Kinky & Cosy, by Nix
'Kinky & Cosy'.

Nix is a Flemish cartoonist and comic artist based in Nieuwrode, best known for his absurd cartoons and gag comics, which have appeared in international publications like Le Vif Focus, Yeti, PAN, Spirou, Le Feraille Illustré, De Standaard, De Morgen and Focus Knack. His signature characters are 'Kinky & Cosy' (1998), who have not only appeared in comic strips, but also in short animated films. The rebellious twin sisters have furthermore made Nix one of the best-known Flemish comic artists abroad. Nix is part of the new wave of the Flemish absurdists, together with Kim Duchateau, Jeroom, Bart Schoofs and Pieter de Poortere. His pseudonym "Nix" not only refers to his first name (Marnix), but also sounds like the Dutch word for "nothing" (= "niks").

Cartoon by Nix

Early life
Marnix Verduyn was born in Kortrijk (Courtrai) in 1969, and raised in Sint-Stevens-Woluwe. He grew up reading Willy Vandersteen and Marc Sleen as a child, but as a teenager also underwent influence from Kamagurka and the Dutch cartoonist Gerrit de Jager. The French comic artist Gotlib, the British comedy group Monty Python and Dutch TV satirists Kees van Kooten and Wim de Bie also shaped the artist's sense for witty, recalcitrant, dark and deadpan humor. The punk attitude of alternative music acts like Iggy & the Stooges, The Kills and The Jesus Lizard have also inspired much of his non-mainstream approach of cartooning.

Early career
Verduyn was a cartoonist for his high school newspaper, called Brulaap, and single-handedly transformed it into the new magazine Geen Kommentaar, which he modelled after the Leuven student magazines his sister brought home. Despite these ambitious beginnings, Nix chose for financial security and studied electrotechnics at the University of Leuven. In his spare time he kept drawing, and launched a "trade journal" for engineers called Daily Rium. He filled the magazine with cartoons, made-up interviews and plain nonsense, all under pseudonyms. The paper eventually earned Nix a regular spot in the student magazine Veto with the back cover strip 'Kafeeteorieën', about a bar stool philosopher. He additionally wrote and performed sketches for the local radio station Radio Scorpio with fellow student Peter van den Eynde.

Kafeeteorie├źn by Nix

After obtaining his Master of Science degree in engineering in 1992, Nix became an engineer in the Belgian telecommunication company Belgacom. He eventually got the opportunity to make a career move and become a cartoonist after all. His cartoons for Veto were picked up by editor Johan Mortelmans, who invited the young artist to make cartoons for the economical section of the daily newspaper De Standaard under the title 'Café du Commerce'. Boosted by this experience, Nix also presented his work at the Brussels offices of another newspaper, De Morgen, in 1994. He joined the team of the paper's youth supplement DeMix, a breeding ground for Flemish journalistic talent. Fellow cartoonists Kim Duchateau, Mario Boon, Vero Beauprez and Stief Desmet were also part of the team.

Ief de Chief by Nix

Nix initially made covers, illustrations and an occasional cartoon. When the team moved over to the Antwerp division of the paper in 1997, Nix became the artist of the comic strip 'Ief de Chief'. It was a hilarious and daring parody of the tensions between the commercial and editorial divisions of the De Morgen newspaper, and portrayed editor-in-chief Yves Desmet as a sportscar-driving glamour boy. The strip was filled with inside jokes and also poked fun at Persgroup boss Christian van Stylo. Nevertheless, it managed to run for about a year, and in 1998 even an album appeared, accompanied by an 'Ief de Chief' jumping jack. Nix's first book publication was 'Fin de Siècle' (1997), a collaborative book made with Foob, Bart Schoofs, Nunes and Karel Lauwers on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Leuven-based comics shop Het Besloten Land. In the following year, a solo-collection of early work was published by Grint under the title 'Hardnekkige vlekken'. A second volume followed in 2003.

