Ben van Voorn was a Dutch painter and artist, best known among comics fans for his work with Marten Toonder in the 1950s. He began his career as an apprentice lithographer with Jan Popkes van der Zee in Haren. He attended the Minerva Academy in Groningen from 1942 to 1947. During this period he made 'Tom Tippel', a comic strip inspired by Marten Toonder's 'Thijs IJs', for Libelle. Upon his graduation, he traveled through Holland, Germany and England, earning his living doing on-the-spot drawings, before joining the Toonder Studio's in Amsterdam in 1948, were he was eventually assigned to draw the 'Panda' strip.
Illustration for Libelle (1956)
In 1955, Ben van Voorn became a freelancer, but he was still mainly employed by Toonder until 1969. Besides illustrating many 'Tom Poes' and 'Koning Hollewijn' daily comics together with Ben van 't Klooster, as well as several commercial strips, van Voorn created a few characters himself. These are 'Donky Schot', 'Piet Mosk' (1945, about a little sparrow) and 'Pip en de Gouden Sleutel'. In 1969 he took a break from comics and traveled in the Middle-East and North Africa.
Settled in the town of Yde in Drenthe since 1958, he opened his own ceramics studio with Jan Schroot in 1968. He also drew for advertising agencies and made political drawing for Haagse Post. He was a teacher with the Minerva Academy from 1976 to 1983.
In the 1970s, Van Voorn focused on painting landscapes, portraits and still lifes. He worked with Marten Toonder again in 1983 when he did the art direction and backgrounds of the 'Tom Puss' film 'Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel'. He also cooperated on the production of two 'Asterix' animation films through the Gaumont studios in Paris.