'Yurei - Dwaallichten' (2018).

Johan Neefjes is an Amsterdam-based Dutch commercial illustrator and visualizer for advertisements, with an additional career as comic artist. Since 2017, he has been creating Dutch manga like 'Run Run - a Sukeban Story' (2017), 'Yurei - Dwaallichten' (2018) and the trilogy 'De Puinhopen van Sari' (2019-2023), as well as the historical comic series 'Folchard' (2021- ).

Early life and career
Johan Neefjes was born in 1970 in Alkmaar. As a child, he enjoyed reading the Dutch comic magazine Eppo. As he grew older, he got interested in the more alternative and adult-oriented comics published in Creepy, 1984 and Titanic. Between 1992 and 1996, Neefjes attended the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam, graduating in Illustration. As an artist, his main influences are Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corben, Tanino Liberatore and Katsuhiro Otomo. Another passion is Japan, a country he tries to visit every year.

Commercial art
While still an art student, Neefjes made his first storyboard for Richard Raaphorst's animated horror short 'Zombi 1' (1995). After graduation, he started out making illustrations for the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. Since 2000, he has been active as a storyboard artist and visualizer through the Roughmen agency in Amsterdam. Among his list of clients are Philips, Ohra insurances, Tele2, Duyvis snacks, Mitsubishi and Samsung. In 2005, he made the animated intro for the kids TV show 'Hippie de Hipster', with actor Peer Mascini as host. With Nicolas Ocheda, he also produced artwork for the second season of the TV show 'Lego Masters' (2021).

'Run Run - a Sukeban Story' (2017).

Manga comics
In addition to his dayjob, Neefjes has been working on comic projects, most notably for the Dutch manga imprint Hanabi, a joint venture between the publishers Syndikaat and Leeuwenhart. Neefjes' manga comics reveal his facination for Japanese youth culture, the kaiju giant monster genre and 'Super Sentai', the Japanese live-action series full of superheroes and special effects. His first production was 'Run Run - a Sukeban Story' (2017), a revenge story about a criminal girl who returns to society after doing prison time. Flavored with action, humor and girl power, the story is an explosive confrontation between rival girl gangs and the macho gangster world. In 2018, Neefjes created 'Yurei - Dwaallichten' (2018), a more magical story set in Ancient Japan featuring the folkloric Yokai creature. Between 2019 and 2023, his trilogy 'De Puinhopen van Sari' ("The Ruins of Sari") appeared, about a girl in a sleepy coastal village, whose boring life is constantly disturbed by giant monsters coming from the sea.

'De Puinhopen van Sari'.

Historical comics
With Syndikaat publisher Marc de Lobie as scriptwriter, Neefjes has additionally been working on the three-part historical comic 'Folchard' (2021- ), about a 9th-century Viking boy who is the only survivor of a shipwreck off the coast of the former Dutch county of Walcheren. Raised by Dutch monks, he is then sent to military school, after which he is tasked to help defend the Walcheren coast from invading Viking ships.

Graphic contributions
At Reboot Comics, Johan Neefjes has contributed story art to Leon Verhoeven's superhero anthology series '9 Tails' (2021-2022), and also to the tribute book dedicated to the late cartoonist Eric Schreurs (2023).


Johan Neefjes at Roughmen

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