Saturday, 28 June 2008
Roel Smit presented his book on the Haarlemse Stripdagen, which were held a few weeks ago. I wasn’t there, I had other things to do, that were more important to me, but far less fun. But in this Soundtrack I don’t want to go into details that involve the private life of other people. I even hadn’t find time to buy the book, so I felt a little embarrassed when I got today’s mail and found a copy of the book that Roel had sent me. But the embarrassment was replaced within seconds with enthusiasm over the content of the book. It is far better than I even expected, and I expected quite a bit.
I first met Roel in 1982 or so. He was a punk and an artist and he made several drawings for zines that I did back then. I also helped him out with getting his first comic story printed. Not much of this early work ended up in the compilation of his illustrations that he selected for ”Rock’n’Roel”. There are some of his early drawings in the book, but he has become so much better around 1999. Before that time his work was enthusiast and well done, but, with a few exceptions, not brilliant. After 1999 every drawing is exceptional powerful and often so good that it makes me wish that I had done more effort to learn how to draw. All his work is centred around one theme: PUNK. Or rather, Roel’s version of punk: Love-core, as he calls it.
The book is crammed with full colour illustrations, but because I expect you to buy the book, I only choose four of my favourite ones:
In between the pages with artwork, Roel tells an autobiographic story in comic form. It is the best part of the book. He is not only funny and honest, but really can make great comics! The fact that somebody can make a good illustration in a comic style, does not mean that he or she can make a good comic page. But Roel can, and I hope that there will be a part two. Or a comic book about the Dutch punk scene. If there is one person fit to do that job, it is Roel Smit.
Here is, from a found tape from 1981, an unknown German punk concert: