A night of European comics

Eurocartoonists
(l-r, front row Igort, Isabel Kreitz, Max, Nicolas de Crécy; standing, Jaromir 99 and Jaroslav Rudiš)

Euro comics week in NYC continued with an evening of slideshows and presentations by David B., Nicolas de Crécy, Igort, Jaromír 99, Isabel Kreitz, Max, and Jaroslav Rudiš, some of the finest cartoonists in the world, so it was quite the time. B. showed slides from THE EPILEPTIC and described his thinking process behind his powerful imagery. Igort showed off an evocative selection of slides of images and comics that have influenced his own dreamlike stories. Kreitz — perhaps the only German cartoonist we have ever met — described the lack of opportunities for cartoonists in Germany (it’s another Disney-centric country, and there is almost no local comics scene, aside from some self-publishing). She also showed a trailer for her DIE SACHE MIT SORGE, a breathtakingly illustrated retelling of the true-life tale of Russian spy Richard Sorge. (You can watch the trailer below.) The Czech duo of Jaromir and Jaroslav, the least well known of the touring ‘toonists, spoke in broad terms about their influences and work. Max delved into some of the surrealist influences on his character Bardin, the Superrealist, such as Fuseli’s Nightmare paintings. De Crécy rounded out the evening with a slideshow of his pages — the combined effect of seeing so much of his fantastic, gorgeous work was sort of overwhelming, and it’s hard to imagine that there’s a better artist working in comics today. His only large-scale work published here in America is GLACIAL PERIOD, available from NBM, but one hopes that will change.

There was an SRO crowd at MoCCA for the event, and last night’s David Mazzucchelli-led talk at SVA was also packed. Seeing a healthy audience for European artists of this caliber in New York, at least, comes as a nice vindication of the job American and Canadian publishers are doing to get their work over here.

Comments

  1. You really do never sleep. It was great to see you last night and a terrific event. I’m sorry our conversation got cut off, the price I pay for working the bar. Thanks for posting the trailer, I wanted to tell some people about it.

  2. Do you have access to that other commercial they showed, the Czech one? That was really impressive.

  3. Synsidar says:

    If the Czech commercial in question is a trailer for the Czech film ALOIS NEBEL, that trailer is widely available online.

    SRS

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    A note on Germany… there are few newsstand comics, mostly Disney with a few licensed superheroes. Of note are the thick paperbacks containing lesser Disney stories.
    Few comicstrips are published in newspapers. Stern has a few. They are published in book form.
    There is a vibrant publishers market, dominated by Ehapa and Carlsen. Most of what sells is licensed from elsewhere: USA, France, Belgium, Japan. The Continent understands graphic novels. Bookstores readily carry them. Comicbookstores are specialty retailers, and do import English language comics via Diamond.
    Wilhelm Busch is the godfather of German Comics. The Max and Moritz Prize is named after his most famous characters. His archives are the nucleus of the German comics museum, located in Hanover, Germany.
    The secondary education system in Germany is more specialized, so there is a great opportunity for homegrown talent.
    Erlangen hosts a biennial comics salon, similar in spirit to MoCCAfest, but with the entire city involved. 2010.

  5. Hi there,

    I’m really pleased there’s been such a great reaction in New York to the European comics artists. Anyone interested in discussing European comics could do a lot worse than joining the Comix Influx Discussion list, one of the only web forums dedicated to international comics.

    Comix Influx: the collaborative comics translation website. Visit http://comixinflux.com/.

    Stephen Betts.

  6. “Few comicstrips are published in newspapers. Stern has a few.”

    that’s partly wrong. a lot of german newspapers carry comicstrips, but most of them are licensed material. but so far, only three newspapers carry their own daily strip by german artists (named “strizz”, “im museum”, “touché”), some more carry some homegrown weeklys. “der stern” ain’t a newspaper, it’s a news magazine, i.e it’s published weekly. almost all of these strips and one-pagers are also published in bookform.

    isabel kreitz herself started her career as a studioartist for a german comic strip and later developed her own series. kreitz is heavily influenced by the american studio-system, as you especially can see in her early works, her own strips (not her studio-work), short-storys and the four horror-graphic-novels, which show influences by eisner and the ec-horror-line, which is rather unusual for a german comic artist, especially a female one.

    at the frankfurt book fair in october this year i had put her together with jason lutes for a panel-talk about historical graphic novels, where she amazed lutes with the fact, that she had writen and drawn that whole, brillant “sorge”-thing (240 pages) within 12 months.

  7. John McCorkle says:

    “His only large-scale work published here in America is GLACIAL PERIOD”

    Nope. His 60 page graphic novel “Foligatto” was published in the HEAVY METAL March 1992 issue.

  8. If any of you is interested, I have posted a hadnful of pics from the discussion at the School of Visual Arts on my Flickr page:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/workinpana/sets/72157609903268766/

  9. Thanks for linking the “Richard Sorge”-trailer and for the compliments. If you’re interested, here is the link to my youtube-site, where you can find two older films I made:

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