Comics History

Lambiek at Kerkstraat 78 (1990-1995)


Gallery Lambiek. In the front Joost Swarte's infamous "carrot table".

The years 1990-2003 were a period of huge changes. Lambiek's gallery now enjoyed a worldwide prestige. Big international names came to visit, while the same celebrities also made exclusive artwork for the store and Kees Kousemaker. Together with the exhibitions, Lambiek often produced unique silkscreen prints and posters, which were for sale in the store. In 1993 our store became subject of its own prestigious exhibition during the comics festivals of Angoulême and Blois! During this period we received more awards and noticed (well, except for some of our co-workers) some international celebrities between our shelves.

Still the goals of the gallery evolved. Originally Kees wanted to predominantly exhibit paintings and sculptures by artists related to the comics medium. Despite the invitations he sent for his vernissage parties, the "serious" art critics seldom showed up. To some snobs artwork exhibited in a comic book store could never be "art", purely because of the medium these artists originally came from. Kees took his loss and Gallery Lambiek began exhibiting actual comics artwork as well, such as original pages, covers and sketches. More mainstream-oriented artists were welcomed, although the focus remained on the alternative circles.

The 1990s also rang in the arrival of the Internet. A medium which would engross much (reading) time of people and mean extra rivalry for many comics stores, since you can buy books online too. But Kees, like always, thought in long term plans, seeing mostly the advantages. Lambiek became one of the first Dutch companies with its own website. He used it as a way to reach, inform and entertain more people.


Anne, Jaike and Kees' son David.

Personnel in the 1990s
The early 1990s saw several new faces in the store, one of which was Anne de Jong. Hans Jongens, nicknamed "Bonkie", became part of the team, alongside Tako Seelemann. Both specialized in framing artwork and installing the upcoming expositions, and stayed with us throughout the decade. Jongens was previously the owner of comics shop Dick Bosch in Den Bosch. Tako moved to South-Africa in 2002. Jaike Bijleveld, a sympathetic gothic-looking girl, worked for us from 1992 until May 1994. Kees' son Boris also began working in the store on an on-again basis. We couldn't forget the helping hands of Karen, Rob Bolweg, Yuri Bode, Fulco Roeters-Smit and Martijn Snoodijk either. Martijn wasn't actually a store salesman, but instead worked "behind the scenes" as a helping hand for Kees' side projects, like the second run of De Reporter.


Martijn Snoodijk, Rob Bolweg and an unknown person, standing behind Klaas Knol.

Death of Willy Vandersteen
Overall, it was a marvellous transition into a new decade. The only downer was the death of Willy Vandersteen on 28 August 1990. Without his popular character Lambik and impressive presence during the store's opening day, back in 1968, the store might never been the same. In a newspaper article in De Volkskrant on 15 September, Kees Kousemaker claimed rather theatrically that Vandersteen was far superior to Hergé. Vandersteen's death had a rather nasty aftermath, though. In the fall of 1990 Kees received a letter from Wavery Productions who claimed that Lambiek had no right to name themselves after Lambik. Kees was quick to point out that Vandersteen had been asked for permission by letter and that the comics legend even had been present at the opening of the store in 1968. He later looked back at this event as follows: "After sending a rather arrogantly formulated answer I've never heard anything again from this rather dubious organisation."


Kees meets Heinz and Bonga in a 1991 Heinz strip by Windig & De Jong.

Comics cameos (part two)
In 1991 Kees had two cameos in Dutch comic strips. The first one was in a 'Heinz' gag by Windig & De Jong, in which the grumpy cat introduces the caveman Bonga to the "very-very best comics shop of the Netherlands" and its salesman. Kees' second cameo was in the tenth installment of Peter Pontiac's serial 'Een Hollands Drama' for De Volkskrant, published on Saturday 7 September. Pontiac portrayed Kees as a critic who was quite frank in his opinions, but also one who could help the searching artist in the right direction.


Don Lawrence (on the right) during the opening of his exposition.

