Ferocious logo

On 06-05-2023 we had our first Draw Club Rotterdam exposition at Nivon Rotterdam. The first idea for a collaborate exposition started at Endless Sunday when Ben Neuteboom brought it up, wouldn't it be nice if...

A lot of months passed, Endless Sunday had to close, we were looking for a new location and we found a spot at Nivon for our Draw Club sessions in Rotterdam. Vik wondered if we could get some workspace in the building and after asking Ben Lindeman of Nivon we got it. Somewhere in between our first Nivon sessions and getting workspace we attended an exposition at Nivon held by Karmijn. That's where Ben Lindeman offered us to hold an exposition of our own.

Doubts and ideas went back and forth. Certainly Ben Neuteboom's suggestion was one of the first things that came to mind. And perhaps we made it too difficult for ourselves. Do we need a theme? What should that theme be? If it's a theme, some of our members should have time to actually make the art. At some point there was a moment of let's see who's interested and let just go for it. Surprisingly a lot were interested, so when we quickly found six we thought it would be wise to put a cap on it. We had: Denver, Lieneke, Nadija, Nigel, Saskia and Ben Neuteboom.

Around this time I asked Saskia to help with organising the exposition in general and she did a great job from start to end. And everybody chipped in. Nadija made a cool flyer with input from the team. Denver and Vik found picture frames at Nivon and sorted them on size. Through Ben Lindeman we got a mention on the Nivon website and an article in de Rotterdamse Toorts.

We were on a tight schedule. The best moment to prepare the bar and exposition space was on the day of the opening. So we started early in the afternoon. The biggest challenge was to figure out the framing system installed by Nivon. But Ben Lindeman and the technical person were there to help out. Another challenge was the balancing of some of the frames. When most of the pictures were up a small group went to do some shopping for snacks. When all the pictures were up it was time for dinner. A group of us went to Burger & Frites for a good meal. Eating dinner while sitting on swings was also a nice experience.

We went back for the last preparations. There were two tables where some of the group had stickers and prints for sale. The snacks needed bowls. Around this time our Nivon volunteer arrived to prepare the bar.

Now we were ready for the exciting part, will people show up? They did. A nice mix of friends, partners, relatives, co-workers people from Nivon, Eric from the Rotterdamse Toorts, Willem Hest from Karmijn and more. Of course special mentions for Vincent, a long time member of the Draw Club. Carmen & Arthur, another long time member of the draw club and her partner. And Emma, Saskia's sister and member of Draw Club Capelle aan den IJssel.

I look back on a long day with a very fun evening. I think the pictures and video give a nice impression of this fine day. Thanks for reading!

I was also here in 2019. I planned to write about it, but it was at time that made me put it off until it was time for a different post. Rain in the morning and when it was time to go home, but we did have sunshine in the afternoon. Despite the rain it was a fun event. Pieter Spoelstra, my co-worker at the time had mentioned the Kamper Stripspektakel a few times, but it was Renée Rienties who was a convincing unofficial ambassador.

Moving right along to the 2022 edition. I'm not sure what triggered my brain, but it dawned on me that David den Ouden probably was on the same train. After a short WhatsApp converation I moved to his spot and we travelled to Kampen together.

Arrived in Kampen we joined the swarm of artists on their way to the stands. At the stand assigned to me I met Mike de Bruin and Jordi Zelle. Things were looking rather cramped, four artists sharing a stand. Merel Moonen would join us later. But the organisation had a quick solution, because of cancelations (not that kind!) Mike could move to the stand on our right.

The stand on our left was run by Roxanne Lucker and Esther van de Bund. We would discover later that we were connected. Renée Rienties came along and we had a nice cnversation about me entering the comic contest of the event and her successful crowdfunding projects (Nina and Figments of Passion). Yes, I took second place at the contest! This revealed the connection to Esther, she came in third.

After the conversation and revelation it was nearly time voor the official opening of the event at in the Stadskazerne. Part of the opening was the award ceremony of the Comic Contest. Paul Reichenbach was the host and among the people present was Paul Geerts! Renée was busy maing pictures. De prices were given by the mayor of Kampen, Sander de Rouwe. A big comic fan.

The music was provided by the Mpingo Clarinet Choir. Vick Henriquez and Zie Groenen gave a presentation of their comic workshop present at the event. Another speaker was Kees-Jan van der Klooster of the Wheel Chair Skills Team. They had a Wheelchair Challenge where people could experience being in a wheelchair and discover that they can still extend their limits by learning skills. Hij also presented the comic Sam en Sarah. Een story about two rolling kids that shows the problems Sam and Sarah roll into and how they deal with them.

