Kjell's tribute to Lambiek's iconic store employee Klaas Knol (1954-2019), who was known for his "aansmeergarantie" ("fob off guarantee"), which meant that he suggested a certain comic to customers with the guarantee that they could return it if they didn't like it. In the drawing Klaas is welcomed in the afterlife by Kees Kousemaker, who died 9 years earlier. Among the many cameos of comics characters we recognize (behind Klaas) : Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, Art Spiegelman's Maus, Will Eisner's The Spirit, André Franquin's Gaston Lagaffe, MorrisLucky Luke, Hergé's Tintin and (second row) Bob van den Born's Professor Pi, Robert Crumb's Fritz the Cat, Jean Roba's Bill and Margreet de Heer's alter ego. Standing next to Klaas is Carl BarksUncle Scrooge, while a Smurf (by Peyo) and Ignatz the Mouse (from George Herriman's Krazy Kat) accompany Kees. Behind Kees we recognize (first row): Martin Lodewijk's Olga Lawina, H.G. Kresse's Eric de Noorman, Joost Swarte's Jopo de Pojo, Franquin's Marsupilami, Marten Toonder's Olivier B. Bommel, E.C. Segar's Popeye and a Don Martin character. In the second row we spot Willy Vandersteen's Lambik, Marc Sleen's Nero and Theo van den Boogaard's Sjef van Oekel, Charles M. SchulzSnoopy, Windig & De Jong's Heinz, Peter de Wit's Sigmund, Uderzo's Astérix, Jean-Marc van Tol's Fokke, Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman and Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes. 

Kjell Knudde is a Belgian comics historian and connaisseur of pop culture in general. He is co-editor of the online Comiclopedia of comics shop Lambiek since 2015, helping out veteran Bas Schuddeboom

Background
Kjell Knudde was born in 1982 in Antwerp. He was the son of a computer analyst. Since childhood Knudde had a keen interest in history, culture and comics. He also loved reading, drawing and recording comedy sketches. His grandparents on his mother's side owned a newspaper and magazine store in Hoboken, Antwerp, which brought him into contact with dozens of books and especially comics of all genres. As a child he grew up with strong admiration for classic Belgian cartoonists such as Marc Sleen, HergéWilly VandersteenPom, Merho, Willy Linthout and André Franquin. He developed an equal lifelong love for certain foreign artists such as Carl Barks, René GoscinnyCharles M. SchulzMarten ToonderE.C. Segar, Maarten LodewijkHanco Kolk & Peter de Wit. As a teenager and young adult his mind was shattered by new strong influences, among them GalEver Meulen, Kamagurka, Gummbah, Mad Magazine, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Hara-Kiri / Charlie Hebdo (especially Jean-Marc Reiser), Peter van StraatenGotlib, Willem, IlahRonald Searle, Fritz Van Den Heuvel, Fritz Behrendt, Roland ToporDaniel ClowesJean Van HammePeter BaggeGerrit de Jager, Margreet de Heer, Quino and especially Matt Groening. Likewise Knudde has a passionate interest for painters, literature, film, animation, political cartoonists, classical music, jazz, blues, rock, reggae, world music and avantgarde music (especially Frank Zappa). 

As a child Knudde won a few drawing contests organized by papers and magazines. He studied plastic arts at Pius X high school in Antwerp, where one of his classmates was future children's book illustrator Inge Bogaerts. In adulthood his keen sense of pop culture, history and politic led to many interesting essays among his entourage. After several odd studies & jobs he developed a Facebook fan page for Belgian cartoonist Gal in 2010, which was read and praised by his son Anant. Knudde managed to meet Gal a few times, one time at the maestro's home. 


Kjell Knudde with Gal in 2011.

Comiclopedia
In 2015 Knudde started maintaining a close correspondence with Comiclopedia editor Bas Schuddeboom, which resulted into his co-editorship of this encyclopedic reference of worldwide comics artists by comics shop Lambiek in Amsterdam. His involvement marked a major turning point in the site's general content. His extensive and well-documented analyses have inspired Schuddeboom to expand the Comiclopedia's overall tone to more thorough articles. Knudde has furthermore instigated inclusion of historically relevant proto-comic artists like Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, with the intention of putting the field of comics art into a wider perspective. Thanks to his huge cultural luggage he has managed to spot interesting additions for the site in the wildest places of time and space. Schuddeboom once pointed out that with Kees Kousemaker, Klaas Knol and Kjell Knudde, Lambiek so far had three notable co-workers who share the same exact initials. 

The "New Deal" of Knudde and Schuddeboom has not gone by unnoticed. The Lambiek website has seen an increasing amount of visitors, while prominent scholars and historians have credited the site as an important reference. A landmark in their collaboration is the extensive chronicle of the history of Kees Kousemaker's comics shop Lambiek at the occasion of its 50th anniversary in November 2018. The two men thoroughly sifted through the store's archives, and constructed their findings into a coherent text, completely written by Knudde and edited by Schuddeboom. Their research furthermore formed the basis of the anniversary book '50 Jaar Lambiek' (2018) by Boris Kousemaker, Bas Schuddeboom and Cyril Koopmeiners, which had an English translation by Knudde.


Kjell's contribution to Lambiek's 50th anniversary book, spoofing the legend that comic "strip" shop Lambiek originally fooled people into believing it was actually a "strip" club.

Recognition
In February 2020 it was announced that Kjell Knudde and Bas Schuddeboom were awarded the P. Hans Frankfurther Prize for special merits by Het Stripschap. They were praised for their ongoing efforts to keep Lambiek's Comiclopedia alive and up-to-date, while the driving forces of the site's early years (Kees Kousemaker and Margreet de Heer) were also not forgotten.

Comics
In his spare time, Kjell is active as an amateur writer and cartoonist. He has spoofed Thom Roep and Co Loerakker's 'Van Nul Tot Nu' in a special satiric homage to Lambiek, published in '50 Jaar Lambiek' (2018) to celebrate the store's 50th anniversary. In his two-page comic strip Lambiek's founder Kees Kousemaker and our mascot Lambik are given guest spots. Knudde also created an unpublished 'in memoriam' cartoon in 2019 to pay tribute to recently deceased store employee Klaas Knol. 


Kjell Knudde and Bas Schuddeboom in 2018 (Photo: Jurrien de Vries). 

Series and books by Kjell Knudde in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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