Douwe Dabbert, by Piet Wijn
Douwe Dabbert - 'Het Monster van het Mistmeer' (1978).

Piet Wijn was a versatile Dutch comic artist, known and beloved for his poetic and enchanting style. His stories are either set in historic time periods or fantasy worlds, but in most cases a combination of those two. He is best known for co-creating the magical dwarf 'Douwe Dabbert' (1975-2001) with writer Thom Roep for Donald Duck weekly, but had already made his mark in previous decades with the historical newspaper comic 'Aram van de Eilanden' (1950-1962) and the magical children's comic 'Puk en Poppedijn' (1964-1974). For many years, he was an anonymous artist for the Toonder Studio's on series like 'Koning Hollewijn' (1959-1971), 'Panda' (1970-1986) and 'Tom Poes' (1971-1986), during which he largely defined the graphical look of Marten Toonder's signature creations.

Als Engelen Zingen
'Als Engelen Zingen', a Christmas songbook with illustrations by Piet Wijn.

Early life and career
Pieter Cornelis Wijn was born in 1929 in Hilversum as the son of a bricklayer. His parents were amateur actors, and avid students of the constructed international auxiliary language Esperanto. As a child, Piet Wijn grew up reading newspaper comics like Mary Tourtel's 'Rupert Bear' and E.C. Segar's 'Popeye'. Other early influences on his own drawing style were the comic artists Hans G. Kresse and Hal Foster, and illustrators like Arthur Rackham, Edmond Dulac and Ivan Bilibin. Later in life, he expressed admiration for fellow artists like Georges Mazure and Fred Julsing, while he also got inspiration from Alex Raymond, Jean Giraud, Will Eisner and Jack Davis. Wijn's trademark gnarled trees were largely inspired by landscape painter Barend Hendrik Koekkoek. A doodler since childhood, Piet Wijn was also the illustrator of his school newspaper. As a teenager, he earned some money working for a Hilversum art studio. After his secondary education at age 16, he took drawing courses from the Rec's Teekeninstituut drawing school at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam. One of his fellow students there was Gerard van Straaten. In 1954, Wijn married his girlfriend Ineke, and the couple settled in The Hague, where they lived before until relocating to Leidschendam in 1997.

De Zwarte Hertog by Piet Wijn
'De Zwarte Hertog' (Tom Poes Weekblad, 4 August 1948).

Toonder Studio's
Piet Wijn's graphic career began in 1947. Among his first assignments were making the cover illustrations for three books with sheet music published by Broekmans & Van Poppel in Amsterdam. Shortly afterwards, he began his association with the Toonder Studios. In their Amsterdam offices, he started out as an inbetweener with the animation department, working mostly on two advertising films for Philips light bulbs 'Tom Puss and the Haunted Castle' (1948) and 'The Magic Music' (1948). Both featured Marten Toonder's signature characters, Tom Puss and Lord Bumble

'Manuello Y. Gonza'.

Shortly after Wijn joined the studio, the Toonder team launched Tom Poes Weekblad, a weekly magazine serving as a try-out spot for new comic features, before they were offered for syndication. Wijn took his chance and also tried his hand at comics. After a couple of illustrations, he collaborated with writer Waling Dijkstra on two historical comic serials starring the character Fiolet, 'De Zwarte Hertog' ("The Black Duke", 1949) and 'De Moorse Tovenaar' ("The Moorish Wizard", 1949). These early efforts were made in the tradition of Hal Foster's 'Prince Valiant', with text captions accompanying the comics panels. Simultaneously with 'De Moorse Tovenaar', Tom Poes Weekblad ran 'Manuello Y. Gonza' (1948-1949), Piet Wijn's first balloon comic. Wijn subsequently created two stories of the chivalry comic 'Verowin' (1950-1951).

De Moorse Tovenaar by Piet Wijn
'Verowin' (Tom Poes Weekblad #10, 1951).

After their initial publication in Tom Poes Weekblad, the studio's syndication manager Ton de Zwaan also licensed these comics to other publications. All stories appeared in Pum-Pum (1951-1953), a comics weekly affiliated to the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. 'Verowin' additionally appeared in 't Kapoentje (1950), Week in Beeld (1951-1952) and Eva (1956-1957). A more obscure work in Piet Wijn's oeuvre is the newspaper comic 'Don Dixon'. It is unknown where or if this crime story was actually published, but it was listed in a catalogue compiled in 1977 by Nico Noordermeer for a comics exposition in Leeuwarden.

