Today's Birthdays

one click shows all of today's celebrity birthdays

Browse All Birthdays

43,625    Actors
27,931    Actresses
4,867    Composers
7,058    Directors
842    Footballers
221    Racing drivers
925    Singers
9,111    Writers

Get FamousLikeMe on your website
One line of code gets FamousLikeMe on your website. Find out more.

Subscribe to Daily updates

Add to Google

privacy policy

Famous Like Me > Writer > V > Willy Vandersteen

Profile of Willy Vandersteen on Famous Like Me

Name: Willy Vandersteen  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 15th February 1913
Place of Birth: Antwerpen, Belgium
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Willy Vandersteen (February 15, 1913 at Antwerp - August 28, 1990) was a Flemish creator of comic books. His most famous creation is the Spike and Suzy series. ("Suske en Wiske" in Dutch language). In Flanders he is nominated for the contest of Greatest Belgians.

Youth and early work

Willy Vandersteen was born in Antwerp in a poor family. His father was a decorator and stone sculptor, and Willy was creatively active from his youth on. He used to draw pictures with crayons on the sidewalks, and tell stories to his friends about them. In the early 1940's, he started making short comics, first for the factory magazine of the Inno warehouse (l'Innovation) where he worked as a decorator. He made many illustrations during the second World War, some of them for Nazi-friendly publications, but most fairly neutral. In 1943, he published his first comic album, Piwo (about the adventures of a wooden horse), followed by two more episodes in 1944 and 1946.

After World War II

After the war, many publications aimed at the youth appeared in Belgium (either only in Flemish or in French, or in two editions), and Willy Vandersteen worked for many of these. He made some stop comics and some longer adventures for the famous magazine Bravo, which also employed people like Edgar P. Jacobs. But the main publishing possibility in Flanders were the newspapers, so Willy Vandersteen started with the adventures of Rikki en Wiske in 1945. After one story, Rikki gets replaced by Suske, and the long series of adventures of Suske en Wiske can begin. In the early fifties, he was invited to collaborate on the Tintin magazine of Hergé, where we find Edgar Jacobs as well, and he makes 7 of the best Suske en Wiske stories for it, as well as a few other comics.

Some other work

Willy Vandersteen has always had a huge diversity of series, and next to Suske en Wiske, he also is known for De Familie Snoek (The Snoek family), De grappen van Lambik (Lambik's jokes, a spin off from Suske en Wiske), Jerom (another spin-off), Bessy (a series about about a boy in the Far West and his dog, based on Lassie), De Rode Ridder (Red Knight, a medieval, more realistic series), Karl May, Robert en Bertrand (about two tramps around 1900), and "De Geuzen" (about the Dutch resistance to the Spanish rulers at the end of the 16th century). In the forties and the early fifties, he made many more short-lived series, most of them hard to find nowadays.

International success

Only Bessy and De Rode Ridder were truly successful, although all of them were eclipsed by the success of Suske en Wiske, which had first editions of some 400.000 copies for every new book (four to six a year) in the 1970's, in Dutch only. Suske en Wiske is translated in most major languages and some adventures with local interest also in more exotic languages like Tibetan. In Germany, "Bessy" was highly successful, with new weekly episodes. In the end, more than a thousand were made.

The studio

Most of these series were started by Vandersteen and then continued by one or more collaborators, often under the name of Studio Vandersteen. Only after many years did he allow the name of these artists to appear on the cover or on the inside of the comics, but they still were published under his name, like a quality label (a bit like Disney). Nowadays, many of these series are stopped, but the studio still exists, mainly to produce new adventures of Suske en Wiske.

Collecting Vandersteen

His early comics are among the most highly sought after by Flemish comics collectors nowadays and can fetch prizes up to a few 1000 Euros. A complete collection, including commercial items, is quasi impossible, as many of his early comics only appeared in ephemere, short lived magazines with a limited audience. Original drawings are highly sought after.

External link


This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Willy Vandersteen