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Minck Oosterveer, 1961-2011
posted January 1, 2012

imageThe accomplished, versatile and prolific Dutch adventure comics artist Minck Oosterveer died in a motorcycle accident on September 17. He was 50 years old.

Although a greater rarity in his generation than it was for European artists of the past, Oosterveer grew up reading European comic books but holding a special place in his heart for the American adventure comics of the newspaper dramatic serial heyday of the 1930s through 1950s. In a 2009 interview, he cited both Dutch and American comics masters Milton Caniff, Alex Raymond, Harold Foster, Will Eisner, Alex Toth, Frank Robbins, Hans G. Kresse, Piet Wijn and Alfred Mazure as influences.

Oosterveer joked that he became a comics artist because his planned career as a sailor was scotched by needing to wear glasses and not being any good at math. After art school, the cartoonist started his professional career working on a wide variety of comics illustrations and licensing comics through the Studio Peter de Raaf, with properties ranging from Sesame Street to Spider-Man. After a brief period working as a computer-graphics artist, his first European comics breakthrough was in partnership with Willem Ritstier on a series called Claudia Brucken, which ran in Lombard's Tintin and was later collected by the publisher. Their success with that series led to a newspaper comic gig in the sizable Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, which Oosterveer rendered in his take on the American style he valued for its directness and ability to convey mood.

In the late 1990s the pair also created Zodiak for De Telegraaf, that company's highest-selling newspaper. They also did Arachna for a magazine called ComicWatch and a series Rick Rolluik for the Flemish-audience targeted magazine Suske en Wiske Weekblad. For De Telegraaf again in 2002 the partners combined on a strip called Nicky Saxx. That feature ran until 2008 when the newspaper ceased publication on serial comics. A bit later they created a comic called Trunk, a western called Ronson Inc. for Eppo and contributed comics to the Storm series created by Don Lawrence.

In 2008, Oosterveer broke into the American comics market at BOOM! studios. His most notable comics with that company were with the Zombie Tales title with writer Mark Waid. BOOM! recently announced that it's making work the late artist did for the company free for digital download in tribute to their lost colleague.