Marten Toonder

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Marten Toonder
File:Marten Toonder (1972).jpg
Marten Toonder (1972)
Born May 2, 1912
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Laren, Netherlands
Occupation Writer
Nationality Dutch
Genre Graphic novels
The Marten Toonder monument in Rotterdam

Marten Toonder (May 2, 1912 – July 27, 2005) was a Dutch comic strip creator, born in Rotterdam. He was probably the most successful comic artist in the Netherlands and had a great influence on the Dutch language by introducing new words and expressions.[1][2] He is most famous for his series Tom Puss and Panda.

Tom Puss/Oliver B. Bumble series

In 1931 after his final exams, Marten Toonder went to Buenos Aires with his father. Here he got acquainted with the work of the well-known Argentine artist and editor Dante Quinterno, who ran a studio producing comics. Quinterno's creations impressed him to such a degree that he decided to become an artist himself. His most famous comic series were the Tom Puss (Tom Poes in Dutch) and Oliver B. Bumble (Olivier B. Bommel in Dutch) series that appeared in a Dutch newspaper from 1941–86. It has a very characteristic format. Every day there were three drawings and an accompanying text (about a book-page long). It started out as a children's cartoon, but gradually became more relevant to adults. Nowadays his texts are considered literature to some critics, and Toonder received several literary prizes for them. He invented many new words and expressions and some of those are now widely used in the Dutch language. Many personalities in his comics have their own peculiar dialect of Dutch, for instance Prlwytzkofsky language of professor Prlwytzkofsky, an innovative mixture of Dutch and German. Because of his specific writing style, so far, it is difficult to translate. His drawing style is very detailed and might be compared to Pogo, with more room for background drawings, since there are no text 'balloons' in the drawings. Apart from his eccentric use of language Toonder is also praised for satirical approach.

Personal details

Toonder was born in Rotterdam on May 2, 1912. He lived in Ireland from 1965[3] until the early 1990s. He was married to the cartoon artist Phiny Dick (1912–1990),[4] who collaborated with her husband and on whose earlier created characters Ollie B Bumble and Tom Puss were based.[5] In 1996, at the age of 84, he married the composer Tera de Marez Oyens, who died the same year.[6] Together with his brother, author Jan Gerhard Toonder, he assisted his father, (Captain) Marten Toonder Sr., a seaman born in the Dutch northern province Groningen, to write a book[7] about his life, in which Toonder Sr. describes many details about the ending era of professional cargo sailing, the Rotterdam Lloyd (Line to East Indies), the Holland America Line and about pre-war Rotterdam. Marten Toonder died in his sleep on July 27, 2005.[8]

Bibliography in Dutch language

Tom Puss/Oliver B. Bumble series

1941 :

  • Tom Poes ontdekt het geheim der blauwe aarde, story, (Tom Puss discovers the secret of the blue earth)
  • De Toverpijp (The Magical Pipe)
  • Tom Poes in den toovertuin, story (Tom Puss in the magic garden)
  • De geheimzinnige roverhoofdman, story (The mysterious robber boss)
  • De Drakenburcht, story (The Dragon Court)
  • Het verdwijneiland, story (The Dis-appear-Island)
  • De Reuzenvogel, story (The Giant-Bird)

1942 :

  • De rare uitvinding, story (The odd invention)
  • Het eiland van Grim, Gram en Grom, story (The island of Grimm, Gramm and Gromm)
  • De zieke hertog, story (The sick duke)
  • Het monster-ei, story (The monster-egg)
  • Kasper en de draak, story (Kasper and the dragon)
  • Tom Poes en de laatste markies van Carabas, story (Tom Puss and the last count of Carabas)
  • Tom Poes in het land van de blikken mannen, story (Tom Puss and the land of the tin men) (verhalen)
  • Tom Poes en de betoverde spiegel, story (Tom Puss and the enchanted mirror)

1943 :

  • Heer Bommel en de bergmensen, story (Sir Bumble and the mountain-people)
  • Tom Poes en het geheim van het Noorderlicht, story (Tom Puss and the secret of the Northern-light)
  • Tom Poes en de Bommelschat, story (Tom Puss and the Bumble-treasure)
  • Tom Poes en de schat op de zeebodem, story (Tom Puss and the treasure at the bottom of the sea)
  • Tom Poes ontmoet een oude bekende, story (Tom Puss meets an old acquaintance)

