Toestanden in Suriname, by Martin Ruijters
Toestanden in Suriname

Dutch painter and retired drawing teacher Martin Ruijters is the father of underground cartoonist and graphic novelist Marcel Ruijters. The elder Ruijters made his own debut as a comic artist with autobiographical comic books like 'Toestanden in Suriname' (2011) and 'De Iconoclast' (2013).

Early life and career
Ruijters was born in 1938 in Daniken, a hamlet near Geleen, in the province of Limburg. The countryside boy grabbed the opportunity to expand his world view by fulfilling his military service in Suriname, then still a Dutch colony. There, he developed a keen interest in the jungle and the culture of the Indian and Maroon populations. Back in civilian life, Ruijters initially became a house painter, like his father was before him. He subsequently worked in the Mosa ceramics factory in Maastricht for a couple of years, before landing a job as a drawing teacher on a technical school.

He retired from this profession after 30 years, after which he devoted all his time to landscape painting. Especially the Limburg hills and villages have been fruitful sources of inspiration. At this point, Ruijters' son Marcel had established himself as an award-winning comic artist, earning international acclaim with his medieval-themed graphic novels. Martin Ruijters followed in his son's footsteps, and made his debut with a comic chronicle of his experiences in Suriname, called 'Toestanden in Suriname' (2011). It was published in black-and-white by the TRIS Contacten foundation. A re-edition in color is planned for 2021. Martin Ruijters subsequently made a comic report of his cycling tours in the Limburg environment, called 'De Iconoclast' (2013). 

A member of the local history society Heemkunde Geleen, Ruijters made the comic stories 'Wae zeet geer dan' and 'De patsj van Teun' for their eponymous magazine. The comics, written in dialect, were based on stories his parents had told him and on his own childhood recollections from shortly after the war. The city of Geleen before its liberation from the Nazi oppressor was the subject of Ruijters' autobiographical comic 'Wo ist der Bahnhof' (2019), which was serialized in the free local paper Via.

'Wo ist der Bahnhof' (Via, 1 August 2019).

Series and books by Martin Ruijters in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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