Back to the awards ceremony. The audience award went to Alex ten Berge. Third place, turned out to be a shared third place. Next to Esther to the work of Rins de Vries was also rewarded. The second place was for yours truly. Coming in first place was Leonore Lichtveld. And after that the connection with Roxanne became clear. She had won a conselation price. And Renée turned out to be a director as well. She, ehm, made sure Roxanne came into focus.

After the opening I was approached by the Pieter Spoelstra's sister. Pieter couldn't make it to the event. She happens to work at the location and when she heard my name she didn't have to look for my stand. She was very friendly, but we had to keep it short as I was expected for a photo shoot. This was a different experience for a hand model such as I. We had fun.

I'm not sure anymore who came before, during and after lunch at my stand. So let's start by mentioning the nice lunch provided by the organisation.

Leonore came by. During the photo shoot Esther and I had read her winning comic, so it was nice that I could let her read mine. She will have her own stand at The Big Draw!. And you can read her comic here to!

Kees-Jan van der Klooster came to congratulate me and he also read my comic. He noticed a sentence that was typically for Rotterdam. Wacht maar hier dan bedenk ik iets. Now I'm wondering if I use more sentences that are typical for Rotterdam.

Merel Moonen joined our stand. I remembered that we had an email exchange a few years ago. She was interested in being a DM (dungeon master) during the DnD event 'Descend into Dungeons and Dragons' at CAPSLOC. Unfortunately the location turned out to be too far away. She remembered my name from social media. Merel was selling her graphic novel. I was allowed to flip through it. It has a nice atmosphere and invites to read. It's one to keep in mind when I'm at an event as a visitor. No comic event is complete without Ramon Schenk. The last time he surprised me, but this time he almost missed me.

Herman Savenije of the Brabants Stripspektakel came by. Always nice to talk to him, especially since it had been awhile. Less long ago was seeing Irene Berbee. This time she was present as a visitor. Irene is now one of the Jan, Jans en de kinderen artists. I've read a lot of the comics written and drawn by Jan Kruis. The ones that had pets in the main role were my favourite. I must confess I haven't read the comic in years, but now that Irene is drawing it I will have to keep an eye on the new albums.

I vistied the stand of Marissa Delbressine. I couldn't pass up on the limited edition print of The Shadow Prophet. Talking about my competition comic our conversation led to children with a rich imaginationand how a couch can become a castle or something else. I certainly was one and she had one at home.

Paul Reichenbach came to see how the day went and to explain the feedback on the competition comic. In 2019 he also stopped by as it was my first time attending the event. What about next year? For a stand it's almost a certainty, for the competition it will depend what I'm doing at the time. I made two drawings for two of the volunteers. For one I could take the time, but I had to be fast on the other.

In terms of sales I'm grateful to Coen Vosveld van KAF and Esther for buying Imaginary Muse #1. I also got more confirmation that the Metal Pedal knight appeals to children. I also thank Willem the super salesman, who gave me the oppurtunity to walk around a bit.

I met Karin when it was time to pack things up and say goodbye. She had a good day. Luckily David also hadn't left yet when I walked by. He too had a good day.

My day was made. Not just because of the contest. The weather was good. I had met some familiar faces and made some new contacts. Paul and the rest of the organisation had organised another great event. Thanks to Renée for the nice photo's. See you next year!

On my way to the festival I ran into Denver Asence and his mother in the subway. He was on his way to IFCC in Croatia. I could also congratulate him on finishing his education. Keep an eye on this talent.

I had been to the Bluegrass Festival before as a visitor. Both times everything was on Pijnackerplein, but now there was an extra space reserved for jam sessions in the Schommelstraat. Jam sessions being for music and drawing, but their were facilities and other activities as well. So naturally this is where the comic artist had there spot. It was a relaxed area, even when there was a bit of a crowd.

Having a new area meant there wasn't much awareness. This led to a slow Saturday, although it picked up later and people found a spot to rest and relax. Sunday also started slow, but some things were done to get more attention, like Ron Schuijt and a lady making a big cardboard arrow/sign.

I got my table spot on Saturday thanks to Ron. The other artist was good old Dinesh van den Berg of Drakan fame. We started with preparing the Art Jam Area. There were basically two activities. One was to draw tattoos on paper torso's, which would be hung on the staircase. The other was drawing on a big sheet of paper, so in the end we would have a big piece of collaborate art. Both cool ideas from Ron.

Next to us were TRAC(Maurice Heuts, Jan Rodenrijs and Ulrik). All three known to me of course, especially m and u who I worked with on the first issue of Imaginary Muse. Speciale guest was another Imaginary Muse artist, named Niels Verhofstad. Niels being a good draftsman is an understatement. Check out his awesome work! After a few hours we got a few familiar visitors. Dinesh had members of his family visit and I got a visit from my Kung Fu training partner at Fight2Fight, Albert and his wife Ophilia.

On Sunday we had different lineups. Ron's section had himself, Maikel Verkoelen and Theresa Hartgers. Maikel I met this year at Brabants Stripspektakel and Theresa earlier this month for Rotown for Comics, Art and Beer. Nice folks. Officially I was part of Maurice's table on Sunday. Again with Jan, Ulrik and Maurice himself, but since one of Ron's guests got ill, I moved seats from time to time. The other special guest of TRAC was Adri van Kooten. I think I mentioned his comic project Meermin before. He's working on the final pages now and I can't wait to see the end result.

Sales wise we sold a fair number of I'm Muse over the weekend and I got to draw a cool commission. Cura, a Roman goddess of which there aren't many depictions, hence the request for a commission. It was a pleasant one as I just got a few pointers and the rest was up to me. She also came to look from time to time, which was good. This way I knew I was on the right track and it was safe to start after inking.

All in all, a great weekend at the festival, which can hopefully be repeated next year. Will I see you there? ;-)

On behalf of Graphic Novel Weekend (GNW) me and David den Ouden were at the Stripdagen in Haarlem. Along with the Graphic Novels: Adem Eve, H-lem and U-trek we also sold our own work. The GNW display looks great, but it was quite a hassle to get it to the location. Be sure to ask David about his adventures. The biggest challenge on Saturday was the wind, we had to tape down the cloths and labels and many items had to be displayed flat on their back or standing with some form of added support. On Sunday we had far less wind, but we had a new challenge in the form of rain.

Among our neighboors were Irene Berbee and her studio partner Rochelle. Irene has nice comics on her resume and a lot of visitors asked her about the second part of Ulfbehrt. Irene made time to have a short conversation with all of them. My own attention is pretty scathered at these events, so at some point I need to visit Mina and Anastasia among others at a different event for a proper talk. At the station I already encountered Ron Schuijt and I visited his stand later. Saturday was a good day for him.

The Imaginary Muses got plenty of attention. I might have missed a sale when I was away for a moment. Luckily David could help the customer. I'm still curious about the customer, because the Muses have a diverse audience. A mother, an older comic fan and a younger customer looking for something alternative. There also were two German ladies calling it the true comics. Unfortunately they didn't buy an issue, but I'll take the compliment.

There was also a lot of interest for Graphic Novel Weekend. Interest in the publications and the event itself. Many have entered the mailing list to stay up to date. I guess this is a good moment for a shoutout to Arnoud van den Heuvel. He'll probably point out his stake in dropping off and picking up the books. But I've seen other artists that have a publisher and still have to walk around with boxes, so much appreciation for Arnoud. While still on the subject of GNW, Leander de Goede came to visit and I met Anja van Zalinge, one of the writers of H-lem and maybe a writer for the next one.

Dropped by the stand of KAAS. Karin and Sabrina have contributed to the upcoming anthology comic, Figments of Passion. This one will be financed through Kickstarter. Karin created a cute fantasy story and Sabrina is going for something deep.

Renee Rienties was also at the KAAS stand. Would KAARS be a the new name if it becomes a regular thing? She was pro-active and visited all the other stands for the promotion of Figments of Passion. We took a moment to talk about Nina, has everyone taken the time to watch the interesting live panel hosted by the Stripvlogger gezien?

Speaking of the Stripvlogger, Marcel was present on Saturday and already had posted his report on Monday. Segments for: Figments of Passion (01:32) and Graphic Novel Weekend (03:32).

Not all comic projects need a Kickstarter. The Chef - mission complete is a nice zine by Valentijn Hamel. Get one now!

Not only comics are present on the Stripdagen, but also other creative endendeavours. The Go Baaa! sheep of David was very popular among the young and old.

David also has another sheep: Youssouf. Ik was making a drawing of Youssouf when I got suprised by Ramon Schenk who came by for a visit. Ramon knows a bit more about GNW now. Draw Club member Frank Stoks also came by to see how things are going.

