Fokke & Sukke, by Jean-Marc van Tol

Born in Rotterdam, Jean-Marc van Tol studied Dutch language. During his studies he teamed up Bastiaan Geleijnse and John Reid, with whom he created the cartoon duck and canary 'Fokke en Sukke' for the student's paper Propria Cures in 1993. Van Tol's professional career in comics is closely lined to comics shop Lambiek in Amsterdam. It was on a night in November 1998, after a party at the Galerie in honor of the 80th anniversary of Don Lawrence, that Van Tol ended up in the pub across the street, together with comic artists Peter Pontiac, Gerrit de Jager and Windig & De Jong.

Ronnie en Sjonnie (Striparazzi, 1999)
Ronnie en Sjonnie (Striparazzi, 1999)

It was here that they, perhaps encouraged by the alcohol, persuaded Van Tol to try his luck as a professional in the harsh world of Dutch comics. This 'Historic Event' has been described, as a cartoon of course, in the booklet with the same title that appeared as part 10 of the 'Pincetreeks', published by De Plaatjesmakers. In the late 1990s, van Tol was present in Striparazzi with 'Ronnie en Sjonnie'.

From 'A Historic Event' by Jean-Marc van TolFrom 'A Historic Event' by Jean-Marc van Tol
Historic Event

Van Tol eventually gave up his job as a Dutch Literature Specialist and devoted all his time to the successful strip 'Fokke & Sukke', which he continued to write together with Geleijnse and Reid. These cartoons, starring a naked canary and duck commenting on current affairs and social phenomenons, are published throughout the Netherlands in many newspapers and magazines, and have been collected in several albums, calendars and anthologies and gained such popularity that van Tol won the Stripschapprijs in 2003.

Kort en Triest, by Jean-Marc van Tol
Kort en Triest

In addition to 'Fokke en Sukke', Van Tol makes the comic series 'Kort en Triest' in Kidsweek with scripts by Herman Roozen. This series of parodies of famous fairy tales has also been collected in books.

Kort en Triest, by Jean-Marc van Tol
Kort en Triest

Van Tol is one of the driving forces behind the Dutch comics scene. He introduced the annual 24 Hour Comics Day in the Netherlands, which was first held in Lambiek in April 2005 with several other artists. In 2006 he launched the collective project 'Strips in Stereo' with Gerrit de Jager, a book in which Dutch artists portray a Dutch song in comics format. He began his own publishing firm, Catullus, in 2007, through which he publishes his own books, but also work by Hendrik J. Vos, Floor de Goede, Michiel van de Pol and Alex Turk, as well as the photo comics by Ype Driessen. Together with Hanco Kolk, he set up an official comics education in Zwolle and other initiatives, such as government grants for comic artists and a Dutch comics prize of 25,000 euros.

In 2020 Van Tol, Geleijnse and Reid joined 75 Dutch & Flemish comics artists to make a graphic contribution to the free collective comic book ‘Striphelden versus Corona’ (Oogachtend, Uitgeverij L, 2020). The book is intended to support comics stores who had to close their doors for two months during the lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. 

On 18-19 October 2003, during the Stripdagen in Alphen aan den Rijn, he, Reid and Geleijnse won the Stripschapprijs. In 2005 he won a Clickburg Webcomic Award, or 'Clickie' in the category 'Gag Clickie', for his webcomic series 'Hotel'. During the Stripdagen in Houten, on 2 October 2006, he and Gerrit De Jager won the P. Hans Frankfurtherprijs for 'Strips in Stereo'. During the Stripdagen in Houten, held on 26-27 September 2009, Van Tol won the P. Hans Frankfurtherprijs again, alongside Hanco Kolk and Dutch Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk. 

Fokke en Sukke, original drawing by Jean-Marc van Tol

Fokke en Sukke tribute to Kees Kousemaker, original drawing by Jean-Marc van Tol and printed in the NRC Handelsblad 29 April 2010
Fokke & Sukke elevate Kees Kousemaker on 30 April 2010.
("Your place is at the other Dutch comics gods..."). The people in the background are Marten Toonder's Tom Poes & Olivier B. Bommel, Hans G. Kresse's Eric de Noorman and Alfred Mazure's Dick Bos.

Fokke & Sukke website

jmpeinst.blogspot.nl

Series and books by Jean-Marc van Tol in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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