Aram, by Piet Wijn
Aram - 'Het Zwaard van Palermo' (book publication 1954).

Aram van de Eilanden
By 1949, the Toonder Studio's animation department was in a downfall and Wijn had become a freelancer. Continuing to work for the comics division, he teamed up with writer Waling Dijkstra again for 'Aram van de Eilanden' (1950-1962), a fantasy adventure comic set in medieval Holland. The series was launched in the slipstream of Hans G. Kresse's popular 'Eric de Noorman', another historical comic distributed by the Toonder Studio's. The 'Aram' feature ran in Tom Poes Weekblad during its final year, but was also syndicated as a newspaper comic to the Belgian daily Het Nieuws Van Den Dag, starting 8 June 1950. When in 1953 Ton de Zwaan left Toonder to form his own Swan Features Syndicate, Piet Wijn was one of the artists that joined him, along with Henk Sprenger and Hans G. Kresse. By now, Wijn was writing most of the 'Aram' stories himself.

Aram, by Piet Wijn
'Aram en de Gulden Steen' (1953).

Aram's adventures were set in the Middle Ages, and were full of dark mysterious realms and ancient societies, led by sinister magicians and their helpers. 'Aram van de Eilanden' was the series that established Wijn's trademark: magical adventures in historical settings. In 1955-1956, Piet Wijn briefly left the series, and during this period, four stories were created by Henk Alleman, which were published in 1956-1957. Until January 1962, 39 stories were syndicated to regional and international newspapers. The comic has been translated to French, Spanish and the Scandinavian languages, and also ran in Belgian publications.In 1952, Nevada published four book collections of 'Aram van de Eilanden'. An additional series of four landscape-format books was released by Neerlandia in 1954 and 1955.

Frank de Vliegende Hollander by Piet Wijn
'Frank, de Vliegende Hollander' (1955-1956).

Frank, de Vliegende Hollander
In 1955-1956, Wijn left 'Aram' to create a new comic strip for newspaper Het Parool. Fellow cartoonist Pieter Kuhn had taken a break from the adventures of his popular sailor 'Kapitein Rob', and the paper was in need of a replacement. Wijn teamed up with Parool journalist Evert Werkman, who had also written the captions for 'Kapitein Rob', and the result of their collaboration was 'Frank, de Vliegende Hollander' (4 April 1955-1 September 1956). In later years, Wijn himself dismissed the comic, deeming the heroic aviator too one-dimensional and the stories too technical. He left the feature after one year, and returned to the more imaginative worlds of 'Aram van de Eilanden', which however became more realistic later in its run. By the time Wijn left his aviation comic, Pieter Kuhn returned to Het Parool to resume his 'Kapitein Rob' strip. In the late 1950s, Martin Lodewijk created six additional stories of 'Frank, de Vliegende Hollander', which were not published in Het Parool, but only in Scandinavian newspapers.

De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe by Piet Wijn
'De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe' (Het Vrije Volk, 14 August 1958).

Literary adaptations
In addition to 'Aram', Wijn spent the late 1950s drawing comic adaptations of classic children's novels for the socialist newspaper Het Vrije Volk, working with writer Hans Jacobs as editor. The first one was 'De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe' by Johan Fabricius, published in 270 daily episodes from 24 December 1957 to 11 November 1958. It was followed by an adaptation of Hector Malot's 'Sans Famille' ('Alleen op de Wereld' in Dutch) in 249 strips from 12 November 1958 to 5 September 1959. Both stories were also serialized in Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad. Notable about these two adaptations was that they were both balloon comics, while Piet Wijn preferred the text comics format.

Illustration for Revue (1953).

By the time he turned freelance, Piet Wijn also took assignments from outside the Toonder Studio's. In 1950, he began making illustrations for the women's magazine Libelle, signing alternately with his own name or the pen name "Claret". In the following years, he was also illustrating text stories in the weeklies Margriet and Revue. In 1956, Piet Wijn made the illustrations for the educational book series 'Mannen van Naam', by Aart Grimme and Klaas Norel for Wolters-Noordhoff in Groningen. The books presented famous people from national history for Christian elementary schools.

