Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tales from the one legged man in Erlangen

After my last shameless comic shop pimping post it´s time to return to my time in Erlangen at this year´s Comic Salon 2014. Someone mentioned that I made a point ( without realizing it ) for easier access and maybe shuttle buses for older and ( maybe ) wheelchair bound visitors.

Which is right. You never think about these things unless you are affected yourself by it. So if anybody of the organisers of the comic event has read my last Erlangen post they might give this problem some consideration.

Now, continuing with my Erlangen 2014 Diary we already covered the trip to the city ( and back ), my hotel with the shower deathtrap, that I didn´t do much besides going to the con, that we arrived 3 hours late and that the table where I expected to spend most of my comic budget for the first day wasn´t there. As I said, this threw me off my game a bit and I spend the first hours wandering aimlessly through the convention hall. Not to say that I didn´t wander aimlessly around Erlangen at previous events but this time it was also a tough exercise because of my knee. So I did what any comic fan would have done in my position : go with what you know.

Which for me meant to frequent the tables of the usual suspects.


This is the part which is probably not so interesting for longtime readers of this blog. Because I have written about WEISSBLECH in previous posts.

But as every post is someone´s first I want to mention that it´s one of Germany´s finest providers for what you might call trash comics - and I´m using the term in the best sense here. Publisher, writer, artist, inker and basically one - man - band Levin Kurio is the driving force behind the best horror anthology title in Germany - HORROR SCHOCKER - and many other fine comics that blatantly pander to the basest instincts of the target audience. You will not find any artsy fartsy projects here but rather good entertainment at a reasonable price that always delivers. Who could forget such classics like PATER DRACULA - ER TRINKT DAS BLUT CHRISTI ( Padre Dracula - he drinks the blood of Christ ) or DIE ROTEN RÄCHER

the german version of Rough Cut Comics FREEDOM COLLECTIVE ?

And so one of the must - haves of any comic convention in Germany is the newest NOVITÄTEN - PACK ( Novelty Bundle ) which always contains the latest releases at a big discount. In most cases I try to change some of the issues of the Novelty Bundle for other Weissblech comics but this year I had none of the issues contained. The bundle didn´t have as many single issues as in previous years because one of the comics was their newest and first graphic novel but more about that in just a moment.

First I want to mention the other things that were in the bundle.

XXX - Comics issues 15 and 16 and as the title implies these are porn comics. Weissblech has a lot of titles that sound very raunchy but unlike other comic companies they don´t deceive their comic readers so if you pay for porn you get porn. I still haven´t read all of the stories ( I read one or two stories on my first night in the hotel ) but like always the stories are a bit tongue in cheek without skimping on the erotic parts.

Most of the art is done by the very capable Horst Dounichdy - Glokken, a pseudonym for an artist which most german comic readers will recognize.

Also contained are issues 35 and 36 of HORROR SCHOCKER.

Issue 35 contains the story UNSER DORF SOLL TOTER WERDEN ( Our village shall become deader ) by Carsten Dörr, the highlight of the issue and one of the stories in Weissblech´s 2014 GRATIS COMIC TAG comic.

The issue is rounded up with HASSO which is rather short

and MÜLLSCHLUCKER ( garbage disposer ) which is much longer on the other side. As usual reader views differ as to which one is the best.

Issue 36 is the big anniversary issue - 10 years of HORROR SCHOCKER - and to celebrate that it has expanded to 52 pages for the usual price. As befitting an anniversary issue it contains some of the best artists of the book like Kolja Schäfer, who starts the issue impressivly with DIE WOLKENSTADT DES MUMIENGOTTES ( The Mummy God´s Cloud City ).

Then Levin Kurio takes the art chores - he writes all the stories - with DER SCHATZ DER TEMPLER ( The treasure of the Knights Templar ).

Another of my favorite artists - The Lep - draws ÜBERLEBENSEXPERTEN ( Survival Experts ) based on an original idea he came up with himself.

And last but not least is the brilliant DIE LESENDEN TOTEN ( The Reading Dead ) which is another story from the GRATIS COMIC TAG 2014 issue.

Talking about free comics, Weissblech also had just finished their eight free mini comic which has preview pages from HORROR SCHOCKER 35´s MÜLLSCHLUCKER story and their big graphic novel. These are always great and I have to admit that I always pocketed one when I passed the table with all the info material and freebies opposite the entrance. I love to give them away and most of them will end up in the Christmas contest.

