Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Erlangen Diary part 2

As I wrote yesterday the next station for me was the Zwerchfell booth. The latest issue of DIE KLEINEN MUTTERFICKER had just beeen released. For those of you in Germany that don´t know the comic ( yes, I mean you two ) it´s a comic about three twelve year old hardcore hip hoppers trying to keep it real - in Heslach ! The comic is just hilarious, especially if you know someobody who is exactly like that ( Shout out to my peep Thorsten keeping it real in Eglosheim, beyotch ! ) but is totally oblivious to it. The best part was the translation of original gangster slang to german. Of course the comic was produced by the Dinter Bros, who draw half the comics released by Zwerchfell. They are a comic instituion and have gone from being simple authors and artists to talent scouts, motivation coaches and all around contact person of Zwerchfell. Not to mention that they are acclaimed movie writers for such movies as THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING LOSERS.

The new issue 5 seems to almost have sold out which is not surprising for me. Additionally to the brilliant comic there was also a CD included with the special edition for the comic salon with music from the german band ISCHEN IMPOSSIBLE ( Ischen is german slang for girls ). All I can say that on the first day there were enough copies available. But I didn´t pass the booth so often because you had to take the stairs to reach the second floor where many of the independent publishers were. Which probably prevented a lot of comic fans to get there.

My third station was of course the table of SCHWARZER TURM ( BLACK TOWER ) where Robi already invited me to a seat. Now Robi is one of the best german comic authors and I think we met for the first time when they had no table in Erlangen. Just a suitcase full of comics between booths. At that time I was already a big Robi fan, not only because he wrote most of the stories for MENSCHENBLUT ( the best comic anthology for adults at that time ) but because he had been HORST BRACK a.k.a. DER BESTRAFER ( which in german means THE PUNISHER ) one of the hosts of CATCH UP one of the best wrestling shows in german television ever. Any wrestling fan who was watching at that time still gets misty eyed when it´s mentioned. So when I met Robi for the first time it was like meeting your favorite comic book writer and wrestling celebrity at the same time.

Now since that time me and my brother had a long relationship with Robi and the guys of SCHWARZER TURM talking comics, thinking about various projects together and such stuff. They even convinced us to get to the comic action last time we were there and I also translated two spanish comics to german for them. Which haven´t come out just yet because of reasons I won´t get into now. But it´s always nice to talk with Robi because he just knows his stuff and you can learn more by listening to him tell about writing comics than by reading several books about the subject. The only thing that bugs me is that he somehow always manages to outdo me with t - shirts. No matter what cool and rare t - shirt I sport.....his is always better.

So I sat down and had a little chat and got the first issue of LUNA the new hit series by Robi and Toni Greis. For all male readers I don´t have to explain much more since everybody knows them from their previous series ALRAUNE. It was even released in the states so don´t pretend you never heard of them. I´m onto you, fella. Now unlike ALRAUNE this new series is not straight porn but of course it has lots of beautiful naked women which is Toni Greis´trademark. And the story by Robi of course sucks you right in. I only was thumbing through the issue when I was at the hotel later and before I knew it I had begun to read half the issue. The stroy ( as far as I could ascertain from the parst I read ) is a science fiction story that takes place on a planet where women are cultivating food and all contact to males is strictly forbidden. Of course a romance develops between one of the females and a member of the male tech staff who supervise the technical equipment. Which naturally leads to all sorts of trouble that leads to a dangerous decision at the end of the first issue. I have no doubt that this series will be another top seller for SCHWARZER TURM.

Now I had finally bought my first comics and was ready to delve into the comic book buying massacre. One comic dealer that always was at the Stuttgart comic fair ( and who got me free tickets the last time I was at the Comic Action ) had a complete run of Green Arrow by Mike Grell, but with a price of 2,50 to 3 EUROs per issue this was just way above my spending limit. Luckily I later found a dealer who had some issues for 1 EURO each so I could get 45 issues, although with some huge gaps. I also could close some gaps in my collection all for 1 EURO or less. I got the GREEN LANTERN MOSAIC issues I was missing, some Teen Titans issues by George Perez, the complete miniseries of TWILIGHT by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, the complete ADAM STRANGE series by Adam Kubert, the trades of LONGSHOT ( because of the Modern Masters book about him - I wanted to make a special post about him after reading it but I never got around to it ) and KRAVEN´S LAST HUNT ( one of THE best Spider - Man stories written. EVER. ) for half price and some ASPEN and SOULFIRE comics from Michael Turner. When he started the new series it was just typical that somehow I managed to subscribe to the one series he was NOT drawing. All in all when the first day of the convention had ended I was pretty exhausted and just wanted to get back to the hotel.

But of course my brother had other plans than to relax at the hotel pool. He wanted to catch a movie but since the eight o clock showing of X - MEN 3 THE LAST STAND ( yes, I still hadn´t seen it - so sue me ) had already started we decided to get something to eat. We had to walk a while ( which you should be prepared for whenever you leave the house or go somewher with my brother ) but we finally arrived at the HÜHNERTOD ( chicken death ) where my brother had no problem ordering but somehow everything I wanted to eat was already sold out. So it was more like : " No, no calamares, no hamburgers, no cheesburgers, no chicken burgers, no burgers at all. Also no chicken mixed plate and no chicken wings. And no chicken at all. Except for the chicken nuggets. " So I just asked what was left and ordered some salad and chicken nuggets. My brother gave me some of his calamares which were really good but ( of course unbeknownst to me at that time ) not the best I should eat in Erlangen. Naturally Sanchez overindulged himself with the beer which is one of the reasons I don´t like to go with him anywhere because he just knows I don´t like to drink. Which for him is normally the signal to get plastered because he counts on me picking him up at the end and playing the part of designated driver. I really don´t like driving that much and because of his refusal to eat at Mc Donalds or Burger King ( which doesn´t extend to eating all food he can get his hands on whenever me or my brother bring some of the stuff home ) we always have to go to new restaurants. Because otherwise we would know what to expect and how the food is. And that would be too easy.

After we had finished our meal we went to see X - MEN 3 which I really liked. I mean I´m happy as long as Gambit does not appear in a X - Men movie but it was really action packed and very daring. I didn´t miss Nightcrawler since the movie versions of Beast and Angel were all very good. I wonder who the protagonists of the next movie will be since they have now assembled the founding members Cyclops, Beast, Marvel Girl, Iceman and Beast. Naturally my brother was still worked up after the movie so we went to the SCHWARZER RITTER ( BLACK KNIGHT...I think it was named in honor of the famous member of the AVENGERS ) where he had to get an alcohol free beer. Now for me alcohol free beer makes as much sense as going to the movies and closing your eyes. Beer doesn´t taste that great and I only drink it with the right meal. There´s nothing better than drinking an ice cold beer with your schnitzel on a hot summer day - but alcohol free beer ? You can´t even get a decent buzz which for me is already half the fun. If you can´t afford to get drunk - drink coke !

Now the SCHWARZER RITTER is the most infamous bar in Erlangen with a large history with the comic salon of Erlangen. Whenever something wild, crazy and illegal happened it happened here. So it was no surprise that Wittek from the comic label Alligator Farm signed Sanchez right arm with a marker in bold black letters proclaiming " cojonsel " in retaliation for his alcohol abuse. We went back to the hotel afterwards ( which we found a little easier this time ) and that was the end of our first day in Erlangen.

Tomorrow I will write about our second day and whom we met on our second visit to the SCHWARZER RITTER.

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