Every two years, the city of Erlangen, Germany hosts the Erlangen Comics Salon. The 18th edition was held May 31-June 3.
In a nutshell, it’s the German version of Angoulême. It’s not as crazy or as big, as the German comics scene is about ten years behind the United States in development. (Which is curious, giving the ubiquitous Franco-Belgian and American comics found at bookstores and newsstands nationwide.)
The show has been running since 1984, and one of the highlights is the awarding of the Max und Moritz Preis, named after the world-famous characters created by Wilhelm Busch. The awards were presented in the Markgrafentheater, a Baroque theater which dates to 1719! Hosted by the city, Mayor Dr. Florian Janik handed out the medals and bread.
We present the winners, some of which have been translated to or from German. Many are German cartoonists, and deserve wider recognition. There is hope that these and other nominated titles will find their way to American shelves and shores! Most publishers offer a “Lesepobe” (reading sample) linked below.
In the United States, SelfMadeHero has translated many of his works, which highlight both famous and lesser-known figures. His graphic novel Johnny Cash: I See A Darkness won both Eisner and Harvey Awards, and he was the first cartoonist to win the German Youth Literature Award.
Unprotected, sensual, powerful, she tells in this autobiographical comic how, as a young, life-hungry anarchist in Vienna in the 1990s, she tries to build a future as an artist – and of her love for two men: the “perfect companion” Georg, actor, twenty years older and the “perfect lover”, the Nigerian bon vivant Kimata. His missing residence permit, despite Ulli’s reservations, suggests a single solution: he has to get married. At the same time Kimatas jealousy leads more and more to outbreaks of violence that increasingly threaten their lives …
by Ivar Leon Menger, John Beckmann und Christopher Tauber
In “The Devil’s Village,” Justus Jonas, first detective, Peter Shaw, second detective, and Bob Andrews, research and archive, help Chauffeur Morton find a missing friend. This search leads all four to Redwood Falls, a nineteenth-century village reminiscent of Amish American life. Time has stopped there. After an introduction, the adventure starts with a trip to the devilish village. The wonderful drawings, which represent the characters in the best way, are complemented in restrained colors mostly in blue tones. In the rural area, green dominates, while the dangerous moments and devil encounters appear in dangerous red.
The compilation of the short episodes is supplemented by contrasting pages, which combine the adventurous voyages of James Cook with imagery from Internet platforms, on which today many seek their own personal paradise. Instagram’s, Tinder’s or Airbnb’s drawn postings make this kind of virtual promise of happiness seem even more profane in contrast to Cook’s historical adventures than they already are.
A promising work from a university, which is currently preparing to play an increasingly important role in the German comic landscape: Since the winter semester 2017/18, the master’s program Comic / Graphic Novel is offered here. Looks like the “paradise” is only the beginning of a promising development – that makes you want more!
by Oliver Mielke und Hannes Radke
www.nigunegu.de / Pyramond Verlag (read it here)
At first glance, this web comic produces a great deal of explanation. This begins with the title, which is derived from the names of the three main characters, the Nice Guy, the Nerd, and the Guru, who together make Ni (ce) Gu (y) Ne (rd) Gu (ru). These three are united in a so-called “Bromantic Comedy”, which in turn derives from “Brother” and “Romance” – as a genre thus forms the counterpart to a series like “Sex and the City”. And how the three very different mates knit together according to the motto “nomen est omen” in the trials and tribulations of the gender struggle, has been implemented very entertaining by the writing team Oliver Mielke and Hannes Radke. In contrast to the many readers who have been online for over five years now with quite small,
The 25 nominated titles for the “Max und Moritz” Award 2018, in alphabetical order: