Last weekend, The Frankfurt Book Fair showcased two German comics awards:

  • The Deutscher Cartoon Preis (German Cartoon Prize), awarded since 2006
  • Sondermann Publikumspreis (Sondermann audience award), awarded since 2004

The German Cartoon Prize has two divisions: newcomer (Aufsteiger), and published (Buch).

The newcomer award was presented to Stefan Wirkus, an entertainer, cartoonist, caricaturist, and emcee.  Here is a sample of his cartoons!

(Sign) Please choose: black/white, color
“Wait a minute… we are not Siamese twins!”
“Crap! I thought she wouldn’t notice…”

Here’s the Tageschau report (the German equivalent of the nightly news):

Among the published cartoonists, three were chosen:

First Place: SOBE (Peter Zimmer)

Second Place: BECK  (Detlef Beck)  [English website!]

Third Place: Stephan Rürup

“Hurry up and get on board! We have to go!!”
Winter weather hinders train travel

Then there’s the Sondermann Prize, awarded in five categories.  Readers were able to vote online and by paper.

The lovable wonderful and strange clerk Sondermann is one of the most famous cartoon characters of cartoonist and comic artist Bernd Pfarr – and namesake of the comic price “Sondermann” awarded annually for the past nine years by the Frankfurt Book Fair, the website, and the Frankfurter Rundschau, in honor of Bernd Pfarr, who died in 200.

The nominees (Winners in bold):

International comics 2012

Habibi, Craig Thompson (Reprodukt)
Asterios Polyp, David Mazzuchelli (Eichborn)
Feuer und Stein – Eine Liebe in den Highlands, Diana Gabaldon/Hoang Nguyen (Blanvalet)
HabibiFeuer und SteinAsterios Polyp

National Comics (self-published) 2012

Alte Meister, Nicolas Mahler (Suhrkamp)
Didi und Stulle 10, Fil (Zitty)
Steam Noir Band 1: Das Kupferherz (Cross Cult)
Alte Meister  Didi und Stulle Band 10  Steam Noir Band 1

Manga International 2012

Naruto Band 51, Masashi Kishimoto (Carlsen Manga)
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Band 1, Naoko Takeuchi (Egmont Manga & Anmie)
Twilight – Biss zm Morgengrauen 2, Young Kim/Stephenie Meyer (Carlsen Manga)
Naruto Band 51 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Band 1 Twilight - Biss zum Morgengrauen 2

Manga National (self-published) 2012

Grimms Manga Sonderband, diverse Künstler (Tokyopop)
Stupid Story Band 3, Anna Hollmann (Tokyopop)
Royal Lip Service Band 1, Marika Paul (Carlsen Manga)

    Grimms Manga Sonderband Stupid Story Band 3 Royal Lip Service Band 1

Web-Sondermann (Webcomic) 2012

Beetlebum, Johannes Kretzschmar
Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof, Sarah Burrini
TEN – Online-Manga, Martina Peters

Beetlebum LogoDas Leben ist kein PonyhofTEN Online Manga, Seite 1

Here’s a sample of Burrini’s work:

First panel: Are you sure you want to go back home?
Second panel: If we can’t go one week without technology in the wilderness, then we probably do not belong here.
Third panel: Bye, lost paradise! 
Fourth panel: They’re gone!  / Finally.  Is there a Facebook page to protest these hippies? / LOL!

The six-person jury awarded two special prizes:

Christoph Niemann has been published in the U.S., most notably by the New Yorker.

Frau Franz is an indie cartoonist with a distinct style.  Many of her comics are in English.

Congrats to all, especially Tokyopop!  (Hey… if those are German manga, and not licensed, then they can be reprinted here in the U.S. …)  I hope we’ll see these German titles soon in American editions!


  1. As I understand Tokyopop US already published a few German manga a couple of years ago but they didn’t seem to be much of a success. For example, the five-volume Gothic Sports was cancelled after volume 3 (which is a shame; volume 4 and 5 were the best ones). What I heard from US manga publishers that don’t only release Asian licences is they much rather publish local talent than import licenses from Europe, and there doesn’t even seem to be much room for OELM right now.

    The Grimms Manga Sonderband would be a very good license though. The first two volumes were by a Japanese artist and this special issue is a showcase of seven of the best German manga artists (all girls by the way) and one Japanese guest artist. It’s all manga reinterpretations of classic Grimm fairytales if you haven’t guessed already.

    The other two nominees are boyslove titles, still an extremely popular genre in Germany since about 70% manga readers are female here. Anna Hollmann won the Sondermann award with each of her three Stupid Story volumes. The series has been insanely successfull for self-published German manga standards, mostly thanks to her extremely attractive bishounen character drawings.

    In case you were wondering how the nominations for the Sondermann are determined: In each section the thress best-sold titles are nominated. After that there is an online voting on several comic-related boards. That explains some arbitrary looking nominations like in the manga international category.

    Feel free to email me if you have questions about the German manga scene.

Comments are closed.