Peter Pontiac, born Peter J.G. Pollmann on April 28, 1951, was a prominent Dutch cartoonist, comics artist, and illustrator whose work left a significant mark on the world of comics and illustration. Peter Pontiac defined his career with his unique style, autobiographical comics, and contributions to album covers for various bands. Unfortunately, severe liver disease claimed Peter Pontiac’s life on January 20, 2015, after a lengthy battle.
Birth Name: Peter J.G. Pollmann
Born: April 28, 1951
Died: January 20, 2015
Occupation: Cartoonist, Comics Artist, Illustrator
- 1997 Stripschapprijs
- 1998 Professor Pi Illustrator’s Prize (City of Amsterdam)
- 2011 Marten Toonderprijs
A Life on the Fringe
One of the defining aspects of Peter Pontiac’s life was his affinity for the fringes of society. He led a life far from conventional and was known for his struggles with addiction, particularly heroin, which he candidly depicted in his autobiographical comics. These comics offered a raw and unfiltered look into his experiences, resonating with readers who appreciated his honesty and willingness to tackle complex subjects.
Illustrating Album Covers
In addition to his comic work, Pontiac was a talented illustrator who significantly impacted the music industry. He lent his artistic prowess to create album covers for several bands, including Parados, Thud!, The Bouncers, The Schizofrenics, Dead Moon, and even bootleg singles by music legends like Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. His album covers were visually striking and captured the essence of the music they represented.
A Graphic Novel on Disease and Mortality
At the time of his passing, Peter Pontiac was working on a new graphic novel titled “STYX of de zesplankenkoorts.” This work reflected his battle with severe liver disease and his contemplation of mortality. He used crowdfunding to finance this project, demonstrating the support and appreciation he garnered from his fans and the artistic community.
Lettering and Contributions
Pontiac’s talents extended beyond creating his comics and illustrations. He also made significant contributions to the world of lettering. For Oog & Blik, he handled the lettering for the Dutch editions of Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” and Robert Crumb’s “Introducing Kafka.” His meticulous lettering work added to the accessibility and impact of these seminal works.
Throughout his career, Peter Pontiac created a substantial body of work, including the following notable publications:
- “Rhythm” (2011) – Oog & Blik (Complete collected comics from 1969–2011, excluding “Kraut”).
- “Kraut Biografiek” (2000) – Podium.
- “De ketens van kitsch” (1998) – ISBN 90-801-821-0-9.
- “The Quick Brown Fax” (1998).
- “Pontiac Review” (1990-1997) – A series of seven books (Oog & Blik).
- “Lost in the Lowlands” (1997) – Self-published, with a 2nd printing by Oog & Blik.
- “De luchtgitaar” (1994) – Meulenhoff.
- “The making of sacred pin-ups” (1993) – Griffioen.
- “Requiem Fortissimo” (1990) – ISBN 90-303-8941-9 (Oog & Blik).
- “Natural Jewboy” (1981) – Illustrated (ISBN 90-70460-01-7).
Awards and Recognition
Peter Pontiac received several prestigious awards for his exceptional contributions to the world of comics and illustration:
- In 1997, he received the Stripschapprijs, a highly regarded award celebrating his work.
- 1998, he was honored with the Professor Pi Illustrator’s Prize from Amsterdam.
- In 2011, he received the Marten Toonderprijs, another prestigious award that acknowledged his entire oeuvre.
Peter Pontiac’s legacy in comics and illustration endures as his work inspires and captivates readers and artists alike. His willingness to explore unconventional themes, candid autobiographical comics, and contributions to music album covers have left an indelible mark on the art world. Peter Pontiac’s life and work remind us that art is a powerful medium for self-expression and exploration, even in the face of life’s most challenging experiences.
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