Nicky Saxx, possibly Europe’s Last Newspaper Adventure Strip, Cancelled

Nicky Saxx

(via David Lloyd’s lforlloyd web site): For those of us sad at the loss of the once-plentiful adventure strips that used to appear in our newspapers – especially original ones not tied in to some licensed product – there was more saddening news to bear earlier this month, picked up by artist David Lloyd, but which I’ve only just read.

Nicky Saxx – possibly the only originated adventure strip still existing in a European newspaper – was cancelled earlier this month. “Its last three panels halted an adventure, leaving the strip’s heroine lost somewhere at the bottom of the ocean,” David related.

The Nicky Saxx strip has been running for some years now as a daily in Holland’s largest-selling newspaper, De Telegraaf. Nicky and her friend, Elsa Steiner, are globe-trotting adventurers with a taste for danger, hiring themselves out as troubleshooters and investigators of the paranormal via their organisation, Room 666, which is located in a disused lighthouse on the East Coast of America. Aided by computer expert and technical wizard, Ben Folds, the duo specialise in helping all those people the conventional law-enforcement bodies cannot assist.

Nicky Saxx

“The artist of Saxx, Minck Oosterveer, is a friend of mine,” David comments. “Without him telling me about the death of this gloriously sexy adventurer he’d created many years ago with his writer colleague, Willem Ritstier, I’d never have known anything about it. News like it rarely reaches any comics trade periodicals or sites, whose only interest in newspaper strips now relates to honouring the past glories of such figures as Milton Caniff or Noel Sickles.

“Go to the graveyard, folks. See them spinning there!”

Minck Oosterveer RIP - 2011

• March 2020 Update: Sadly, Minck passed away by a motorcycle accident on 17th September 2011. His family decided to keep his official website available for those who are interested in his work. Just click around and have a look at the various examples of his artwork. Most of them are representative of his latest output, but included are some examples from the beginning of his career:

Award-winning artist, Minck Oosterveer, was and is known world wide for his zombie art, a plethora of comic strips, movie work, and sequential art galore. Most notably in the United States for such books as Zombie Tales and The Unknown, with writer Mark Waid.

Oosterveer pursued an education to become a master of the arts, culminating first with numerous success in the European market.

Although he grew up in The Netherlands with European comics, he was soon more interested in American comics, especially the newspaper comics of the 1930s-50s. It was the pulp-ish, direct style and the usage of black and white in the realistic artwork that attracted him the most. Film Noir as it were.

In fact, Oosterveer’s work is strongly influenced by Milton Caniff, Alex Raymond, and Will Eisner. His first work did not reflect that however… After working for a studio on productions like Tom & Jerry, Sesame Street, Paddington, Ovide and Spider-Man, Minck moved more in the direction of another stylistic forte, working with Willem Ritstier on the series Claudia Brücken for the Franco-Belgian publishing-house Les editons Lombard and Tintin magazine.

The collaboration with Ritstier resulted in a daily newspaper comic in an American style, Jack Pott, published in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

From 1996, Minck worked again with Willem Ritstier on the newspaper comic Zodiak for De Telegraaf, and the series Rick Rolluik for Suske en Wiske-magazine, and Arachna for ComicWatch-magazine. He did the art and story for the comic Excalibur, published by Enigma and artwork for a successful animated movie, Mario A.

Nicky Saxx Poster by Minck Oosterveer

Nicky Saxx Poster by Minck Oosterveer

Nicky Saxx - art by Minck OosterveerIn 2002, Oosterveer and Ritstier started a new daily comic strip in De Telegraaf, Nicky Saxx, one of their most successful comic series. It has been collected by publishers Boumaar and Bee Dee.

Drop-dead gorgeous Private Eye Nicky Saxx pursues cases beyond the reach of most investigators, especially when she’s joined by her friend, parapsychologist Ella Steiner. With these two on the prowl, no secret is safe…

Trunk, created by Willem Ritstier and Minck Oosterveer

Trunk, created by Willem Ritstier and Minck Oosterveer

This was followed by a comic-series entitled Trunk (2006 – Wayback Archive), which debuted to critical acclaim. Next they teamed up (2007) as writer (Ritstier) and penciller (Oosterveer) to work on Storm, the hugely successful European comic series created by Don Lawrence, and started a new western-comic, Ronson Inc. which was published in the revived, legendary Dutch comic-magazine Eppo.

Minck Oosterveer debuted in US-comics with the aforementioned Zombie Tales/ Zaambi written by Cris Morgan and published by BOOM! Studios. Early 2009 until 2010 he collaborated with American writer Mark Waid to draw the mini-series The Unknown and The Unknown: The Devil Made flesh, which were also published by BOOM! Studios.

In March 2011, the Dutch society of comic fans, Het Stripschap made Minck Oosterveer the winner of the 2011 Stripschap-award, the oldest comic-award in the Netherlands.

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