Comics History

Lambiek at Koningsstraat 27 (2015-present)

Lambiek at the Koningsstraat, painted by Edwin Hagendoorn (2018).

New kids on the Nieuwmarkt block
After nearly 47 years, Lambiek moved from the Kerkstraat to Koningsstraat 27, near the Nieuwmarkt square. The location previously housed vintage design store Feather & Cross (upstairs) and record store Zwart Goud (downstairs). Rising rents in the Kerkstraat made it increasingly difficult to meet payments. For a while, as there was fear that Lambiek would have to close for good, we wondered,"What would the Kerkstraat be without the familiar hanging ZIP sign?" We received a lot of encouragement from long-time customers to keep Lambiek going. Michiel van de Pol literally "drew" attention to our predicament in a nice tribute comic strip which paid homage to all the joy Lambiek had brought him over the decades. Herwolt van Doornen made a promotional drawing for our website and on 26 July 2014, Lambiek was mentioned in Floor de Goede's newspaper strip 'Flo'.

Michiel van de Pol's 2014 support comic for Lambiek.
Comic shop Lambiek in the Kerkstraat in Amsterdam might disappear. For a simple country boy like me, Lambiek was a true paradise. They have all the comics you want, and all the comics you didn't know you wanted. In search of treasures, you encounter tons of other, yet unknown treasures...
That's how I discovered the first 'Peep Show' by Joe Matt, with all those hilarious little panels on the pages. It was almost the same as the pleasant chaos at Lambiek. Do yourself a favor and order that book! And by doing that, support Lambiek during these hard times!

We never would have made our move without the capable hands and invaluable advice of our in-house carpenter Marko Otsen. He kept a clear head at all times and found ways to reorganize the store to keep it financially stable. For this, we will remain eternally grateful. We also deeply appreciate all the loyal customers who helped us out during the move. To celebrate Lambiek's newest incarnation, Lae Schäfer made a neat bird eye's view illustration of our brand new store, which appears at the very end of this page.

Our first customer arrived on 30 October 2015, while we were still unpacking.

A major advantage of the new store is its proximity to Amsterdam Central Station. From there, customers can take any underground metro subway to the first stop, Nieuwmarkt station. At the Koningsstraat exit, Lambiek awaits you directly across the street. Our new building is too small to hold full-scale exhibitions anymore, but our proud tradition of book signings continued. Some visitors told us they prefer the smaller location, because it has a cosier feel. They complimented us for reorganizing the books as well. Previously, Kees alphabetized all books by author name, in order to highlight the comic creator's role. This system was kept on after his death, but customers foud it difficult to find books on their own. The move to a new street enabled Boris Kousemaker to reorganize the stock, arranging everything according to title and series. The Dutch-language books are now stocked away upstairs and the English and French ones reside downstairs. Our customers find this a great improvement - and who are we to disagree with customers? Lambiek remains the place to go for the many small press mini-comics and zines produced by mostly local comic artists, such as Larie Cook, Michiel Budel, Gabriël Kousbroek, Joost Halbertsma, Lae Schäfer and Jeroen Funke. To promote this, Lae published a special comic strip on on 2 February 2016.

The security fencing in front of our back windows was modeled after a page from graphic artist Wasco's art book 'Het Tuitel Complex'. Steel artist Robin Hoed made the design a reality.

Our pile of wooden books is returned by Dani Dumitru to Boris Kousemaker and its creator Arie, September, 2016.

In the chaos of moving from one building to another, we lost the wooden pile of comic books that sat on the back tire rack of the bike belongking to our Lambiek doll. We assumed the books were either stolen or accidentally thrown away. The wooden books eventually ended up with Dani Dumitru of, a vendor at the open air Waterlooplein flea market. Not knowing what the strange piece of handicraft was, he asked his wife Tess for help. Tess Dumitru had been a text editor of the girls' magazine Tina, and was acquainted with comics connaisseurs. She posed the question to a former colleague, who was coincidentally... our own Bas Schuddeboom! Bas instantly recognized the work and informed Boris that the wooden books had been located. Mr. Dumitru was gracious enough to return the books gratis to Boris and their creator, Larie Cook, on 16 September 2016. Thus came an end to yet another chapter of the eventful saga of our wooden Lambiek doll...

