Sadly so far both the video and the website are only available in Dutch, but new comics publisher Scratch Books is an initiative of comics legend Joost Swarte, ex-Oog&Blik publisher Hansje Joustra and ex-comicshop owner turned businessman Wiebe Mokken. According to the press release they aim to release some twenty titles a year, both from Dutch and foreign cartoonists. Amongst the names mentioned who will publish new comics through Scratch Books are Guido van Driel, Robert Crumb, Graig Thompson, Erik Kriek, Ever Meulen, Joost Swarte, Typex and Henning Wagenbreth. Whether in the case of e.g. Crumb this means a new Dutch translation of existing work or a new book entirely isn’t mentioned. What is mentioned is that the publisher is also going to attempt to market their Dutch cartoonists abroad.
In any case, having a new, less commercially orientated publisher in the Netherlands is urgently needed. If Scratch Book can live up to the expectations of having onboard both Joost Swarte, one of the best Dutch cartoonists ever as well as an equally great graphic designer, as well as Hansje Joustra, who with Oog&Blik managed to build an international reputation as a quality publisher, than it could well become a very important publisher. There are so many great cartoonists here struggling to find an audience, any new outlet is welcome.