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Erlangen Comics Festival 2004

1. Joost Swarte exhibition. The pictures were curiously grouped together, all huddled in one corner of each room, which was mostly empty otherwise, except those strange big signs of clouds (here) or other stuff. This however was a clue to each group of drawings, which I only realized when I slowed down and did this drawing.

Official opening, already on Wednesday (things really start on Thursday). The characters on the 'bridge' inside this atrium were holding forth on the greatness of comics etc.

Also Wednesday evening, the tables are being prepared for the next day. It occured to me that this drawing would not have been much different at the end of the festival, with everything being taken down again, which was a rather curious experience.

Municicpality of Erlangen, where most of the comics stuff takes place. Entrance is behind all those flags (which have 'Comic Salon' written on them.) The low 'wing' at the right had an exhibition of the German underground anthology 'Panik Elektro', which can be seen on the last drawing, at the bottom of this page.

Apart from Swarte this was my favourite show, 'Max'. (Yes, despite the sketchiness of my drawings, I'm a big fan of ligne claire.)

'Strip Bar', a small bar near the market place. Here's a discussion between Andreas Michalke (left) and Mawil (right) about similarities of making music and comics. Which they both do. Mawil got the 'ICOM' price for best independant graphic album, an autobiographical love story, or non-love story ('Wir können ja Freunde bleiben').

Slideshow about Ligne Clair comics, with the last page of Swarte's Modern Art on the wall.

Swarte Interview. Doesn't look too much like him, but a nice drawing anyway, done in pencil, as I had forgotten my pens. He spoke perfect German. - Concerning the degree of realism in his pictures he explained 'Perspective is something people understand. So do I. This is the common base where one can make contact.' (Not a good translation. What he said in German was: 'Perspektive verstehen die Leute. Ich verstehe das auch. Das ist der Ramen um Kontakt zu haben.')

Still Swarte, here as DJ !!! Very nice music too.

'Comic Quartett', four critics discuss four recent publications, most interestingly, and controvertially Sacco's 'Palestine'.

Presentation by Eckart Sackmann of a new magazine project (or Jahrbuch, Annual book), dealing with early German comics and nothing else. Sounds very promising. Title: 'Das Neueste von Onkel Jup' (The latest of Uncle Jup)

The main event for giving out prizes, best album, best strip, best German artist (Ulf K. !!!) etc. I was allowed in 20 Minutes earlier to start this sketch. On the stage a little Asterix village with Miraculix (?) in the middle, because Albert Uderzo was the star guest...

... of whom I didn't see that much, being busy drawing, but interesting to listen to. Asked if he had any advice to young artists, he touchingly said he would wish anyone to have such a good partnership as he had with Goscinny, whom he was still missing.

No final party in the Castle garden, instead this evening at this large dance club on several floors. ('E-werk')

Some of the winners of the 'Max and Moritz' prizes. Ulf K. on the right. Then moderator Harald Havas, best album winner Flix, best strip winner Volker Reiche (in the prestigious Frankfurter Allgemeine) and publisher Eckart Schott (special prize for his edition of Juillard's book on the Eiffel tower. He was also nominated in the same cathegory for the German edition of the Spirit volumes, which I thought even more deserving.) - Best translated album went to M.Satrapi, but she wasn't there.

The Swiss-German magazine 'Strapazin' has a 20 year jubilee and exhibted various birthday prezzies here in this charming show.

First floor, main exhibitors hall, with the table of 'Berlin Comics'. That's the fluffy lettering on the left.

At the very last minute I managed to squeeze in this drawing. Exhibition 'Panik Elektro' with mostly German alternative cartoonists, but a few foreign stars as well, for instance James Kochalka. I too got a little Konky Kru page in there.

Ok, hoped you liked the sketches. Feel free to say so if you notice me sitting around sketching at the next festival...

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