Maz, detective series, no. 4Maz, detective series, no. 12

Although Alfred Mazure never had any graphic education, he worked as a cartoonist, writer and filmmaker. In Holland, he is best-known for creating the hardboiled action comic 'Dick Bos'. Born Alfred Leonardus Mazure in Nijmegen, he attended high school in The Hague, until he was sent from school three months before his graduation. At age 18, he decided to make a living from drawing, and he sold his first comics to the Neerlandia Press Group in Utrecht. His first comic, titled 'De Chef (1932)', was published in the Nieuwe Utrechtse Courant and De Prins, but didn't enjoy much success.

De Chef, by Alfred Mazure
De Chef

Mazure then traveled through the Balkan and Africa from 1933 to 1938, while writing a travelogue for Haagsche Post. By this time, he also made two weekly comics for British magazines - 'Dad' for John Bull and the wanderer 'Erbert' for Passing Show. Back in Holland in 1938, he reassumed his collaboration with De Prins, and its supplement, Jeugdland, for which he made the text comic 'Buikje Roodhuid's Wondere Verhalen'.

Dick Bos, series, no. 23 (NL), by MazureDick Bos, series, no. 25 (NL), by Mazure

His next creation, 'Dick Bos', was a detective with a love for martial arts, modelled after Maurice van Nieuwenhuizen, a famous judo-wrestler. The strip appeared in magazines and papers like De Prins (1940), Televizier (1965-68), Avro Bode (1968) and Algemeen Dagblad, but earns its legendary status through the mini-sized comic books, that were published by Ten Hagen in three series (1941-1943, 1946-1950 and 1963-1967).

The 'Dick Bos' comics were published in a rather unusual format - the books are just 7cm broad and 11cm high (3" x 4"), so they could fit into one's pocket. These books were a great success: they have been translated into several languages, they have been made into movies, and into novels (by Mazure himself). When the German oppressor asked him to make his hero an SS-soldier, Mazure declined, and a publication ban followed. By this time, Mazure turned to film productions starring his hero, as portrayed by Van Nieuwenhuizen. Mazuren's vintage Dutch comic classic was turned into a hilarious parody by Windig and de Jong.

Romeo Brown by Alfred Mazure
Romeo Brown (Norwegian edition, Illustrert Familieblad, 1957)

Despite the popularity of 'Dick Bos', Alfred Mazure never really got the fame he deserved. Strangled by a cunning contract with one of his first publishers, Alfred Mazure stayed a poor man all his life. Disillusioned, he moved to England after World War II, where he had a career as an illustrator, writer and comic artist.

Bruce Hunter by Alfred Mazure
Bruce Hunter

Among the first comics he created for the British market were 'Sam Stone' and 'Bruce Bunter' in socialist paper The Daily Herald from 1948 to 1950. During the same period, he also drew a comic for the conservative magazine Popular Pictorial, which he signed Leo. He was an arist for The Daily Mirror for several years, starting with the 'Romeo Brown' comic strip from 1954 to 1957 (later continued by Jim Holdaway), and then 'Jane, daughter of Jane' from 1961 to 1963. Other British comics by Mazure were 'Carmen & Co' for the Daily Sketch, and the sexy 'Lindy Leigh' in Mayfair from 1969 to 1970.

Jane, Daughter of Jane, by Maz for the British market
Jane, Daughter of Jane

While working on a new series of books with 'Dick Bos' for Ten Hagen from 1963 to 1967, Mazure settled on Malta. There, he experimented with animation, using his own technique that he called "Mazimation". Two short films starring 'Dick Bos' were produced. He also wrote the novel series 'Sherazad', satirical books as MAZ, as well as the novel 'Blooded Royal' under the pen name Leonard Cullner.

Alfred Mazure

He returned to London in 1970, where he passed away at the age of 59 in 1974. His brother Georges was also a comic artist.

A letter sent to Lambiek in 1973 by Maz
A letter sent to Lambiek in 1973 by Maz.

Alfred Mazure in De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Alfred Mazure in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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