Exhibitions and signing sessions (1990-1993)
Between 16 February and 10 March 1990 a storm was raging in Lambiek, luckily just because of the presence of British comics artist Don Lawrence. The epic series 'Storm' which he drew for the Dutch market was a bestseller and therefore many fans crowded by to see an exhibition of his time-consuming artworks. Two months later, from 6 April to May 1990, Joost Swarte held an expo in our midst, during which he sold his artwork to those who were interested. Besides drawings, the exhibition also showed one of Swarte's infamous "carrot tables". Two other former guests held a book signing on 8 June 1990, namely underground comix legends Gilbert Shelton and Peter Pontiac. Among the famous people who crowded to see the creator of 'The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers' were poet Simon Vinkenoog and Swarte, who made a very long cartoon of his character Jopo de Pojo driving a Rolls with a very long nose. His message underneath the drawing read: "Dear Gilbert, just a short message to say hello." In November High Times magazine ran 'The Adventures of Mavrides & Shelton in Amsterdam'. In one scene Paul Mavrides and Shelton pass by our store late at night, disappointed that it's "not open yet."


The Adventures of Shelton and Mavrides in Amsterdam.

Pascal Doury and Bruno Richard, creators of the series 'L'Age d'Or de Dora Diamant', could be seen in our gallery from 16 June until 15 August. Doury would return for a second offical visit in 1999. The colourful work of Lorenzo Mattotti ('Feux') lightened up our walls between 31 August and 30 September 1990. The Italian virtuoso would return in 2003. On 8 November Dutch artist Peter van Dongen presented and signed his debut graphic novel 'Muizentheater' in our store. The work would later win the Stripschapprijs for Best Comic Book (1991). Van Dongen came back for new book signings in 2013 and 2018. Ceesepe returned on 23 November for his second exhibition and third visit to the Netherlands in six years. Scheduled to run until 20 January 1991, the exhibition was extended for one week extra because of its success.


Part of the Doury expo, and the invitation to the Franquin expo.

Between 1 March and 15 April 1991 the clever gags of cartoonist Bob van den Born were exhibited to the public. Lambiek had already saved 'Professor Pi' from oblivion by publishing three volumes of the series during the 1970s. Judging by the amount of visitors who went to Van den Born's expo his fans clearly hadn't forgotten him yet. Franco-Belgian grandmaster André Franquin, who'd already done our store several favors by making special illustrations, phoned Kees to ask him whether he could come by and hold another exhibition in our store? He'd already held a book signing a decade earlier, but now the 'Marsupilami' creator wanted a location to exhibit and sell drawings in order to raise money for Unicef. As many people who met Franquin personally will confirm: the maestro was always scribbling, even in restaurants or while making a phone call. To him these doodles were just throwaway items, but Kees collected them all. He photographed them and blew them up to bigger formats. The exhibition with these personal and more abstract artworks ran between 19 April and 19 June and drew a huge crowd, among them many famous Dutch comics artists who all wanted to meet this legend. Several had brought presents. In the end 20.000 guilders (9.075 euro or 10.338 dollar, without inflation) was earned to donate to the poor children of Uganda. On 18 May 1991 Ted Benoit ('Ray Banana') signed his latest album in our store. Joost Swarte turned up for another book signing too on 14 December.


André Franquin, Kees Kousemaker, Gerrit de Jager and Fred Julsing at the opening of the Franquin expo.

In 1992 Kees was creative advisor to a university project of the Noordelijke Hogeschool in Leeuwarden. The students wanted to make an exposition about 'Technology in comics' which was designed by the local comics store Balloon Express. The exhibition ran between 8 January and February 1992. Back at Lambiek, an exhibition was held honouring Pierre Clément, creator of the pantomime comic 'Les Souris'. He displayed his collection of colourful exotic paintings, silk screens, mosaics and tiles, which he dubbed 'Tralalajahal'. Viewers could witness it between 24 April and 10 June. On 9 May the Belgian duo Laurent Letzer and Luc Cromheecke signed the second volume of their funny comic 'Tom Carbon'. Cromheecke would return for two other events in our store in 2006 and 2011.


Will Eisner and Kees Kousemaker in 1992.

On 13 June 1992 the groundbreaking comics artist Will Eisner ('The Spirit', 'Contract with God') paid a second visit to Lambiek to exhibit drawings from his personal archives. Four months later, on 13 November, the work of Jano ('Kebra', 'Keubla') was featured in our gallery. The year closed off with an exhibition about Henk Kuijpers, creator of 'Franka', between 18 December 1992 and 15 February 1993. To advertise his expo he made a beautiful illustration of his heroine visiting our store. Also in 1992 we received a personal letter from underground artist Skip Williamson ('Snappy Sammy Smoot') requesting the publication of his sketchbook 'Naked Hostility' in the Netherlands.


Henk Kuijper's Franka visits Lambiek.