Between 1959 and 1961, Piet Wijn was present in Olidin, a promotional comic magazine for the junior club of petrol company Shell. After the magazine ran a reprint of his early work 'De Zwarte Hertog' (1959-1960), Wijn created created two new stories with another historical hero (1960-1961): 'Dick Durfal en het Oog van Shiva' and 'Dick Durfal en de Kale Jonker'. Other important contributors to Olidin were Emile Brumsteede, Wim Giesbers, Friso Henstra, Niek Hiemstra, Hans G. Kresse, Jan Kruis, Ted Mathijsen, Joost Rietveld, Chris Roodbeen, Jan van der Voo, P. Visser, Dick Vlottes, Carol Voges and Joop Wiggers.

Koning Hollewijn by Piet Wijn
Koning Hollewijn - 'De Gouddorst' (1968).

Toonder ghost artist
In the early 1960s, 'Aram van de Eilanden' came to an end, and Piet Wijn returned to work for the Toonder Studios on a freelance basis. During a period of 25 years, he was as a ghost artist on many of Marten Toonder's personal creations. It is assumed that Wijn had already worked on Toonder's 'Koning Hollewijn' strip since late 1959. According to collector Hans Matla, he stepped in during the story 'De Ronde Tafel', on strip 1725. He continued to draw the full serials of this satire on Dutch politics in De Telegraaf until the final episode in 1971 (ranging from the serials 'De Revolutie' through 'Het einde van Koudewater'). Until 1965, the stories were written by Lo Hartog van Banda, after which Marten Toonder and his son Eiso took over. Like with all Toonder productions of the time, other artists sometimes filled in, or assisted on a couple of strips. During Wijn's tenure, Jan Wesseling and Fred Julsing are known to have lent a helping hand every now and then.

Holle Pinkel en de Wenslucifers, by Piet Wijn (De Spiegel, 1964)
'Holle Pinkel en de Wenslucifers' (De Spiegel, 1964).

Holle Pinkel
Another early job during Wijn's second Toonder tenure was the 'Holle Pinkel' strip (1962-1964). The comic told the adventures of an anthropomorphic bunny in an animal forest and was created and drawn by Andries Brandt. The strip had been running in local newspapers like Leeuwarder Courant for two years, when Piet Wijn took over art duties in mid-1962. Brandt continued to write the stories until the cancellation of the newspaper strip one year later. Between 1963 and 1964, Piet Wijn wrote and drew three more stories for the Christian weekly De Spiegel.

Puk en Poppedijn, de stippelvlinder, by Piet Wijn
Puk en Poppedijn - 'Koning Winter' (1966-1967).

Puk en Poppedijn
After 'Holle Pinkel', Wijn provided De Spiegel with his own creation, 'Puk en Poppedijn'. The feature was a charming and enchanting family comic, told from a child's perspective. Puk and Poppedijn are two 18th century kids, who undergo the most exciting adventures with friendly witches, elves, evil gnomes and other fairy tale characters. The adults on the other hand don't believe a word of their experiences and tend to have a logical explanation for everything. After 18 published stories, magazine De Spiegel was cancelled in 1972. After that, Wijn had the opportunity to revive his beloved characters in Prinses, a women's weekly of the same publisher (Zomer & Keuning). Nine more stories appeared between 1972 and 1974. A large part of the storybook appearance of 'Puk en Poppedijn' must be attributed to the beautiful coloring of Wim Lensen. On 10 January 1971, most of the original pages were destroyed when a fire broke out in the castle of Nederhorst den Berg, where the Toonder Studios were located. In order to reorganize them, Lensen had just taken the pages out of the safe, when tragedy struck. The poor man never fully mentally recovered from the experience.

Typical Piet Wijn art in a 1962 story of 'Kappie', while Dick Vlottes was the strip's regular penciler. A similar "ship of ice" would later appear in a 'Douwe Dabbert' story.

Between 1970 and 1972, Piet Wijn also drew the final twelve adventures of Marten Toonder's sailorman 'Kappie' and his tugboat, which were written by Eiso Toonder for Algemeen Dagblad. During the 1960s, he had already lent a helping hand to Dick Vlottes on several earlier stories.

Panda by Piet Wijn
Panda - 'De Verdorster' (1972).

