Enter DMTR


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In my last column I finally completed the team to create my comic. I had an artist, a colorist and a finished script. We were rolling, as they say. I had so much fun writing the script for ACE that I wanted to write even more. And I had this exciting idea for another story. However, it turned out to be a real effort to find an artist the last time. Could I do it again?

There was this guy I knew who also made comics. And he worked with a colorist. I had spoken to this colorist a few times and I knew he had done some drawings of his own in the past. He had this comic in a newspaper for the homeless in Groningen called the Riepe, about a happy homeless guy called Berend Borrel (roughly translated into Berend Drink). And although  that comic was not really in the style I was looking for, I thought my story would be something this guy might be interested in.

So I contacted him and asked him if he would like to grab a cup of coffee. So on my day off I rode my bike (yeah, we like to ride our bikes a lot in the Netherlands) to the building where this guy called Dimitri Jansma worked.

I knew what kind of comics he liked (The Goon and Hellboy among others) and I thought that the idea I had in my scrapbook could be something he would like. It was kind of a dark story  about vampires, a priest and a mysterious medallion. And I believed that darker aspect would be something that would appeal to Dimitri.

Not that Dimitri is dark, although most people are kind of scared when they meet DMTR (DiMiTRi get it?!) for the first time because of his tattoos. In fact, he is a very charming and very funny guy. It also helped that he wore a long-sleeve at our meeting, so his arms didn’t intimidate me (that much).

After ordering coffee in the bistro I told him about my story idea and what I was planning with Ranjit. And again it was a meeting with a lot of positive energy. It was also kind of nice to do this in real life, instead of on the phone. I had my scrapbook with me, already making notes about the story and the characters. DMTR liked the idea and had some good ideas to add to the mix. We talked about some of the things he would like to draw and I wrote everything down. This was the first time I would be writing, knowing who the artist would be. I had my second artist and it had only taken me one e-mail and a few cups of coffee.
Before my meeting with DMTR I had sent Ranjit a link to DMTR's DeviantArt page (for those of you who would like to see it: http://dmtr.deviantart.com/ ) and I had also spoken with Ranjit about my new story idea. Although he liked the basic storyline, it was not something he was into. I called Ranjit on my way home and told him about the meeting and the fact that Dimitri would send some character sketches.

I still can’t describe how cool it is when someone takes the time and energy to draw something that you thought up. And the best news was that I really liked the style in which DMTR had drawn the characters. A style that was very different from Ranjit's style

But I was still developing my idea. I knew how the story would end, but I still had to work out some of the story and flesh out two characters a bit more. Yeah, life was good and everything was going well.. Until our colorist told us he couldn’t commit the time to color our comics: he was out of the project. And with that news hitting us, I had to start a new search for a colorist.


Gert-Jan van Oosten, co-founder of Dutch  comic book publisher, Drop Comics, talks about his efforts to find his place on the American/English comics market from across the pond.

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