Barbara Stok has become a well known comic artist in The Netherlands for her candid autobiographical comic strips. In 2009 she won the Stripschapprijs, the most prestigious comic awards in the Netherlands, for her entire oeuvre. In addition to her work for newspapers and magazines, she has ten books to her name. Her book 'Vincent' is published in many countries around the world.
Stok spent three years working on Vincent, about the brief and intense period of
time that artist Vincent van Gogh spent in the south of France. Vincent dreams of setting up an artists' house in Arles for himself and his friends. However, his attacks of mental illness confuse and disorient him, culminating in the notorious incident with his ear and leaving his dreams shattered. Throughout all of this, Vincent's brother Theo stands by him, offering constant and unconditional support.
Van Gogh was passionate about his art. His ideas about success, setbacks and how to create a meaningful life provide an interesting counterpoint to our age of individualism and economic thinking. Stok has succeeded in turning the experiences of this 19th-century artist into a story that is relevant to our own times.
The Guardian: "a vibrant, sad account of Van Gogh's move to Arles"
The Times: "the certainty of [Stok's] line resides in its very freedom from style, enabling the subtle colours to sing."
Read the reviews
'Vincent' is published in the following countries:
The Netherlands (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2012)
Turkey (Yapi Kredi, 2013)
Italy (BAO, 2014)
United Kingdom (Self Made Hero, 2014)
Korea (Open Books, 2015)
Czech Republic (Mladá Fronta, 2015)
Greece (AIORA Press, 2015)
France (Emmanuel Proust Editions, 2015)
United States (Self Made Hero, 2015)
Canada (Self Made Hero, 2015)
Brazil (Publibook/LPM, 2015)
Denmark (Turbine, 2016)
'Vincent' will soon be released in:
Germany (Seemann Henschell)
China (Shanghai 99 Readers' Culture)
At the moment Barbara Stok is making a new book: a graphic novel in the style of 'Vincent', about a philosopher. She will reveal more about the story when the project is in a later stage. The book is scheduled to be published in 2018.
Her latest book, a compilation short autobiographical comic stories, will soon be translated: it is going to be published in Korea. The Korean publisher, Open Book, was also the first to buy the rights of 'Vincent', after which fifteen countries followed so far.
Barbara Stok (b. 1970) briefly studied at the Fotoacademie and worked as a journalist, before ultimately choosing the profession of comic-book writer and illustrator. In her debut, Barbaraal tot op het bot (Barbara: The Bare Bones, 1998), Stok depicted her own everyday life in the form of comic strips. Concerts, nights out, getting drunk, the first steps on the path to love, the fear of death – Barbara Stok focuses on a range of themes but always with a light touch. She constantly poses questions about how to live life and about right and wrong. Robert Crumb once called her stories "quite funny, well-told, courageously truthfull".