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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

WHO Was "Onkel Dideldum"?


I do hope my friends at Lambiek do not mind me quoting their entry of Dideldum and the late German genius Otto Waffenschmied ("Onkel Dideldum") - 16th June 1901 - 5th June 1971.
Max und Miki, by Otto Waffenschmied

Otto Waffenschmied was one of the most productive and most versatile creators of comics and children's tales in Germany of the 1930s. He was the artist and the editor of the children's magazine Dideldum, which appeared from 1929 to 1941. It was published by Belog Verlag and later by Gerhard Stalling, and the main distributor was the Karstadt department store chain.

Onkel Klaus, by Otto Waffenschmied

Among Waffenschmied's many creations are 'Muck und Puck und Adelheid' (initially published under the name 'Onkel Klaus und seine Neffen'), and 'Max und Miki, die Weltbummler'. The magazine also featured several puppet stories, as well as the continuing 'Kasper' story (since 1936). On the magazine's backcover, he introduced the adventures of 'Käppen Bidebux'.
comic art by Otto Waffenschmied
Waffenschmied signed his editorials Onkel Dideldum. In the magazine's final issue of Mai 1941, Onkel Dideldum wrote that he had to go into the army, but when peace was at hand, he would be back with new issues of Dideldum. After the War, Waffenschmiedt tried to launch a second run of the Dideldum magazine (in 1950), but this shortlived attempt proved unsuccessful. In addition to the Dideldum magazine, Waffenschmied had also written and illustrated the 'Jan und Hein' series of children's books.

For me these comics have a special feel.  The 19th Century German  artist Wilhelm Busch (1832 -1908) is regarded as one of the founders of the modern comic medium.  I have some nice collections of Max und Moritz -Lambiek have an entry on this other German genius here:  Busch's art looked a bit scratchy but it was all Guillotte nib and ink in those days but they still look great.  Even coloured -early versions or the modern digital colouring that I'm not keen on, they still hold up well.

But just look at this cover.  This was 1937 and this must have hit youngsters back then as amazing.  It still is amazing -look at the colours.  It has a quirky sort of German look to it.  Can't explain it but I see these and even if there was no text I'd say "German!"

And I will write no more.  I don't need to.  I shall simply let some art -from 1934- do all the "saying"!  And this first one is just downright beautiful!!
Heft 7
Heft 3

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