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Bille, Erik > Danish Comic Artists > Bille, Erik
The Danish artist Erik Ove Bille (born 1916) signed his comics as "Bille" and was particularly successful with his chef d'oeuvre "Viceværten" ("The Superintendent"), which ran in the paper "Socialdemokraten" from 1949 on. The strip later continued in "Aktuelt" until 1989, when the comics were axed by the paper to save money.

Erik Bille was trained at "Akademiet for fri og merkantil kunst", and after graduating, he immediately began delivering one panel gags to newspapers and weeklies. His first humourus strip - about the dog Nalle - could be found in the magazine "Gyngehesten" from August 3, 1945 to August 1946. From January 10, 1947 to March 3, 1948, his humor strip "Rosvald den Fiffige Matros" ran in Dansk Familieblad. It was told as a wordless strip, and the same was true of his other strip "Jones - om en Englænder i Kolonierne", which appeared in the Pop books 1947-1949.

According to Tegneseriemuseet, Bille also created a wordless strip for the saucy humor magazine Hudibras from July 23, 1950 to March 13, 1951. It was called "Lille Hudine" and related amusing incidents in the daily life of the title character. At the end of the 1940's, Erik Bille got another wordless strip syndicated by Centropress in Copenhagen. This strip also had the everyday exploits of a little girl as recurring theme. And in the daily paper B.T., one could find his gag strip "Babs og Lillebror".

But Billes most memorable comic strip is the daily life strip "Viceværten" (The Superintendent), which began in the paper Socialdemokraten on April 14, 1949, and which could be found in the successor Aktuelt until the summer of 1989, when the paper dropped its comics to save money. This strip about the amiable superintendent Manfred Olsen, his family, and the other tenants in the building where he goes about his daily routine with his trusty broom, was called "the most Danish of Danish..." in an article in the paper on the occasion of Erik Bille's 60th birthday. Again, according to Tegneseriemuseet.

Erik Bille's style is pleasing to the eye and family friendly - and his main character Manfred Olsen has got to be the nicest superintendent in the world from a time that once was. Bille also created other strips - like "Nalle", "Rosvald den Fiffige Matros", "Lille Hudine", "Soffy", and "Babs og Lillebror".

Comicart.dk will henceforth offer artwork by Erik Bille, and we are always interested in offers of collections of original art by this artist. We have just purchased (Oct 2008) a large collection of Erik Bille's private sketches and drawings for various occasions. Especially the family of Erik Bille might be interested in seeing these, as many of the drawings appear to be of the artist's children and family, as well as including two drawings signed "Onkel Aage". Just contact us - and we'll show you the artwork.

 Erik Bille - blyantsskitser
 Erik Bille - tegninger og malerier i farver
 Erik Bille - Viceværten
 Erik Bille - vittighedstegninger


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