a duck story 1

28 03 2009

sometime in spring 1986 the ALFRED J. KWAK duck adventure began. HARALD SIEPERMANN, who had been a student in my class at the folkwang school/essen university, had joined our studio of 4 crazy artists, the mad t party, in duesseldorf. he had been working for a while on a comic strip concept based on a story by HERMAN VAN VEEN, a dutch entertainer. we were discussing all different stylistic solutions and I did just for fun a first sample page, testing an inking technique and felt-pen coloring. more pages followed…
these fun-stylistic researches about a dutch duck turned very soon into a comic strip, and in feb 1987 we had our first comic published in holland. harald was the writer ( based on herman van veen’s story ) and character design artist, who
came up with the pencil sketches for the strip. I did the ink version, the layout and BG’s, as well as the overall color. what had started just for fun, turned into a major adventure, when a dutch/finnish producer of tv-series, DENNIS LIVSON, saw the comic and decided to create 52 – 25 min tv-episodes. we went to tokyo, where it all was animated and were getting stressed with all the tons of work that was dumped on the 2 of us. the creation of about 500 characters, the stylistic BG-design, and some storyboard examples to get our ideas across to the far-east studio.
everything was happening at the same time, in 1988/89, where I got involved paralell to all that in the disney production of beauty and the beast. after the duck-tv premiere in europe in 1989 the real work started – all the merchandise that came on the market had to be designed and supervised, over 400 articles.
here are some memories…







© van veen, siepermann, bacher




3 responses

29 03 2009
Daan Velsink

Hi Hans,

I spoke to Harald Siepermann last Annecy and he told me Studio 100 has plans to start a new Alfred series. Will you be envolved?


31 03 2009

Nice! I am loving these Alfred posts. I love the pic of Alfred and Henk the mole on the docks. It’s still one of my favourite comicbooks of all time.
(I honestly do not hope studio 100 will start a new Alfred series; the quality of their shows are terrible.)

31 03 2009
Ernesto Melo

Many times I imagine me giving thanks to the artist who created the
Disney’s Pecos Bill or Ichabod Crane (and a lot more characters, of course) and tell him/her
about the golden moments I enjoyed with them.
In the early 90’s, my older daughter was around 3 or 4 years. One of the beloved and
preferred toys that she had was that incredible cute yellow duck, with the red scarf.
She only had those two tiny models, one seated down, and another standing up.
So, before going to school, we had: breakfast, sunny day, and the music of Alfred J. Kwak’s
series in TV. A so, so cute song, it sticks in your brain (not so much as It’s a small world, but almost..:-)),
and then we both sang along all the way till went to school.
So, this time I don’t want to loose this opportunity: to have the artist “in front of me” and
give infinite thanks for those golden moments.

from hans –
thank you ernesto. that makes me feel so good. hope harald reads it as well. you know, the 2 little vinyl alfreds are still here with me and my 2 little boys love ’em too…

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