Nieuwe avonturen van Sjors en Sjimmie (1954)
Frans Piët is the artist of 'Sjors van de Rebellenclub', the Dutch rendition of Martin Branner's 'Perry and the Rinkydinks' Sunday comic. Butcher's son Franciscus Antonius Henricus Piët, born in Haarlem, initially focused on a career in music and even played the saxophone with Pi Scheffer's The Blue Ramblers for a while.
He later took a course from the Press Art School in London, and spent some time in Paris studying at the Academy of Montparnasse in 1933. Piët had already done illustration and cartooning work for the Haarlem publisher De Spaarnestad since 1928 and it was in 1932 when he and his wife Mary made the newspaper comic 'De Avonturen van Wo-Wang en Simmy', about a Chinese and a little Negro, for the Pax press agency in Amsterdam. It was published in local newspapers like Leidsche Courant, Haarlems Dagblad and Utrechts Nieuwsblad from April/May 1933, and it also ran in the magazine Zonneschijn (1936-1939).
Wo-Wang en Simmy (Utrechts Nieuwsblad, 29/6/1933)
Subsequently, he published various other short-lived newspaper and magazine comics, such as 'De Luchtrovers van Hoitika' (1936, several papers and in book format), 'De Gebroeders Goochem' (1935-36, Amersfoortse Courant, De Volkskrant), and 'De Lotgevallen van Piet Krent en Jan Oliebol' (1937, Amersfoortse Courant and 1940, Haarlem's Dagblad).
In 1938 he was asked by De Spaarnestad to make new comics with 'Sjors van de Rebellenclub' for the eponymous supplement of Panorama magazine. He dropped the original setting of Martin Branner's original strip and drew the character in typical Dutch landscapes. The Sjors supplement appeared until it was prohibited by the Germans in 1942.
Early Sjors van de Rebellenclub strip by Piët (Sjors #4, 1939)
It was after World War II when Piët turned the strip into one of the essential comic series of the Netherlands. The strip returned as a gag strip in Panorama in 1946, and was turned into an adventure series for weekly magazine Panorama in cooperation with writer/editor Lou Vierhout in 1949. They added the character of 'Sjimmie' to the comic (based on Piët's earlier creation Simmy) and the legendary duo 'Sjors en Sjimmie' was born.
Sjors en Sjimmie in Wonderland (1958)
In addition to his work on 'Sjors', Piët was head of the Spaarnestad art studio, where he and artists like Harry Balm, Bert Bus and Nico van Dam were responsible for the illustrations for the publisher's magazines.
Piët additionally created the comic 'Jossie Jovel' for De Humorist in 1941-42 and the gag strip 'Streken van een Kleine Strop' for Grabbelton from 1950 to 1954. The latter also appeared in Rebellenclub under the title 'Uit de luierjaren van Sjors'.
Sjors en Sjimmie - Op zoek naar de Zwarte Ridder (1959)
Frans Piët made the adventures with 'Sjors en Sjimmie' in cooperation with Lou Vierhout and later his grandnephew Hans Keller until his retirement in 1969. The comic disappeared from Panorama in 1963 and was then continued in the comic magazine Sjors. By then, the Sjors character was restyled, or actually, literally replaced by a different Sjors!
Sjors en Sjimmie story from Sjors #47, 1968
After Piët's retirement, the comic was continued by Jan Kruis, then Jan Steeman and eventually Robert van der Kroft. Although retired, Piët drew the comics version of 'Ti Ta Tovenaar' for Televizier in 1974. Frans Piët got a royal decoration for his artistic prestations in 1991. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 91.
Lambiek will always be grateful to Piët for illustrating the letter "S" in our encylopedia book, 'Wordt Vervolgd - Stripleksikon der Lage Landen', published in 1979.
Frans Piët biografie