I also got the second issue of UNGEHEUER ( Monsters ) which focuses on one of Germany´s best artists, Klaus Scherwinski and while some of the stories have been published elsewhere it´s nice to have them collected.

UNGEHEUER is a rather new anthology and it focuses on a certain artist or a certain theme like issue 1 which was all about zombies - naturally.

They also had the 1st issue of CAPTAIN BERLIN but I already had that.

Which brings us to the best comic Weissblech may have ever published : the incredible BELLA STAR TRIFFT KALA ! ( Bella Star meets Kala ! )

With a price tag of 20 EUROS this is the most expensive comic in the novelty bundle but believe me when I say it´s worth every cent.

Not only is it in hardcover, it´s also 112 ( ! ) pages of uncensored sci fi / jungle adventure in the often imitated but never duplicated Weissblech manner. I called the comic a graphic novel and not only because it is all new material. As this is their first graphic novel ( of hopefully many more ) they have waited for a great story and what could be more epic than the clash of two of their greatest babes : Bella Star, the intergalactic nympho and Kala, the pre - historic amazon ? Of course topless mud wrestling ensues during this titanic tussle of the well endowed alpha females.

But while a big part of the comic is titillation - with a big emphasis on the tit part - the story is just awesome and has anything you could ever want in a comic like aliens, metal bikinis, dinosaurs or black holes. It´s one of Weissblech´s best efforts and I recommend it to all comic aficionados.

I also managed to get a Charon sketch by the master himself, although it wasn´t as elaborate as the one I posted below ( to give you an idea ).

So that was the first table and while I also passed by the folks from GRINGO COMICS and SCHWARZER TURM, I´m going to wait with writing about those parts for the days when I actually bought something there.


Well, I´m not sure if it´s really a mystery but it annoys me to no ends that you can´t find any good pictures of the comics Laska Comix sells.

It was the same last time I wrote about Erlangen and it was the reason why I stopped with the posts: I was spending too much time looking for pictures and in the end I didn´t get around to continue with the posts. I have since found a picture - although a tiny one - of the issue I got then

and I´m only posting it here because it is an homage cover.

I just don´t get it. They make such brilliant comics but their website is totally crap. I don´t know for whom they designed it but it´s surely not meant for people who want to buy their comics outside of comic cons.

Anyway, nevertheless I want to pimp Laka Comix - which is not easy without adequate pictures - so I want to mention the two comics I got at their table. The first one is another LASKA SAMMELSURIUM, number 11 this time ( sorry for the nad picture but I´m lucky that I found one at all )

and you could translate the word Sammelsurium with mishmash, smorgasboard or hodgepodge. So it´s a collection of short stories, sketches, pictures and drawings. All with the usual standard of Laska quality but I have to say I liked the last one better because it included a short story of LUZIE AUS DER HÖLLE ( Lucy from hell ). The other comic I got was WÄSCHER - PIONIER DER COMICS ( Wäscher - Comic Pioneer )

and it´s - of course - about Hansrudi Wäscher the german Jack Kirby who influenced the entire landscape of comics for numerous generations with his comics AKIM ( just your basic jungle guy ), TIBOR ( the jungle guy formerly known as Akim with a new name because of a legal dispute ),

JÖRG ( the adventures of a boy in the year 1633 during the Thirty Years´ War which featured General Wallenstein, a historic figure ),

 FALK, Knight in shining armor,

FENRIR ( which seems like another jungle guy but in reality it are the adventures of an outcast 8.423 years after the last atomic holocaust ),

ROY STARK ( a stuntman, not related to Tony Stark ),

NIZAR ( another jungle hero, this one more Mowgli than Tarzan )

NICK ( the only sciene fiction hero of the Hansrudi Wäscher universe )

and SIGURD ( we will come back to him in another Erlangen Diary post ).

Interesting trivia : Fenrir´s and Tibor´s female companions´ fur bikinis caused friction with the german board of censors and were toned down.

So WÄSCHER - PIONIER DER COMICS contains homages to this dyed - in - the - wool elder statesman of comics and the Laska guys produced it.

But I got a nice sketch nonetheless.


So my last stop on Thursday was on a vendor´s table with a lot of US comics for 1 EURO. Mostly old CONAN comics by John Buscema but they were not in very good condition and I wasn´t sure which of them I had.

I picked up a whole bunch of RED SONJA issues for my brother

and I also found Mike Grell´s SHAMAN´S TEARS 1 which I was still missing. If I ever find the other issues I can re - read the whole series - unless I´m missing the zero issue. I´m not so sure about that one.