Wijn's longest association with any Toonder creation was with the funny animal comic 'Panda'. In 1970, he succeeded Jan van Haasteren, and continued to draw the daily adventures of the smart panda until 1986. Again, most of the plots were written by Eiso Toonder, although Wijn began writing the stories himself starting in the late 1970s. The comic's fantasy environment is largely similar to that of Marten Toonder's best known creation, 'Tom Poes'. The main antagonist, Joris Goedbloed, eventually even appeared in both series. Although Marten Toonder will always be remembered for 'Tom Poes', the 'Panda' comic was the studio's biggest export product. It appeared in a wide variety of international newspapers, and for the occasion the episodes had to be reworked from the typical Dutch text comics format into a balloon strip. Wijn hated these modifications, feeling that the balloons ruined the composition. The story 'De Ongelukszoeker' (1977) marked the comic's complete transition from text comic to balloon comic. In the Netherlands, 'Panda' ran in mostly local and regional newspapers, including Nieuwsblad van het Noorden. In 1986, Piet Wijn left the comic for health reasons, but he returned in 1991 to draw the final 'Panda' strips, following the death of his successor Jaap Lamberton. Wijn thus concluded the long-running series, to which he had committed himself for sixteen years. It was also the final Toonder comic to disappear from circulation, marking the end of an era in which the Toonder comics dominated Dutch newspapers.

Panda by Piet Wijn
'Panda en de Meester-koekenbakker' (1982).

Tom Poes
Over the years, Marten Toonder has received much criticism from both fans and co-workers for failing to acknowledge the contributions other artists and writes did to his comics. While he admitted that his studio workers were responsible for 'Panda', 'Hollewijn' and 'Kappie', he always maintained that he "kept the Tom Puss comic all to himself". While it is true that Toonder wrote most of the stories himself after his 1965 move to Ireland, the pencil art was still produced by artists in the Netherlands. Piet Wijn had the longest run on the strip, replacing Fred Julsing in 1971. He silently pencilled nearly all stories until the final one in 1986, with Marten Toonder providing the finished art and inking. He had already contributed some pencil work to earlier stories such as 'De Wilde Wagen' (1963) and 'De Blijdschapper' (1970). Piet Wijn's style was well suited for Marten Toonder's magical stories, which became more and more influenced by the Irish landscapes and legends. The modest Wijn didn't mind to remain in the shadow of his taskmaster, and it wasn't until later that his role in the 'Tom Poes' comic was discovered. During the 1970s and early 1980s, he also provided the cover art for the first 21 volumes in Oberon's book collections of the 'Tom Poes' balloon comics that appeared in Donald Duck.

Tom Poes en de Krookfilm
Tom Poes en Heer Bommel - 'De Krookfilm' (1973).

De Goeroe
During the 1970s, Piet Wijn, as well as Terry Willers and Marten Toonder, filled an art library with characters and settings for a new character called 'De Goeroe'. Eiso Toonder used these drawings to compile episodes of a new daily comic strip, which appeared between 4 September 1970 until 26 November 1980 in both De Telegraaf and The Irish Times. He made the cut-and-paste comic strip under the pen name Peter Abel. Several gags were contributed by Peter Bruce

Jennifer Scott by Piet Wijn
'Jennifer Scott' (1973).

Between 1973 and 1986, he illustrated several melodramatic comic stories for the girls' magazine Tina, published by Oberon. His first contributions were the adventures of 'Jennifer Scott' (1973-1975). Andries Brandt wrote the stories, which are set in rural Oregon during the period of the American pioneers. The title character is an upper middle class girl, who flees from her evil aunt and tries to find her father, who is wrongfully accused of robbing a bank. With Patty Klein, he subsequently made an adaptation of Johanna Spyri's 'Heidi' novel in 1976. The sequel 'Heidi en Peter' was published in the same year. In 1977 and 1978, Wijn made five adventures about 17th century pirate daughter 'Gloria van Goes' with writer Paul Deckers.

Gloria van Goes, by Piet Wijn
'Gloria van Goes' (1977).

The four subsequent adventures of 'Maartje' (1979-1985) had a contemporary setting. Maartje was an everyday girl who likes to hide out in nature to escape the city and its problems. The stories were written by Tina editors like Rudy Jansen and Marjolein Winkel. For Tina, Piet Wijn additionally made his second adaptation of Hector Malot's 'Sans Famille' (1979-1980), which was reprinted in Donald Duck weekly in 1998. He finally illustrated Donne Avenell's exciting story 'De Wachter van Maartensuys' (1982-1983), about a mysterious house in the Dutch dunes. Much of Piet Wijn's work for Tina was collected in black-and-white by De Lijn, or in color in Oberon's 'Tina Topstrip' collection. Piet Wijn was additionally present in Tina's spin-off magazine Tina Club with a comics version of the Ernst Hoffmann fairy tale 'The Nutcracker' (1974).

