Jimmy Hostens is a Belgian comics artist and DTP operator. He is best known for two historical graphic novels set in West Flanders. His 'Katelijne van Brugge' (2012) - written by Steven Selschotter - is set in Bruges during the 17th-century witch hunts. The two-volume graphic novel 'Altijd Ergens Oorlog' (2016-2018) - written by Rino Feys - takes place in Roeselare during the First World War. A critical and commercial success, the work went through several reprints.

Life and career
Jimmy Hostens was born in 1970 in Roeselare, but studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bruges. His main graphic influences are François Walthéry and Olivier TaDuc. Since 2004 he works as a desktop publisher for the Roeselare division of Athena Graphics BV, which is mainly responsible for providing prepress services for all types of packaging. In 2011 Hostens participated in the group expo 'What's Your Excuse' in the Antwerp comics store Mekanik and contributed to the shop's anthology booklet 'De Reis' (2011).


'De Reis'.

Katelijne van Brugge
He and his good friend Steven Selschotter, aka Stef, were passionate comics readers since their youth. After creating a few pages of a Viking-themed comic strip in 2010, Selschotter and Hostens planned a trip to Antwerp to receive an honest opinion about their work. As they had to wait for their train to Antwerp they decided to pay a visit to local comics store De Striep in Bruges. When they told the store owner, Daniël Cool, about their plan he offered them the chance to make a comic about his store, which happened to celebrate its 30th anniversary. He guaranteed them that he would publish it in book format too, though also asked them to make it about more than his store alone, preferably Bruges itself. Selschotter and Hostens went through great lengths to research the history of Bruges. Their comic book, 'Katelijne van Brugge' (Saga Uitgaven, 2012), is set in the city during the 17th century and is based on the witch trials at the time.


'Katelijne van Brugge'.

Altijd Ergens Oorlog
Together with scriptwriter Rino Feys, Hostens created the two-parter 'Altijd Ergens Oorlog' (Bibliodroom, 2016-2018), a graphic novel set in Roeselare, West Flanders, during the First World War. The book follows the diary of a young girl, Marie, who lives through the German occupation. The real-life nurse and spy Martha Cnockaert also plays an important role in the story. Feys and Hostens visited the city archives, various museums, read dozens of books and rummaged through several old photographs and pictures to document themselves about the time period. They were particularly inspired by Johan Delbecke's children's novel 'Kinderen in de Eerste Wereldoorlog' and the real-life diary of Jules Dujardin, a 14-year old boy who lived through the First World War. 'Altijd Ergens Oorlog' was a critical and commercial success. Within only a couple of years it already achieved three reprints.

Later activities
In 2016 Hostens designed an image of former mayor of Roeselare Luc Martens for plastic bread wrappers of local bakery BROOD. In 2017 Maud Vanhauwaert published 'Deze mokkel... stapt van haar sokkel' (Bibliodroom, 2017), a series of poems about a bronze statue of a nude woman which comes alive and decides to take a walk. Steven Selschotter came up with the idea, Vanhauwaert wrote the poetic narration, while a team of cartoonists under the collective pseudonym "Striptic" (Jimmy Hostens, Phavin Verly, Steven Selschotter) provided the artwork.

Recognition
In 2015 the Striptic collective was named Cultural Ambassador of Roeselare, alongside photographer Maarten DeVoldere and cultural historian Luc Glorieux. On 24 June 2019 Feys and Hostens won the Roeselare Press Award for 'Altijd Ergens Oorlog'.


'Altijd Ergens Oorlog'.

Series and books by Jimmy Hostens in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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