Piet Zeeman's 'Sjors & Sjimmie' scripts can be recognized by the initials "PZ" on the final page (Art: Hein Haakman)

Piet Zeeman was a Dutch comics editor, writer and translator. He has worked for the Dutch Disney magazines, Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad and Big Balloon's 'Looney Tunes' publications, and provided comics in commission through Striptekenaar.info.

Mickey Maandblad
Born in 1957, Zeeman was hired as an editor for the Dutch Disney publications of publisher Oberon in 1976. Under supervision of editor-in-chief Cees de Groot and art supervisor Daan Jippes, he became the dedicated editor of the new monthly magazine Mickey Maandblad, which appeared from 1976 to 1989 and aimed at a slightly older readership than the regular Donald Duck weekly. Besides Disney stories starring mainly Mickey Mouse and Goofy, the monthly ran non-Disney material. This included licensed comics from abroad, but also original Dutch productions like Dick Matena's 'Virl', Dick Briel's 'Hulbert', Peter de Smet's 'Het Goud van de H.M.S. Cornwall' and Gerrit Stapel's comic adaptation of Jules Verne's 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'. Zeeman himself wrote the text serial 'Garth' (1979-1980), which was illustrated by Dick Matena.


Mickey Maandblad from 1979 (digest-sized) and 1985 (magazine format)

Disney scripts
Zeeman also proved to be a skilled scriptwriter. His earliest Disney stories, written in the period 1977-1981, were with secondary characters like 'B'rer Rabbit' and 'Jiminy Cricket' in the starring role. Ed van Schuijlenburg, Jules Coenen and Carol Voges provided the artwork. After the demise of Mickey Maandblad in 1989 he resumed his writing activities. He wrote stories with the chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale, but also some longer stories with the Duck-family, which resembled the tone and humor of Carl Barks' classic "ten-pagers". He wrote his final Disney script in 1998. Zeeman was perhaps the only writer allowed to provide typed out scripts instead of the sketched storyboards which the editors generally require. He did however provide a page lay-out, and typed the descriptions and dialogues in the panels. Most of Piet Zeeman's later stories were illustrated by members of Spanish agencies like Bardon and Comicup. It took until 2019 before all remaining scripts were published in the weekly. Maarten Gerritsen and Bas Heymans made the artwork for some of these "lost Zeeman" scripts.


Original script for Donald Duck story H92200 by Piet Zeeman from 1992, and the final page by Maarten Gerritsen. Gerritsen extended the story with one page for its publication in Donald Duck #30 of 2014. © Disney

Sjors & Sjimmie
In the second half of the 1980s, Zeeman also joined the editors of the comics magazine Eppo Wordt Vervolgd, which evolved into the bi-weekly Sjors & Sjimmie Stripblad in 1988. There, he proved a productive scriptwriter for the short stories starring title heroes 'Sjors en Sjimmie' (1988-1998). As the original authors Robert van der Kroft, Wilbert Plijnaar and Jan van Die focussed on their new creation 'Claire', the adventures of the two rebels were drawn by Hein Haakman and the Spanish agencies Bonnet, Comicup and Creaciones Editoriales.

Zeeman additionally wrote texts for toddler's magazine Bobo, and several text story serials for Donald Duck under the pen name Peter Hinderiks between 1987 and 1996. These were either original stories or new reworked versions of fairy tales and classics. The illustrations were provided by Dick Briel, Fred de Heij, Hans G. Kresse, Jan Wesseling and Fred Julsing. Zeeman also attempted to make a text comic version of 'De Generaal' with Peter de Smet, and to create a sequel to 'De Wortels van War' with Fred Julsing, but both projects stranded. 'Onzichtbare netten', Zeemans's children's book starring the dolphin Tuimel, was illustrated by Wim Euverman and published by Zwijsen in 1993.


Fondsie, scripted by Piet Zeeman (art: Striptekenaars.nl)

Freelance script & translation work
From the mid 1990s onwards, Piet Zeeman freelanced for the gaming magazine Topscore, comics magazine Loony Tunes and the popular science magazines Kijk and Quest. Until 2004 he also translated the monthly Donald Duck Extra for editor Jos Beekman. Together with his former Donald Duck colleague Pascal Oost, he translated the five volumes of the Dutch edition of Jeff Anderson and Mike Maddox' comics adaptation of 'The Bible' ('De Bijbel in Strip', VNU, 2000). At the turn of the century, Zeeman turned to webdesign, but the gradually shifted back to comics with his company "De Betere Zeeman". He translated the comic books based on Rowan Atkinson's 'Mr. Bean' for Big Balloon, and made three stories with the character 'Jojo' (2004) for girls' magazine Tina in cooperation with Carry Brugman. He also wrote the daily online comic strip 'Fondsie & Friends' (2009), which was produced by Stefan de Groot's Striptekenaars.nl agency to promote the charity fund of Dutch radio station 3FM. Another comic strip written by Zeeman for Striptekenaars.nl was 'Rogier Cipier' for Bonjo Bajes Bulletin, a magazine for (former) prison inmates. From 2008 onwards Zeeman was a regular writer of the family comic 'Jan, Jans en de Kinderen' by Studio Jan Kruis for the women's weekly Libelle.


Promotional drawing for the Striptekenaar.info website by Ruud Straatman

Striptekenaar.info
Piet Zeeman eventually grouped his activities for comics and character design in commission under the banner Striptekenaar.info. Through this website, he provided educational, promotional and communication strips and illustrations to all sorts of clients. For the production he could rely on the network of former comics artist Dirk Arend, consisting of artists from Argentina (Atilio Millan, Fernando Sosa, Joe Limado), Indonesia (Redy Prio, Roedy Rillf, Yuen Eriyama's Studio Dokutoku) and Serbia (Bojan M. Djukic). His friend Ruud Straatman also provided a regular helping hand. With Dick Briel, he set up a "digital experience" based on Briel's 'Professor Palmboom' comic, called 'De Patathiek'. He began working on a new script with Marten Toonder's 'Bommel' comic for the Toonder Compagnie ('Tom Poes en het Zonnige Bestaan', a.k.a. 'De Weergave'), but the project remained unfinished.

In 2013 Piet Zeeman was diagnosed with cancer. During his treatment, the assigments of Striptekenaar.info were handled by Marcel Miralles and Guillermo Hierro Bosch, two former associates of Josep Toutain's Selecciones Ilustradas agency. Piet Zeeman eventually passed away on 8 February 2016, after which Striptekenaar.info came to an end.


Piet Zeeman in the 1980s. Photo: Jos Beekman

www.striptekenaar.info

Piet Zeeman in Lambiek's Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis

Series and books by Piet Zeeman in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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