Maartje by Piet Wijn
'Maartje in de Biesbos' (1980).

Big Bad Wolf
In the final decades of his career, Piet Wijn was a mainstay in the Dutch Disney magazine Donald Duck. Already in 1968 and 1969, he was involved in the Toonder Studio's production of Disney comics. He drew twelve stories with Walt Disney's 'Big Bad Wolf' and three with the Native American 'Little Hiawatha'. A 1967 'Wolf' story was made directly for the Walt Disney Studios' US production of comic stories for their overseas licensees.

The Big Bad Wolf by Piet Wijn
'Big Bad Wolf' story from Donald Duck #23, 1969.

Douwe Dabbert
His best known work for Donald Duck was however an original creation. In 1974, he was contacted by editor Thom Roep about a couple of fairy tale-like illustrations he once sent to the pre-school magazine Bobo. The drawings had never been used, but Roep found the drawings in a drawer and was captivated by a white-bearded dwarf character. As a new non-Disney serial in Donald Duck, Piet Wijn and Thom Roep created a one-shot story about the spoiled princess Pauline ('De Verwende Prinses', 1975), with a supporting role for the dwarf, now named 'Douwe Dabbert'. It was so well-received that new stories were made, this time with 'Douwe Dabbert' in the starring role.

Douwe Dabbert by Piet Wijn
Douwe Dabbert - 'Het Verborgen Dierenrijk' (1975).

Douwe Dabbert is a wise old dwarf who owns a magical knapsack, which gives him exacting what he needs in precarious situations, even though he doesn't always realize what to use it for yet. His alliterative name was chosen to be in line with Donald Duck and several of the other Disney characters. While rooted in older Dutch gnome stories, like Dick Laan and Rein van Looy's 'Pinkeltje', Jean Dulieu's 'Paulus de Boskabouter' and Phiny Dick's 'Olle Kapoen', Roep and Wijn's creation was something different. Most adventures breathe the atmosphere of the 17th century, during the Golden Age of the Netherlands. Some stories are historically realistic, while others have a more fantastical approach, with witches, anthropomorphic animals and evil wizards. Wijn brought all of it to life in highly detailed and atmospheric drawings, bringing Douwe to all corners of the Earth.

De Zwarte Kimono by Piet Wijn
Douwe Dabbert - 'De Zwarte Kimono' (1995).

Wijn and Roep's creative collaboration was notable, seeing that Roep was only 22 years old at the time while Wijn was already 45. Despite their age difference, they easily found common ground in their love for fantasy, history and works like Mary Tourtel's 'Rupert Bear', novels by W.G. van de Hulst and artwork by Carl von Spitzweg, Nicolas Dear and Wilhelm Hauff. 'Douwe Dabbert' proved popular with readers and remains the best-remembered non-Disney comic series in Donald Duck. It even managed to gain popularity in translation. Episodes of 'Douwe Dabbert' were translated in English ('Danny Doodle'), German ('Timpe Tampert'), Luxembourghish ('Nicky Bommel'), Swedish ('Teobald'), Spanish ('Bermudillo'), Portuguese, Polish ('Daniel Dudek'), but was nowhere as popular as in Denmark, where the entire series has appeared under the title 'Gammelpot'. In Indonesia, various bootleg comics starring Douwe Dabbert ('Pak Janggut') came out, of which Roep and Wijn's heirs only learned about when the Internet site Catawiki pointed out their existence.

'Voor de kleutertjes' (De Vrije Balloen #3, 1976).

Other comics of the 1970s and 1980s
Having a heavy workload with 'Douwe Dabbert', 'Tom Poes and 'Panda', Piet Wijn managed to take on other projects on the side. In a completely different fashion, he illustrated the cynical comic story 'Voor de kleutertjes' (1976), written by Andries Brandt for the third issue of the adult alternative comic magazine De Vrije Balloen. For toddlers' magazine Okki, Piet Wijn and writer Patty Klein made the poetic pantomime comic 'Annemoon' (1980-1982), about a little girl who sails, flies or drives through a magical land with her bed. In Jippo magazine, Piet Wijn illustrated text stories about trolls by Hans Hoekstra and Patty Klein. Additionally, Piet Wijn provided the artwork for the story 'Het rijk der schimmen' (1978) in Raymond Donkersloot's sci-fi magazine Essef. Between 1985 and 1987, he wrote and drew a new comic called 'Joker' for the children's magazine Ezelsoor.

