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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Germany. Avant-Garde Comics? Fun Comics? A Few Words

The idea that Germany had no comic books during World War 2 is false. It is a 'fact' created by a certain arty comics elite.  The same comics "elite" who told me in the 1980s, at a public event, and then in correspondence, that "Europe has never had super hero comics.  France most certainly never has and prefers to be more avant-garde and high brow".

On German WW II comics:

Well, as my interview with Jean Marc Lofficier proved, that was a crock of shit.  I'm sorry but I lose my patience with people who pretend to be "experts" in any field but who pronouncements we are supposed to bow down to.  As my late friend Franklyn Angus Davin-Wilson once put it: "Expert. "X"=The Unknown and "spurt" is a drip under pressure!"

Jean Marc's interview is here (but sadly, AGAIN, blogger has lost a LOT of the images):

This German TV piece has a few fallacies but you note that comics have to be of "lofty ideals" and not childish action, adventure or super heroes.  I have a lot of Independent German comics and Small Press comics (of good quality) of the 1980s -Editions Quasimodo, Zebra, Lippe and so on. Nothing lofty or avant-garde. The attitude that "Yes, you can have comics -but they must be intellectually stimulating" is just not getting what comics are about.  It's basically saying "These people could not cut it as real artist so they are doing avant-garde comics.

KuBus: German Language Comic Book Art - en

No. Comics can be stimulating and have good stories and even thought-provoking storylines -look at what Will Eisner produced (though I discovered today that all my Eisner books are gone!).  But comics are also fun, escapism.  I was once asked which I would prefer from the sale of one of my books:

1. The money
2. Knowing that someone had gained a couple hours escapism from reading it.

I replied (2) and was told "You answered that quick -would you like to think about it?" My response was "No"  Yes, I need the money but if someone was in a position where two hours or an hour of escapism would help them then I could go without the money.  Ask my critics -they keep saying I'm "mental."

Now I do not like Disney (I know -I hide it well, right?) but kids or adults want to read Disney comics let them. (a) they are reading and (b) it's a comic. You cannot turn your nose up at a specific genre because you do not like it or because you want intellectual avant-garde "graphic novels" or whatever. What, a 7 year old should be made to read your comic about your middle class despair because you are at college and mummy and daddy never sent you extra money so you can't go out bar-crawling and, also, your girlfriend thinks she might be pregnant?  They want Smurfs.  Pokemon. Fun comics.

And Germany has started creating its own comic book community but, as I found, it can have its own internal problems and conflicts between publishers or creators.  I was asked why I wanted to jump in and "take over German comics?"  Really? I do not think you will find me stating that ANYWHERE. Come on -grow up. If you do not know my history and my involvement in German comics and small press don't talk shit.

Who created the first German super heroes and super hero group while living in Germany? Read this it might answer that if you don't know:

The point is that it has never ever been my intention to take over German comics.  It is a big country and has some great creators and that means variety.  My idea was to build a basis for a business in Germany and move there. I am part German you know.

Yes, Germany has only three big comic events -Dortmund, Erlangen and Leipzig- but smaller ones can and do appear. From what I've seen of these three they look far more interesting than most UK events.* But you need variety. A slice of wholemeal bread is rather dry and not that great tasting.  Add spread -cheese or, if you are not a veggie, meat and far more taste.  Variety matters.

So, until I get asked to draw Captain Berlin -that's my piece!

*My opinion.  You don't like that I have an opinion then do not comment because it will be marked as spam.

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