Charlotte Goede and Boris Kousemaker in 2016.

Lambiek personnel
Boris Kousemaker remained at the helm during this period, but Klaas Knol retired after more than 30 years of loyal service. When health problems forced Klaas to stay home, Jack-of-all-trades Marko Otsen took over his hours. Before Klaas retired, he had reduced his hours to part-time, and after "retirement," Klaas remained involved with Lambiek's daily business, ordering new comic book titles, writing event anouncements and answering e-mail. Our beloved Klaas Knol passed away on 12 July 2019.

Sebastiaan de Vries at work in 2016. In the back we see the Wasco fencing.

Jurrien de Vries briefly left us in early 2016, but his brother Sebastiaan proved a worthy replacement. After a couple of months however, Jurrien returned and Sebastiaan departed to take up new studies. Between February 2016 and April 2017, Charlotte Goede lived up to her good name, selling goods for Lambiek. Arie Plas, better known as the graphic artist Larie Cook, joined the Lambiek sales crew in 2016. Six years earlier, he had painted our new ZIP sign and Lambiek doll, starting his long association with the store. Bas Schuddeboom kept doing volunteer work for the website from home. By 2015, he found a loyal collaborator in the Belgian Kjell Knudde. The new "Knuddeboom" team began writing more analytical and thorough biographies for the Comiclopedia, and have gradually been upgrading the older pages as well. The upgrade improved the overall reputation of the site, which in 2020 was awarded the P. Hans Frankfurther Prize for special merits in Dutch comics.

Boris Kousemaker with Dave Cooper (22 March 2016).

Book signings and other events (2016-2017)
As mentioned before, our smaller store unfortunately makes the grand-scale exhibitions of the past impossible. But book signings are still a recurring event to this day. On 22 March 2016, we welcomed Canadian cartoonist and painter Dave Cooper ('Dan and Larry in Don't Do That!') in Lambiek for a book signing. Our customers' eyes became as big as his deranged characters when they saw him create drawings with his autographs in their books. On 31 March, Schwantz, creator of 'Beestjes' ('Vermin'), brought a little beast in everyone at his book signing. On 22 April, Lambiek was the host of the Sounds of the Underground festival. As our store shook with beats provided by DJ Naaktslak and Hakki Takki, MC Gijs Borstlab presented the group sex-themed festival guide featuring art by the Dutch-Canadian artist Maia Matches.

On 7 June 2016, Derf Backderf makes a drawing for our regular customer Paul van Dijken in front of the store.

Lamelos-member Sam Peeters, creator of the graphic novel 'In De Schaduw Van Mijn Lul' ("In the Shadow of my Dick"), appeared out of the shadows on 12 May 2016 to sign his next book, 'Iedereen op Claudia' ("Everyone loves Claudia"). He came back almost exacbly a year later, on 12 May 2017, to sign his third graphic novel, 'Fucking Hell'. On 7 June 2016, Derf Backderf paid us a second visit to sign copies of his graphic novels 'My Friend Dahmer' and 'Trashed'. On 17 November, five artists from the province of Limburg came by to present their graphic novel 'Grenzeloos' ("Borderless"), containing lost stories from the Dutch border region with Belgium and Germany. Marco Jeurissen, Jean Gouders, Gady Mirtenbaum, Berend Vonk and Toon Hezemans, AKA the Limbo Five, also treated the crowd with regional music and local delicacies. On 24 November, Frenk Meeuwsen brought our minds to higher levels with the presentation and signing of his philosophical graphic novel 'Zen Zonder Meester' ("Zen Without A Master"). On 8 December 2017, 'Swamp Thing' creator Floris Oudshoorn closed out the year with his second book signing.

