Alfred Jodocus Kwak
Ente gut, alles gut.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Guten Morgen 6
When I designed Anna, Kwak's mother, for the TV-series, I saw her of course through Kwak's eyes and made her very motherlike, warm and roundish.
When I drew her for this comicstrip, I saw her through Johan's, her lover's eyes, and she became much more attractive, sexy and cute. Well, it shows , that's it important through whose character's eyes you look at another character, I mean , eh....I ....I know what I mean.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Inspired by the great success of Kwak with children and his talent to communicate difficult social and society-issues in a simple but not simplifying way to kids, the Dutch schoolministry approached us in the early 90's to do a couple of books about current issues of that time.
The above drawing is from "Propvol" which dealt with overpopulation of the 3rd world and it's reasons in the 1rst world.
On this picture we see a lady-vulture, who has been working as a cropduster most of her life, and had to give it up for health-reasons. You can see her allergic reactions at the tip of her beak, the cricket is a collector of folksongs and -lore, which rapidly vanish from the face of the earth,and in the back your typicall indifferent king and queen. Do I have to point out the beautiful markermagic of Hans Bacher ? The story was written by Bies van Ede, Jacques Weijters and Herman van Veen.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Guten Morgen 5
The same edition of "Pierrot" featured an article about crop-circles...
Henk started out as a tiny sidecharacter , whose mere job it was to give Kwak an estimate on the costs of the Greatwaterland-channel in the original theatershow from 1977.
When Herman handed me "onder water", another play he had written about herings, to rework it as Kwak's 2nd adventure,"Vissen in troubel water", I brought him back as Kwak's permanent partner. I always found the size-difference of the two very rewarding, visually.
When we concieved the TV-series, Herman introduced the idea that Henk should even have been Johan's, Alfred's father's, best buddy and later become even Alfred's foster-father. A great idea.
In the first episode he even became the matchmaker of Alfred's parents, and therefore responsible for Alfred's very existence. What a carreer...
In a perfect world, and if I could have had it my way, Hanns Dieter Hüsch would have been Henk's voice.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
In Volume 3 of the Comicbooks , "Fish and Ships", Kwak was going to the southpole to find a whale, to save the herrings of Greatwaterland. I thought it would be fun to turn things around by 180° and have him become an whaler by accident, instead. I had so much fun at that time, doing the whalers. Magnificent inking by Hans Bacher here.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The original treatment of the first TV-episode, written and conceived by Herman van Veen.
Legend has it, that he dictated the whole series in the car driving from one concert to the next.
From there it would come to us, Hans and I would work on the characters, props and settings, then a very nice Japanese gentleman, Mr. Akira Miyazake, would write the skripts. He had a biggest name in the production as a TV-writer , he was in his 70's and we got along very nicely, I liked him a lot. It was his first time as a writer for animation, so he would handle the characters as if they were real people, that's why he was hired for the job in the first place.
I would then go over the storyboards again, mostly to hear, that it was too late for changes, I would do additional characters, etc.
Once the production was up and running, they would produce one episode a week, even when the series was already on air.
They even dubbed 26 minutes of animation in 26 minutes. I saw that once, it was like an oldtime radioshow. Like Gerald McBoing Boing...
Saturday, October 15, 2005
ALFRED JODOCUS KWAK
GUTEN MORGEN/PIERROT 2
The opening-doublepage of the comic.You have to see them next to each other.
I'm still rather fond of the starfighter crossing the picture. That idea came up , when I was working on the storyboards for the first episode.
After Herman had written the outlines for the 52 episodes and Hans and I had done the characterbible, the japanese studio did the first version of the storyboard, and it became clear, that they had a complete diffrent understandng of the stories and the Kwak-world, than we had- to put it nicely. All the characters were walking on all fours and were much more animal-like in their general behaviour, it looked more like an episode from "Kimba, the white lion", which was no coincidence. Saitosan, the director, had in fact been also the director of "Kimba" and got cast for "Kwak", based on his good reputation from that production. But, what had worked on Kimba, wasn't working on Kwak, they just didn't get the idea, that our animals were humans in an animal body.
I had a hard time, putting things straight without being allowed to say "no" in a meeting, because it was considered a huge insult to a person of that high reputation. I was on my own at that time in Tokyo, the only "surviving" member of the creative trio, we had been there together before, mainly to get to know the team, shake hands and have good food. Now Herman was back on his tour and Hans, if I remember correctly , had moved on to the PreVis team of "Beauty and the Beast", already.
The only solution was to do the storyboard myself overnight in my hotelroom. A meeting between the director and me was set up, with an interpreter as the only witness, where I was supposed to explain our ideas to him, without his team watching how he was told, what to do, so he wouldn't loose his face. A couple of days later, he had redrawn by board,inversed ileft to right as his own contribution, and presented it as his own to the team- of course everybody knew, but that's how things work in strange faraway countries. Another big issue was, that, in the first episode, Kwak's family leaves it's homeland, because a theme park is build , where they are living. That, in Japanese understanding, is despicable, behaviour, it was considered "treason", no heriodeed, whatsoever. Serving your country, under which circumstances whatsoever, is a much higher value , than your own personell freedom and individuality. Quite different from our understanding. I spent long nights and days, talking and explaining about Hitler, apartheid, drugs, whaling and other subjects.
Anyway, I still wasn't 100% happy with the finished episode, regarding charme and humor and most of all, speed. But the comicstrip gave me a chance to set things straight.
Back to the starfighter: I introduced it, 'cause we openend the first episode with spring coming to Greatwaterland, blossoms opening and stuff and I wanted to break the athmosphere right away, showing that this was not your ordinary happy-go-lucky-world, there's conflict. I remember spending days in meetings about that starfighter, it came up again and again, "Who's flying it?" "Humans?", "No, there are no humans", "Is there a war?", "Is it a contemporary starfighter , or a vintage one?", etc, etc, etc...
Friday, October 14, 2005
In 1990 the magazine "Harlekijn" , of which Herman was Chief Editor, had to be renamed to "Pierrot".
Hans Bacher and I worked on a comicstripversion of the first TV-episode which was supposed to be published in sequels in that magazine. Sadly enough "Pierrot" seized to be after a few editions.
I'm going to publish the finished episodes here, I decided to use the version with "Bubbles" , rather than the higher quality one, which has no text.
I will also add some sketches, etc.
In Memoriam Alois Kurzmann.