Kinky & Cosy
As a replacement for 'Ief de Chief', Nix came up with the absurd gag comic 'Kinky & Cosy'. The strip stars two young blond-haired twin girls who both wear orange dresses and whose only distinction is that one of them, Kinky, wears glasses. The gags are often made in collaboration with his friend Bart Schoofs. The strip ran in De Morgen from 1998 to 2001, then made its appearance in Het Nieuwsblad (2001) and the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (2003). It also appeared in the Dutch magazines Incognito (1999), MYX (2003-2008) and Eppo (2012-2013). In Flanders, their adventures have furthermore appeared in the satirical weekly PAN and in the comics news magazine Stripgids. The first album was published in 2001 by Grint/Van Halewyck, after which the album collection was continued by Silvester from 2003 to 2010. The Dutch-language albums are published by Blloan since 2015.

The 'Kinky & Cosy' strips often star non-related characters ("U have five more days to live, sir..." "Sigh! Five more...").

The two terrors quickly became well-known outside of the Dutch-speaking community. Le Lombard started publishing the albums in the French language in 2005, and the first one received the Prix d'Humour at the Festival of Angoulême in 2006. Since then, 'Kinky & Cosy' have furthermore been published in Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the United States and the Czech Republic. The strips have appeared in the French-language magazines Ferraille Illustré, Spirou and Fluide Glacial as well. Since 2015 his strip also appears weekly in the news app of the daily Le Monde. In 2008, Nix was asked by the Flemish TV debate show 'Volt' (2008-2015) to make one-minute animated shorts with his characters. Aided by co-plotter Schoofs and animator Ben De Wever, Nix "home-made" 80 short films. He subsequently dubbed them into French and presented them at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. To his surprise, the French animation company Ellipsanimé ('Garfield', 'Lucky Luke') gave him a contract for 500 films. Verduyn established his own Studio Nix, hiring Fred Felder, Bart Schoofs, Ben De Wever, Steve Michiels and Simon Spruyt for the scripts and artwork. The voices were recorded in Hollywood, with actor Bryan Barter of 'The Social Network' fame doing over 35 roles, while the animation was done by the Dreamwall studios in Marcinelle, Belgium. The 'Kinky & Cosy' films have even further widened Nix's popularity, with broadcasts on Orange Cinéma in France and YLE in Finland.

Kinky and Cosy are probably the most interactive comic characters around. Besides strips and films, the audience can completely enter their world in the Kinky & Cosy Experience. With a grand from the Flemish Literature Fund, Nix established an exhibition in 2015 which teases all senses. Since then, the Experience has travelled to comic festivals in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. It was a huge hit at the 2015 Angoulême festival, during which a special magazine called Le Journal de Kinky & Cosy was also published. On 23 June 2016 Kinky and Cosy received their own wall painting in the Bogaardenstraat/ Rue des Bogards in Brussels, as part of the Brussels' Comic Book Route. 

Kinky & Cosy photo-comic
Kinky & Cosy photo comic parodying the Flemish version of the TV game show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' with host Walter Grootaers. The part of Cosy is played by Bart Schoofs, while Kinky is portrayed by Nix.

Other comics
Nix has additionally made photo comics like 'Kwakzalver en Knettergek' (with Peter van den Eynde in Zone 5300, 1990s) and 'God en Klein Pierken' (with Bart Schoofs in Teek, 2001), about the adventures of God and his little brother. When TV presenter Rob Vanoudenhoven had to create his own magazine in one week as a challenge in his TV show 'De XII Werken van Vanoudenhoven' (1998-1999) Nix made some cartoons for the publication. Nix has contributed comics and cartoons for anthologies and seasonal books like 'Hippoliet en Zeno in de Ruimte' (Averbode, 2001) and 'Hic Sunt Leones' (2004).

Billy Bob by Nix
'Billy Bob'.