Lambiek still gathers a crowd (well, to be honest, Sam Peeters does, in May 2016).

Kutlul (2017-2018)
The most notable presentations during this period involved the provocative alternative comics magazine Kutlul, whose charming title is a mash-up of the Dutch slang terms for "cunt" and "dick". The first issue, #0, came out in the spring of 2016. Since April 2017, new issues received an exclusive presentation at Lambiek: issue #5 (14 April 2017), issue #6 (29 September 2017), issue #7 (6 April 2018), issue #8 (10 August 2018) and every other issue since. Founders Joost Halbertsma and Dirk Verschure are usually present at these occasions. Other regular contributors, like Pieter Zandvliet and Maia Matches, also join the fun and music. In April 2017, the presentation of Kutlul #5 was accompanied by the Sounds of the Underground festival, featuring a musical performance by Boetiek Underground Spacetower.

In the eighth issue of Kutlul, Joost Halbertsma drew a caricature of Boris Kousemaker.

2018 Book signings 
12 January 2018 marked the third official visit by Peter van Dongen. He signed copies of his new graphic novel 'Familieziek', based on the novel by Adriaan van Dis. One week later, Van Dongen was awarded the annual Dutch Stripschap Prize for his entire body of work. On 23 March, U.S. cartoonist Turtel Onli ('NOG') signed his work in our midst. American expat writer/photographer (and Amsterdam resident since 2009) Chad Bilyeu came by on 30 March to present the first issue of his comic book anthology series 'Chad in Amsterdam'. His autobiographical stories explore Dutch society from an American viewpoint, and are illustrated by an international team of graphic artists. Chad remains a Lambiek regular, coming by for the launch of each subsequent installment, but also for regular Friday drinks.

Chad Bilyeu, Sebastiaan de Vries and Jurrien de Vries at one of our Friday drinks.

On 8 June, visual artist Nathalie Cincunegui presented her debut graphic book 'The Journey of Mr. Naut'. The signing in our store on the 29th was for Jasper Rietman's first work, 'Exodus', a story of the African refugee crisis told in one continuous panel. On 27 July, prodigious Dutch cartoonist Aimée de Jongh's third book signing was for the graphic novel 'Bloesems in de herfst' ('Blossoms in Autumn'), her collaboration with renowned Franco-Belgian scriptwriter Zidrou. On 31 August, Frenchman Éric Cartier came by to sign his graphic novel 'One Two Three Four Ramones'. Written by Xavier Bétaucourt and Bruno Cadène, it presented the life and career of seminal Queens punk band, The Ramones.

Aimée de Jongh signs in front of the store (July 2018).

Comics Laureate of the Netherlands
In October 2017, our former webmaster Margreet de Heer was appointed the first-ever "Stripmaker des Vaderland" (Comic Artist Laureate of the Netherlands). In January 2018, Dutch photo comic artist Ype Driessen staged a special photo comic to celebrate and promote this achievement, starring himself and Margreet. The location of the funny four-panel strip was Lambiek (the "Comic Store Laureate of the Netherlands") and also featured Klaas Knol ("Comics Salesman Laureate of the Netherlands") and an unidentified man (the "Customer Laureate of the Netherlands"). Margreet's focus point was promoting comics in the Dutch educational system. To compile a guide suggesting graphic novels for the high school reading list, she teamed up once again with her former Comiclopedia colleague Bas Schuddeboom. They were joined in their efforts by Dutch high school teacher Willard Mans. Lambiek provided the team with several graphic novels for review. On 7 November 2018, the comics guide 'Graphic Novels voor de Leeslijst' ("Graphic Novels for the Reading List") was presented at the Scheltema book store.

Photo comic by Ype Driessen promoting Margreet de Heer, our brand-new Comics Laureate of the Netherlands.

