Donald Duck at the Museum of Comic Art

credits: Harry Balm & Vincent van Dugh 1988

This autumn, the Dutch Disney magazine Donald Duck will be 70 years old. What many do not know, is that from the first issue on 25 October 1952, the contribution of Dutch artists to Donald Duck was significant. The Museum of Comic Art (MoCA) in Noordwijk has brought together more than 50 originals by more than 30 artists, including many Dutch nationals, for a magnificent exhibition for the whole family. The development of the ‘Vrolijk Weekblad’ (‘merry magazine’) is shown per decade. Special attention is paid to Carl Barks, the American ‘Duck Father’. He created all of Duckburg with all its eccentric characters such as Scrooge McDuck and Gladstone Gander. For the first time, originals by his hand can be admired in the Netherlands.

Dutch contribution
The Disney comics were initially produced in America. Over time, however, an increasing proportion of the stories was created by Dutch artists and writers. In the 1970s it was decided to train local talent for this. Donald Duck became the largest employer for Dutch cartoonists. Nowadays, more than 2000 new pages are created every year, a large part of which is also reprinted abroad. For readers, it’s simple: Donald Duck is from America and that’s why it’s so good. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dutch cartoonists who work for Donald Duck, such as Daan Jippes, Mau Heymans and Michel Nadorp, are internationally renowned and their original drawings are sold for large sums. Other Dutch, ‘non-Disney comics’, such as Douwe Dabbert and Tom Poes, became famous by being published in Donald Duck.

Duo exhibition with Storyworld
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Storyworld in Groningen, resulting in a unique duo exhibition. The Groningen part shows how a Donald Duck story is created and how the entire magazine comes to life. The two exhibitions reinforce each other in several ways.

Museum of Comic Art
The MoCA is the first Dutch museum entirely devoted to the great masters of ‘The Ninth Art’. In changing exhibitions, those interested in graphic art can admire leading comics from home and abroad, always in their original form: a drawing on paper. The published version is also displayed next to each drawing, so that visitors can see for themselves what has been added or changed after drawing. An extensive catalog is published with each exhibition, a real collector’s item.

Noordwijk aan Zee

More information:

Storyworld Groningen: