Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fiep Fest...!

In addition to Dick Bruna, Holland can boast the talents of Fiep Westendorp, the talented illustrator best known for her silhouetted heroes Jip and Janneke.

Fiep created the illustrations for many other funny characters, most of whom were born during her decades (1948-68) as an illustrator for the weekly women’s page for Het Parool, a national newspaper.

Outside of Charles Schulz, Fiep is my single biggest influence, so I was overjoyed to see that the Pers Museum (Press Museum) in Amsterdam had an exhibition of original drawings from her newspaper days and that there was a book accompanying the show.

Each week Fiep would knock out at least 6 drawings for articles every week, and it was a joy to see her work develop such strong lines and silhouettes (even when the characters weren’t silhouetted) and her inventive use of white-out.

There was also a video of her discussing her work. She seems to have been the sweet lady that Dick Bruna described to me.

After a lekker cup of tea in a café, my wife and I headed over to the celebrated comix shop, Lambiek.

A jumble of books, art, and newspaper clippings, the store is a treasure trove of cool stuff. It’s perhaps the premier non-superhero comix shop in the world and its owner is an eccentric fan of doodles the world over. We chatted about Fiep, Patrick McDonnell, and George Herriman, among other things.

Check out his business card, a 12 page mini comic by Chris Ware!

Another fun day.