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 (1972)
photo: Hans Peters / Anefo, license cc-by-sa-3.0


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

Toonder (his name means "show it") became famous for his Tom Puss and Oliver B. Bumble series (1941-1990). As he wrote them for influential news papers like the "Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant" (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 translates as "soul squeezer". Because of his original, typically Jungian symbolic word use, his work is difficult to translate.

Toonders father Marten Toonder (16 Nov 1879, Warffum - 24 May 1965, Leiden ) was a sea captain of The Holland America Line. He brought home comics from America for his children. As the father was absent and the mother Trijntje Huizinga (2 March 1886, Uithuizen - 5 February 1970, Leiden) 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 finishing the HBS-A school, he travelled with his father to South America (July 1931). In Buenos Aires he met a cartoonist who had worked for Felix the Cat in Disney Studio's. From end 1931 till 1932 he had military service, for him a boring time. After a short visit to the Rotterdam art academy (1932) Toonder worked as an illustrator (1933). From 1934-38, he illustrates for the "Nieuwsblad van het Noorden" (newspaper of the Nord) the for children meant strip "Thijs IJs, de ijsbeer" about an ice-bear 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" ((Tom Puss discovers the secret of the blue earth, 1941). He stopped with it in 1944 under the guise of having manic depressive illness, but actually because of the fact that an annoying him SS man became his Telegraaf editor-in-chief.

From 1943 on, after a meeting with Dick van Veen, Toonder stated to work for the Dutch resistance. Het started with the falsification of food distribution charts. He risked his life by doing this. End 1944 the Toonder Studio's in Amsterdam hosted illegal press of De Algemene Vrije Illegale Drukkerij or D.A.V.I.D. But not long after the war Toonder was being accused of having collaborated with the Germans. The Toonder Studio's were closed. Meantime he worked as an editor of for Metro and made strips like Kappie. Kappie, short for kapitein was a see captain with a large moustache like his father. On 11 July 1946 his name was cleared.

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 NRC strip. In Holland, Bumble strips were at last seen as literature, allowed even for the Dutch book lists of the higher education levels. In 1954 he became a member of the Dutch Academy of letters.

Marten Toonder's work is now part of the Digital Library of Dutch Letters (DBNL). As is his brother's work (Jan Gerhard Toonder DBNL), who was a prolific writer like him. But their shared interest in astrology is seldom mentioned in the official writings about Dutch Letters.

In 1967, 140 Bommel (Bumble ) stories appeared in pocket edition (48 parts) from the publishing house De Bezige Bij. Millions were sold. In 1986, he wrote the last Bumle, for nrc-Handelsblad, by having Olivier Bommel marry and settle for a comfortable future devoid of adventure.

Toonder lived in countryside of Ireland from 1965 till the early 1990s. He was a private person who disliked the rumour of the city. The Dutch Toonder studio's were since 1966 located in Nederhort castle, or Bommelstein as people later would call it. In 1971 it burned down. Much of Toonders paintings, as well as the unique watch collection of the owner of the castle, Jan Jonker, were lost.

On 31 May 1935 he married the cartoonist Alfine Kornélie Dik (14 September 1912, Rotterdam - 7 August 1990, Blackrock), artist name Phiny Dick, who was once his neighbour. They got two sons: Eiso Jan Gerhard and Onno Maarten Toonder. End 1965 they emigrated to Greystones, Ireland.

On 23 May 1996 he married the Dutch composer Tera de Marez Oyens, born as Woltera Gerharda Wensink (5 August 1932, Velsen - 29 August 1996, Hilversum). She was already gravely ill (most likely cause cancer) and both knew it. She was the widow of a Holocaust survivor and Jewish philosopher and professor of political science Menachem Arnoni (1922-1985), and also a fan of his work and after contacting him, their friendship became love.

In 2001 Toonder returned to the Netherlands. Toonder died in his sleep on July 27, 2005 in the retirement home for artists Rosa Spier in Laren.

Link to Wikepedia biograhy


  • sibling relationship with Toonder, Jan Gerhard (born 18 July 1914). Notes: He called his brother his best friend. As the eldest brother he learned Jan Gerhard story telling, but Jan Gerhard would 20 years later learn him the art of writing.
  • (has as) teacher relationship with Disney, Walt (born 5 December 1901). Notes: They never met, but Toonder became known as the Dutch Walt Disney.


  • Social : Begin Travel July 1931 (Travel to South America on the ship of his father)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 6 February 1933 (First strip: Brams avonturen in De Nederlander)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 24 March 1934 (First animal strip: Thijs IJs (1934-38) in Nieuwsblad van het Noorden)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 31 May 1935 in Rotterdam (Alfine Kornélie Dik)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 24 March 1936 at 11:30 PM in Leiden (Eiso Jan Gerhard)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Contracts, agreements 18 February 1941 in Amsterdam (Contracted by De Telegraaf to start a strip for a month (march-april))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 16 March 1941 (Tom Poes en het geheim der blauwe aarde)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Start Business June 1942 (Geesink-Toonder Teekenfilproductie (commercial films))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Joined group 1943 (met Dick van Veen, started to work for the illegal Dutch resistance)
  • Work : Start Business June 1943 (Geesink-Toonder Teekenfilproductie split, Toonder started Toonder Studio's)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 4 January 1944 (Onno Marten Toonder)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Crime November 1944 (Illegal Press hosted in Toonder Studio)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 27 December 1945 (Kappie en de vreemde zeerovers)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Crime 11 July 1946 in Den Haag (On 11 July 1946 his name was cleared.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 22 October 1982 (Verzetsherdenkingskruis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : End Major Project 20 January 1986 (End of the last Bommel strip: Heer Bommel en het einde van eindeloos.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 7 August 1990 in Blackrock (Alfine Kornélie Dik)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 25 August 1992 in Amsterdam (Jan Gerhard Toonder)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Great Publicity 29 April 1994 in Amsterdam (W.F. Hermans opened the exhibition "Marten Toonder, tekenaar in oorlogstijd" in the Verzetsmuseum of Amsterdam)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Great Publicity 12 July 2002 in Rotterdam (Statue Hommage aan Marten Toonder)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

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.

Marten Toonder en de tijdgeest

Klaas Driebergen: 'Marten Toonder een dubbel denkraam' provided biographical dates.


  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Metaphysical (became inspired by the TAO of art, myths, Ireland and of course the astrological knowledge of his brother.)
  • Vocation : Art : Cartoonist
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Humor (Tom Puss/Oliver B. Bumble series)
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Languages (Inventor of new words and expressions)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession (Made (world) literature of comic strips)