Erlangen Logo_2014Every two years, the city of Erlangen, Germany hosts the Erlangen Comics Salon.

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.)

max moritz preisThe 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.  When I attended in 1994, it was held in an opera house, and was preceded by a comedic acrobat troupe.

We present the winners, some of which have been translated to or from German.  Many are German cartoonists, and deserve wider recognition.  I know there is at least one American comics editor attending this year, so there is hope that these and other nominated titles will find their way to American shelves and shores!  You can sample all twenty-five nominees here!

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From the offical website:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ralf König

Official website

Wikipedia biography 

His American publisher

Best German-speaking comic artist

Ulli Lust

The official website

An American edition

Best German-language Comic

by Mawil

Publisher’s website

Best International Comic

Billy Bat
by Naoki Urasawa, Co-Author: Takashi Nagasaki
Translation: Yvonne Gerstheimer
Carlsen Manga

Yeah, the same manga-ka who created “Pluto” and “Monster”!  Not yet translated into English!

Here’s the Wikipedia description:

“The story begins in 1949 and follows Japanese-American comic book artist Kevin Yamagata as he draws the popular detective series “Billy Bat”. When he learns he may have unconsciously copied the character from an image he saw while serving in occupied Japan, he returns to Japan to get permission to use Billy Bat from its original creator. Upon arriving there, however, he becomes embroiled in a web of murder, cover-ups, and prophecy that all leads back to Billy Bat.”

Heilige Fledermaus!

Best German-language Comic Strip

Totes Meer
by 18 Metzger
Jungle World / Ventil Verlag

Official website


Purchase here! 

Best Comic for Children

Hilda und der Mitternachtsriese
by Luke Pearson
Translation: Matthias Wieland

The publisher’s page.

The official page

See it at Nobrow!

Best Student Comic


The magazine

The university

The college

The professor who won a MuM Preis in 1994 for Spacedog!  (Mostly wordless, but published in the U.S. by Gingko Press.)

Special Jury Award

Tina Hohl und Heinrich Anders

They are translators for numerous books and publishers.

Audience Award

by Marvin Clifford
> nominated by the audience

Read the webcomic here!

The 25 titles nominated for the “Max und Moritz“-Award 2014

by Miguelanxo Prado
Translation: Sybille Schellheimer
Egmont Comic Collection

Translated from the Galician.

Anyas Geist
by Vera Brosgol
Translation: Monja Reichert

Translated from “Anya’s Ghost”.

(Yes, Tokyopop Germany is still in business.  I wonder if they are making good on their former U.S. obligations?)

Billy Bat
by Naoki Urasawa, Co-Author: Takashi Nagasaki
Translation: Yvonne Gerstheimer
Carlsen Manga

See above.

by Osamu Tezuka
Translation: John Schmitt-Weigand
Carlsen Verlag

Translated from the Japanese edition.

Das Erbe
by Rutu Modan
Translation: Gundula Schiffer
Carlsen Verlag

Translated from the North American edition.

Das versteckte Kind
by Loïc Dauvillier, Marc Lizano und Greg Salsedo
Translation: Monja Reichert
Panini Comics

Translated from the French edition.

Der gigantische Bart, der böse war
by Stephen Collins
Translation: Tim Jung
Atrium Verlag

Due to be published by Macmillan/Picador in the U.S. in October 2014.  UK edition published by Random House/Jonathan Cape in May 2013.

Didi & Stulle
by Fil


Don Quijote
by Flix
Carlsen Verlag


Earth unplugged
by Jennifer Daniel
Jaja Verlag


Ein Leben in China
by P. Ôtié and Li Kunwu
Translation: Christoph Schuler
Edition Moderne

Published in the U.S. by Abrams/Self Made Hero as “A Chinese Life”.

by Claude Jaermann and Felix Schaad
Tages-Anzeiger Zürich / Sewicky Verlag

A rare Swiss comic strip!  (Most continental newspapers publish few comic strips, nothing like those found in the U.S. or the International Herald-Tribune.)

by Ulli Lust adapted from the novel by Marcel Beyer
Suhrkamp Verlag

The original novel was translated into English as “The Karnau Tapes”.