Sterre Richards came by for visit along with Dido Drachman. I had a sticker exchange with Sterre and she showed a sample print for a new story. A new story you can still follow at the moment, so what are you waiting for? I want to buy it already. I haven't seen a lot of works from Dido, but what I did see was beautiful. I'll come back to that shortly.

A surprise visit came from Renincy and Els of the Howling Riot For once not behind a crowded stand, but just relaxing visitors. During the lockdown periods and inbetween The Howling Riot (Jay, Renincy and Els) was very active on Twitch and that certainly provided me with much needed relieve. So, a well deserved period of relaxation after all the work on Wortels in de Molukken. I think it's best to let Els tell you about the project and that's easy, just listen back to this radio broadcast.

Back to Dido Drachman. Dido illustrated two poems that are also part of Wortels in de Molukken. I don't if there is video footage, but at the book presentation Aca Siwabessy Stoffels and Dido talked about their collaboration and I won't do it justice with a few sentences. It's probably best to ask them both about their experiences again. A possible follow up was mentioned and I think it can result in something special.

Another special moment was a boy that was fascinated with the Metal Pedal comics. David was working on a custom verjaardagskaart that the boy's mother had bought, so I could show him all three comics/posters in the mean time. Twice he came back. The second time he came back holding his mother's hand, pulling her to the stand. There was some confusion about the comics. The boy thought it was a long continuing story. I explained that each comic/poster is a stand alone adventure. And yes, these are for sale. I thought he enjoyed the Food Fightah! comic the most because of the fight with Plum, the bear. But he chose Bandits and Pearls. You can't beat a good chase scene I guess.

It was very nice to be back at a comic event after such a long time. Many thanks to the organisation of Graphic Novel Weekend and on to the next one! ;-)

A classic event (over 30 editions should qualify in my opinion) in a new location. The organisers said Indoor Sportcentrum Eindhoven was going to have plenty of space and for me it met the set expectations. Tosca and I shared a table with Hans Hansha Harlemans. Hans specialises in drawing on coasters and if you buy something from him, a big part of the money will go to the Duchenne Parent Project. A worthy cause.

Before the opening I visited Irene Berbee who had a spot at the Syndikaat stand. Around this time I got to meet and shake hands with Maikel Verkoelen and Roderick Leeuwenhart. Also shook hands with Thessa Blijleven who was at Oost Nederlandse Stripboekenbeurs. Speaking of Deventer, during the course of the event I got to say hi to Harry Timmerman a few times. Also got to see some of the nice volunteers. One of which had their stand across ours. Have a look in their shop and see if you can find something nice.

You can never predict how an event will go , A know phenomena is the busy wave. Fortunately we had such a busy wave and we could make the most of it. During this time my cousin Ramon came to visit. In the end he left the event with some nice purchases. After this wave Johan de Neef stopped by to talk a bit. This event it was all about their Diabolique for Windmill Comics, but they have a lot more things planned. Also met some of the nice volunteers. Two of them had a table across ours. Have a look in their shop.

Tosca got to experience one of the mainstays of the event: she participated in the comic quiz hosted by Willy Vanderstrip. I was able to follow the proceedings of the quiz from our table. She did well, got second place, giving her the Silver Comic Goodie Bag (I just made up that name). Highlight of the event must be the dance battle between Tosca and Thea Stilton. In case you missed it, here it is in all it's glory: Dance Battle Thea Stilton vs Tosca Hamel Brabants Stripspektakel 2019. And that's a wrap for Saterday.

Sunday was a day of surprises. The first came from Hans Hansha, who drew my portrait on a coaster. The Artist Area was missing a few artists that were there on Saturday, but we had some reinforcement with the Dutch Lucky Luke. In the morning we got visits from Irene Berbee, Roderick Leeuwenhart and Willem van den Oever. I didn't have to explain Metal Pedal to Willem. He understood it all by himself. Which was pleasant to see. Willem has a nice art style, a good match for the children books he illustrates. Tosca had an interview with the Stripvlogger, so keep an eye out for his video about the event. Shortly after that we drew some art for a few young ladies. And there was a short visit from Ramon and Rik from Windmill comics.

The second surprise was Renée Rienties who visited our table. She and her mother came to the event as visitors. A strange sight to see her on the other side of the table, but a pleasant one. She also understood the Metal Pedal comic instantly. Perhaps my audience is... other artists?

Time passed by quickly. Going back I could ride along with Tosca and Hanne Dewachteralso tagged along until the trainstation. Happy travelling and a nice way to close a nice weekend. I haven't had time to take a good look at Hanne's work, but it looked cool. I'll have to visit her website again for sure..