Galerie Lambiek is a Dutch comic book store and art gallery in Amsterdam, founded on November 8, 1968 by Kees Kousemaker. From 1968 to 2015 it was located in the Kerkstraat, but in November 2015 the store moved to the Koningsstraat 27.
The Lambiek website is one of the longest-running resources about comics and cartoonists on the Internet. The website features a web shop for comic books, eComics, and original art, as well as a news page with articles of interest to comics fans and online art exhibitions. The flagship of the site is the Comiclopedia, an illustrated compendium of over 13,500 international comic artists. The site also features a history of Dutch comics, mostly researched and written by Kees Kousemaker.
The name "Lambiek" originated as a misspelling of the name of the comics character Lambik, from the popular Suske & Wiske comic book series created by Belgian artist Willy Vandersteen. The logo of the shop is an image from the Suske en Wiske album Prinses Zagemeel (Princess Sawdust).
The store has held exhibitions of art by comic creators, including Robert Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Erik Kriek, André Franquin, Tanino Liberatore and Chris Ware. The shop and the informational website both have a strong focus on underground comics, graphic novels and autobiographical comics. The exhibitions can be profit or non-profit, depending on the subject of the exposition.
Kees Kousemaker (1942-2010) was a Dutch comics expert, born in Steenbergen, Netherlands. He first arose to prominence when he opened Lambiek, the first comic shop in Europe, in 1968. As a result of his exhibitions and attention to the early work of young cartoonists such as Peter Pontiac and Joost Swarte, he established collaborations and friendships with many Dutch and international artists. Kousemaker also published books about Dutch comic culture. Kousemaker died April 27, 2010.
Although lambiek.net is the store's main domain name, Lambiek started a website www.lambiek.com in 1994 when Kees started to store historical comic book info online. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s the site kept its original blue design, until Kousemaker's death in 2010. From August 2012 on, Kees Kousemaker's son Boris ordered a complete remake of the site, converting all existing information into databases.
The Comiclopedia features biographical information and illustrations, comic strip images, album covers, frame grabs, and memorabilia about each individual artist. All artists are alphabetized and can both be looked up by name or by their nationality. The emphasis is mostly on comics artists, though cartoonists, caricaturists, animators, illustrators and/or celebrities who once drew comics themselves are also listed. Visitors can mail suggestions for new names, additions or corrections.
The history section also includes an in-depth examination of Bulgarian comics, researched and written by Vladimir Nedialkov, with additions by Stiliana Thepileva . The site also features a historical overview of the comics magazines Spirou, Tintin, Pif gadget, Pilote, and Wimmen's Comix.
Lambiek also features separate articles about the Comics Code, Frederic Wertham, Disney comics artists around the world, Rolf Kauka artists, erotic comics, newspaper strips, underground comics and webcomics. There is also a column for thus unidentified comics where the site's owners ask visitors for help with identification of the anonymous artists or with providing more biographical info and/or illustrations about them.In 2006 Kousemaker was the recipient of the Order of Orange-Nassau medal from the Netherlands for his special dedication to the history of comic books.
Kousemaker also received the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 1997.