Comic-Salon Erlangen, May 22.-25.2008Posted: June 6, 2008
As promised I´m going to write a bit about the Erlangen Comic-Salon. It´s been a while since I went there and I do not remember the exact happenings any more but the most memorable thing for me was meeting with a lot of young cartoonists that are into Rock`n`Roll. They would probably not call themselves that ( except for Tristan, he`s a Garagehead) but they are definitely into all sorts of cool Underground-Music.
Carolin Walch presented a new anthology of music related comics called BALLROOM BLITZ published by Schwarzer Turm (b/w, offset, 128 pages, full colour cover, A4, 5 Euros). Not only does she and her sister Romina manage to bridge the gap between Japanese Manga and modern Independent-Comics, their love for all kinds of Indie-Music also shows in their stories. While equally talented graphically, Romina seems to be the better writer and Carolin mostly relies on her sisters story-telling skills. Really great stuff from Germany!
Another pair of cartoonists are sisters Lilli and Ulla Loge from Dresden. They have a bunch of self-published mini-comics out. Both of them seem to be inspired by American Underground-Comics of the 70s and 80s, especially Womens-Comics. Great stuff and funny too!.
With her were two other girls from the Dresden University, Kalli and Evelyn. They both play in a crazy all-girl punk band called Sugarcrash and they draw comics. Their university had sponsored their table and their trip. While the university books didn`t have much to offer, I think that these two busy girls were the best business card the university could have sent. I bet they made a lot of contacts and new friends. Plus they were super dancers! And they could sing too!
On Thursday our little gang went to the shadiest bar of Erlangen, the legendary Schwarzer Ritter. At all previous Comic-Salons it had been the bar to go to when any other bar had closed. If you had been to Erlangen and didn`t make it to the Schwarzer Ritter you hadn`t been there.
But of course it depends a lot on the people and over the years they get older. So I was curious if the spirit was to be re-vitalized. When we arrived, Kalli and Evelyn immediately put money in the juke-box and started singing-along to everything from Deep Purple to Madonna. They knew every song by heart. Amazing! We danced till 5 in the morning, went to bed at 6, had breakfast at 9 and came to the convention at 10. Mission accomplished.
On Friday I took Tristan, who I had met last year at the Munich Comic-Convention, to the booth of the Dresden girls. One minute into the introduction he and Evelyn called each other with some nicknames. They had communicated on the Internet for years but never met each other. It`s a small nerd-world.
Tristan Wilder just has a new little split-book out called PARANOID ROCK`N`ROLL together with Ralph Niese`s DONALD & SIMON (b/w, copied, colour cover, 48 pages, A4, 3,50 Euros). Their book is filled with Rock`n`Roll spirited comics and I´m happy that some people carry the torch of this bastard into the future.
The German Independent Comic-Scene has made a huge step in the last 15 years or so. This year long-time Independent Comic-Artist and professor
at the University of Graphic-Arts in Hamburg, Anke Feuchtenberger won the award for “Best Cartoonist” at the Erlangen Comic-Awards. Reprodukt, the publisher I`m with, sold really well and had very good turnouts at the signings.
The so-called Comic-Mainstream, though not to be beaten in sales and public attention is not nearly getting as much media attention and no prestigious awards at all. While that has a lot to do with the quality of their work there is also a lot of ignorance towards “real comics” on the part of the indie-people.
At least at night most of that snobbishness was gone and we had a wonderful nerd-fest in Erlangen. I´m already looking forward to the next Comic-Salon in two years.