Freitag, 21. Juni 2013

In Memory Of Kim Thompson

Kim Thompson died on June 19th.

He was the Co-Publisher of Fantagraphics Books for so long that it seemed as if he had been the co-founder, too. The comics he published, and the way he published them, have been a huge influence on me. Also, he was a great guy.

It's not that I can say that we were close friends. I was an intern at Fantagraphics for 6 months in 1991, so technically, Kim was my boss. But working there never felt that way. Kim always gave you the feeling that you were friends.

I remember meeting him for the first time, when i arrived at SEA-TAC airport. He'd actually driven down there himself to drive me to Fantagraphics. I'm pretty sure he wore a Stinz Löwhard T-Shirt, sweatpants and sneakers. Which turned out to be his uniform around the office. And around life, in general. T-Shirt, sweatpants, sneakers. Relaxed. But you knew he was in the office as soon as you heard the RAT-TAT-TAT staccato of his hammering away on that old electric typewriter nestled between stacks, mesas, mountains of paper, galley proofs and comic books in that little room he shared with Eros Comix’ editor, Ryder Windham.

Kim trusted me to work on jobs I had never done before. Yes, I started out in the stat room and went on to do paste-up for books ranging fom HATE to THE BLONDE. But he also let me work on layouts for FBI's magazines AMAZING HEROES and THE COMICS JOURNAL, let me design a Los Bros.-T-Shirt for the San Diego Comic Convention, and, at Robert Boyd's recommendation, let me art direct on an issue of THE COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS. A lot of what I'm doing right in publishing these days is founded on that trust and that work. I owe him lots. But, enough about me.

I remember Kim throwing a party for the VHS release of IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD. I remember Kim sticking his head through the doorway of the art department, shouting »Thirty minutes!« – which meant that the FedEx pickup for artwork due printing was in half an hour and you'd better have it ready. I remember playing four-language Scrabble with him, his brother, Mark, and his mother (I lost badly, this family is fluent in English, French, German and Danish). I remember Kim blasting his newly bought CDs through the office stereo. I remember Kim talking about Comics, Movies and Music.

I remember meeting him for the last time, a few years back at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Fantagraphics had a relatively small booth that he was manning himself. We talked a little, and he said he had come over because he liked the fair and because he liked being in Europe for some time. Visiting family. Being in the world. We shook hands, said »Auf Wiedersehen!«, and that was that. There would always be time for more talk. When I looked back, Kim was sitting there, surrounded by Comics, smiling to himself, looking out into the world.

And that's how I'll remember him most.

Smiling, surrounded by Comic Books, in the world.

Donnerstag, 31. Januar 2013

FISH TIE

1991 machte ich ein Praktikum bei Fantagraphics Books in Seattle. Und da tauchte dann auch dieser nette Herr in meinem Skizzenbuch auf.

In 1991 I was an intern at Fantagraphics Books in Seattle. And it was there that this nice man popped up in my sketchbook.

Sonntag, 6. Januar 2013

NINJA KOALA




Die Geschichte vom Ninja Koala hat Piet mir im Auto erzählt, als wir in die Sommerferien fuhren. Piet ist mein Sohn, er ist sieben, und er mag den kleinen Hobbit, Ice Age, die fünf Freunde, Lego Ninjago und Star Wars. Und weil Ferien waren und die Geschichte mir gut gefiel, haben wir uns zusammengesetzt und einen Comic draus gemacht. Piet hat mir diktiert, was alles geschieht, wer was sagt, und welche Waffen die Personen benutzen. Ich habe nichts an seiner Version der Geschichte geändert. Naja, gut, ich habe gesagt, dass die erste Ausgabe vielleicht nicht mehr als 20 Seiten haben sollte. Weil Piet eigentlich mehr Seiten vorhatte. So etwa hundert. Der Comic ist jedenfalls fertig, und die erste Ausgabe gibt es exklusiv bei den netten Menschen von Kwimbi zu bestellen. Und Piet gibt es unten auf dem Foto zu sehen. Er ist der jüngere der beiden gutaussehenden Menschen.

Piet told me the story of Ninja Koala in the car, while we were driving towards our summer holiday destination. Piet is my son, he's seven years old, and he likes Tolkien's Hobbit book, Ice Age, Enid Blyton's Five series,  Lego Ninjago, and Star Wars. And because we were on a vacation and I liked the story, we sat down (later, not right there in the car) and made a comic book out of it. Piet told me exactly, what happens to whom, who says what, and which weapons are used by which person. I didn't change a thing from his version of the story. Okay, so I said that I think the first issue probably shouldn't have more than 20 pages. Because Piet wanted a lot more pages, initially. About a hundred. Anyway, the book is finished and you may order it exclusively at Kwimbi, a very nice shop run by very nice people. Piet you can see on the photo below. He's the younger one of the two nice-looking people there.




Freitag, 21. Dezember 2012

LI'L SANTA

Auch dieses Jahr wieder eine Weihnachtskarte mit dem kleinen Weihnachtsmann. Love is in the air! Ich wünsche allen eine erholsame Zeit.

Another Christmas, another Li'l Santa Christmas card. C'est l'amour! Have a great time, everybody!

