Maigret Part 3: Zwarte Beertjes Maigret by Dick Bruna

Georges Simenon’s Maigret: Part 1    Part 2    Part 3

Best known for having created Miffy, the loveable bunny rabbit, Dick Bruna is also responible for some of the snazziest paperback cover designs in the history of publishing. Working for his family’s publishing firm in the 1960s, he designed hundreds of emblematic covers for the Zwarte Beertjes (translation: Black Bears) crime imprint. Presented below is a selection of some of my favourite covers that he designed for the Dutch editions of Maigret from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.


Notice the branding, with the (nearly) omnipresent pipe and bear identifying the series and imprint respectively.

Further reading:

In 2004, Koichi Yanagimoto compiled what appears to be a complete illustrated catalogue of Bruna’s work for Zwarte Beertjes (front and back covers below), including novels from other series including The Saint, OSS 117, De Schaduw and Francis Coplan. It would seem that this book is out of print, so if anyone knows where I might find a copy I would be much obliged.


More of his Simenon covers can be found online at BoekenWebsite and De Boekenplank, and many more cover images from all series at and The World of Kane. There have also been Dick Bruna exhibitions held in Tokyo, Rotterdam and Britain (Manchester, Newcastle, London, Edinburgh), and there’s now a Dick Bruna Museum in his hometown of Utrecht.

That’s all well and good, but the best way to satisfy one’s appetite for Dick Bruna book design must surely be Retrobook, a website which will sell you an original, vintage Dick Bruna designed Zwarte Beertjes paperback for only EUR 5.00 a pop. Brilliant!

Georges Simenon’s Maigret: Part 1    Part 2    Part 3


~ by Thomas on 2008-Mar-19.

One Response to “Maigret Part 3: Zwarte Beertjes Maigret by Dick Bruna”

  1. I did an extensive search online and found a Japanese bookstore that had the paperback edition of it. It arrived in pristine condition and is pretty much the same thing but cheaper.

    I can’t find the store right now but the contact wrote perfect english. It was either in Hokkaido or Tokyo. Try doing a search in Google using words like “Zwarte Beertjes Glyph” Glyph is key as that’s the Japanese publisher who released the hardcover & softcover editions.

    Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: