Comics History

Dutch Comics 1980-1990

In the 1980s, a few new comic strips emerged that each reflected on Dutch society in their own way. Some were mild depictions of Dutch family life, others were harsh parodies, some even very controversial commentaries.

In 1970, the family comic 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' was launched in women's magazine Libelle. Comic artist Jan Kruis had created a family, consisting of father Jan, mother Jans and daughters Karlijn and Catootje, that resembled not only his own family but most Dutch families. It became very popular and inspired more comics about mainstream, unbroken families, describing light-hearted everyday events and sometimes mildly commenting on social and cultural developments.

Jan, Jans en de Kinderen, by Jan Kruis
Jan, Jans en de Kinderen (Jan, Jans & the Children), by Jan Kruis

Fred Julsing started a comic about a toddler, 'Ukkie', in women's magazine Margriet. The strip 'Noortje', by Patty Klein and Jan Steeman in girl's magazine Tina featured a normal pre-pubescent girl.

Gerrit de Jager created the parody 'Familie Doorzon' in the early 1980s. Nothing in this family is normal or sacred: over the years that this series has been running in magazine Nieuwe Revu, the characters have experienced everything from the birth of 12-year old Ronnie's daughters (with the neighbor) to the repeated demolition of their house due to the attempts at renovation by the Biereco Brothers.

Doorzon, by Gerrit de JagerThe Doorzon family:
From left to right: mother Mieke, family-therapist Emiel,
father John, daughter Doortje, son Ton, son Ron and the dog.

These comics were definitely influenced by the international comics scene, where more mature comics had emerged. Equally reactionary and provocative is the work of Hein de Kort. He produced many comics, such as 'Pardon Lul', 'Eikels', 'Dirk & Desirée Tweekeerbellen', which continue to amuse a crowd of fans with their rude and often absurd humor.

Garage Krikkemans, by Hein de Kort

Another "enfant terrible" of Dutch comics is Eric Schreurs. His comics really stand out for vulgarity and witticism. They also appear in magazine De Nieuwe Revu, together with those of his colleagues Gerrit de Jager and Hein de Kort.

by Eric Schreurs

Sjef van Oekel, by Theo van den BoogaardTheo van den Boogaard created the comic 'Sjef van Oekel', inspired by the TV character which appeared in the popular Barend Servet Show.

Theo van den Boogaard earned more than national fame with his comic 'Sjef van Oekel'. It was published in France as 'Léon le Terreur'.

De Papalagi, by Joost Swarte 1974Another Dutch comic artist who has become very well known outside of Holland, is Joost Swarte. He created the comic 'Katoen en Pinbal' in magazine Jippo in the 1970s, as well as 'De Papalagi' in 1974. But he became especially famous for his work in architecture and as a furniture designer. An all-round artist, Joost Swarte has also applied himself to making art in stained glass.