Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz

Werner Wejp-Olsen was a Danish cartoonist, who published his work internationally under the pen name WOW. He began his career in his home country, drawing newspaper adventure comics like 'Peter og Perle' and Jan Lööf's 'Felix', but he quickly gained international recognition for his syndicated features 'Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz', 'Granny and Slowpoke' and 'The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Wejp-Olsen lived and worked in the USA from 1989 until his death in 2018.

Early life / Peter og Perle
Wejp-Olsen was born in 1938 in Brønshøj, a village 4 kilometres west of Copenhagen. He saw his first gag cartoons published in 1955 in Ekstra Bladet, when he was still in high school. Although he was educated as a journalist, he chose for a career in cartooning instead. He worked as an editor at a newspaper syndicate, while trying to sell his gag cartoons internationally under the pen name WOW. Jyllands-Posten ran his first strip, the humorous adventure serial 'Peter og Perle' ('Peter and Bonzo') from 1966 until 1979. The comic, starring the boy Peter, his faithful dog Perle and the secret agent Uffe Athoni, also ran in Swedish papers and magazines like Expressen and Serie-Pressen under the title 'Petter och Pärla'. The comic drew inspiration from Hergé's 'Tintin' and the popular 1960s 'James Bond' movies.

Felix
Between 1972 and 1977 Wejp-Olsen drew 24 adventures of 'Felix', a character often described as the Scandinavian version of Hergé's 'Tintin'. 'Felix' was written and drawn in a semi-underground style by Jan Lööf from 1967 until 1972. Wejp-Olsen wrote his first stories himself, and then worked in cooperation with Ole Munk Rasmussen between 1976 and 1979. WOW dropped most of Lööf's original political left-wing overtones, and instead focused on major issues like pollution, energy crisis, the third world, new energy sources, and food distribution as the basis for funny, whimsical, and satirical plots. Rasmussen, Jens-Peder Agger, Per Sanderhage, Per Vadmand and Mårdøn Smet worked on new stories until the series came to an end in 1986. 'Felix' was syndicated by the press agency PIB, and appeared in such newspapers as Politiken (Denmark) and Dagens Nyheter (Sweden).

Felix by Werner Wejp Olsen
Felix i Utopia

Fridolin
Wow's first gag-a-day strip was 'Fridolin', which appeared in the Sunday edition of Berlingske Tidenende from 1974 onwards. The strip, starring a high school kid and his arrogant cat, provides gentle satire on everyday issues. In the 2000s, 'Fridolin' has been used by the information department of the EU to tell about the many aspects of the European Union in a popular way, both as an animated cartoon and a comic strip feature.

Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz
In 1974, WOW additionally created the detective riddle feature 'Krimi-Quiz' in the Danish weekly magazine Billedbladet. It has continued to appear in Denmark in Ekstra Bladet and SE & HØR, while also entertaining international audiences in Finland, Italy, Brazil, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and the United States. Since 1989 Egmont has published 'Krimi-Quiz' as a comic book in Denmark, Norway, the Baltic States, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. With a grant from the European Union, a pilot for a 'Krimi-Quiz' animated TV show was developed by A-Film in Copenhagen. In 1994 WOW launched Crime-Quiz as a humorous daily detective strip, titled 'Dick Danger' in Ekstra Bladet. In the USA it was syndicated by Asterisk Features from 1994 to 1998 under the title 'Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz'. It has remained WOW's longest running comic strip, which was still published on the online gocomics portal when the artist passed away in 2018.

Granny and Slowpoke
The 'Crime Quiz' was not Wejp-Olsen's first publication in the USA, however. His comic 'Granny and Slowpoke' was distributed to about 40 US newspapers by Field Enterprises from 12 July 1976 until 1977. The main character was a cigar-chomping lady, who lives together with her daughter, grandchildren and dog. The artist deliberately chose a positive approach for this family comic, although the elderly title character was non-conformist and a rebel against authority. The daydreams of the dog Slowpoke provided an extra fantasy element. Despite WOW's obvious influences from US cartoonists like Mort Walker and Dik Browne, it didn't really catch on in the USA. The US strip was cancelled after only a year, after which the artist reprised it in Denmark as 'Momsemor' in 1977. It has remained in print in Scandinavia for many years. In Sweden, it for instance ran in Lilla Fridolf, Expressen and Nya Wermlandstidningen, while in Denmark it was published in the weekly Hjemmet magazine. Between 30 October 1978 and 3 March 1979 the cartoonist returned to the US newspapers with 'The Maestro and Amalita' (Field Enterprises), an obscure strip about an opera company.

Disney comics
Between 1976 and 1999 and then again between 2014 and 2016, Werner Wejp-Olsen wrote hundreds of Disney stories for the Danish publisher Gutenberghus and its successor Egmont. These included many adventure stories with 'Donald Duck', 'Mickey Mouse', 'Goofy' and other characters, but also a great many 'Mickey Mouse' riddle comics. The latter were mostly drawn by Tino Santanach and Miguel Fernandez Martinez. Between 1997 and 1999, he wrote several stories based on the Walt Disney movie 'The Lion King', drawn by Oscar Martin.


Andersen - The Emperor's New Clothes (The Gazette (Montreal), 15 June 1988)

The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
He returned to the US market with 'The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen', a series daily comic strip adaptions of stories by Denmark's famous storyteller. Between 1988 and 1989 Asterisk Features distributed comic strip versions of 'The Ugly Duckling', 'The Emperor's New Clothes', 'The Flying Suitcase', 'Big Claus and Little Claus', 'Nightingale' and 'The Little Mermaid'. The feature was also used in the "Newspapers in Education" program, teaching American school children about the life and work of Andersen. In Denmark 'H.C. Andersens Eventyr' was published in Ekstra Bladet.

Move to the USA
Later-day creations were five illustrated children's books of 'Nikolajs hemmelige liv' (Gyldendal AV, 1982, reprinted by Lindhardt og Ringhof), about the adventures of a little boy and his dog Todenskiold. 'Wowsekøbing' (1985) was a funny animal comic about a city with anthropomorphic dogs, published in book format by Forlaget Casa Aps, and also ran in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet as 'Jyckeby'. Werner Wejp-Olsen moved to Massachusetts in the USA, where he continued to work on his many creations. 'Professor Yuk-Yuk's Cartooning Class' was syndicated by United Features from 4 February 1990 until 26 June 1994. His new creation 'TRENDZ' (1995) poked satirical fun at everyday issues like cellular phones, fashion, cars, TV, organic food and UFOs. It debuted in Denmark in Jyllands-Posten, and was quickly published all over Scandinavia and eventually also the USA.


TRENDZ

From 2016 onwards, Wejp-Olsen published three albums of 'Tom & TK13', featuring the science fiction adventures of an anthropomorphic dog and an android. Werner Wejp-Olsen also continued to work on new episodes of his crime-solving sleuth Inspector Danger and his sidekick Alfie. In 2017, he drew 40 brand new mysteries for his book 'Den store krimi-quiz'. He passed away at the age of 80 on 15 November 2018.

Inspector Danger's Crime Quiz on Gocomics.com

Series and books by Werner Wejp-Olsen in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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