Mickey riddle comic for the detective supplement of Donald Duck #36, 2015. © Disney.

Jan-Roman Pikula is a Dutch staff artist of the Dutch Disney magazines, published by Sanoma in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands. He ranks as one of the most talented new artists who emerged in the 2000s, and is especially known for his highly detailed and retro-style 'Mickey Mouse' artwork.

Early life and career at Donald Duck
Jan-Roman Pikula was born in 1983 in Enschede, where he studied Art and Technology at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences. He has also attended Rens Benerink's Cartoonschool in Amsterdam. Pikula had an apprenticeship at the art studio of the Dutch Donald Duck weekly in early 2006, and has remained an illustrator/comic artist for the magazine ever since. He works at the art studio alongside Wilma van den Bosch, Michel Nadorp and Viktor Venema, under supervision of Frans Hasselaar.

Donald Duck Extra cover by Jan-Roman PikulaDonald Duck by Jan-Roman Pikula
Cover illustrations for Donald Duck Extra 2009-12 and Donald Duck 2010-07. © Disney.

Illustration work in Donald Duck
Pikula has been mostly active making editorial illustrations for Sanoma's several Disney publications, including covers for Donald Duck and Donald Duck Extra. In 2007, he succeeded Maarten Janssens as the regular artist of the educational section 'Uit het Handboek van de Jonge Woudlopers', which presents pages from the Junior Woodchuck's guidebook and is written by editor Jos Beekman. Since that same year, he is also the original illustrator of 'Willies Wereld', a science feature starring Gyro Gearloose, written by Jim van der Weele.

Christmas spread for the mail section, with cameos of many villains from the classic Disney comics (Donald Duck #51, 2011). © Disney.

Other illustration work includes game pages, funny news articles for the Duckburg newspaper and crowded and detailed topical spreads for the mail section in thematic issues. With Bas Schuddeboom, he has developed several original characters for fake Duckburg advertisements on the Donald Duck website, such as bicycle salesman Peter van der Gaap, music store owners Loek and Sjon, travel agent Isabelle Jambon and bookseller Jan Roman. Since 2010, Pikula is instrumental in the 'Mickey Mouse' riddle comic 'Mickey Lost 'T Op', which was originally drawn by Michel Nadorp. The section is written by editors like Jos Beekman, Ferdi Felderhof, Bas Schuddeboom, Esther Holtkamp and Lotte Roep, but Pikula contributes a lot of extra fun and detail in the artwork. His Mickey is strongly inspired by Floyd Gottfredson, and his pages regularly have character cameos from the classic US newspaper comics.

Goofy, by Jan-Roman Pikula
Mickey & Goofy from Donald Duck Junior #2, 2010 (H 29385). © Disney.

Comics in Donald Duck
Although his main output is illustration work, he has also drawn comic stories. In the period 2008-2009 he most notably provided artwork for many comic stories for the younger brother of the Donald Duck weekly, Donald Duck Junior, which were written by members of the editorial team. In the regular weekly, he has drawn many gag strips for the mail section, as well as an occasional longer comic story. These were written by several of the magazine's freelance scriptwriters, such as Jan Kruse, Frank Jonker, Gaute Moe, etc.

Uncle Scrooge by Jan-Roman Pikula
Uncle Scrooge story from Donald Duck #26, 2010. © Disney.

Zo Zit Dat - Professor Breinstein
Together with Viktor Venema, Jan-Roman Pikula oversaw the art production of the non-Disney comic 'Professor Breinstein' for children's science magazine Zo Zit Dat!. The back cover gag strip starring a kid and his next door professor started in 2011. The concept and characters were created by Frans Hasselaar, while the gags have been written by Jos Beekman, Bas Schuddeboom, Simone Ruitenbeek, Mirthe Niehoff, Lotte Keizer and other editors. Pikula himself provides the ideas for most of the editorial cartoons. The artwork was produced under supervision of Pikula and Venema by artists affiliated with Studio Comicup in Barcelona, subsequently Dany Fernandez, Sonia Álbert and Andrea Dotta. After a corporate reorganization, full production of the strip was transferred to Dutch cartoonist Roel Venderbosch in late 2017.

Dolfje Weerwolfje Magazine
In 2018, Pikula also made his appearance in Dolfje Weerwolfje Magazine, the magazine based on Paul van Loon's children's book series 'Dolfje Weerwolfje'. His feature, 'De Klas van Meester van Beenderen' (2018-2019), replaced Maarten Gerritsen's 'De Rampier', and dealt with a skeleton teacher and his extraordinary primary school class of monsters, mummies, zombies and other scary creatures.

Karel Paardepoot by Jan Roman Pikula
Letterbox comic from Donald Duck #34, 2010 (H 2010-177) - © Disney.

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