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September 2003 - Nr. 9


The Editor
Antje berichtet
Elizabeth Kuehn
Dear Mom
Rachel Seilern
Over the Fence
Music Toronto
25 Years Musik
KW and Beyond
City Elections
Top Honor in Venice?
Toronto Film Festival
Mustard Festival
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Financial Advice
The White Wale
Planet in Focus
After the Flood
Sahara-Touristen frei
Berlin Wall
Comics Fair
Rediscover East Germany
Literary "Wunderkind"
350 Years of Opera
"German Trilogy"
New Element

Comic festival draws international artists

   TWIG - Comics aren’t just for superheroes anymore. From August 27-31, artists, journalists, and academics marvelled at a series of exhibitions, lectures and events surrounding the comic book at the biannual Berlin International Comic Festival.

"Comic Worlds" was the main exhibition at the fair, which showcased the works of comic book artists from Europe, the United States, and Japan. In a series of lectures concerning the medium, experts in the field discussed the mutual inspiration between countries, recognizable national traits in plot and design, and the differences and similarities between the styles of Ligne Claire, Manga, and the American underground. Other exhibitions, including one on comics-inspired children’s book illustration, will be at Berlin’s Backfabrik through the end of September.

Berlin has a burgeoning comics culture that was enriched by the meeting of East and West German cultures after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. But while the many styles and subject matters being handled by today’s artists make a "Berlin style" impossible to pinpoint, several have garnered international success, including the comic "Moga Mobo," which was awarded the Max and Moritz Prize last year.

Berlin’s comic scene is unique in that it has several comics that have the city itself as a stage and are produced specifically for local distribution. One such comic, "Didi & Stulle," sells more copies in Berlin than Superman and Batman combined in all of Germany.

But with its trademark "manga" style, Japan is by far the world’s largest producer of comics. The $600bn industry accounts for one-quarter of the country’s entire published materials.

Among the American artists in show will be Art Spiegelman, whose comic "Maus" won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for the portrayal of his experience in a German concentration camp in cartoon form.

After the United States, France is the third-largest contributor to the world of comics and is known for its "clear line" style, which is characterized by linear plots, a lack of dream sequences, and unambiguous levels of time.

The guest of honor at this year’s festival is Great Britain, which will be presenting its comic scene with a special program of lectures and readings.

The fair will also include a Disney exhibition for families entitled "Mouse and Duck - The Changing World of Mickey and Donald." Visitors can trace Mickey’s progression from lowly rodent to comic icon as well as view a tribute to creator Walt Disney.


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