Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Courtney Crumrin and the lost adventure

Yes, another sleepless night and another post for Germany´s best comic blog. Sometimes I think that the internet would never have had the impact it did if there were not so much people who can´t sleep.

It´s a fact that the number one thing to do when you can´t sleep is surfing on the net. So, Yesterday after coming home from work my brother got drunk and as usual he finds it extremely funny to start a discussion which means him telling me what a loser I am and that my life sucks and that it´s only my own fault. You see, he´s the only one who ever made sacrifices in the entire world and everybody else just wants it that way.

Yes, he uses everybody else as his latrine - to shit all over them basically - and then he wondes why I don´t want to work with him on comic projects. My sister always tells me that I have to help him with stuff because he also helps me when I need it. The problem is I never need his help. Or better - I never got it. When there´s something to do for the IRS I can´t go to him because he doesn´t understand any of it. When I have problems with the unemployment office I can´t go to him because he doesn´t understand any of it. When there was something on the business side of our comic company to do I was the one who had to do it because he doesn´t know about that stuff.

He can´t do any translations for me because I understand more about it than him. If there´s something wrong with the car I have to fix it because he won´t go near it since I´m the one who is a car mechanic. I´m not sure if he even knows how to change a wheel. And everytime there is something he could help me with his only advice is : you have to learn to do it because I did so you can too. And that´s as much help as you get from him. I can never come to him when I have problems - it´s always the other way around. Which is also the reason why he wants to work with me.

That way he doesn´t have to finish his work or do things he doesn´t want to. He can stop drawing whenever he feels like it. Since I´m the inker I have to finish it. He can stop writing whenever he runs out of ideas. I will come up with something and I can do all this other wordy stuff like dialogue. If he doesn´t want to color it ? That´s somethign I " have to learn to be a better comic artist " anyway. Preparing the comic for printing ? Well, I worked in a printing company so that´s something I have to do. Printing the comic ? Well, see the answer before that. Doing all the legal business stuff ? Since that´s something I studied I have to do it. Doing all the financial and business stuff ? Since that´s something I studied.....exactly. And if the comic is not like he envisioned it then it´s all my fault. I think this is my most important role : scapegoat.

So you see what he needs me for. The only thing that he doesn´t see or ask himself : what do I need him for ? Since I´m doing all the heavy stuff the only thing he does do is demotivate me and prevent me from doing comic stuff. Which ( in a roundabound way ) leads us back to this blog. I initially started this blog for three reasons :

1. to have something to do when I can´t sleep besides surfing

2. to have a place where people can read this stuff besides the usual message boards where nobody reads what you write

3. to do SOMETHING that´s comic related

It never was my big dream to do comics. I mean I know that´s the thing I was born to do but here in Germany that´s extremely difficult - especially when you have to fight your own family. So it´s not what I envisioned myself doing but I´m totally okay with just reading comics for the rest of my life. I mean would the comic world be so much worse if Jeff Smith never did BONE or Dave Sim never did CEREBUS or if Stan Sakai never did USAGI YOJIMBO ? Don´t answer that. Anyway, back to sleeping problems.

Since I have to catch up on the news I went to Comic Book Resources where I found the news of a new Courtney Crumrin comic called Courtney Crumrin & the Prince of Nowhere.

It´s a new comic in which Courtney visits a small town in Germany called Krumrhein and the history of one of her ancestors Isolde von Krumrhein is told. I did a bit of research ( I mean this is Germany´s best comicblog after all ) and while there is no such town called Krumrhein the name Krumrhein does exist as a german name. In fact there is the name Krumrheim, Krumrein, Krummrein and even Crumrein in the german telephone book.

The word Herzogen is the right translation of Dukes but the characters Isolde von Krumrhein and Leopolt ( the modern writing would be Leopold but that´s how it was written in the 16th century ) are totally fictional.

What I also discovered is that apparently I missed an adventure of Courtney Crumrin called The Fire Thief´s Tale which must have come ouit when I was in Spain. Just another thing I have to add to the list of comics I have to hunt down like the last three issues of the new CLAN DESTINE series. Anyway, Courtney Crumrin is one of the best comic series from ONI and if you are not already reading it I would describe it as " Harry Potter meets Jessica Drew with a bit of LEAVE IT TO CHANCE thrown in ". The stories are fantastic and appeal to young readers as well as grown ups. And don´t let the deceptively simple looking art fool you. Ted Naifeh is one of the best comic artists which you can also see in his other brilliant comics like DEATH JR and GLOOMCOOKIE.

I first discovered Courtney Crumrin in what at that time was my emergency comic shop and which now has become my regular comic shop. Which in turn leaves only the internet for comic emergencies. Anyway, the first comic I found was Courtney Crumrin and the coven of mystics which is the second trade. Everytime I was at the comic shop I took it from the shelf read a few pages and put it back when I had to select the stuff I took to the counter. That´s just how it is in a good comic shop. The difference between a good comic shop and a bad comic shop can be measured in the amount of stuff you have to put back.

In my old comic shop which was COMICS PUR when I came in and wanted to spend 40 or 50 bucks I had problems finding something good and in the end spent around 30 bucks. In my new comic shop SAMMLERECKE in Esslingen when I go in planning to spend 30 bucks on comics I end up spending 50 bucks or more and I have to put back about the same amount of trades and other books I would like to buy. That´s how you can tell if you have a good comic shop.

Back to Courtney Crumrin. I always was putting the comic back but at one point I told myself : " You have already read half of the comic so when are you going to buy the damn thing ? " which is one of the best decisions I ever made. Now apparently the new adventure of Courtney Crumrin deals with the aftermath of the last story but since I didn´t read it I can tell you nothing about that. All I know is that if it´s only half as good as the other stories it´s a comic well worth your money. If you want to know more about the new comic here´s an interview with Ted Naifeh on newsarama :

  • newsarama interview

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    1 comment:

    Mildmanneredmaniac said...


    if you have trouble sleeping, I have the perfect solution for you: get a bigger family - three children or more will work wonders, I assure you.

    Nice blog, BTW.