Comic strip for Haren de Krant, February 2021. Translation: "During the crisis, Zonnehof wants to brings youngsters and the eldery in contact." Old woman: "Not the contact I was hoping for." 

Simon van der Molen is a Dutch illustrator and comic artist, based in Groningen. He works for publishers, newspapers, health care institutions and companies, making informative illustrations, current affairs cartoons and rebuses.

Early life
Born in 1985 in the city of Assen, Van der Molen grew up reading his father's comic books. Among his favorites were André Franquin's 'Gaston Lagaffe', Martin Lodewijk's 'Agent 327', Peter de Smet's 'De Generaal' and Morris' 'Lucky Luke'. At school, he entertained his classmates with self-made comics. Other early inspirations were the TV cartoons series of the 1980s and 1990s, such as 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', 'Transformers', 'Animaniacs', 'Inspector Gadget' and 'Batman: The Animated Series'. With a formal education in commercial economy from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Van der Molen is fully self-taught as a cartoonist. Later influences on his artwork have been the dynamic artwork of Pedro Perez, the humor of Hein de Kort and the use of anatomy and color of Brett Parons.

Rebus by Simon van der Molen for the Mediahuis newspapers.

Cartoonist/comic artist
After several years pursuing other interests, Simon van der Molen picked up the drawing pen again in early 2014. His first assignment was making comic strips for the residents' newspaper of ZINN, the Groningen institution for elderly care where he also worked as a receptionist. Since then, he began working on a professional base for other clients. The regional newspapers and magazines of Mediahuis Noord, including Dagblad van het Noorden, ran his cartoony rebuses. For Haren de Krant - the local newspaper of the town of Haren, near the city of Groningen - he comments on the local news in a monthly comic strip.

Drawing for FiniVita, an initiative of the Learning Houses Foundation for Palliative Care.

Van der Molen also works for corporations, regional government institutions and health care organizations, who hire him to simplify or summarize complex matters through illustrations. Among his regular clients is the VolkerWessels construction company, for which he makes cartoons and illustrations. Through fellow cartoonist Frans Le Roux, he landed on assignments drawing detailed jigsaw puzzles for GasTerra and local firms from Groningen, such as the Chris Russell printing company and Convident digital marketing.

Jigsaw puzzle for the Convident Digital Agency (2022).

Graphic contributions
In 2021, Van der Molen made a tribute drawing for the 'Franka' album 'De Tanden van de Draak', intended for a collective book by Uitgeverij L celebrating the comic artist Henk Kuijpers and his famous comic character. 

Tribute drawing for Henk Kuijpers' 'Franka' comic.

Series and books by Simon van der Molen you can order today:


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