was 73 years old.

The August 2017 issue of Stripnieuws was completely dedicated to Patty Klein's 50 years as a comic writer. Jan van Haasteren made this new portrait of her especially for the cover.

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