Silvio Cadelo, creator of 'La Saga d'Alandor' and 'Envie de Chien', was on display in the gallery from 19 February until 16 April 1993. On 27 March 1993 René Hausman, famous for his fable-like comics like 'Laiyna', signed his latest comic book 'Vaïva' in Lambiek. Outside our store we also supported an exhibition 'De Strip Uitgekleed' of the faculty Economy and Information at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Between 15 July and 14 August illustrator and painter John Prop displayed his artworks in our gallery, while El Hortelano, known for 'Europa Requiem?!', did the same on 3 September of that year.


Kees speeching for El Hortelano.

The nastiest event of the year took place on 7 August when 900 guilders (408 euros or 470 dollars), were stolen from the cash desk in clear daylight. René Windig and Eddie de Jong, on the other hand, stole our hearts on 29 October 1993 with their first exhibition in our midst, called 'The Stupid World of Heinz'. The following decades the cosy and fun duo behind 'Heinz' would return to our store for many expos, book signings or simple visits to come.


La Nouvelle République and The Comics Journal reporting on Lambiek's 25th anniversary (The Comics Journal missed ten years, but hey, who's counting?).

Lambiek's Tour de France
Between 27 January and 31 January 1993 Lambiek itself was subject of an exhibition! The initiative came from Patrick Gaumer, a French journalist and organizer of expositions with a specialization in comics. 'Lambiek: Un quart de siècle en 100 souvenirs' was held in the Centre National de la Bande Dessinée et de l'Image during the annual Comics Festival of Angoulême, France. The exhibition consisted of three parts. 'Voyage à travers la Librairie Lambiek' offered a replica of the store. 'Un quart de siècle' exhibited books, drawings and posters made by and/or for Lambiek, while 'Le Musée idéal de Kousemaker' presented Kees' personal selection of artwork by Dutch and international artists, including Marten Toonder, Hans Kresse, Frans Piët, Bob van den Born, Windig & De Jong, Peter Pontiac, Theo van den Boogaard, Martin Lodewijk, Joost Swarte, Ceesepe, Robert Crumb, Mark Beyer, Art Spiegelman, Pascal Doury, Raymond Macherot, André Franquin, Maurice Tillieux, Willy Vandersteen and Kamagurka.


Felicitations by Malik and Paul Deliège, drawn at the Blois festival.

The expo was such a success that, from 30 November on, it continued during the annual Comics Festival of Blois, as part of a larger exhibition about the Dutch comics industry. That year an article in the French newspaper Le Monde described Lambiek as "the famous book store who had done much for the reputation of Crumb, Liberatore and Eisner." During these honorable events, various comics artists congratulated us with graphical homages, including Paul Deliège ('Bobo'), Malik ('Cupidon'), Fred ('Philémon') and Jacques Géron. Between 3 and 13 June 1994, part of the expo was reprised on Dutch soil at the Haarlem comics festival under the title 'Le Salon de Lambiek, 130 ans Déjeuner sur L'Herbe'.


Le Salon de Lambiek poster, by René Windig.

To accompany the Angoulême exposition, a celebrative booklet/catalogue called 'Lambiek's Almanac 1968-1993' was compiled with support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and promotional funding by the Chamber of Commerce and Factories in Amsterdam. Written by Martijn Snoodijk and Martijn Daalder, it provided an overview of a quarter of a century of Lambiek's history, with translations in both English (by Jenny Spits) as well as French (by Gaumer). It's cover was designed by Hanco Kolk, while Joost Swarte wrote the foreword.


Back and front cover of the 1993 Lambiek Almanac by Hanco Kolk.

1993: Lambiek: 25th anniversary party
Of course our 25th anniversary was also celebrated in our own store. On 7 November 1993 the 'Heinz' exhibition was secretly removed at night and replaced by an expo celebrating Lambiek's anniversary to surprise Kees the next morning. All kinds of memorabilia, gifts and illustrations by numerous cartoonists and old employees were put on display. Among them work by Bob van den Born, Peter van Straaten, André Franquin, Pierre Rooth, Jac Drewes, Fulco, Eeklo van Schie, Jaren Zandvliet, Martijn Snoodijk, Martijn Daalder, De Blancoos, Annelies Klein, Freek Fenijn, Adriaan Martens, Klaas Knol and his son Ruben, Peter van Dongen, El Hortelano, P.O.S.S.E. & John Prop, Hanco Kolk, Luc Cromheecke & Laurent Letzer, Loes van Alphen, J.M. de Winter, Jano, Herman Geuze, Jan Spakman, B.L. Haring, Rob Becker, Hans Jongens, Het Raadsel Distributie, Eric Cartier, Herwolt van Doornen, Peter Pontiac, Har Brok, Job Goedhart, Hans Stovelaar, Uco Egmond, Joost & Godelinde Pollman, Jacques Buys, Peter de Smet, Job Beekman, Rob Bolweg and Dan Schiff (who made a comic strip set in Lambiek). A remarkable piece of art was the set of shoes designed by Joost Swarte, which had raised noses like in the Vandersteen comics.