Hilda und der Mitternachtsriese
by Luke Pearson
Translation: Matthias Wieland

See above.  An ongoing series from NoBrow.

Im Himmel ist Jahrmarkt
by Birgit Weyhe

Her website:

A family biography, as the author researches her family tree, and finds secrets buried therein.  (I’ll be giving this to my mother for Christmas.)

Jimmy Corrigan – Der klügste Junge der Welt 
by Chris Ware
Translation: Tina Hohl und Heinrich Anders

A translation of the Pantheon book.

by Volker Reiche
Suhrkamp Verlag

A memoir of the author, as a four-year-old in Germany, 1948.

Kililana Song
by Benjamin Flao
Translation: Resel Rebiersch
Verlag Schreiber & Leser

Translated from the French edition.

by Mawil

See above.

Quai d’Orsay – Hinter den Kulissen der Macht
by Christophe Blain und Abel Lanzac
Translation: Ulrich Pröfrock

Translated from the French.

Published in English as “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy” by Self Made Hero.

by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Translation: Marc-Oliver Frisch
Cross Cult
> nominated by the audience

Hey!  Marc-Oliver!  If the creators aren’t there to pick up the award, does the translator get to make the speech?

by Marvin Clifford
> nominated by the audience

See above.

by Martina Peters
Cursed Verlag
> nominated by the audience

Published in English!  Yaoi manga.


Totes Meer
by 18 Metzger
Jungle World / Ventil Verlag

See above.

Unsichtbare Hände
by Ville Tietäväinen
Translation: Alexandra Stang

Translated from the Finnish.

Former nominees and winners can be found here.


  1. as a German, I dont know most of the stuff they are mentioning; most comics here are strictly on the funny sidde of the spectrum, and some of that stuff is absolutely great. Very idiomatic though, so it probably does not translate very well ( Fil, Walter Moers ). Ralf Koenig , however , is a riot and should absolutely translate. If you can, check him out.

  2. Thank you very much for covering this news (to be frank, I’m working for a publisher which is very happy to represent one of the Max & Moritz Award winning titles). Just one curious question: Why is “the German comics scene … about ten years behind” the US “in development”?
    I know, I know – in many other countries, the market, publications etc. are more developed than the German comics market – but to extend this to the whole “scene” (!?) would be exaggerated, to my mind.

  3. Herr Schwarz:
    Yes, I referred to comics publishing. I know German fans are just as fanatical as Americans… more so when one realizes that many German fans buy and read the American editions instead of waiting for the licensed translations! (I only did this when Micky Maus Magazin serialized “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”!)

    While manga is as developed as the American market (and probably even more robust, given the original manga works being created in Germany), I don’t see the wide selection of titles that I find in the U.S. or Montreal. Of course, there are more readers of English and French than of German, so I might be biased in that regards.

    Granted, it’s been a few years since I last visited Hannover, and I don’t surf Der Spiegel or the comics boards, so it’s possible that it might be only five years behind. ;) The art schools in Germany are more accepting of comics, especially as a critical medium (thanks to Wilhelm Busch).

    I do want to see more German imports into the U.S.! (Especially Carlsen’s Haarmann!)

    The above list has many titles that make me curious. We’ll see what appears at the Sondermanns and DCP in October. (And with Finland as the guest, I hope to see more great comics from Europe!)

  4. Mr Adair,
    thanks for the quick response. Indeed, a lot has happened in German comics publishing in the last 5-10 years. I’m afraid I haven’t been to US comics festivals (snif), so I cannot really compare – but at least we never had such a big variety of quality comics by German-speaking authors and artists like nowadays. Many indie / small publishers’ titles are not present at book stores though, so lack of book distribution power (or: lack of interest of book sellers) is an issue here, I think. If you visit Germany sometime, I’d recommend check out comic shops and please don’t miss out on the next Comic-Salon in Erlangen in 2016. :-) The Sondermann Award is history though, as is the comics centre at Frankfurt Book Fair, unfortunately.

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