Citytrip by Tom Metdepenningen
'Citytrip' (P@per #17, 2011).

Tom Metdepenningen ("Tommeke 't Gommeke") is a Flemish comic artist and animator. He is best known for creating a 2007 celebrity comic based on the humorous folk and cult band Katastroof. 

Early life and career
Tom Metdepenningen was born in 1986 in Edegem and raised in Wilrijk. He showed an early interest in comics, especially Willy Vandersteen's 'Suske en Wiske' ('Spike and Suzy'). He set up a fan forum for this classic Flemish comic, and also launched the online comic magazine Studio ARTuur. He studied information design, but eventually found his calling in animation at the Media & Design Academy of Genk.

Since 1978 the Antwerp folk band Katastroof enjoys a long-running cult following in Antwerp. They typically perform songs in Antwerp dialect about low-brow topics such as alcohol and sex, which prevent them from receiving much mainstream airplay or media coverage. Nevertheless, they have a loyal fanbase who appreciate them for not "selling out". As early as 1989, an attempt was made to launch a celebrity comic about the band. The first artist assigned to the project was Rudi Geubels. He created several pages worth, but his try-out never found a publisher. Katastroof's lead singer, Zjuul Krapuul, also had drawing talent. He had designed several of the band's album covers in a cartoony style. Still, he felt creating a whole comic book wasn't up his sleeve. 

It took until 2008 before an actual comic book about Katastroof hit the market: 'De Strippende Stroof' (Uitgeverij Mannekesblad, 2008). It was published at the occasion of the band's 30th anniversary and came with a regular and a luxury edition. Metdepenningen drew all of the one-page gags, while Katastroof singer, guitarist and keyboard player Steven Boers, nicknamed "Stef Bef", wrote the jokes. 

Katastroof comic by Tom Metdepenningen
Comic with the band members from Katastroof (2014).

Other comics
Metdepenningen was also present in the comic magazine P@per with the gag strip 'Citytrip' (2011) in cooperation with Ivan Claeys. In September 2014 he published his comic strip  'De dolle avonturen van Tom Bardon: De theepot van Shakara' on the site of Stripelmagazine. 

Graphic contributions
Metdepenningen was one of many comic artists who contributed to the one-shot comic book 'Op het Spoor van Pom' (2011), a homage to Pom, creator of 'Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber'. In his one-page story, Piet Pienter and Bert Bibber meet the comic book versions of Katastroof's band members. The profits of this book went to fund cancer research for children. In 2016-2017, he became part of "The Wolfpack", a creative team of Standaard Uitgeverij assigned to come up with new ideas for spin-offs with Willy Vandersteen's classic creations, following the success of 'Amoras' (2013) and 'J.Rom Force of Gold' (2014). The other members were storyrunner Johan De Smedt, film director Vincent Bal and the Dutch/Flemish comic authors Bruno de Roover, Lectrr, Stedho, Romano Molenaar, Gerben Valkema and Aimée de Jongh.

Other activities
Metdepenningen is co-founder and maintainer of the film site FilmCentrum. He is also active as an animator, having made animated cartoons for GZA Ziekenhuizen and Superprestige. The artist additionally gives workshops in drawing comics, both general courses as well as public relations workshops for the celebrity comic 'Jump', written and drawn by Charel Cambré.

De Strippende Roof

Series and books by Tom Metdepenningen you can order today:


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