1944 :

  • Tom Poes en De Superfilm-onderneming, story (Tom Puss and The SuperFilm-endeavour)
  • Tom Poes en de meester-schilder, story (Tom Puss and the master-painter)
  • Tom Poes en de Chinese waaier, story (Tom Puss and the Chinese fan)

1947 :

  • De wonderdokter, story (The wonder-doctor)
  • De watergeest, story (The water-spirit)
  • Tom Poes en de talisman, story (Tom Puss and the talisman)
  • Tom Poes en de nieuwe ijstijd, story (Tom Puss and the new ice-age)
  • Het monster van Loch-Ness, story (The monster of Loch-Ness)

1948 :

  • De geheimzinnige sleutel, story (The mysterious key)
  • De grootgroeiers, story (The great-growers)
  • De zeeslang, story (The sea-snake)
  • Heer Bommel stuit de vooruitgang, story (Sir Bumble prevents progress)
  • Tom Poes en de Pierrace, story (Tom Puss and the Pierrace)

1949 :

  • Het vibreerputje, story (The vibrating-well)
  • Horror de Ademloze, story (Horror the Breathless)
  • Solvertje, story
  • De betoverde prinses, story (The enchanted princess)
  • Kwetal de breinbaas, story (Kwetal the brain-boss)

1950 :

  • Het Lijm-Teem
  • De volvetters, story (The full-fatties)
  • Het wegwerk, story (The road-work)
  • Eh… dinges, story (Eh… what-ever)

1951 :

  • De Partij van de Blijheid, story (The Party of the Happiness)
  • Tom Poes en Mom Bakkesz, story (Tom Puss and Mumm Bakkesz)
  • De kneep van Knipmes, story (The knip of the Snip-knife)
  • De geheimzinnige gaper, story (The secretive gauker)

1952 :

  • Tom Poes en de partenspeler, story (Tom Puss and the party-player)
  • Het wroegwezen, story (The Wroeg-being)
  • De Schoonschijners, story (The Clean-appearers)
  • Tom Poes en de gebroeders Weeromstuit, story (Tom Puss and brothers Turn-about)

1953 :

  • Tom Poes en de wenswerkster, story (Tom Puss and the wish-worker)

1954 :

  • Tom Poes en het tijddeurtje, story (Tom Puss and the little-time-door)

1955 :

  • Tom Poes en het slaagsysteem, story (Tom Puss and the beat-system)
  • Tom Poes en de knip-hoed, story (Tom Puss and the knip-hood)

1959 :

  • De feunix, story (The fakenix)
  • Tom Poes en de Boemel naar Doezel, story (Tom Puss and the almost slumbering Bumble)

1962 :

  • Tom Poes en het huilen van Urgje, story (Tom Puss and the howling of little-Urg)

1963 :

  • Tom Poes en de wilde wagen, story (Tom Puss and the wild wagon)
  • De bovenbazen, story (The superbosses)
  • Tom Poes en de Zonnebril, story (Tom Puss and the sunglasses)

1964 :

  • Tom Poes en de Waggelgedachten, story (Tom Puss and Waggel's ideas)
  • Tom Poes en de H-H-Handschoenen, story (Tom Puss and the g-g-gloves)

1965 :

  • Tom Poes en de wisselschat, story (Tom Puss and the switcher-treasure)

1966 :

  • Tom Poes en de Weerbrouwers, story (Tom Puss and the weather brewers)
  • Tom Poes en de Trouwe Vierwielers, story (Tom Puss and the faithful four-wheelers)

1967 :

  • Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel…, several stories (If you know what I mean…)
  • En daar houd ik mij aan…, several stories (And I'm sticking to it…)

1968 :

  • Geld speelt geen rol, several stories (Money is no object)

1969 :

  • Een Heer moet alles alleen doen, several stories (A Gentleman must do everything alone)

1970 :

