Company typeComic book store, art gallery
IndustryComic books, art
FoundedNovember 8, 1968; 55 years ago (1968-11-08)[1]
FounderKees Kousemaker
Key people
Kees Kousemaker and Evelien Willems
Klaas Knol
Bas Van der Zee
Boris Kousemaker
ProductsComic books

Galerie Lambiek is a Dutch comic book store and art gallery in Amsterdam, founded on November 8, 1968[2] by Kees Kousemaker (Steenbergen [nl], (1942-01-25)January 25, 1942 – Bussum, April 27, 2010(2010-04-27) (aged 68)). His son Boris Kousemaker has been the owner since 2007. From 1968 to 2015, it was located in the Kerkstraat, but in November 2015, the store moved to Koningsstraat 27.[3] As of 2018, Lambiek is the oldest comics store in Europe,[4] and the oldest worldwide still in existence.[5][6]

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.[7] The logo of the shop is an image from the Suske en Wiske album Prinses Zagemeel (Princess Sawdust).[8]


Founding owner Kousemaker in January 1968, his gallery/store in September 1973, and a December 1980 album signing by Sjef van Oekel and Theo van den Boogaard on the right.

Only two earlier comic bookstores are known to have opened their doors on the North-American continent (or anywhere else on the world for that matter) prior to the one founded by Kousemaker; George Henderson's Canadian, Toronto-based Memory Lane Books opened in May 1967,[9] (itself a continuation of the Viking Bookshop he had already opened on another city location in the spring of 1966[10]), followed by Gary Arlington's San Francisco Comic Book Company, which was established in April 1968 in the US namesake city,[11] Making Lambiek the worldwide third-oldest comic book store in history. What the three stores had in common was that they all started out with a strong focus on underground comics. Memory Lane Books closed its doors in the 1980s, however, whereas Arlington's store went defunct in 2002,[12] leaving Lambiek as of 2023 the worldwide oldest surviving comic book store.[7][1]

Kees Kousemaker and his wife Evelien also published two encyclopedic books about comics, titled Strip voor Strip (1970) and Wordt Vervolgd (1979).[1] He and Margreet de Heer also wrote the book De Nederlandse Stripgeschiedenis (2001) and De Wereld van de Nederlandse Strip (2005) about Dutch comics and their history.[13] From 1986 on, the store gained fame by holding art exhibitions and book signings by numerous comic authors, including Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, André Franquin, Joost Swarte, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, François Avril and Art Spiegelman.[7][1]

In 2010, Lambiek's founder, Kees Kousemaker, died.[7]


Since 1 November 1999, Lambiek has also hosted the Comiclopedia, a digital encyclopaedia featuring biographies of more than 14,000 international comics authors.[7][14][1]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Stripwinkel Lambiek bestaat 50 jaar". 15 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Dutch Comics 1968 -1979". Lambiek Comic History. Archived from the original on Jun 16, 2023.
  3. ^ "Comicshop Lambiek moves from Kerkstraat 132 to Koningsstraat 27". Lambiek Comic Shop. Archived from the original on Mar 4, 2016.
  4. ^ MacNamee, Oliver (11 October 2018). "Happy 50th To Europe's Oldest Comic Shop, Lambiek, In Amsterdam". COMICON. Archived from the original on Jun 16, 2023.
  5. ^ "Lambiek -The World's Oldest Comics Shop". Valise et Parapluie. 8 December 2016. Archived from the original on Nov 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Unudurti, Jaideep (2012-01-08). "Memories Are Made of These". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on Jun 16, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e van Brummelen, Peter (8 November 2018). "Stripwinkels verdwijnen, maar Lambiek gaat moedig voort". Het Parool.
  8. ^ Knudde, Kjell (1 January 1970). "Willy Vandersteen". Lambiek Comiclopedia. Archived from the original on Feb 24, 2024.
  9. ^ VanderPloeg, Scott (14 September 2011). "Canada's 1st Comic Shop?".
  10. ^ Bradburn, Jamie (2 September 2015). "Vintage Toronto Ads: Memory Lane – The story of "Captain George" Henderson, Toronto's first retailer to specialize in comic books".
  11. ^ "Comics History: Underground comix and the underground press". Archived from the original on 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  12. ^ Dorn, Lori (6 February 2014). "Gary Arlington (1938-2014), Owner of the First Comic Book Store in the United States". Archived from the original on 18 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "De Geus Lambiek". 15 May 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Comiclopedia krijgt P. Hans Frankfurtherprijs". 8 February 2020.
  15. ^ " Awards". Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  16. ^ verslaggever, Van onze (Oct 11, 1999). "Stripfestijn te klein voor Brabanthallen". de Volkskrant. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  17. ^ Koninginnedag 2006: Opnieuw zijn striphelden koninklijk onderscheiden Archived 2007-11-10 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Moll, Maarten (14 July 2019). "Klaas Knol (1954-2019): Ambassadeur van de strip". Het Parool.
  19. ^ "Uitreiking van de P Hans Frankfurtherprijs 2020". Stripjournaal. 13 November 2020.