Ever since I can remember comics were always around. I’m not talking about the cartoonish stuff like Disney and friends. Although, I bought them, the reason for it has been the funny gimmicks in them. No, I was always looking for the good stuff: for mutants, superheroes, action and huge storyworlds. No wonder my first comic book I can remember was an X-Men issue. I can’t retell anything of the storyline, but I remember Gambit and Wolverine in it.
Sure I loved Batman as well. I loved every comic from Marvel and DC that had its own cartoon show in the ´90s. That included mainly Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men and Iron Man. Although there was a Superman cartoon show as well, I never liked him for several reasons. Even in my early years I could tell that a person given THAT kind of power would never ever act purely good.
Anyway, when I was about nine, my mother sent me to an art school called “The Labyrinth”. It was that kind of school where busy parents sent their children so they could learn artsy stuff in their free-time. My courses were filmmaking, animation and drawing.
My teachers praised me as a “gifted comic drawer”. Looking at my sketches from this time, I wouldn’t agree. Although I can imagine that if I would have focused more on my drawing skills, I could have become a professional.
In the meantime I started to read X-Men monthly and became a huge fan of their whole universe. My fascination grew when I realised that all stories in it were connected in some way to another. Around that time, X-Men Age of Apocalypse came out.
Until that point I wasn´t confronted with such a grim and epic storyline. Also the level of the art work was stunning. Joe Madureira had a major influence on me – not only on my drawing skills but also in my taste for comic art.
It must have been in that period of time when I tried to create my own superhero universe. The stuff I drew was a pilot scheme with all the characters I wanted to have in the story. There was “The Human Mosquito”, “The Reborn Hercules” and of course the animalistic “Hunter” – my own version of X-Men’s Sabretooth. Sadly, I haven´t had the endurance to finish it or to make something more out of it than a pile of papers.
You see, I became a comic book nerd and as I headed into puberty, I needed some more violent stuff. LoBo became an instant classic for me – not only was there a guy looking like he would listen to the same kind of music as I did, but he was rude and brutal on top of that. AND he kicked Superman’s butt.
Getting older other comics and graphic novels crossed my path as well as mangas. Garth Ennis’s Preacher, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Frank Millers Sin City and James O’Barr’s The Crow are just some of those I still worship today. And of course, I stayed true to the Marvel Universe.
In 2009 I began studying Interactive Media at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. I focused on story worlds and game design. But through the years I realised that I still used comic strips to pitch my ideas or to adopt other story worlds.
When it came to our adaptation workshop, we had to face the impossible challenge to create something cool with Friedrich Schiller’s Die Räuber – and again we did a comic.
Today I’m facing my diploma and with Shift! I want to question what a comic can be nowadays. Given the technology, game elements and experience in storytelling – I think we can do so much more!
Why am I boring you with my life story? I want to show you that I am not only a dude who wants to make a comic because comics are cool. I want to show you that I really, really love that genre and that here is a guy, who has passion for it. I hope my passion will transpire into the work so you can enjoy it as well.
Screenshot from our Die Räuber comic.