The Amazing Daan Jippes

I've had the pleasure of working with some awesome talents over the years and this guy is one of the best. We first met in Disney's Comic Strip Department back in the eighties. However, changes in Disney's publishing department eventually sent the two of us to what was then called, Feature Animation. As expected, the work of Daan Jippes continued to amaze me.

However, let's return to Disney comics where Jippes and I first met. The comic strip department occupied offices on the third floor of the Roy O. Disney Building and we created a medley of print art. The special creative group appeared to work “under the radar” and we were pretty much left alone. It was in this unique environment I discovered the work of Mr. Jippes. Not only was Daan Jippes an excellent writer and artist, he seemed to have a special sensibility for the Disney comic strips. Perhaps that's why Jippes was often sought out to create cover art for the Disney Comic books published in the eighties. There was something about Daan's drawings that captured the same energy and vitality of comic veterans such as Carl Barks and Walt Kelly.

Jippes already had a successful comics career in Europe before coming to the United States to work for Disney. He was especially good at drawing the Disney characters and his drawings were energetic and full of character. Our European counterparts often have a habit of outdoing those of us stateside. Their interpretation might be a little bit different, but they truly have an affinity for the Disney characters and their work is remarkable.

I fell in love with Daan’s sketches and I still have a stack of his cool Disney drawings here at home. Whenever I had a Duck project featuring Donald and his nephews, Daan Jippes was the first artist to come to mind. Even when I draw the famous Disney duck I refer to Jippes' cool sketches. I confess I'm shameless when it comes to stealing. Especially if I'm stealing from the best.

On occasion, Daan would surprise us by penning an angst ridden story featuring Donald Duck. Unlike most Disney fare, the story would be dark and dreary with deep physiological undertones. In any case, Jippes was convinced his story was hilarious while we thought the reader might ponder suicide. I’m still not sure what made Daan such a gloomy guy. Perhaps it was his Dutch heritage. Is it really that dreary in the Netherlands? In any case, after griping and complaining for a few hours, Daan would return to his drawing board and turn out a stack of remarkable drawings. Talented guys like Daan Jippes have a habit of doing things like that.

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