Joost Swarte

Joost Swarte (b. 1947) is an artist, designer and architect. He studied industrial design in Eindhoven and started his own comic magazine Modern Papier in 1971, which connected him to the international underground movement. L’art moderne was published in France in 1980, a collection of Swarte’s short and absurd stories. Swarte illustrates for publications such as Vrij Nederland, Humo, RAW and The New Yorker. He also designs posters, fonts, stamps, furniture and stained glass. As an architect, he has created a theatre and a house. Swarte was also a member of the design team for the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve. In the mid-1980s, together with Hansje Joustra, he founded Oog & Blik, an Amsterdam-based publisher of comics, and in 1992 he set up the Stripdagen, a biennial comics festival held in Haarlem, the Netherlands.


  • Prix Saint-Michel (1981, Belgium)
  • Stripschap Prize (1998)
  • Marten Toonder Prize (2012)
  • Communication Arts Award of Excellence (2008, USA)
Is that all there is?

Is that all there is?

(Oog & Blik, 2012, 142 pages)

Bijna compleet (Is that all there is?) is not an overview of Swarte’s oeuvre, even though that might be what the title suggests, but an anthology of the short humorous comic strips for which Joost Swarte became well known in the 1970s.

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