Prelude to Lambiek's 50th anniversary
The focus of 2018 was preparing for the celebration of Lambiek's 50th anniversary. It was the perfect opportunity to look back. For several years, Bas Schuddeboom had the idea to document the many legendary anecdotes about our groundbreaking store and its founder, Kees Kousemaker. It first came to mind in January 2014, when Eppo magazine ran an article by Dick Matena, in which the comic artist reflected on his brawl with Kees at the 1978 Stripschap anniversary (as detailed in one of the previous chapters). Bas remembered Kees had a different recollection of events, but felt sorry he never wrote it down before Kees died. With that in mind, and knowing the many entertaining stories Klaas Knol could enthusiastically tell, Bas casually discussed creating a 'Tales of Lambiek'-type column with Eppo contributor Robin Schouten. The plan was that Robin would periodically write down one of Klaas' stories, for publication in one of the Dutch comics news magazines or on the Lambiek website. Although this version of the project never came to be, the seed was planted.

Plans for a "Lambook"
After Peter Pontiac's death in January 2015, Bas saw the urgency of collecting the data for the Lambiek book from people from the store's early years. In May 2015, discussed the idea for an oral history of Lambiek in book format with store owner Boris Kousemaker. However, the project still needed a publisher and an author. With a full-time day job and his Comiclopedia work, Bas didn't personally have the time to write or publish such a book. In August 2016, he had a preliminary talk with Hansje Joustra, editor/publisher at Scratch Books and one of Kees' best friends. The concept was developed to divide Lambiek's history by decades, and have important associates from each time period write and compile the chapters. Bas contacted former Lambiek employee and photographer Hans Frederiks, who was prepared to help with the early period. Things were put on hold when Scratch backed out a few months later, but a new boost came in mid-2017, when Bas brainstormed with Cok Jouvenaar and Jos van Waterschoot, the editors of comics news magazine StripNieuws. The two men were interested in developing a 100-page book in co-editorship with Bas, modeled after the recent anniversary book for the legendary comics studio of the 1980s, Studio Arnhem ('Terug naar Studio Arnhem' [Personalia, 2017]). Although Klaas' stories remained core of the book, the team now envisioned a book design that would include unique Lambiek-related artwork. Several publishers from Jos and Cok's network were approached, but all deemed the Lambiek project too commercially risky. Jos and Cok suggested the possibility of Plan B: present the material in a special issue of StripNieuws magazine, devoted to the Amsterdam comics scene with Lambiek as focal point. Unfortunately, this plan fell through too, because Lambiek's semicentennial coincided with 50th anniversary of the magazine's publisher, Dutch comics appreciation society Het Stripschap. At this point, it seemed the book plan was cancelled...

The Lambiek correspondence and press clippings archive, organized by year (work in progress).

Raiding the archives
Lambiek's story needed to be told. In an early 2018 correspondence, Kjell Knudde strongly supported Bas' original plan: publish the entire chronicle on the website. The two Comiclopedia writers decided to work together to create 'The Story of Lambiek'.  But where to begin? Although this difficult task had never been attempted before, usable material was ready for Bas to look through: in late 2015, when Lambiek moved from Kerkstraat to Koningsstraat, Bas took all three the boxes of Lambiek's press clippings and photo archive to his Zaandam home. In the summer of 2018, he organized the content of all the boxes and scanned the interesting pieces. Bas then filled a "Lambiek archive" folder in Dropbox with digitized news articles, interviews, press releases, artwork and audio/video files for Kjell to explore. The process of arranging events in chronological order, completing fragmented memories with information from interviews and news reports, and analyzing photographs for their timeframe helped us put events in their historical context. With the newly uncovered information, Kjell and Bas filled Lambiek's 1968-2018 timeline with all the important and noteworthy events they could find. A partial list of former Lambiek employees was created with the help of Klaas and Boris. Although employee names lost in the mist of the early years were transcribed from video footage of Kees' speech from Lambiek's 40th anniversary party, the bad sound quality made it difficult to decipher what Kees was saying. By a stroke of luck, Bas found Kees' original cheat sheet for the speech crumpled up in one of the boxes, helping him to fill in the blanks. Then, in the company of Boris Kousemaker, Bas visited Klaas Knol in his Lelystad home, using his iPhone to record legendary anecdotes of Lambiek's most memorable moments.

