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Comics in Germany.docx

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University of Waterloo
GER 100
Paul Malone

15 October 2012 Comics in Germany GER/REES 262: Language & Society II GER/REES 364: German and Russian Film Pioneers Professor Malone’s current research is in this field of study Comics by Nationality The Pioneer  Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846)  Swiss novelist  “novels in pictures”  One of his friends took his comics and showed it to Goethe Goethe’s Approval  First comic “fanboy”  ES FUNKELT ALLES VON TALENT UND GEIST! EINIGE BLÄTTER SIND GANZ UNÜBERTREFFLICH! WENN ER KÜNFTIG EINEN WENIGER FRIVOLEN GEGENSTAND WÄHLTE UND SICH NOCH EIN BISSCHEN MEHR ZUSAMMENNÄHME, SO WÜRDE ER DINGE MACHEN, DIE ÜBER ALLE BEGRIFFE WÄREN. HE REALLY SPARKLES WITH TALENT AND WIT! . . . IF TÖPFFER DID NOT HAVE SUCH AN INSIGNIFICANT TEXT BEFORE HIM German Pioneers  Wilhelm Busch o Max und Moritiz, 1865  Rudolph Dirks o The Katzenjammer Kids, 1897 – (still running, longest running comic EVER) German Bildgeschichten  Was seen as childish; a means to keep kids distracted and idle American Humour  “America is the freest land in the world! Ha ha ha ha ha!” – Karl Arnold, Simplicissimus 25 (1922)  This would lead to illiteracy and hooliganism L. Kmoch: Tobias Seicherl, 1932  Viennese dialect for “Jerk”  “Austrians made good Anti-Semites, but terrible Nazis”  The comic almost exactly predicts the outcome of Hitler’s reign during WWII e.o plauen (Erich Ohser)  Anti-Nazi political cartoon, 1931  Vater und Sohn (1934-7)  When he ended the series went back to political activism  Got arrested by the gustapo and committed suicide in jail 15 October 2012 The Comics Arrive in the US  Action Comics #1 (June 1938); cover by Joe Shuster  The first appearance of Superman  Superman captures Hitler and Stalin (Jerry Spiegel/Joe Shuster) Seeking an Audience After the war, comics were “Smut leads to CRIME!” Erika Fuchs (1906 – 2005)  Post-war era she translated Reader’s Digest  Became the main translator of Disney comics for 50 years [The original Disney comics were] “…somewhat more brutal, I don’t mean in terms of physical violence, but in their conception. Of course, that’s something typically American. Whoever is smart, which actually means on the far side of legality, he’s the object of admiration. Of course I headed that off, since I don’t see why we here ought to learn that you can get through life better by being smart. I don’t see it and I also didn’t have any desire to disseminate it.” Middle-Class Values in Duckburg  She not only translated but also changed it in a way that it becomes respectable in the eyes of a German audience  “Be
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