Anyway, I was just ready to pay when I spotted the Power Girl mini bust at the back of the table. Now all jokes about using the words " Power Girl " and " mini bust " in the same sentence aside this was a really rare item.

For decades I have been on the lookout for one of the always elusive Power Girl action figures on german comic conventions and this was the first time one of the good ones was in reach. The downside was that it was priced at 50 bucks but you only live once and I wasn´t anywhere near my comic spending budget for the first day so I thought what the heck. So I clunked down the 50 bucks, the comic dealer was happy, I was happy and I still haven´t gotten around to unpack it. Mind you, I have taken it out of the box to see if it´s not damaged but it´s still in the box on my desk.

One of these days - when I have cleaned up - it will get a place of honor.

And that was basically the first day. I did eat something in - between because without that I would have probably fallen into a deep coma.

Like I said in my last Erlangen post, due to my bad knee I limited myself to restaurants that were on the way between the con and my hotel room which meant that I was trying out a lot of establishments I wouldn´t visit.

So on Thursday I picked the thai takeaway that was right outside of the Kongress Zentrum. I swear, for more than 20 years I have been going to Erlangen but I had never eaten there. Can you believe that ? And the food was surprisingly good. Not like some fancy restaurant from the Micheline Guide but really tasty and not too expensive. I got some of the food to go on Saturday but they forgot to pack a fork and knife so I had to go down the stairs ( and up again ) to freeload one from the breakfast room.

When I got to my hotel ( my brother drove me there using the navsat ) I showered and discovered the shower death trap. Then I was so tired that I went to sleep immediately and slept until a few minutes before ten o´clock which meant it was time for wrestling - on tv mind you, I was in no condition for any kind of sports activity. After watching wrestling I switched through the channels but the only thing that was on was a really bad monster flick with kind of a chimera creature and when I was pretty sure there would be no Länderpunkte ( longtime readers of the blog know what those are all others go to the Simona Ventura post ) I switched off the tv and went to bed. Tomorrow would surely be another strenuous day.

So that´s my log of the first day at this year´s Comic Salon Erlangen and as always I was tempted to cut it short since I really haven´t slept much Today.  But I wanted to finish it, otherwise I´ll never get them done before the end of  this month. I´m not sure what my next post is going to be ( probably something shorter, otherwise I´ll collapse in front of my desktop one of these days ) but I hope this was a little bit interesting.

Today´s first video is about Erlangen, this time from Geekplautze.


The second one is a request by a reader who complained that there wasn´t much Yaya Han content lately. In fact it´s been weeks.

I´m still planning to do the big Yaya Han post ( click here for my intro post ) but I have been distracted ( in more ways than one ) by lots of pictures of cosplayer Jessica Nigri and I got caught up in all the drama. Now I don´t want to go into too much detail here - if you know what I´m talking about it´s redundant to mention it here and if not it´s way to complicated to start the topic here - but I just have to say that I´m all for sexy women dressing up in hot costumes and maybe showing off a bit of exposed skin. I´ve always said flaunt it if you got it and we should be really thankful that there are still women out there willing to go to all the trouble out there considering the amount of trolls that are on the net.

If you don´t like it you don´t have to look at the pictures and if you are really such a needy person you can watch those special Jessica Nigri videos on YouTube ( I dare you to last longer than five minutes with the 25 minutes of Jessica Nigri video ! ). And about the whole thing with cosplaying as female versions of male characters I have to confess that in most cases I don´t know the original characters. If it looks good....

So, for my readers who can appreciate it, here is a new interview with the always lovely Yaya Han from Wondercon 2014 in one of my Top Five costumes EVER as everyone´s favorite Street Fighter : sexy Chun Li.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

edit : Yes, I changed the banner I had first posted for this one because I realised that the " I´m with free porn " Civil War banner directly under the Yaya Han Wondercon interview might send the wrong message. Sorry.


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

You got a Wascher sketch???? wow. I still browse through my copy of Das Grosse Hansrudi Wascher Buch (published by Hethke in 1987). I had this idea at one point to do a big cross-over book with his characters once but the guy at Hethke (Norbert Hethke?) refused to even consider the idea or put me in touch with HRW -who I'd have loved to work with. I'll look out for this new book (once my bank sorts out WHERE my money has gone!) Ahh.

SUBZERO said...

I wish.

I got a sketch from the Laksa Comix guys. A Wäscher sketch would have been nice but I don´t think he does comic conventions.

Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

I dont think Wascher has been to a con since the early 1990s. I still wanna do that cross-over!!!!!