Kees' 2008 note mentioning current and former Lambiek employees and a handwritten autographed note by André Franquin from 1983, in regard to the Marsupilami drawing for Lambiek's 15th anniversary (as detailed in a previous chapter).

The Story of Lambiek
With this newly assembled digital library of archival materials, a history could now be properly written. In June 2018, Bas contacted the editors of the local historical magazine Ons Amsterdam, informing them that one of the capital's cultural landmarks would be celebrating its golden anniversary later that year. As this magazine often profiles noteworthy and historically interesting shops, they asked Bas to write up an article about Lambiek. It appeared in the October 2018 issue, and focused on the store's relation to Amsterdam. Additionally, for the November 2018 issue of comics news magazine StripNieuws, Bas wrote a five-page article, emphasizing Lambiek's importance for comics culture. In the meantime, Kjell Knudde spent a month shaping the team's extensive research into a coherent narrative for the Comiclopedia, 'The Story of Lambiek'. He made sure to leave no event or employee unmentioned. A subsequent benefit was discovering and correcting inaccuracies on our website. In late September 2018, Kjell finished the first draft, which Bas then edited, amended and, occasionally, censored. The chapters of this extensively thorough chronicle were divided into time periods based on Lambiek's different addresses. Bas and Kjell decided to post them online as weekly serials, starting on 8 October 2018 and culminating with the fifth and final chapter posting on the day of our 50th anniversary: 8 November 2018. Bas gradually found suitable illustration material to illustrate key moments in Lambiek's history, and Kjell burned the midnight oil preparing the Dutch translation of 'The Story of Lambiek' in time for the celebrations on the big day. 'The Story of Lambiek' received much praise from Lambiek regulars, friends and fans from near and far. Originally written under severe time pressure, Bas and Kjell in later years regularly adjusted and corrected bits and pieces of the Lambiek saga. In late 2020 and early 2021, the Comiclopedia's American editor Dan Schiff went through the entire text, improving the overall style and structure. Working together with Bas, he was able to add more historical context, and explanations of well-known Amsterdam and Dutch details unfamiliar to readers outside of the Netherlands.

Cover for Lambiek's 2018 anniversary book, featuring Peter Pontiac's original black-and-white drawing of the Kerkstraat 78 store. The 1989 color version was originally used on a poster and for magazine advertisements.

A book, after all
While Kjell and Bas were working on their articles, Boris Kousemaker still liked the idea of producing a book celebrating Lambiek's 50th. Boris decided that if no publisher wanted to do it, he'd fund and publish it himself under the store's own Les Éditions Lambiek imprint. After many phone calls with Bas, it was decided to make it an art book, filled with the unique artwork made over the years for Kees and Lambiek. Long-time Lambiek acquaintance Herwolt van Doornen volunteered to help with the selection of the images. Boris spent several months browsing through the store archives, unearthing dozens of interesting and long-forgotten artifacts, including original drawings by Peter Pontiac and Windig & De Jong. Certain items were unsuitable for Bas' A3 scanner, like the late Goof Mensink's paint-stained T-shirt, which hung in the store as a tribute, and the infamous 'Kees the Barbarian' painting by Alfredo Alcala, commissioned by our underground comix distributor Bill Daley in the 1980s. These, and other large pieces, were photographed by Gert Jan Pos. Damaged pieces of art were digitally restored by graphic designer Fake Booij, who was coincidentally also working on a book about an early Lambiek employee, underground cartoonist Flip Fermin.

