elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Behind the Cover: Alfred Mazure

Alfred Mazure (Nijmegen, September 8, 1914 - London, 16 February 1974) was a Dutch comic writer, artist and adventurer. Mazure is known for publishing the comics series about private detective Dick Bos.

Mazure was born in Nijmegen. Having stopped with high school, the outside worl pulled Mazure in the early 30s. He traveled with some friends to Germany and the Balkans. This trip was funded with the money he gained selling a comic to the Hague Post. The following year Mazure moved over to the Danube, Turkey and North Africa.

In 1938, Mazure returned to the Netherlands. He went to work as an illustrator and cartoonist for the weekly magazine, The Prince, and the associated youth magazine, Jeugdland. Here he drew a strip about a young Native American: Stomach Redskin's Wonderfull Stories.

In July 1940, shortly after the beginning of World War II, Mazure began the comic about Dick Bos. The stories were characterized by many fight scenes. Only on the last page to the reader was clear how Forest had solved the crime. The first album has not sold well, but after a few copies were distributed into the schools, the popularity of Dick Bos quickly increased to great heights.

Mazure came into the war in a difficult situation: the Germans wanted for him to made Bos into a SS. Forest would have to fight both the front and against the black market. Mazure was promised one million copies and a blank contract. Mazure, who had warm sympathies for the opposition, did not want to hear anything about it. Literally, he said "Gentlemen, I do not think my hero would look good in an SS uniform." He refused the money they offered him and his books were banned. Mazure subsequently concentrated on filmmaking, but was unsuccessful. He closed a contract with a publisher, where he spent the rest of his life. Later he went into his residence in Wassenaar where he started a soup kitchen. At the same time he worked for the Resistance, by drawings and filmmaking. When the Germans rolled up his publishing company, Mazure went into hiding.

Just after the war, a new film by Mazure with him in the lead came out, but it was not well welcomed by the movie industry.

At the end of the 40s comics were banned by the Dutch Ministry of Education because of the "pernicious nature of youth". In a press release, the Ministry asked schools to try to minimize the spread of graphic novels (comics). In another press release, the Ministry claimed strips were "poison for Youth". At the end of 1948 a 16-year-old boy murdered his 15-year-old girlfriend, and the media sought the explanation in the influence of comics.

Because in those years many authors have been banned because of Nazi sympathies and collaborating with the occupiers, Mazure (completely erroneously) was referred into the list of "bad Dutch." Mazure left disappointed a few years later to Great Britain. There he took his successful work as an illustrator again. Mazure died in 1974 in London at the age of 59.

Dick Bos was a great hero in the mid 20th century and collectors now pay good money for old editions of the Little Dick Bos-books. In October 2003 it was announced that directors Paul Verhoeven and Jan Bosdriesz together were to make a documentary about Dick Bos and his creator.

Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Mazure

Tags: behind the cover

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