Kees is interviewed during Lambiek's 25th anniversary party.

Many prominent guests were present at the party on 8 November: Windig and De Jong, Theo Van den Boogaard, Wasco, Typex, Willy Lohmann, Willem Vleeschouwer, Aart Clerkx and comics collector Hans Matla. Erik Spaans wrote a special poem for the occasion. Silvio Cadelo, Herr Seele, Gilbert Shelton, Pic, Elyh, Pierre Clement, Mariscal and Ever Meulen also sent written and illustrated congratulations by mail and fax.


New header for De Reporter by Martijn Snoodijk.

Return of the Reporter
The surprise exposition also marked the return of our newsletter, De Reporter. Matt Schifferstein's publishing house Sherpa printed a one-off edition on 30 November 1993, chronicling the events earlier that month. In 29 March 1994 the "daily" title returned on a semi-monthly base under supervision of Kees and Martijn Snoodijk. Martijn drew a new header for each edition and took care of the lay-outs. The installments were now published on advertisement spots in the comics information magazines Stripschrift and Zozolala. Martijn remembers he and Kees had fun toying around with the numbering to confuse collectors.


Lambiek advertisement by Jelle Venema from Incognito #1, 1993.

Custom-made advertisements
Around this period, Lambiek also started to contribute custom-made advertisements to several comics publications. A tradition which lasted throughout the decade. To the informative Comics Annuals of the publishing house Sherpa, Kees submitted true masterpieces by Willem Vleeschouwer, Peter Pontiac, René Windig and Anton Kannemeyer. Robin Schouten published drawn advertisements by Jelle Venema, Chris Berg, Floris Oudshoorn, Marcel de Jong, Reinier Kahle, Koen Hottentot, Kim Duchateau, Michiel de Jong and Frank Lauwers in his indie comics magazine Incognito.


Bruno Gazzotti signing 'Soda'.

Exhibitions and book signings (1994)
Ever Meulen was the subject of the next exhibition, held between 11 February and March 1994. The creator of 'Balthazar de Groene Steenvreter' and many famous magazine and album covers had always rode the tail between comics and art, so it was only natural that his work fit a gallery. RAW cartoonist Mark Beyer ('Tony Target', 'Death and Amy & Jordan at Beach Lake') exhibited in Lambiek on 1 April and that was no joke! His expo could be witnessed until 31 May. Our salesman Klaas Knol remembered that he and the otherwise rather subdued Beyer had fun watching 'Wallace and Gromit' cartoons on television. Sadly when the artist later returned to his hometown in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he found out that he had been victim of burglary. Italian artists stood in the spotlight next. On 23 April 1994 Bruno Gazzotti signed his signature work 'Soda' in our store, while Matteo Guarnicca mezmerized spectators in our gallery between 7 June and 24 July.


Invitation for the Mark Beyer exposition (the drawing was also sold as a silkscreen) and the signed Carl Barks comic book.

Kees was a busy bee during this period. During the Stripdagen Haarlem comics festival in May 1994 he organized the NZH Stripprijs, a comics award for Best Comic Book. When legendary 'Donald Duck' comics artist Carl Barks visited Amsterdam on 14 July Kees went to meet him at the Hotel L'Europe. They had a little chat and the "Good Duck Artist" gave him a personally signed page of the classic Donald Duck story 'In Ancient Persia'. A visit to Lambiek could unfortunately not be organized since the 94-year old veteran had a very tight schedule. Kees had to be satisfied with the arrival of an old fairground attraction, remodelled to look like Windig and De Jong's cartoon cat 'Heinz', which was placed in front of the store in September of that year. It remained a tourist attraction for many years to come. We also received a nice graphic tribute to Kees by cartoonist Al Davison, best known for 'The Spiral Cage'.