Another popular comic strip by Nix is 'Billy Bob'. It stars a little boy who dreams of being a cowboy and lives the most absurd adventures in the Far West. The strip has appeared in Spirou from 2005 to 2011 and the book collection by Les Requins Marteaux was nominated for best children's comic at the Angoulême Comics Festival in 2012. A Dutch book collection was published by Blloan in the same year. Nix also writes the gags for the funny animal comic 'Harry', which is drawn by Ben De Wever (Benus) and published in Spirou since 2015. Since 2017 he is the author of a comics series based on the Flemish scripted reality TV series 'De Buurtpolitie' for Standaard Uitgeverij. Within a period 2,5 years he managed to crank out ten 30-page albums (and counting) about the bizarre adventures of a Belgian neighborhood police station, aided by fellow artists Benus (Ben De Wever) and Phaedra Derhore. In the build-up to the 2018 World Championships, Nix' crime thriller about match fixing in the soccer world, 'Deathfix', was serialized as a webtoon on The comic was made "the American way". The production team also included Nix' assistant Benus (Ben De Wever) as pencil artist, Kevin Cuyt as inker, Fred Felder as dialogue writer and Pierre Leroy as colorist. Dupuis released the story in book format in January 2019.

Kinky & Cosy, by Nix

Teaching career
Nix was one of the driving forces behind the Comics section of the Dutch-language Sint-Lukas School of Arts in Brussels. He established the course together with Johan De Moor in 1998, and trained such young artists as Olivier Schrauwen, Simon Spruyt, Conz and Judith Vanistendael. Nix taught how to write short humor scripts, while De Moor gave drawing lessons and Jan Bucquoy trained the students in writing longer scripts. Nix, De Moor and their students organized a frivolous exposition at the 2004 Angoulême Festival, set in a vintage classroom. The initiative echoed Nix's sense for the absurd with hilarious courses like an onomatopoeia dictation and trainings in drawing "clear lines". The event became a cult hit and gave the artists involved a lot of visibility. It also meant Nix's international breakthrough; in the following year his first 'Kinky & Cosy' album was published in French. Nix and De Moor furthermore launched initiatives like the annual magazine Demo, the anthology 'Bruxxxel' (2005), and an exposition in Kees Kousemaker's Gallery Lambiek in Amsterdam in June 2003.

Kinky en Cosy by Nix

Other activities
Nix is additionally active as a stand-up comedian, comics reviewer for Studio Brussel and animator for TMF. He plays in a rock band with another cartoonist: Kim Duchateau. Since 2016 Nix is on the editorial board of the Flemish comics news magazine Stripgids, together with comic artists Simon Spruyt, Marc Legendre and Judith Vanistendael, and journalists Karl van den Broeck and Roel Daenen.

Graphic contributions
He was one of many artists to pay tribute to Ever Meulen during the 'Ever Meulen & Friends' exhibition in October 2017 in Brussels. In 2018 Nix was one of several artists to pay tribute to comic artist Merho in the homage book 'Hoor Je Het Ook Eens Van Een Ander' (2018). 

In 2013 a exhibition of comics and cartoons was organized in the Flemish parliament. One of the members of the Flemish-nationalist party N-VA felt the need to change a French-language speech balloon in a drawing by François Schuiten into Dutch. This sparked protest from several cartoonists who participated, among them Nix. Other artists who complained were Jeroom, Kamagurka, Marec, Quirit, Zaza, Vincent Baudoux, Cécile Bertrand, Emiel de Bolle, Canary Pete, Clou, Cost, Vincent Dubois, Frédéric Dubus, Josse Goffin, Paul de Groeve, Jacpé, Kanar, Karl, Kroll, Jean-Louis Lejeune, Philippe Moins, Johan de Moor, Olivier Saive, Samuel, Herr Seele, Jacques Sondron, Nicolas Vadot, Vejo en Xavier Zeegers. Kamagurka even went so far to ask for the removal of his own cartoons.

Kinky & Cosy

Series and books by Nix in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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