In addition to all the historical material, Boris asked Lambiek's artistic entourage for brand-new contributions and testimonials. Store employee and cartoonist Larie Cook created a beautiful pantomime comic presenting the history of the store as rooms inside a building. Alex Wesselink depicted Lambiek taking a taxi to our anniversary party where, just like in 2008, a riot broke out. Forty years after making a cover for Kees' self-published Lambiek Bulletin, Gerard Leever spoofed his teenage work with a new, humorous version. Even publisher Hansje Joustra and the Comiclopedia's Kjell Knudde picked up their drawing pens. Outside of the comics world, controversial painter Peter Klashorst created a special comic strip in his typical raunchy style. Other contributing artists were Mattt Baay, Paul Bodoni, TV cook Alain Caron, Aart Clerkx, Eddie de Jong, Edwin Hagendoorn, Pieter Hogenbirk, Maarten Janssens, Bas Köhler, Gabriël Kousbroek, Frenk Meeuwsen, Floris Oudshoorn, Martijn F. Overweel, Remco Polman, Gert Jan Pos, José Quintanar, Marcel Ruijters, Lae Schäfer, Pepijn Schermer, Eric Schreurs, Roel Smit, Joost Swarte, Trik, Guido van Driel, Herwolt van Doornen, Erik Varekamp, Willem Verburg, Lukas Verstraete, Berend J. Vonk, Eryc Why and Menno Wittebrood.

Eric Schreurs' drawing for Lambiek's 50th anniversary, which also served as the invitation to the 10 November party.

Bas and Kjell's timeline provided the structure of the book, which was divided in chapters according to the five store locations. Bas wrote introductions for each of the chapters, and captions for the artwork. Written testimonials were contributed by early customer Rob Menko, Lambiek regular Vincent Polverino, journalist Joost Pollmann and Kerkstraat acquaintance Marcel Reijneveld, whose dog Kobus was a big fan of Boris. Klaas Knol was fittingly honored to write the book's foreword. For our international clientele and friends worldwide, Kjell translated the Dutch text to English for a separate printed insert, which was also made available online. The most difficult aspect of making the book was finding a designer. After Boris contacted several friends in vain, he found someone who said he was willing to do the job, but weeks later, this designer backed out unexpectedly. Although this left us with a even tighter deadline, it proved a blessing in disguise for the book. Bas suggested asking Cyril Koopmeiners, graphic designer at Scratch Books, who had done a remarkable job with the extensive archival dossiers of Windig & De Jong's 'Heinz' collection. Coincidentally, Cyril had been present during Bas' initial book pitch with Hansje Joustra at the Scratch offices, back in 2016. Cyril cancelled his holiday plans in order to meet the short deadline and laid out the book at full speed, surpassing our wildest expectations. A major advantage was Cyril brought his own historical knowledge of Lambiek and the associated artists, as well as his graphic inventiveness, to the project. Using digital editing, he created wonderful collages from photos of the drawings on the studio wall of our cartoonist loft and the tributes drawn on Kees' coffin. The original mockup of Peter Pontiac's overview drawing of the Kerkstraat 78 store was a stylish and appropriate cover illustration, and also inspired the book's landscape format. Cyril, Bas and Boris managed to complete the book within the printer's deadline, sending off the electronic files on 26 October.

9 November 2018: the books have arrived!

Lambiek's 50th anniversary party
On Friday 9 November 2018, the 750 copies of the 88-page book '50 Jaar Lambiek' arrived in the nick of time, less than 24 hours from the start of the big party. It gave the Lambiek crew just enough time to ink up and hand-stamp the image of the original Joost Swarte-designed Lambiek rubber stamp on the blank spot left on page 16 of the book. Since that day, the '50 Jaar Lambiek' book is available for purchase exclusively at our Koningsstraat 27 store, or by ordering through our webshop. Between the actual anniversary on Thursday, 8 November and the party on the 10th, Lambiek's jubilee was covered by the TV news program 'Hart van Nederland' and the Dutch newspapers De Telegraaf and Het Parool. Accompanying journalist Peter van Brummelen's appreciative article about our store, Eryc Why's graphic contribution to our book was chosen to grace the cover of Het Parool's PS supplement on 8 November 2018.