Between 27 July and 17 September Lambiek was involved with the exhibition 'De Barbier in de Strips' which was installed in the Figaro Pasquale barber shop in the Begijnensteeg 10 in Amsterdam. It showed imagery related to hairdressers in comics. Between August and September 1994 our own gallery showed its social consciousness with an expo about cartoonists from former Yugoslavia and their reflection on the then ongoing war in their country. 'Signed By War' brought together artwork from Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian comics artists like Zoran Janjetov, Slobodan Kovacevic, Danilo Milosev (aka Wostok), Dejan Nenadov, Zeljko Pahek, Darko Perovic, Leonid Pilipovic (aka Leo fon Pinkerstein), Sasa Rakezic (aka Aleksandar Zograf), Milos Radosavljevic, Zoran Smiljanic, Danijel Zezelj and Kresimir Zimonic, but also foreign sympathizers like Edmond Baudoin, Enki Bilal, Peter Kuper, Lorenzo Mattotti, Lian Ong, Peter Pontiac, Marcel Ruijters and Edmond Spierts. The exhibition was an initiative of Momi Stosic, aka Moki. All artwork appeared in book format as 'Signed by War' and the expo itself also toured elsewhere in the Netherlands. The income was used to support the comics industry in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.


Max signing in Gallery Lambiek.

Between 30 September and 19 November 1994 Spanish underground cartoonist Max, who is best known for 'Bardín', was the guest of honour in our gallery. Our store on our turn had the honour of presenting the first issue of the alternative comics magazine Zone 5300 to the press on 1 October. The same month Kees was asked to be a jury member in a creativity contest, 'Fabriceer een Fabelachtige Flater' ('Fabricate A Fabulous Blunder') in Eindhoven. Contestants were asked to create a mad invention comparable to the ones Gaston Lagaffe always comes up with in André Franquin's eponymous gag comic. Whether anything exploded or led to horrendous cacophonous instruments we don't know. But Kees did write Franquin to inform him about his contest. The comics artist was quite thrilled with the whole idea. In November Lambiek organized a mini exhibition about pulp comics from the 1950s, more specifically the "Lilliput" titles published by the German Lehning Verlag ('Akim', 'Tibor', 'Sheriff Teddy').


Crumb and his band performing in Lambiek.

That late fall, another legendary cartoonist visited the store for a prestigious exhibition. None other than underground comix legend Robert Crumb was scheduled to exhibit his work on 25 November. However, the evening before he and his folk band Les Primitifs du Futur performed in club Joseph Lam, after which they kept on truckin' to Lambiek for an after party. Since the spiritual father of 'Fritz the Cat' and 'Mr. Natural' was here anyway, Kees decided to launch the expo one day early. The next day Crumb returned to Lambiek for the official opening of his exhibition, 'R. Crumb's Record Collection', which put a spotlight on his illustrated album covers. This time he performed in the presence of his other folk band The Cheap Suit Serenaders. Since Amsterdam always had a strong underground comix scene, mostly thanks to Lambiek's exclusive imported titles from the U.S., many people turned up. Just like with Franquin in 1991 there were quite a few fellow cartoonists, but also one celebrity visitor from a different medium: Dutch film director Louis van Gasteren. Van Gasteren was dressed in a hat and scarf which reminded Kees of the Tintin character Lazlo Carreidas, something he joked about afterwards in an issue of De Reporter. The exhibition attracted a lot of media attention, particularly in the foreign press, but was also significant for another reason...


Issue 32 of De Reporter, detailing about the celebrity visits of Robert Crumb and "Laszlo Carreidas"!

Website
In 1994, local entrepeneurs Wendy G.A. van Dijk and Elizabeth Mattijsen began building and hosting websites through their agency xxLINK Internet Services. They proposed Kees to launch a website for Lambiek. At the time Internet had only been made public for two years and most people at the time didn't own a computer, nor had Internet access. But Kousemaker realized that his store had to move along with the times. Liz and Wendy helped get the site on the air. It was presented on 25 November 1994, while Crumb held his expo. Back then Lambiek was one of the first Dutch companies to have its own site. Even the store didn't have Internet access back then! xxLINK used to print our e-mails and send them to us by regular mail.


xxLINK's Wendy G.A. van Dijk shows our brand new website to Stripschap founder P. Hans Frankfurther during the Crumb expo.

