The comic

Off-stage follows young musician Alexander Van Dam on his journey towards discovering his own voice and stepping out of his big brother’s shadow.

Alex is a talented guitar player, but is not a huge fan of the punk rock world his older brother Vince lives in. Despite continued offers to play for Vince’s band Dinosaur Gardens, Alex is more interested in going the singer-songwriter route. But a lack of inspiration and confidence in his own songwriting abilities hold him back from stepping into the limelight himself – no matter how much his friend and confidante Suzanne Grotenhuis, operational director at Paradiso, pushes him to. Will Alex ever find his muse and conquer the music industry? Only time will tell.

And if you are Dutch, keep an eye out for some familiar sights! Off-stage takes place in Amsterdam, specifically in and around concert venue Paradiso.

 

The cast

Alex

Alexander van Dam is a stage hand at Paradiso, and an aspiring musician. He identified with the rock-and-roll lifestyle for a long time due to his brother, but is finding that his ambitions are changing into becoming a singer-songwriter. Through his new calling he tries to step out from his brother's shadow and become who he wants to be.

Comics: 53
Recent Appearance: 62. Exit stage right
First Appearance: Page 1

Suze

Suzanne Grotenhuis is the operational director at Paradiso. She makes sure that every concert goes smoothly. She is career-oriented, smart and independent. Has a slightly worrisome addiction to coffee. Smoker, but wants to quit.

Comics: 34
Recent Appearance: 63. Swerve in the lane
First Appearance: Page 1

Vince

Vincent van Dam is Alex's older brother and the frontman of the successful indie rock band Dinosaur Gardens. He can be found in and around Paradiso quite often, much to the chagrin of the people there, because Vince is a bit of a narcissistic troublemaker.

Comics: 19
Recent Appearance: 57. Stalemate
First Appearance: Page 2

Nick

Nick is the head sound technician at Paradiso, bestowed with a wealth of knowledge about equipment and mixing. Quietly dreams about being a band manager or producer someday. Likes to horse around with Alex.

Comics: 19
Recent Appearance: 62. Exit stage right
First Appearance: 25. Jumbly words

Anna

Anna is a fairly successful singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. She and Alex met after she played a concert at Paradiso, and though initially their flirt fizzled out when Alex took things too fast, they have kept in contact ever since.

Comics: 13
Recent Appearance: 40. The heights of literacy
First Appearance: Page 8

Nina

Nina is a music journalist writing for FRET magazine. She is also Suzanne's BFF, and used to work in the Paradiso marketing department. Generally sassy and promiscuous. Dated Vince for a while.

Comics: 11
Recent Appearance: 63. Swerve in the lane
First Appearance: Page 7

Bert

Bert is a security guard at Paradiso. His straight-forward opinions can sound rather crass, but at least he is always honest.

Comics: 8
Recent Appearance: 50. Splitting hairs
First Appearance: Page 15

Dinosaur Gardens

Dinosaur Gardens is a well-known rock band from the Netherlands. Besides frontman Vincent van Dam, it consists of three other musicians: Max, Billy and Jessie, each one as much a classic rockstar archetype as the next.

Comics: 6
Recent Appearance: 55. Unexpected company
First Appearance: Page 4

Adelina

Adelina is a self-employee sex worker from the Red Light District. She has a complicated relationship with Bert.

Comics: 5
Recent Appearance: 50. Splitting hairs
First Appearance: 27. Win-Win

 

The author

Tim was born and raised in a creative family, and started drawing comics at a young age. He maintained a webcomic all during high school, and published his first graphic novel in 2009. Some described it as “a stunning example of clean linework and imaginative page layout”.

Meanwhile, Tim graduated from art school in 2011 with a Master’s degree and dove into the world of game development and interactive storytelling. Besides having a fascination for history and human interaction, he also has a weak spot for mysteries and folklore.

You can see more of his other work at timhengeveld.com.