Margriet by Erik Vancoillie

Erik Vancoillie was a 20th-century Flemish comic artist who seemingly only made one comic book in his career: a 1993 one-shot comic based on Flemish media star Margriet Hermans. It remains one of the most bizarre and nowadays obscure Flemish celebrity comics. He has additionally made several Christmas cards for Lannoo Graphics. 

Early life
Erik Vancoillie was born in 1959 in Kruibeke.

Margriet Hermans
In the late 1980s and early 1990s singer Margriet Hermans gained fame in Flanders through her talk show, 'Margriet'. She was also a permanent panel member in the radio game show 'De Zoete Inval' and the TV game show 'Zeg Eens Euh!' (of which the format was based on the British format 'Just a Minute'). Margriet appealed to a certain segment of Flemish people because she wasn't a professional entertainer, just a regular woman who had an amiable attitude and reacted to anything remotedly funny with spontaneous and notoriously loud and infectious laughter. In 1993 it therefore seemed an interesting idea to writer Peter Verbelen and artist Erik Vancoillie to create a celebrity comic book about her: 'Het Zeemeerminelixir' (Promar, 1993). Low sales prevented any sequels. 

However, it did convince professional cartoonist Jean-Pol (of 'Kramikske' fame) that if something like this got published he could probably launch a celebrity comic based on the popular children's TV show 'Samson en Gert' with more success. Or as he put it: "Normally I never say anything bad about the work of colleagues, but the 'Margriet' comic looked atrocious. If this worked with her, then a comic book about 'Samson en Gert' done by professional artists could be better." 

Later life
In 2012 Vancoillie was diagnosed with colon cancer. In 2019 he joined a cancer prevention organisation Stop Darmkanker to tell his story and inspire others to contact their doctor more quickly if they notice health problems. 

Series and books by Erik Vancoillie in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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