Willems Wereld by Aloys Oosterwijk
Willems Wereld

Aloys Oosterwijk is the creator of the long-running comic 'Willems Wereld' (1996-2017) for men's magazine Panorama, and is furthermore widely known as a courtroom sketch artist. Born in 1956 in Schalkhaar, he attended the Art Academy in Arnhem and began his career within the Arnhem comics scene. He published his first work in the seven issues of the amateur comics magazine De Omelet, which he filled with his friends Hanco Kolk, Ben Jansen, René Meulenbroek, Rieuwert Catz and Diederick van Kleef between 1975 and 1978. Oosterwijk additionally contributed to other underground/alternative publications of the time, such as Evert Geradts' Tante Leny Presenteert and De Vrije Balloen. When publisher Drukwerk launched the alternative comics magazine Talent in 1978, Oosterwijk was present with comic stories starring the character 'Pater Smollenbrink'. He also made comic stories about actual people, like art forger Han van Meegeren, the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, Brigitte Bardot, Phil Spector and ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn. He was eventually the first of his gang with an album to his name; Drukwerk released a collection of his Talent stories in 1979 under the title 'Een Keurig Wit Pakje Met Geen Vlekje Besmeurd'.

Il Cantalone by Aloys Oosterwijk
Il Pantalone (Talent #3, 1979)

While pursuing a dayjob as a drawing teacher, he joined his friends Kolk, Meulenbroek, Jansen and Geradts in the founding of Studio Arnhem in 1981. Artists like Gerard LeeverKees de BoerRené Uilenbroek and Jaap Stavenuiter joined later on. With the intention of becoming professional comic artists and illustrators, the team found its way to most of the mainstream comic publications of the 1980s. Oosterwijk designed the characters of the collective project about photographer 'Otto Raaf' for the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool. He was eventually able to quit his dayjob.

Cor Morelli by Aloys Oosterwijk
Cor Morelli - De man op de dia (Robbedoes 2454, 1985)

His best-known creation from this period was the comic series about the detective 'Cor Morelli'. The artwork shows influences from classic Clear Line artists like Edgar Pierre Jacobs and the crime noir comics of the time, like the ones made by Gérard Goffaux and Philippe Berthet. The looks of Morelli's colleague, Esther Echt, were based on those of Oosterwijk's girlfriend of the time, the future actress Trudi Klever. 'Cor Morelli' made its debut in the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws in 1984, and subsequently found a spot in the comics magazines Robbedoes, Eppo, Eppo/Wordt Vervolgd, Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad and Sjosji until 1996. Five albums were published by Oberon and Arboris between 1987 and 1996. A sixth book with a previously unpublished story followed in 2006 and in the early 2010s, the character was revived in the new Eppo magazine with a series of "cold case" stories.

Beirut by Aloys Oosterwijk
Cor Morelli - Beirut

In the second half of the 1980s, Oosterwijk moved to Amsterdam, where he shared a studio with Peter de Wit and Hanco Kolk. Artists like Ben Westervoorde, Michiel de Jong and Floris Oudshoorn later joined this "Studio De Wittenkade". Oosterwijk drew the comic story 'Te Klein Om Gelukkig in Zijn' for the Pincet collection of mini-comics, which was published by Kolk and De Wit's label De Plaatjesmaker. Between 1993 and 1997 (and in 2005), Oosterwijk created several stories for girls' magazine Tina. He drew several short stories, written by either himself or Frank Jonker, and wrote and drew three stories with the character 'Mirte'. With scriptwriter Patty Klein, he made fourteen stories with the historical characters 'Blanche & Gijske'.

Blanche & Gijske by Aloys Oosterwijk
Blanche & Gijske - De waarzegger (Tina 12, 2005)

For newspaper De Telegraaf, Oosterwijk made an instructional strip about golfing, called 'Golfen Met Gary Wiren', and for Yachting World, he drew the historical comic 'Passionate Yachtsmen'. Oosterwijk has additionally made erotic comics for the Spanish magazines Totem El Comix and Kiss Magazine, some of which were also published in Playhouse in Holland.

De Visitatie by Aloys Oosterwijk
El Peso de la Ley (De Visitatie)

In 1996, the comic 'Willems Wereld' ('William's World') first appeared in the weekly men's magazine Panorama. The figure of the bachelor Willem is effectively the same as Cor Morelli, with the slight difference that Willem is a pub-crawler instead of a detective. Willem's world is tragic but never sad, full of impossible love and cheerful whore-hopping. Willem is the typical bar stool philosopher who sees life from behind the bar. However, he does occasionally engage in other activities. He acts as an artist's model, a stand-in for movies or as an employee in various quickly abandoned jobs. Several albums of 'Willem's Wereld' have been published since 1997. New management decided to cancel the comic after 21 years in 2017. The final episode appeared in Panorama on 21 September 2017.

Willem's Wereld by Aloys Oosterwijk

Since 2004, Oosterwijk is also active as courtroom sketch artist. His drawings of criminals and court cases have appeared in Panorama and Algemeen Dagblad, and on TV shows like the 'NOS Journaal,' 'Peter R. De Vries Misdaadverslaggever' and 'Pauw & Witteman'. He is the regular artist of criminal cases for the Dutch press agency ANP since 2009. He is amongst the few artists in the field, and has covered many widely covered cases, like the ones against master criminal Willem Holleeder and against the Hofstad Network. 

Willem Holleeder
Facial expressions of Willem Holleeder in 2015.

On Friday 21 September 2001, a month-long exposition of the work of Aloys Oosterwijk was opened in Galerie Lambiek. In 2007, Aloys Oosterwijk was awarded the Stripschap Prize for his complete body of work. In the 1980s and 1990s Oosterwijk was also a singer and guitarist in the bands De Rambo's (1982-1986, with Rieuwert Catz, Wouter van der Laan, Ben Jansen and Wilco Wolfers) and De Keng (1987-1993, with Arjen Vreeken, Wilco Wolfers, Hilbert Wiese, Cees Jan Tans, Henk Dassen).

Dutch biography in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis
Oosterwijk's portfolio at ComicHouse

Series and books by Aloys Oosterwijk in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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