  • Zoals mijn goede vader zei, several stories (Like my good father used to say)
  • Een eenvoudige doch voedzame maaltijd, several stories (A simple yet nutritious meal)

1971 :

  • 'K Wist niet dat ik het in mij had, several stories (… Didn't know I had it in me)
  • Parbleu, several stories

1972 :

  • Praw! Der Hemeldonderweder, several stories (Praw! Of the Heavens-thunder-weather)
  • Een groot denkraam, several stories (A large thought-frame)

1973 :

  • Met uw welnemen, several stories (With your permission)
  • Verzin toch eens een list!, several stories (Quickly, think of a ruse!)
  • Altijd dezelfde, several stories (Always the same)

1974 :

  • Overgehaalde landrotten, several stories (Winched-up land-lubbers)
  • Zeg nu zelf…, several stories (Say it yourself…)
  • Met mijn teer gestel, several stories (My tender constitution)

1975 :

  • Wat enigjes, several stories (How adorable)
  • En daar houd ik mij aan, several stories (And I'm sticking to it…)

1976 :

  • Grofstoffelijke trillingen, several stories (Base material vibrations)
  • Mijn eigen eenzame weg, several stories (My own lonely road)

1977 :

  • Zaken zijn zaken, several stories (Business is business)
  • Hoe vreselijk is dit alles, several stories (This is all so horrible)
  • De Grote Onthaler, story

1978 :

  • Hm, several stories
  • Als u mij wilt verschonen, several stories (If you'll pardon me)

1979 :

  • Ach mallerd, several stories (Oh silly)
  • Héél stilletjes, several stories (Very quietly)
  • De andere wereld, story (The other world)

1980 :

  • Had ik maar beter geluisterd, several stories (If only I had listened more carefully)
  • Daar zit iets achter, several stories (There's something behind that)

1981 :

  • Een ragfijn spel, several stories (A subtle game)
  • Hier ligt een mooie taak, several stories (Here's a nice little job)

1982 :

  • Ook dat nog, several stories (That too)
  • Een enkel opbeurend woord, several stories (A single encouraging word)

1983 :

  • Dit gaat te ver, several stories (This goes too far)

1984 :

  • Mooi is dat, several stories (That's just beautiful)
  • Het uiterste gevraagd, several stories (Asked the utmost)

1985 :

  • Daar kan ik niet tegen, several stories (That I can't stand)
  • Soms verstout ik mij, several stories (Sometimes I embold myself)

1986 :

  • Een kleine handreiking, several stories (A little hand-reach)
  • Dat geeft te denken, several stories (That leads to thinking)
  • Een Bommelding, (A Bumble-thing - in usual pronunciation bom-melding means bomb-alarm)
  • Heer Bommel en ik (Sir Bumble and I)

1987 :

  • Hanezang, poëmen van Querelijn Xaverius, Markies de Canteclaer van Barneveldt, bijeengelezen door M. Toonder,

(Cock-song), poems by Quereljn Xaverius, Marquis of Barneveldt, compiled by M. Toonder"

  • Wat ben je toch knap, several stories (You're so sharp)
  • Dát zag ik nu eens net!, several stories (I just saw that!)

1988 :

  • Ik voel dat heel fijn aan, several stories (I'm very sensitive to that)
  • Als dat maar goed gaat, several stories (If that just ends well)

1989 :

  • Vleugeljaren, poëmen van Querelijn Xaverius, Markies de Canteclaer van Barneveldt, bijeengelezen door M. Toonder,

(Wing-ed years), poems by Quereljn Xaverius, Marquis of Barneveldt, compiled by M. Toonder

1990 :

  • Heer Bommel komt op, several stories (Sir Bumble arises)
  • Heer Bommel vervolgt, several storie (Sir Bumble continues)

Autobiographical material



  1. Dossier Marten Toonder (1912–2005) [Koninklijke bibliotheek]
  2. Marten Toonder died [Wis[s]e Words]
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  5. Toonder M. (1993) Het geluid van bloemen (autobiography part II, 1939–1945) ISBN 90-234-3330-0, p. 70
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  7. Klei en zout water (Clay and salt water), Cpt. M. Toonder Sr., 1955, Unieboek N.V. Bussum, Netherlands.
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External links