The stop motion series ‘Pat a Mat’ from the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) created by Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek from 1976 to 2015 has a wildly popular Dutch version called ‘Buurman en Buurman’ (‘Neighbour and Neighbour’), two handymen getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. The fun part is they never get mad at each other, delighting children and parents alike, so much so that some people probably think it’s Dutch of origin.
Yesterday on the Dutch telelvision show ‘Jinek’ named after host Eva Jinek who happens to have a Czech background, theatre show creator Jelle Kuiper announced he had been given the green light to write 10 more episodes of the show in collaboration with the Czech makers for international distribution sometime in 2017. Kuiper was thrilled to be asked to do this, again highlighting the popularity of the Dutch version since it first appeared on television in 1986.
During Jinek, Kuiper explained that the Germans tried to launch the show three times and failed, something that surprised the guests and the host considering how much Czech culture the German have embraced. Kuiper said that “the Germans didn’t like things going wrong”, and apparently the Dutch love that part a lot.
Waterschap Zuiderzeeland has animated a tweeting turd, Drolly_21, to create interest for the water board elections in the Netherlands next week.
We follow Drolly on its way from the toilet bowl to the fertilizer plant. Drolly gets stuck in the sewer behind a balloon animal, but a crew of the city government and the water board quickly take care of that problem. Even when turned into phosphate, Drolly keeps tweeting the most inane messages: “I’ve become feritilizer!”
Water boards form a parallel local government that controls water ways, water barriers, water quality and sewage treatment, amongst others. The water board elections are held simultaneous with the provincial elections.
French freelance art director and illustrator David Troquier working in Amsterdam draws cartoons on small notepads which he then props up in amusing places in Amsterdam to build stories, something he calls “cartoon bombing”. He also recently started a cartoon blog called RandomDam, with bits and bobs about Amsterdam. His cartoons are funny and have a refreshing take on simple things.
Troquier came to Amsterdam after having worked in Paris for eight years. He wanted a change of scenery and chose for Amsterdam because of its creative reputation. When asked whether his expectations were met he says: “Yes, definitely, Amsterdam is a city alive, with really cool and inspiring people.”
Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte provided drawings for “Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice,” by Catherine Lewis, a creative writing professor, publish in August 2013 and aimed at young readers. Lewis set out to explain literary elements through variations on the classic nursery rhyme, “Three blind mice ran after the farmer’s wife. She cut off their tails with a carving knife.” Yes, good nursery rhymes have always been pretty rough.
What’s the farmer’s wife doing with heals on? Here’s what Swarte had to say:
“How do I make her a farmer’s wife? Well, I drew a farm, so the man holding a pitchfork is a farmer and the woman his wife. I gave her farmer’s overalls, but I had to put her in high heels to make her a lady—otherwise you’d have seen a long-haired guy.”
May 1 was the day Robert Schuit started a new cartoon blog at—guess where?—cartoon.blog.nl. Schuit, who draws cartoons himself under the name Bandirah, managed to convince a jolly band of artists to join him, among which ‘big’ names such as Argibald, Michiel van de Pol and Humor de Nar (illustration).
24 Oranges started more than 2 years ago with an entry about the new cartoon blog clogwork.net, which is still alive and populated by the slightly older cartoonist.
(Illustration: cartoon.blog.nl, by Humor de Nar. Caption: “To think there are people who spend their Friday nights all alone.” Link: Sargasso.)
Last Wednesday famous cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants got a tulip named after him in the Keukenhof flower garden. Under the watchful of eye of many a young fan and the great big yellow sponge himself, the flower got baptized with perfectly good champagne by Nickelodeon presenter Patrick Martens.
It took grower Jan Ligthart from Breezand 18 years to develop the tulip, writes De Telegraaf (Dutch). Presumably that time was not spent exclusively on this new tulip, as many companies have already paid the man to do the same. Ligthart told the paper it would take four years for the bulbs to arrive in Dutch stores: “The first bulbs are for the US, because they pay better abroad. It’s as simple as that.”
Filed under: Art,Comics by Branko Collin @ 8:00 am
Two Dutch artists who draw political cartoons using mainly words and symbols to make their point have been making a name for themselves recently: Trik and Gorilla. The former won the prestigious Inktspotprijs 2007, the award for the best political cartoon, with a drawing commenting on the stalemate the Belgian government formation suffered last year. Trik used the famous last panel of the hugely popular Flemish Suske and Wiske comic strip, a powerful symbol for Belgium among Dutch readers, in which Wiske breaks the fourth wall by winking at the reader over the words The End. In Trik’s version, Wiske was dead. The End?
Gorilla is a group of designers making cartoons for the front-page of daily De Volkskrant. Readers can can vote for their favourite cartoons and buy T-shirts of the cartoons they like at the newspaper’s website. Caption for this cartoon: “Dutch best prepared for climate change.”
The wordiness of the cartoons of both artists, and the use of puns makes the cartoons feel rather like the mysterious Loesje posters that started turning up on walls all over the country during the 1980s, and that contained such witty observations as “there’s always a little bit of month left at the end of my budget.”
Paul Faassen is a cartoonist who juxtaposes techniques to make a point. I came across his work yesterday when I was reading an article in the online Volkskrant when something in the accompagnying cartoon (no longer available) drew my eye. It took a second but then I realized what it was: the faces of the two men men in the image were drawn fairly realisticly, but the rest of their bodies was sort of sketched in. The drawing reminded me most of connect-the-dot type drawings, where some details are already filled in. But instead of dots there had been empty space, which the child-like artist had filled in.
The rest of his cartoons are like that too. The artist has used the connect the dots idea before, though in reverse: a fully naked man is looking down at his erect … well, what is? Connect the dots and find out (NSFW?). From a photo taken at a beach of a father carrying his son, the father has been erased; the subtitle suggests that the father was a Jew. (“Daddy, am I also one of the chosen ones?” the son asks.) And then he takes it even a step further, and uses an immediately recognisable stereotype of the emancipation of graphic design: a man at cocktail party has had facial surgery, but things didn’t come out quite right; the face is all stretched out. Faassen obviously achieved the effect by using the stretch tool in Photoshop. Says the man in the cartoon: “Did it myself! On the computer!”
Clogwork.net features cartoons, comics and illustrations from a collective of known and lesser known Dutch and Belgian artists. Whereas comics and cartoons are associated with kids in many parts of the world, Europeans tend to take their doodles very seriously and rightly so.
(Caption: Very fertile year for wild boars)
(The guy bending over is the world-famous French cartoon character Obelix.)
To look up these artists and many more, the famous Dutch comic book store Lambiek has a whole collection of artists in their Comiclopedia as well as a nice history of Dutch comics. They sell a whole bunch of things as well.
There’s always the Comic strip fair on 24-25 February in Rijswijk, where you can meet the makers of Fokke & Sukke and ask them about their recent English books.