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Besides being a source of entertainment, art can also be a powerful tool used by its creator to educate their audience. The topics vary, but today we’d like to introduce you to a Dutch artist, the author of an inspirational and thought-provoking comic series. Maaike Hartjes is the creator behind a series discussing important issues such as racism, climate change, and women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights. Additionally, in her work, the artist likes to showcase funny and relatable topics like relationships.

Bored Panda contacted Maaike to find out more about her comics. We were interested in what inspired the artist to start creating her series in the first place. We learned that: “I’ve actually been drawing autobiographical comics since kindergarten, and always dreamed about becoming a professional comic artist.”

More info: Instagram | Facebook | maaikehartjes.nl

#1

Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Abigail Moritz
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

❤️ You can be anyone and anything you want. You can love anyone you want. It’s your choice. Not theirs.❤️

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Hartjes continued and told us that as she got older, her dream came true: “I’ve worked as a cartoonist and comic artist for magazines and newspapers and published several comic books. When the pandemic hit, I became very active on Instagram, making relatable and informative comics.”

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As for the topic that became a major inspiration for the illustrator, Maaike mentioned: “Black Lives Matter inspired me to learn more about racism and from there I started drawing more about social issues besides relatable personal stuff.”

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Peyton4ever
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Companies fill the bags with nitrogen to keep the fresh and keep them from breaking!

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We were wondering how the Dutch artist comes up with ideas for her new comics. We found out: “I get inspiration from my daily life and the news + internet. It often starts with something that makes me happy or upset. Then I start thinking of how I can pour those ideas and feelings into a comic or cartoon.”

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Next, asked about some of her influences in the world of comedy and humor, Hartjes told us she doesn’t follow lots of funny content, but mostly accounts with beautiful art work or activist content. She said: “My latest inspiration is Joris Lechêne who has a lot of historical knowledge and makes really funny and interesting videos. He also deals wonderfully with backlash from trolls and racists.

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Georgia Ireland
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm glad to see models with vitiligo and Downs Syndrome. Good on them!

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"I also like the more activist comics of Sophie Labelle, she taught me a lot about transgender people, and Koreangry is unapologetically (but funny) angry about racism. @yesimhotinthis makes a lot of funny comics about her experiences as a Muslim woman. I admire how they mix activism with humor.”

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#11

Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Serena Marley
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In some cases, yes, there is a "reject all" button. Not nearly enough cases, though.

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Fran Parry
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's ok to get old.. if you are feeling old maybe you're one of the lucky ones that experience life.. 😁

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#15

Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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flower petals
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Research has shown that women are infantilized (seen as/treated like children) and so are people of color, so women of color have it twice as bad.. Racism sucks!! 🤬😢

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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flower petals
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is spot on. “All this inclusion *nonsense* is so tiring..” Racist sexist ableist self own 🙄

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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StrangeOne
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm happy I can still afford a variety of food right now, and get it when I want. Relying on a food bank, although grateful it exists, sucks. You don't get much choice, at all, you have to book a monthly appointment, and what you get doesn't last long. But I know people who use food banks just because they don't want to spend the extra money on groceries, despite being able to afford it.

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Khavrinen
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We had a cat named Bilbo! Long-haired polydactyl tuxedo cat, and the most prolific hunter we ever had. Unfortunately, the name had already stuck when we realized that "he" was actually "she".

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#28

Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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Danish Susanne
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Do you feel that your relationship is of less value because other experiences the same?

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Meet Maaike Hartjes, The Dutch Cartoonist Blending Humor And Social Critique

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