Monday, November 10, 2008

You're In The Picture Now

Monday Cartoon Day

In the late seventies and early eighties I was working for the slick Dutch fanzine Striprofiel (for which I had the honor to interview Jeff Jones, Will Eisner, Denis Kitchen, Jean Giread, Mike Mignola and John Byrne, among others). One of our contributors was Geraard Leever, a young artists, who at that point was still an amateur. He showed us the illustrated diary he had kep while he was in (Compulsory) Service in the army. I suggested he turn them into a 'reportage' like the ones I had seen from Help. For the text he turned to one of his army buddies, who had gone on to become a columnist in a nationally syndicated newspaper. It turned out pretty good.

After that, we tried to send them on a couple more assignments, but Gerard never felt at ease with the journalistic aspect of it. He would rather draw about his own experiences. So he did. He turned Gleever's Dagboek (Gleevers Diary, as we had started calling it) into a personal feature, in which he reported on his life, his youth, his health, his career and his tastes. He has kept it up till this day until he finally had enough to compile them into one big book. For a long time he was the only artist doing something like that in Holland (and probably in the world) and he was jujstly proud of that. You can see more of the book (in Dutch) if you use the link I have added. Since then he has gone on to become a respected comic book artist here in Holland. His biggest claim to fame is Oktoknopie, a kids gag strip about a boy and his talking toy (which he came up with around the same time as Calvin and Hobbes started to appear, but it really was a case of similar minds...) On the site, you'll also find one book that's in English, an illustrated kids book for a series of easy reading books about a town ful of classic monsters.

So here is some more of his cartoon journalism work. First a page of sketches from his notebook.

Secondly, one of the twopagers he produced (most of these were four pages) about one of his favorite movies.. It's A Wonderful Life. Enjoy.


Vince M. said...

Thanks especially for this one, Ger.
Mr. Leever is certainly a master cartoonist. So glad the story didn't end with him leaving comics behind, but instead he began an illustrated journal. I'd also like to see a few examples of his comic strip, if possible.

I love his style. Very innovative.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Gerard's styl, is similar to Jack Cole's in his early years, based on cartoon construction. You can see more of his work on his website.