Promotional comic strip for Lambiek from Rhaa Lovely #4 (1982).

Simone Koch is an unlikely person to appear in a list of comic authors, since she generally works on the other side of the industry. During the 1980s and 1990s, she was a shop assistant in comics shop Lambiek, and later ran her own Amsterdam store specialized in comic books: Tante Leny. However, in 1982 she drew a charming little comic strip to promote Lambiek, which appeared on a page with comics shop advertisements in the periodical Rhaa Lovely. Although it was her only (known) excursion in field of comics art, it is interesting just for obscurity's sake, and of course because of its connection with Lambiek.

Nicknamed "Plukkie", Simone joined Kees Kousemaker and Klaas Knol as an assistant in comics shop Lambiek in the early 1980s. She was also active in the squatters' movement, and was part of the group occupying the old Wijers textile factory in the centre of Amsterdam. Her boyfriend at the time was Job Goedhart, who was also closely involved with Lambiek as a sign painter, designer and allround handyman. It was an eventful period for the shop. In 1981 Kousemaker had just launched an irregularly appearing daily newsletter called De Reporter. Five years later Lambiek established its own art gallery, which would further establish its international reputation as a comics institute.

Plukkie also appears in Peter Pontiac's strip for Rhaa Lovely #2, in which in a futuristic Kees Kousemaker explains that time travel is the best way for antiquarians to obtain first editions. He only has to hire staff to make dog-ears and stains in the books.

Between 1982 and 1984 Yendor published a comic magazine called Rhaa Lovely, which contained translated comics from the French magazine Fluide Glacial by Gotlib. Each issue had a page with advertisements for Dutch comics shops. Lambiek usually supplied a strip which either spoofed the concept of comics shops or addressed why Lambiek had no advertisement on the page? The first two strips were made by Frits Jonker and Peter Pontiac, based on ideas by Kousemaker, but in the fourth issue in 1982 none other than Plukkie made a promotional comic for Lambiek. The strip was later also included in 'Lambiek's Almanak 1968-1993', an overview book compiled on the occasion of the shop's 25th anniversary in 1993. Simone Koch remained associated with Lambiek until about the early 1990s.

Tante Leny
In 2001 she and her husband Theo opened their own comic book shop in the north of Amsterdam. It was named Tante Leny, after the legendary 1970s underground comix magazine by Evert Geradts and Leny Zwalve. The shop was however troubled by financial difficulties from the start, and the couple's efforts to make ends meet and receive financial backing from the district were chronicled in two broadcasts of the TV documentary 'Failliet of niet?' by Frans Bromet in 2003. Unfortunately, Tante Leny had to close its doors in 2004.

Simone in Lambiek around 1984. Klaas Knol is on the phone in the back.

Series and books by Simone Koch you can order today:


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