Willems Wereld by Aloys Oosterwijk
'Willems Wereld'.

Aloys Oosterwijk is a Dutch comic artist, and the creator of the detective comic 'Cor Morelli' (1984-1996, 2012-  ) for several comic magazines, and the long-running gag strip 'Willems Wereld' (1996-2017) for men's magazine Panorama. Nowadays he is mostly known as a courtroom sketch artist.

Early life and career
Born in 1956 in Schalkhaar, Aloys Oosterwijk attended the Art Academy in Arnhem and began his career within the Arnhem comic scene. He published his first work in the seven issues of the amateur comic 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, such as Evert Geradts' Tante Leny Presenteert and De Vrije Balloen. When publisher Drukwerk launched the alternative comic 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, French sex bomb Brigitte Bardot, U.S. music producer Phil Spector and ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn. Oosterwijk was eventually the first of his gang to publish a comic book; in 1979 Drukwerk released a collection of his Talent stories under the title 'Een Keurig Wit Pakje Met Geen Vlekje Besmeurd'.

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

Studio Arnhem
While pursuing a daytime job as a drawing teacher, Oosterwijk 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', inked by Gerard Leever, for the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool. The backgrounds were drawn by Ben Jansen and René Meulenbroek, while the story was provided by non-studio member Ger Apeldoorn. One episode, 'Concert voor Carras', was serialized between 3 January and 26 March 1983. Oosterwijk was eventually able to quit his daytime job.

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

Cor Morelli
His best-known creation from this period was the comic series about the detective 'Cor Morelli' (1984-1996, 2012- ). The artwork shows influences from classic Clear Line artists like Edgar Pierre Jacobs and the crime noir comics by Gérard Goffaux and Philippe Berthet. The looks of Morelli's colleague, Esther Echt, were based on 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 comic 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 since 2012, the character is revived in the new Eppo magazine with a series of "cold case" stories.

Beirut by Aloys Oosterwijk
Cor Morelli - 'Beirut'.

Other comics work
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, published by Kolk and De Wit's label De Plaatjesmaker. Between 1993 and 1997, Oosterwijk created several stories for the girls' magazine Tina. Most were short stories, written by either himself or Frank Jonker. He also wrote and drew three tales with the character 'Mirte' (1993). With scriptwriter Patty Klein, he created fourteen stories with the historical characters 'Blanche & Gijske' (1994-1997, 2005).

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 Penthouse Comix in The Netherlands.

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

Willems Wereld
In 1996, the comic 'Willems Wereld' ('William's World', 1996-2017) first appeared in the weekly men's magazine Panorama. The bachelor Willem is effectively the same character 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 a glass of beer. 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. In 2017 new management decided to cancel the comic after 21 years. The final episode appeared in Panorama on 21 September 2017.

Willem's Wereld by Aloys Oosterwijk

Courtroom sketch artist
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 has covered many important cases, like the ones against master criminal Willem Holleeder and against the Hofstad Network. In 2019 Oosterwijk's 300 drawings for the Holleeder trial in the high security "Bunker" were complemented with new drawings of the eliminations the criminal was accused of. Completed with background articles by Vico Olling and Sjerp Jaarsma, the "illustrated documentary" was published in book format under the title 'Bij De Neus - Het Holleeder proces in Beeld' (Uitgeverij L, 2019).

Willem Holleeder
Facial expressions of Willem Holleeder in 2015.

Graphic contributions
In 2020 Oosterwijk joined 75 Dutch & Flemish comic artists to make a graphic contribution to the free collective comic book ‘Striphelden versus Corona’ (Oogachtend, Uitgeverij L, 2020). The book is intended to support comics stores who had to close their doors for two months during the lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. 

During the Stripdagen in Houten, on 29 September 2007, Aloys Oosterwijk was awarded the Stripschapprijs by comic appreciation society Het Stripschap. 

Other activities
On Friday 21 September 2001, a month-long exposition of the work of Aloys Oosterwijk was opened in Galerie Lambiek. 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).

Oosterwijk's portfolio at ComicHouse

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