Sonntag, 1. Juli 2012

BLOODY CHEESEBURGER

Im Sommer 08 verbrachte ich zwei schöne Wochen auf dem Gut Grimsjö in Südschweden, wo ich eines verregneten Vormittags den Grimsjö Blod Pudding Cheeseburger erfand. Der, unter Zuhilfenahme von zwei Scheiben kross geröstetem Bacon glatt zum mächtigen Grimsjö Blod Pudding Bacon Cheeseburger mutiert. Geröstete Blutwurst mag zwar nicht jederpersons cup of tea sein, aber ich garantiere Dank Pfefferminze, Blaubeermarmelade, Cornichons und Roggenvollkornbrot ein feines Geschmackserlebnis. So gut, dass ich das Rezept gleich gemalt habe.

Back in the summer of 08, I spent two very nice weeks at Grimsjö Farm in the south of Sweden. And it was there that I invented the Grimsjö Blod Pudding Cheeseburger, which, if you just add two strips of crispy bacon, transforms into the mighty Grimsjö Blod Pudding Bacon Cheeseburger. I realize that fried blood sausage may not be everyperson's tasse de thé, but thanks to the use of fresh peppermint leaves, blueberry marmalade, Cornichons and whole-grain rye bread I can guarantee you a most exquisite taste sensation. So good, I just had to paint the recipe.

Sonntag, 13. Mai 2012

LIVE DRAWING: John Steinbeck

Gestern abend war die Premiere von sprech&schwefels neuem Sprechtakel »Tortilla Flat« nach John Steinbecks gleichnamigem Roman. Und ich war wieder eingeladen, live dazu zu zeichnen. Dabei entstand unter anderem dieses Portrait von Steinbeck. Mit dem ich ausnahmsweise mal so recht zufrieden bin.

Yesterday evening, sprech&schwefel's new program, »Tortilla Flat«, based on John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, premiered. Again, the guys had invited me to do live drawings. So i broke out the old watercolour brushes and painted, amongst other pieces, this portrait of Steinbeck himself. Which i'm quite happy with for a change.

Mittwoch, 16. November 2011

YOU'VE GOT SPAM 2


Shelton Murdock, nee, wirklich. Ich weiss, was er mir verkaufen will, und Rosinen sind es nicht.

Shelton Murdock, no, really. That Raisin/raising dilemma nails the grammar here.

Montag, 14. November 2011

YOU'VE GOT SPAM


Beim Durchschauen meines Spam-Mail-Ordners muss ich oft mehr über die vorgeblichen Namen der Spammer lachen als über ihre Angebote. Was möglicherweise daran liegt, dass die Angebote sich auf Dauer doch sehr ähneln. Zu einigen der Namen fallen mir dann gerne Gesichter ein, und weil der Aquarellkasten gerade so verführerisch zwinkert beginne ich heute eine lose Reihe von Spammerportraits. Mal sehen, wohin das führt. Wallace Walden darf den Anfang machen. Er verkauft »Software«.

While going through my Spam Mail folder, more often than not i'll laugh at the spammer's names more than at their offers. Which may be because their offers don't vary all that much, really. With some of their names though, an image of their face pops into my mind. And since my watercolor palette is winking seductively at me, today i'll start a series of Spammer Portraits. Let's see where this'll go. Wallace Walden is on first. He sells »Software«.

Freitag, 21. Oktober 2011

CHARACTER: Twikkie


Elli Scout wäre schlecht durch ihre Abenteuer gekommen, wenn sie nicht ihr von Nick erfundenes TelekommunikationsWerzeug/KünstlicheIntelligenz, kurz TW/KI dabei gehabt hätte. Vor Twikkie (ja, der Name ist eine Hommage an die alte »Buck Rogers« TV-Serie) gab es schon Twokko, aber das kühlschrankgroße Modul erwies sich zu unhandlich zur Mitnahme. Das Nachfolgemodell, iTwik, war zwar schön designt, erwies sich aber als hack-anfällig und wurde später nur noch als schön designter Flaschenöffner verwendet. Twikkie dagegen, in Old-School-Hardware verträgt Kälte, Nässe, harte Schläge und Klingeltonspamattacken - einfach unverwüstlich.

Had Elli Scout not had her trusty TelekommunikationsWerzeug/KünstlicheIntelligenz (TelecommunicationsTool/ArtificialIntelligence), or short TW/KI, with her on her adventures, she would've had even more serious problems. Before he designed Twikkie (and yes, the name is an homage to the old »Buck Rogers« TV-series), Nick had already built Twokko, but that fridge-sized model turned out to be to unwieldy to lug around. Twikkie's follow-up model, the iTwik, was beautifully designed, but turned out to be extremely hackable. Later, its only use was as a well-designed bottle-opener. In its Old-School Hardware, Twikkie, though, proved to be resilient against Cold, Water, hard knocks and Ringtone-Spam-Attacks - simply indestructible.

Freitag, 14. Oktober 2011

COMICS: The Hound of the Baskervilles


Arthur Conan Doyles The Hound of the Baskervilles in acht Panels, ohne Worte. Gestaltet für das Projekt 100 Meisterwerke der Weltliteratur aus dem Jahr 2001. Damals ist die Seite nur schwarz-weiß erschienen. Und sehr klein. HIer ist sie farbig. Und etwas größer.

Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles in eight panels, no words. Painted for the book, 100 Masterworks of Literature, in 2001. Back then, it was published in black and white. And very small. Here it is in colour. And a little larger.