'Tim Tuimel knapt het op!'.

Dutch comics artist Hans Nije was one of the members of Piet van Elk's Stripfilm team, which produced comic strips for Dutch newspapers in the years after World War II. Nije's main creations were 'Tim Tuimel' (1946-1947), 'Lodewijk' (1946) and 'Boudewijn' (1947).

Pommy en Stommy, by Hans Nije
'Pommy en Stommy'.

World War II
Hans Nije was born in 1918. During World War II he got acquainted with the young artists Albert van Beek and Henk Albers. The three young men not only did chores for the Resistance, like falsifying documents, but also cooperated on a series of picture books for the publisher Mulder & Zoon. Nije's steady hand provided the lettering, while Albers and Van Beek made the drawings. The books however remained unpublished. Mulder eventually did release four picture books starring the two boys 'Pommy en Stommy', which were written and drawn by Hans Nije in 1945.

Stripfilm
Around 1946 Nije joined Piet van Elk's Stripfilm team. Launched out of the ashes of an ill-fated attempt at a full-blown animation studio, Stripfilm dedicated itself to the production of comics for the many regional newspapers of the recently liberated Netherlands. Besides his regular companions Albert van Beek and Siem Praamsma, Van Elk attracted new artists like Henk Albers, Willy Kuyper, Francis Paid and Hans Nije to fulfill this mission. The Amsterdam-based group produced several strips which were distributed by the Persbelangen agency to not only Dutch newspapers, but also to Belgian ones, such as Het Volk and Vooruit. Most of the features were primitively drawn in a round drawing style, inspired by animation.

Tim Tuimel
Nije, who lived in Hoorn, provided three stories with a character called 'Tim Tuimel' (1946-1947), who coincidentally shared his looks a bit with Piet van Elk's hero 'Bim'. Nije signed the strips with "Donald", as a tribute to his son. The young Donald Nije, nicknamed "Donny", also served as an inspiration for Albert van Beek's strip 'De Avonturen van Ronny en Donny' (1947-1948). Like many other heroes, Nije's Tim Tuimel was just minding his own business, when he got involved in a major plot. In his first adventure, 'Tim Tuimel knapt het op!', he finds himself in the middle of a large petrol scam. By the time of his second story, 'Het Spook van Muizendam', Tim has found his calling as a detective, and is asked to look into the case of a haunted house. His third and final adventure, 'Tim Tuimel op Diepzeetocht' brings Tim to the bottom of the ocean. The first two stories were collected in book format by Mebovig in Haarlem around 1950. The third adventure was published by Stripfilm collector and connaisseur Ernst Slinger on his own in 1998.

Other comics
Among Hans Nije's other creations was the clumsy 'Lodewijk' (1946), whose gags appeared as a balloon comic in the magazine De Prins. The adventures of the greybearded Boudewijn with a pair of magical shoes were published under the title 'Boudewijn en de toverschoenen' (1947) in newspapers like Helmondsche Courant. By 1955, the serial was still in circulation, this time reprinted in the Nieuwe Schiedamsche Courant.

Later life
Not much is known about Hans Nije's further life. Besides being an artist, he was also a gifted guitarist and saxophonist. Nije spent his later years in South Africa, where he passed away around the age of 54, possibly in 1972.


'Boudewijn en de Toverschoenen', reprint from Nieuwe Schiedamsche Courant (17 June 1955).

Series and books by Hans Nije in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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