Magda van Tilburg was born in Amsterdam. Having difficulties learning the Latin and Ancient Greek languages while in high school, she decided to make a comic version of a story from Homer's 'Odyssey'. Her deputy headmaster made a booklet and the first incarnation of her series 'Classica Signa' was born. Van Tilburg moved on to study Classical Languages at the University of Amsterdam in the early 1970s and new installments in the series, that was by now published by her husband Panholzer, followed. She adapted stories by Herodotus, Euripides, Homer, Ovidius and Plautus, and the black-and-white books were sold for many years at the Allard Pierson Museum, and were even used on international expositions.
Following her studies in Classical Languages, Van Tilburg enrolled at the Rietveld Academy to further develop her artistic skills. She has spent many years making illustrations for children's books. The German publisher C.C. Bychner showed interest in her old comic stories, which she digitalized and colored for a new series called 'Antiqua Signa' from 2007. In 2008 she also had a daily section in De Volkrant called 'Latijn voor beginners' ('Latin for Dummies').