Willem Ritstier is a Dutch illustrator, cartoonist and comics writer, originally from Rotterdam. A self-taught artist, Ritstier began his career as an artist in Robbedoes (the Dutch equivalent of Spirou) with the gag strip 'Bartje', and the series 'Harry Lipwitts' in the mid 1980s. He was also present in Eppo/Wordt Vervolgd with 'Gaaibaai', and published the album 'De Familie Best' with Maarten J. de Meulder in 1984. Among his commercial cartoons are 'Dirkje' for magazine Ditjes & Datjes of supermarket Dirk van den Broek and 'Co & Wattje' for Eneco. His comic 'De Familie Iks' was published weekly in De Courant Nieuws van de Dag, his creations 'Alvin' and 'Otto Spoof' have made appearances in StripNieuws, and he makes the gag strip 'Flip' for Kidsweek.
Ritstier's cartoons and comic strips have also appeared in Algemeen Dagblad, De Telegraaf, Leeuwarder Courant and a number of internal publications of corporations like KLM and Philips. He is the regular illustrator for the scientific children's magazine Zo Zit Dat and works as a designer and illustrator of greeting cards, children's books and advertisements, for which he sometimes uses the pen name Bill Risty.
Ritstier is however also a versatile comics writer, best known for his many creations with Minck Oosterveer. Ritstier and Oosterwijk began their collaboration with Yèch magazine in the mid 1980s, and subsequently made adventure serials like 'Philip J. Boogaard' in the Sijthoff newspapers, 'Claudia Brücken' for the franco-belgian publishing-house Lombard, 'Jack Pott' in Algemeen Dagblad and 'Zodiak' and 'Nicky Saxx' in De Telegraaf. Ritstier and Oosterveer were in fact the only Dutch authors making a newspaper adventure comic when De Telegraaf cancelled 'Nicky Saxx' in 2008. They have additionally made 'Speedball Nation' and 'Rick Rolluik' for Suske en Wiske Weekblad, 'Trunk' for MYX, and were present in Eppo from 2009 with 'Ronson Inc' and 'Storm'.
Besides Oosterveer, Ritstier has worked with many other artists. With René Uilenbroek, he created the hilarious 'Superman' parody 'Soeperman' in Eppo/Wordt Vervolgd and Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad (from 1986), but also 'Stanley'. Other creations include 'Tim Tijdloos' with Pieter Hogenbirk, 'Anders' with Erwin Suvaal, 'Pelle' with Jeroen Steehouwer and Frans Leenheer, 'Quint en Co' with Wout Paulussen, 'Sam & Sam' with Rob Phielix and Carry Brugman, 'WINTH' with Adri van Kooten, 'Jack Slender' with Hendrik J. Vos, 'WARD' with Marissa Delbressine and several scripts for the girls' magazine Tina and 'Junior Suske en Wiske'. With artist Roelof Wijtsma, he relaunched the classic Dutch soccer comic 'Roel Dijkstra' in Eppo magazine in 2016. The comic was created by Andries Brandt and Jan Steeman for the original Eppo in 1975.
Willem Ritstier is the winner of the Stripschapprijs 2017 for his contributions to Dutch comics. It was the first time that an author who is mainly a writer won the prize.