Bas Schuddeboom and Boris Kousemaker presenting the Lambiek anniversary book in De Waag on 10 November 2018. (Photo: Marco Buddingh).

On Saturday evening, 10 November, the party kicked off in the historic Nieuwmarkt building De Waag, a café/restaurant which had formerly been a city gate and a weigh house. For the occasion, the entrance was temporarily decorated with a spare copy of the Lambiek ZIP sign. During his opening speech, Boris Kousemaker thanked everyone helping Lambiek to survive for fifty years, most of all our loyal customers. He also ceremoniously unveiled the first copy of the '50 Years Lambiek' book. Unfortunately, he couldn't officially present it to guest of honor Klaas Knol, who was home with the flu. Instead, he handed it to Bas Schuddeboom, who had dedicated most of his spare time in 2018 to Lambiek's anniversary. Comics Laureate and Lambiek alumnus Margreet de Heer then took the stand, honoring Kees Kousemaker and thanking Boris for keeping the Lambiek store alive.

Surprise photograph taken for Erik Kriek in De Waag, with everybody in the picture wearing a 'Gutsman' T-shirt (Photo: Marco Buddingh).

Many of Lambiek's regular visitors, former and current employees were there. A notable absentee was cartoonist Erik Kriek, who was recovering from a recent hospitalization. To salute him, a picture of all partygoers wearing T-shirts adorned with his signature character Gutsman was taken from De Waag's balcony. Many familiar faces were present that night, among them cartoonists Aart Clerkx, Maia Matches, Remco Polman, Marcel Ruijters, Lae Schäfer, Joost Swarte, Theo van den Boogaard, Peter van Dongen, Guido van Driel, Eric Schreurs and the Lamelos team, (former) Lambiek workers Abel Schoenmaker, Tijn Snoodijk, Kjell Knudde and Bas van der Zee, distributor Ron Poland, publisher Hansje Joustra, book designer Cyril Koopmeiners and journalists Natasja van Loon and Joost Pollmann, to name but a few.

"Kaiser Küttlipp II" (AKA Martyn F. Overweel) and Boris Kousemaker share a laugh at the Lambiek 50th anniversary party.

As the festivities in De Waag continued, a simultaneous party took place at Lambiek under the watchful eye of store employee Jurrien de Vries. As the crowd from De Waag gradually moved to Lambiek, the party there transformed into an after-party, continuing until the wee hours of the morning. In the back of the store, DJ Martyn F. Overweel played some rockin' beats. Dressed up in his Kaiser Küttlipp II persona, he was the spitting image of German emperor Wilhelm II. We have no idea why this Kaiser was in such a good mood, because 11 November, the next day, was exactly 100 years after the real Kaiser lost the First World War!

We are amazed and grateful that our Lambiek store has managed to last though five locations over five decades (and counting). As Oliver MacNamee stated in an article about Lambiek's 50th anniversary on his website "50 years? That's a huge milestone for any business these days, let alone a little comic book store opened up in the Summer of Love [sic]." When we started in 1968, comic book stores only existed in the United States. Lambiek managed to outlast many of these early stores. In this half century, we defied scepticism, disparagement and underestimation. We survived floods, thefts, vandalism, Internet rivalry, high rents, changes in address and the death of our founder. All of this would not have been possible without our loyal staff and dedicated customers! Lambiek wishes to thank all its clientele, employees, exhibiting and book signing artists, supporters, fans, Facebook followers and contributing writers and artists for five decades worth of fun, excitement and memories! Onward and upward to the centennial!

Kjell Knudde
Bas Schuddeboom
Dan Schiff

Overhead view of the Koningsstraat 27 store by Lae Schäfer (2016).