Cartoons, only about football, soccer for non-british speakers. Hein is the best cartoonist I know. His sick sense of humour is difficult to translate, therefore I guess he's a typical Dutch phenomena. On my website I've got a few of his cartoons, including the ultimate in sick humour: a rock band on a huge stage in the middle of a desert. Speakers piling up on all corners, the audience consists of some hungry Africans, the kind of image that you would normally see on fundraise evenings. On top of some of the speakers there are vulture's waiting for something to eat. The title: It is time again for: Rock for Ethiopia, with the singer coming on stage and shouting the ever so predictable: "Everybody happy?" A classic in my opinion.
This book isn't one of his best, it was published just before the Euro 2000 tournament, obviously with the intention of the publisher to cash in on the big hausse in football related material. Some of the cartoons are funny, some of the cartoons about foreign teams are so over the top piss taking, it isn't funny anymore. Some jokes are old and have been used several times before. Oh well, I'm a fan, I want to have a complete selection, this one should be on that list as well then.
Rick de Leeuw - De laatste held (01-066)
Another one that is very unlikely to end up in the hands of any non-Dutch speakers. Rick de Leeuw was a hero when I was young. He was, and still is, the singer of a rock and roll band that I must have seen about a dozen times since I first saw them play in 1987. Nearly once a year that is then, not too much you'd say, but considering the fact that in those dozen years I have spent more time abroad then at home, and when at home I was depending on public transport most of the time, it is quite an achievement. The Tröckener Kecks are not the best band I know. They are not even the best Dutch band I know. But they were special in some way. When they were small, the merchandising was done by their bass player after the gig, sitting on the edge of the stage. When I, and a friend of mine, asked about a certain colour tshirt he arranged them and sent them to me at home, with the request to pay for it as soon as possible. Completely based on trust. You can't not like a band after that. The best thing about them were their lyrics. You could consider them poetry, if you looked at them. Some were simple, some were deep, some were intended deep, though I suspect them to be just intended sometimes.
As one of the writers of lyrics, Rick de Leeuw obviously was used to writing. It turned out that he had a talent for it. He was asked to write columns in several magazines. I read a few a couple of years back on the web and I really liked them. Some of the columns he wrote he used for his debut novel "the last hero". Knowing his background, the story must be at least semi-autobiographical. Richard Koning grows up with just one dream, to become a professional football player, though being in a boarding school (something very rare in the Netherlands) doesn't help his cause. He is half orphaned (mother died, father couldn't take care of him) and has whole conversations with a poster of his hero, Johan Cruyff, who he also bumps into in the street, obviously not seen by anybody else. Near the end of the book, football becomes more and more a dream, Richard discovers music. The Jam and a girl who he likes likes them as well. It must be the story of his life, adapted for a book. But it is a good book to read, you can't but feel sympathy for the little lonely lad in an orphanage type surrounding and it is a reminder for a lot of people who grow up with dreams that never will be reality. But as he already sang once in one of their songs. "The chase is better than the actual catch". Great book, great birthday present from my parents, though arriving home quite a bit after my birthday, it was weird to still get a present. The free single cd was just a bonus. I think I'm going to look for the next time I can go to one of their concerts again. Have a little chat with them after wards, like I did last time. I have grown up with them, they'll always be a part of my life and so will their music and therefore his books as well