Tuesday, December 10, 2013

They Went Pogo

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

Because the weather Pogo's I showed yesterday were already reprinted in one of Bill Crouch's books, I will share something for the Pogo fans today that no one will have seen outside of Holland. It is a rare early strip by Dutch artist Dick Matena. Although he is now mostly know for his realistic work, he started his career at the Dutch Toonder Studio's, where he drew the newspaper strip Panda for several years in the sixties. He branched out with a strip of his own for a woman's magazine, called Polletje Pluim. A funny strip about a group of animals living in a forest, which shows a definite Walt Kelly influence. Like many of his contemporaries he was an admirer of Pogo. I think he even translated a couple of stips for the Dutch fanzine Stripschrift later on. Anyway, Martin Toonder himself had been influenced by kelly as well, but more in a sideways sort of way. Toonder had started his most famous creation Tom Poes before Kelly got going, but at some point he picked up some of Kelly's way of doing Disney. Or he started working with collaborators who did.

Anyway, Polletje Pluim is a long forgotten strip that has never been properly collected. Back when the Okefenokee Star was still being published I toyed with the idea of doing a piece on all European Pogo influenced strips and artists and hommages. Because Polletje Pluim is only the tip of the iceberg. I scanned these from my wn collection, which is not the complete story (and at least missing page 10). But I guess y'all won't be readin' it anyways.


laurent cilluffo said...
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Rich Clabaugh said...

WOW!! I love them! Thanks for posting these GER! I'm always interested in seeing Euro cartoonists since I don't know much about them. MORE PLEASE!

Diego Cordoba said...

Dick Matena also drew, among others, Grote Pyr, much in the style of Asterix. In fact, I think Matena should've been the artist picked to succeed Uderzo on Asterix.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I recently wrote the history of the dutch magazine Pep, which will be published next year (in Dutch bt with lots of illustrations). Bfore Grot Pyr (and after Panda) Dick drew two series for Pep. The Argonauts was ven more blatently Asterix-like. The other, Ridder Roodhart, was more 'magical'. Dick stopped doing those (and Grote Pyr after that) because he wanted to find a style more of his own. He finlly found that when he did the more realistic science fiction strip Virl. After that he did short stories for the Spanish Toutain Agency who sold his stuff all over the world. A decade or so ago he made another switch and started doing adaptations of Dutch literature - with the use of the complete text, both dialogue and description. Impressive books that made him quite well known in Holland.

Diego Cordoba said...

Didn't he also illustrate Storm for a while?

And correct me here, Ger, but didn't Hans Kresse pick him as his succesor for Eric de Noorman, perhaps the best known Dutch strip ever? Of course, no one can fill Kresse's shoes...

I'd love knowing if the book you mention is available anywhere, even though I don't speak any Dutch (that hasn't stopped me from getting anything by Kresse though).

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Yes, Dick and Kresse had a special bond. I don't think he would have chosen him as his successor, because there was no venue for that. Dick did do a special book about Kresse a couple of years ago, with a 'painted' Eric cover in the Kresse style. I will cover Kresse's huge contribution to Pep in my book, including many of the covers, strips and illustrations he did.

Diego Cordoba said...

But Matena did help Kresse restoring some panels of an Eric adventure where they added word balloons (I'm talking of the color Bor Khan book that appeared as an album). Many panels were enlarged from the originals and extra art was added, not to mention a couple that Kresse had to draw for continuity resons.

I think one of the drawbacks of Kresse's Eric the Norseman, was the lack of word balloons, making it hard to sell elsewhere, though in the UK they added word balloons, and kept the accompanying text underneath the drawn panels or strips as well.

Any way, is the book on Pep you keep mentioning out yet or not (lol)?

striptekenaars said...

Hoi Ger,

(in Dutch)

Geweldig mooi he. Hier nog zo'n verzamelaar. Polletje Pluim heeft vorig jaar nog in Stripnieuws gestaan. Er schijnen mensen te bestaan die alle afleveringen hebben.

hartelijke groetjes,