Gerrit de Jager

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The Bierecos in a typical pose. Caption reads "Redekorating? Resprai Kar? Biereco Prereconstructions"

Gerrit de Jager (Amsterdam 1954) is a Dutch comic-artist, creator of series like De familie Doorzon, Liefde en geluk, Zusje and Roel en zijn Beestenboel.

His career started in the early 80's with Wim Stevenhagen under the pseudonym Prutspruts ("fiddle-fiddle"), which later changed to Prutswerk ("lousy job"). In the early stages the later Dutch musician Fay Lovsky. The first comic they brought out, titled De Ironische Man ("The Ironic Man") did not prove very successful, however the (now) duo went on producing comics like 'Bert J. Prulleman' and 'Pruts Pruts, Privat Kreye' for the alternative magazine De Vrije Balloen. In this time the Familie Doorzon was born.

In 1984 the duo broke up, and Gerrit de Jager continued the familie Doorzon series and tuned it into a huge success. His loose style, together with ruthless satire on the Dutch society gained the position of the most popular comic-artist.

Style and Satire[edit]

The success of De Familie Doorzon is largely due to the perfect satire on Dutch society and family life, with every majority and minority represented and no one spared. From the transvestite barkeeper (Rinus) to the dopepeddling Ronnie D. and his voluptuous sister and her black husband every nook and cranny of the Dutch welfare state (as personified by Emiel) and its workforce (the Biereco's) is mercilessly ridiculed.

Gerrit de Jager has a quite distinct style, characterized by a love for ridiculous situations, which frequently result in disaster. A good example of this is the inevitable falling over of buildings if the Biereco's (see illustration) had anything to do with it.

Although he's milder in his other comics, the common denominator is a good sense for the inevitable madness of social conventions.

Influence[edit]

This is larger than one would expect for a "mere" comic artist. References to the Biereco's and verherbouwingen (They're specialized in "prereconstruction") are perfectly understood by nearly everyone younger than 40. Telling someone he reacts like Pa Doorzon amounts to more than just a little insult. His constant barrage of jokes on the combination of sex, politics and faith (and all the hypocrisy it takes to keep them aligned) has frequently acted as a monitor of everyday Dutch life, albeit through a distorting mirror.

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