'Hibou' (Zone 5300 #96, 2011). Translation: "I never experience anything worthwile. Just another miserable day. A new high score! Oh boy!"

Marijn van der Waa - who signs with simply Waa - is a Dutch cartoonist, animator and illustrator. Her illustrations have appeared in magazines like Alternatieve Konsumenten Bond, TV Studio and Mikro Gids, while her gag comic 'Hibou' (1995-   ), about ann odd owl, ran in Zone 5300. Van der Waa has also participated in theater productions and worked in web design.

Early life
Born in 1963 in Rotterdam as Rien van der Waa, since the early 2000s, she goes by the name Marijn van der Waa. As a child, she enjoyed reading the alternative magazines of her older brother, the future musicologist and cartoonist Frits Van der Waa.  Among her favorite cartoonists were Robert Crumb, Vaughn Bodé and Moebius, but it was Gary Larson who got her interested in cartooning. Between 1985 and 1990, Marijn van der Waa attended the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, where she studied painting and printing.

'Hibou' (Zone 5300 #29, 1997). Translation: "Six point eight. Four point six. Thirty-one and a quarter square centimeter and I have to consider the view... That will be the rent commission." 

Illustrator and cartoonist
However, Van der Waa's professional life took off in the field of illustration. She made artwork for the Alternatieve Konsumenten Bond, the Dutch "alternative consumers' organization, and had weekly cartoons and illustrations in the KRO broadcast magazines TV Studio and Mikro Gids (1999-2009). Her later illustration clients include MacFan magazine - illustrating the columns of Ferry Piekart, among other things - and the FNV Bondgenoten trade union (2005- ). For the indie comic magazine Zone 5300, Van der Waa maintains the website, with both written and visual content.

Van der Waa's best known comic, 'Hibou' (1995-  ), also appears in Zone 5300. It's a three-panel gag comic about a slightly cynical and stubborn owl. His name, 'hibou' is the French word for owl. 

Illustration for MacFan #122 (2015).

Online content specialist
Over the course of the 1990s and early 2000s, Van der Waa began to explore other art forms and technical skills. In 1999, she got a steady job as Flash animator at BitMagic, where she stayed until the company went bankrupt in 2001. Since then, she has worked as freelance web designer and online content specialist for clients like the broadcasting company NCRV (2002-2003), the Dutch Buddhist Broadcast Foundation (2006-2015), CZ health insurance and the ABN AMRO bank.

Installations and performance art
Until 2001, Van der Waa was part of the collective art project The Cookery Club, together with Liz Chute and Sander Dikstra. The group made sugar sculptures, for instance of human organs for a 2000 show in the Erasmus University. Van der Waa also collaborated on a theatre project called the Incredible Thinking Man, produced some talkshows and worked as art director and animator for the gothic theater production 'Amleth', that featured live actors against an animated backdrop. Together with Arianne Hinz, she worked on semi-live animated shorts for the 433fm.com Silent Disco - a mobile disco using wireless headphones. Since 2019, she is part of the public relations team of the Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival.

Illustration by Waa
Cartoon for the Dutch trade union's BM Magazine (2007).


Series and books by Marijn van der Waa you can order today:


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