Sunday, November 21, 2004
Launched: Rampokan Celebes!
Last Friday was the launching of Rampokan Celebes at "Serieuze Zaken", Amsterdam. Rampokan Celebes is the continuation of Rampokan Java, a graphic novel by Peter van Dongen. The story takes Indonesia in the 1940s as the background, the drawing style is clean, detailed and clear ("Tintin-ish" - a really elaborate artwork, I'd say), and it comes in two colors. It took Peter seven years to finally finish this saga, about Yohan Knevel going back to Indonesia to look for his Indonesian nanny who took care of him when he was a toddler. More about Peter and his work at http://www.lambiek.net/dongen_van.htm
I went to the gallery with Awan, Tanti and Bulan, after leaving the kids with Syb (who regrets that he couldn't come along). Getting there, it was already full. I went looking for Peter rightaway to congratulate him, and I could only do that since he was surrounded by people (no time to chat).
Then I looked around the gallery, where Peter's original works and/or prints are being exhibited and sold. I spotted his mother and his brothers. Arnold his older brother apparently didn't recognize me, and he left before I had the chance to talk to him.
I came to his mother and re-introduced myself, reminding her that I and my Madjoe! friends were invited to have dinner at her place, two years ago. She remembered. Marijn remembered. Eddie didn't eventhough I insisted.. haha.. Oh, and I was also introduced to Peter's twin brother Robbie. He, of course, was easy to spot among the audiences. I also greeted Ellen who must also be very relieved that Rampokan Celebes is actually finished. Wel, not so.. since this is just the beginning of Peter's busy life as a "comic celeb"..
The other guests I know were guys from Lambiek, Mr. Kees Kousemaker, Klaas and the new owner (Bart?) and his girlfriend. There were also Oom Lucas and his wife. And somebody who I thought is the 'Hang Tuah guy' and I was sure only after we lrft the gallery (his name is Fred Dijs, by the way).
Peter's Rampokan Celebes was also for sale that night, of course. I bought two packs of Peter's postcard and one Rampokan Celebes. The Rampokan costs 17 Eur! While I thought it would be less than 16 Eur (according to the publisher's website). I decide to get Peter's signature (and drawing) later, since that night he only signed his name in the book (no sketches).
Oh, there were food & drink, too, at the opening. The wine and juice bottles were quickly emptied - leaving only bottles of mineral water. There's a plate full of spekoek and pandan cake, which was also quickly emptied. Warm snacks emerged from the kitchen (mini lumpia, mini risoles and mini lemper), but they didn't get around too long.
So that's a short overview of the event. I'm happy to know Peter and I'm proud of his works, too. More on Peter, some other time..