Harry Luga by Theo Seesing
'Complot in Rotterdam, Een Platenfeuilleton', 1988. 

Theo Seesing is a Dutch graphic designer and media promotor, from Rotterdam. He has worked on multimedia and design projects through studios like Limage Dangereuse (1986-1998), the Institute for Form and Image (since 1998), and is one of the driving forces behind the Rotterdam Image Festival and its Image Labs. In 1988, he made his first and only comic strip, 'Complot in Rotterdam, een platenfeuilleton' (1988), a detective comic serialized in Het Vrije Volk.

Early life and career
Born in Rotterdam in 1959, Seesing attended the National Secondary Horticultural School (R.M.T.S.) in Utrecht, studying garden architecture, as well as animation techniques and Japanese woodblock printing. He founded his first studio, Limage Dangereuse (1986-1998), with Arie van Baarle. The studio provided graphic design, illustration, webdesign and interior/exposition design, while  Seesing also made his first (and only?) comic strip through this studio.

Complot in Rotterdam
The crime noir 'Complot in Rotterdam, Een Platenfeuilleton' ("Conspiracy in Rotterdam, A Picture Serial") appeared on Saturdays in the socialist newspaper Het Vrije Volk from 2 April until 5 November 1988. The main character is the detective Harry Luga, who was in pursuit of the criminal Boris Kloris in Rotterdam during the late 1950s. The comic had no regular newspaper comics format, but was instead presented with two regular album-size pages at a time. These mainly consisted of images with captions, but sections with speech balloons can also be spotted. The backgrounds are well-known spots in Rotterdam and seem to be traced from pictures. While the protagonists are drawn in a photorealistic style, the villain has a more caricatural look, since he is Boris Kloris, the major nemesis from Martin Lodewijk's famous comic series 'Agent 327'. Seesing included this reference as a homage to Lodewijk, who is not only one of the best known comic artists hailing from this city, but who also often referenced Rotterdam in 'Agent 327'. 'Complot in Rotterdam' was an effort by Seesing to promote the city as well, bringing many tourist hotspots and/or recognizable locations into view. 

Harry Luga by Theo Seesing
'Complot in Rotterdam, Een Platenfeuilleton', 1988. 

Other art projects and activities
Between 1998 and 2006, Seesing was head of the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam. During that same period, he launched his Institute for Form and Image (Instituut voor Beeld & Vorm), an agency that produces designs and illustrations for both business to business clients and artists. He operates as a mediator between the art world and the government/business community for both commercial and non-commercial projects. Besides illustrations and concepts, the agency makes installations and designs for expositions. Seesing and his colleagues Johan Weggis and Ali Ben Zine  release the quarterly online magazine Machazine, with columns and articles about imagery and typography.

'Complot in Rotterdam, Een Platenfeuilleton', 1988. 

Rotterdam Image Festival
Since 2007, Seesing is creative director of the Rotterdam Image Festival, an annual ten-day event focusing on all aspects of imagery and the image industry. In addition to the festival, the Image Festival promotes itself as an ongoing platform for designers, students and design agencies. Throughout the year, several Festival Labs are hosted in Café de Unie. Seesing's "Image Labs" have also featured people from the comic industry, such as Erik Kriek, Robert van Raffe, Tonio van Vugt, Remco Polman and letterer Frits Jonker. Since 2016, Seesing also hosts Image Labs at Cross Comix, the annual Rotterdam-based media festival initiated by Hanco Kolk, Robert van der Kroft and Erik de Graaf, of which he is also art director. 

Together with journalist Sander Grip, Seesing compiled the book 'Rotterdam Stripstad' (Cross Comix, 2022), a large-format compendium celebrating 100 years of comics in and about the city of Rotterdam. Robert van der Kroft was creative advisor for the project. 

Robert van der Kroft, Theo Seesing and Sander Grip during the presentation of the 'Rotterdam Stripstad' book in the Doelen Studio on 11 March 2022. Photo © Hans Tak.


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