The Man Who Wrote Everything, Lo Hartog van Banda died on February the second at age 89. Apart from being a prolific comics writer working mainly for the Marten Toonder studios, Banda wrote many children's series for television, including my favorite when I was five years old, De Bereboot.. He also wrote the classic childrens's series Ti Ta Tovenaar, another series I watched when I was little.
Googling for Banda now, I realise that he really did write everything I used to watch or read. When I was a bit older than that I used to borrow the black and white Blook and De Argonautjes (with art by a very young Dick Matena) books, and the colour Arad & Maya books (drawn by Jan Steeman at the time his style was transforming itself) from the library again and again.
And of course he was a ghost writer on several of the properties that came out under Toonder's name. He contributed to Tom Puss & Mr. Bumble, Panda, Kappie (a comic whose concepts he would later re-use on Bereboot) and Koning Hollewijn. Banda resigned from the Toonder studios and rejoined them several times.
Banda's work was very much of its place and time. Jeroen tells me he watched the old Bereboot episodes when they were repeated a few years ago and was shocked by the racial stereotyping in it, which toddlers of the 1970s were blithely exposed to. Only few of his works reached audiences outside of the Netherlands, particularly his three Lucky Luke scripts of the 1980s and '90s, the first of which sold enough to make him a millionnaire. Many readers in the Netherlands consider him the only Lucky Luke writer who even came close to the quality of Goscinny's work.
Banda was still working as of a few years ago, but had recently been plagued by poor health.