During the first five years the website was mostly used to report news events regarding the store. When more people went online, our website meant the end of our newspaper De Reporter. In one of the final issues of the printed version from 25 July 1995 we learn that Lambiek's site already got a lot of traffic during those first moments: "(...) the most interested readers of the site are American schools and universities". On 1 August 2003 the old 'Reporter' title was reused again on our site to present all news in a similar virtual newspaper format. Yet old habits never change because it still appeared on irregular basis. By 2011 the title was once again abandoned.


Sinterkees presents Urbanus his 50th album.

Expos, book signings and other events (1994-1995)
On 5 December 1994 Flemish comedian Urbanus celebrated the 50th album of his 'Urbanus' comic strip (drawn by Willy Linthout) in the Antwerp Hilton Hotel. The first printed copy of 'De Hete Urbanus' was handed to him by Dutch-Flemish holiday character Sinterklaas and his sidekick Zwarte Piet, though some have claimed it was actually our Kees and his son Boris in a disguise. Now we do remember that they travelled to Belgium that night with a bag of gifts, red miter, tabard and golden staff, but ah... that must have been coincidence, right? Besides, wouldn't it have made more sense to send (Sinter)Klaas Knol? Nevertheless IF Kees was the Good Holy Man that night he must have taken his act quite seriously and travelled all the way back to Spain. Because the next comics artist to exhibit his work in the store was Spanish too: Max Cabanes, most famous for 'Dans les Villages', 'Contes Fripons' and 'Colin Maillard'. His exhibition was launched on 10 February 1995.


Invitation for the Liberation expo.

On 28 April 1995, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, Kousemaker and his staff organized a special exhibition about comics made during the 1940s. The expo 'De Bevrijding der Nederlanden in Beeldromanvorm' ('The Liberation of the Netherlands in Picture Novel Format') was hosted by archivarian Eric Somers. After putting a line underneath this event Hanco Kolk ('Gilles de Geus', 'Meccano') pushed his swift pencil forward on 15 June to present his graphic novel 'Casanova' and other minimalistic line drawings in our gallery. Between July and 10 September Lambiek organized an expo in the Sonsbeek art villa in Arnhem about comics artists who are inspired by "high" art or make such works themselves.


Invitations for the Hanco Kolk and Charles Burns expositions.

On 26 July, during the San Diego Comic-Con, Lambiek was awarded the Will Eisner Retailers Award. Klaas Knol travelled all the way to the U.S. to pick up this prestigious international prize. Around the same time, between 26 July and 13 August 1995, the hit musical 'Suske en Wiske: De Stralende Sterren' of the Antwerp Koninklijk Jeugd Theater ("Royal Juvenile Theater") went on tour in Amsterdam. Based on Willy Vandersteen's eponymous comic strip 'Suske en Wiske', it wasn't all that surprising that the actors paid a visit to Lambiek too. For the first time the "real" Lambik (played by Ronald van Rillaer) could actually walk in the store that was named after him. He took the chance to take the same pose as our infamous doll. This time the local police couldn't do anything about it...


Important visitors in 1995: Tante Sidonia (played by male actor Aimé Anthoni), Suske (David Verbeeck), Wiske (Hilde Vanhulle), Lambik (Ronald Van Rillaer) and Jerom (Dirk Bosschaert)!

Shortly after Halloween (actually on 3 November 1995) our store remained in a horror atmosphere thanks to the frightening artwork of Charles Burns. His exhibition 'Burns in Hell' ran for two months. The same year Lambiek also paid attention to two real-life horrors: racism and discrimination. We set up a huge exhibition making a stance against it. Among the participating artists were Ted Benoît, Peter Pontiac, Maaike Hartjes, Robert van der Kroft, Floris Oudshoorn, Berend J. Vonk, Peter de Wit and Marnix Rueb. African-American-Dutch singer Donald Jones, famous for the song 'Ik Zou Je In Een Doosje Willen Stoppen', also visited the expo.

1995 was also the year that Lambiek finally got mentioned in a novel. No, not a graphic one, but a purely written novel. And not a Dutch-language one, mind you, but French author Laurent Fétis' 'Innocent X' (Gallimard, 1995), a hard-boiled detective story which takes place in Amsterdam. In the story the characters visit Lambiek and Kees Kousemaker and Klaas Knol are specifically mentioned! Interestingly enough, Fétis would write a novel titled: 'Le tacot d'Elsa Lambiek' (2008), thirteen years later. Though in this case Elsa Lambiek is just his protagonist. 


Donald Jones watching the anti-discrimination exposition.

Next chapter: Lambiek at Kerkstraat 78 (1996-2003)