Autobiographical Comics

Vivid portrayer of his emotions – Flix

Copyright: Flix

‘So, what’s supposed to be more interesting about your life than other people’s?’ the examiner asked the communication student Felix Görmann, alias Flix, when he registered ‘autobiography’ as the theme for his dissertation. The examiner probably had very little suspicion that Flix would win not only the coveted 'Max-und-Moritz prize' in 2004 with his final-examination piece, the comic Held (2003), but would also receive various awards for designers and newcomers. The author and artist himself had even less idea.

Copyright: Flix

Comics by Flix
Anyone who enjoys the treat of reading this work quickly understands why the mature and brilliant comic has won numerous prizes and had his work immediately published twice, first with a medium-sized publishing house in four individual issues and later as a compact paperback with a publishing giant. The comic depicts an ‘almost’ normal childhood, from the fear of monsters under the bed, to scrapping in the school playground, the adventures of camping and the first kiss as a young teenager. But Flix’ biography goes beyond the present and he carries on with the depiction of his life, up until his death. In an extremely stylish and at the same time amusing manner, Flix questions the fictional and real content of biographies. There are analogies with the French comic artist Lewis Trondheim, who also draws his everyday adventures in clear strokes. These similarities are not limited to the artistic style, as the influence of the Frenchman can also be recognised in the surreal and fantasy passages in which the monsters from childhood break through into the real life of the adult Flix.

In his next comic Sag Was (2004), the illustrator, cartoonist and comic artist succeeds in establishing his originality. The subject of the comic is Flix’ great love for Sophie and the end of this long-standing relationship. And although the comic deals with everyday themes such as friendship, love and separation, Flix manages once again to move the reader to tears at the end with his vivid portrayal of his emotions. He does an excellent job of softening the story with humorous passages, allowing the readers to share in the highs and lows of his protagonists. He also uses this skill in his chief occupation, as his main source of income is his regular newspaper cartoons, which have been brought together in the volume Verflixt (2005).

Matthias Schneider
is a cultural researcher and freelance cultural journalist.
He also designs film programmes and exhibitions on the theme of comics.

Copyright: Goethe-Institut Stockholm
March 2005