Annemoon, by Piet Wijn

Health problems
The final decades of Piet Wijn's life were spent in ill health. In the night of 30 September 1986, he had a cerebral infarction, which left him partially paralyzed and unable to draw with his right hand. His 'Joker' comic in Ezelsoor was taken over and concluded by Jan Wesseling. During his time, Wijn also left the daily 'Panda' comic, passing the pencil to Jaap Lamberton and the ink to Frits Godhelp. Unable to run a new 'Douwe Dabbert' story, Donald Duck weekly published a previously unused serial Wijn had created with writer Paul Deckers for Tina. 'De Strijd om 's-Hertogenbosch' (1987) starred the character Johanna and was situated during the Eighty Years' War. It was published in book format by the "Circle of friends of s-Hertogenbosch" in 1996.

Wijn nevertheless refused to give in and taught himself to draw with his left hand. This impressive effort meant that 'Douwe Dabbert' could continue its succesful run, with the episode 'De struikrovers van Koeterwaal' commencing in mid-1988. For the inking duties, Wijn initially received assistance from Lucas Abedy, but he gradually managed to resume this task as well. On 4 December 1997, he had a stroke, which forced him to quit drawing completely. The final 'Douwe Dabbert' story, of which Wijn had already penciled two pages, was finished by Dick Matena and printed in Donald Duck in 2001. Between 1977 and 2001, all the 'Douwe Dabbert' stories were collected in 23 albums by Oberon and Big Balloon. When 'Douwe Dabbert' definitively disappeared from Donald Duck's pages, the magazine reprinted three of Wijn's 'Joker' stories, in 2001 and 2002.

Joker by Piet Wijn
'De Avonturen van Joker' (Donald Duck #47, 2001).

Piet Wijn passed away in Leidschendam in 2010, but his work lives on in the several reprint collections that have seen the light of day under authorization of his heirs, widow Ineke and son Mat. In later years, the Keij-Position has reprinted much of Piet Wijn's work for Tina. Boumaar in turn collected 'Annemoon' and 'Joker' in luxury books in 2009 and 2010. Since 2013, Barabas produces large format collections of 'Douwe Dabbert', while Don Lawrence Collection/Uitgeverij L reprints the regular album collection.

Recognition and legacy
Active since the 1940s, Piet Wijn had proven himself one of the most talented Dutch comic artists around. Until the 1970s, his name was however largely unknown. This was partially due to the fact that most of his productions were either made anonymously or for niche publications. On top of that, Piet Wijn was a modest man, with absolutely no desire for fame or recognition. He spent most of his time behind his drawing board, working late into the evenings, and didn't care for public appearances. Even close co-workers like Thom Roep only learned years later that Wijn had spent a long time drawing Marten Toonder's famous 'Tom Poes' strip. It wasn't until the mid-1970s success with 'Douwe Dabbert' when Piet Wijn's work was picked up by comic fans. One of them was collector Nico Noordermeer, who organized expositions with his work, and compiled a 1976 bibliography with his comic production up till then. During the 1980s, Noordermeer's publishing imprint De Lijn released a lot of the artist's early work in book format.

In 1984, Piet Wijn was awarded the Stripschapsprijs, the most prestigious comics prize in the Netherlands. On 17 October 1993, the 'Douwe Dabbert' album 'Bombasto met het Boze Oog' was honored as "Children's album of the year" during the Breda comics festival. Since 2003, streets named after Aram and Douwe Dabbert are part of the "comic heroes" district of the city of Almere, their names suggested by Lambiek's Kees Kousemaker. However, the Douwe Dabbertstraat was for many years a mere name on a map, as it was the last part of the district to be built and parcelled out. Street name signs weren't placed until 2016. In 2023, Jan-Willem de Vries released a biography in book form dedicated to the life and work of Piet Wijn under his imprint Dat Verdient Een Boek.

Lambiek will always be grateful to Piet Wijn for illustrating the letter "D" in our encylopedia book, 'Wordt Vervolgd - Stripleksikon der Lage Landen', published in 1979.

Thom Roep and Piet Wijn
Thom Roep and Piet Wijn.

Series and books by Piet Wijn you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.