Toonder, Marten

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Toonder, Marten Gender: M
born on 2 May 1912 at 05:20 (= 05:20 AM )
Place Rotterdam, Netherlands, 51n55, 4e29
Timezone LST m4e53 (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 11°25' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 20°43 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 29°14'

Marten Toonder
photo: Hans Peters / Anefo, license cc-by-sa-3.0


Dutch writer of comic strips, creator of Tom Puss and Oliver B. Bumble.

Toonder (this name means "show it") became famous for his Tom Puss and Oliver B. Bumble series (1941-1990). As he wrote them for the influential papers like New Rotterdam Paper (NRC) he had a great influence on the Dutch language by introducing genial new words and expressions. Neologisms like "Minkukel", "zielknijper", "denkraam" and "kommer en kwel" were introduced by his strip heroes and enriched the Dutch language. "Ziel knijper" for shrink means "soul squeezer". Because of his original word use, his work is difficult to translate.

Toonders father was a sea captain on The Holland America Line. He brought home comics from America for his children. As the father was absent and the mother left the kids with strips alone, both Marten and his brother Jan Gerhard Toonder could develop a vivid imagination. They shared an interest in mystery and the occult. Jan Gerhard would become a prolific writer and professional astrologer and Marten Toonders strips had always an adventurous and mysterious mood.

After a short visit to the Rottedam arts academy (1932) Toonder worked as an illustrator (1933). From 1934-38 he illustrates for the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden the for children meant strip "Thijs IJs, de ijsbeer" for which his brother Jan Gerhard wrote the text.

In 1941 the Dutch paper De Telegraaf looked for a replacement for the strip "Mickey Mouse", that could not be imported from the US because of the war. He then wrote his first strip "Tom Poes ontdekt het geheim van de blauwe aarde"(1941). He stopped with in 1944 under the guise of having manic depressive illness, but actually because of the fact that an SS man became his Telegraaf editor-in-chief.

After the war the Toonder studio published Tom Puss and Oliver B. Bumble strips for national and international papers. The writers content deepened to adult and above level and even intellectuals admitted that they eagerly awaited the next strip.

In 1967 140 Bommel stories appeared in pocket edition (48 parts). Millions were sold.

Toonder lived in countryside of Ireland from 1965 till the early 1990s. He was a private person who disliked the rumour of the city.

In 1935 he married the cartoonist Alfine Kornélie Dik (1912-1990), artist name Phiny Dick, who was once his neighbour.

In 1996 he married the composer Tera de Marez Oyens, who died the same year.

Toonder died in his sleep on July 27, 2005 in the retirement home for artists Rosa Spier in Laren.

Link to Wikepedia biograhy



Source Notes

Selma Schepel quotes the Archive of his brother Jan Gerhard Toonder (AT) for 05h20 AMT in Sterrentijd No 29. The same does Koppejan in Beeldgids van de dierenriem referring to Toonders Schrijvers ABC.


  • Vocation : Art : Cartoonist
  • Vocation : Writers : Humor (Tom Puss/Oliver B. Bumble series)
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Languages (Inventor of new words and expressions)