Yesterday I visited the Dutch Comics Museum in Groningen. It was a great experience for me, being able to see how a lot of great artists worked. Every artist had his own section in the museum, wich makes the experience even more exciting. It felt like the artist invited me to come over and look at his unreleased work. At one point I was facing a wall full of 40-year old comic books, Donald Duck, Suske & Wiske, Fokke en Sukke, Mickey Mouse, Lucky Luke, Asterix en Obelix and so many more. My father actually read the majority of them, he started pointing out his favorites and I was just gawking at the wall. Some of the cover seemed a little odd to me, sometimes even a bit racist. Pitch black characters with big red lips or foreigners portrayed like slaves and thieves. But I was aware of the fact that these were very old comics, the world and the people in it were very different at that time.
The sound of a distant voice triggered my curiosity, it sounded like the person was teaching. As I approached, my eyes were fixed upon a room full of people practicing the art of drawing under the guidance of an experienced illustrator. Everything was explained very well, it was nice to see how the man shared his knowledge with inquisitive strangers. The second section of the museum was more about the way the comics were made. A look into the world of the comic producing community. The museum kept the sketches, replicas and templates in frames and showcases. You could tell how dedicated and talented these comic book artists were by the amount and quality of the sketches.
Irony, sarcasm and satire. You could describe the whole third section of the museum using only these three words. My favorite featured comics in this section were Dr. Sigmund and Fokke And Sukke. Every artwork had little sign with a short explanation. Thanks to these signs I learned more about the artists and their style. But it is still a mystery to me why Fokke en Sukke are drawn with visible private parts. Dr. Sigmund interacted with visitors on a big screen, he diagnoses and tells you whats going to be your next step to improve life. It was very realistic, mainly due to the clear intonation and body language of the animated Dr. Sigmund character.
My last stop was one floor up. The museum used a lot of decoration in this section. The majority of the work came from the Asterix & Obelix comic, French characters created by Goscinny and Uderzo. But all te dolls and decoration weren't that captivating, the gallery was. Big paintings on canvas that blew me away, so much detail, even if you were standing 30 centimeters away form the painting. The artists used famous paintings like The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda or La Joconde) and The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) by Edvard munch and turned them into a Asterix & Obelix characters.
I left the museum, feeling like I just got schooled for two hours by several Artists. Einstein once said, "Creativity is intelligence having fun”, everything in this museum reminded me of that quote.