Cartoon/Humour

Waspish and sometimes macabre – ©Tom

Copyright: Achterbahn VerlagTouché is the name of the daily cult comic strip by Thomas Körner, alias ©Tom. Since December 1991 he has submitted three pictures a day to the Berlin newspaper die tageszeitung (taz). Anyone who wants to begin the day with a little humour will welcome Touché. Over the years, ©Tom has developed a whole character arsenal of odd types and enchanting originals, whether it’s the granny waiting at the post-office counter or Death and the Devil. ©Tom’s humour is directed at officials and their long-winded bureaucracy, at the middle-class people next door, the punk on the corner or the simple man in the street.

The ideas for his characters and stories come to him in everyday life, at the supermarket, in pubs, in the realms of officialdom or on the underground. Sometimes it’s an opportunity for ©Tom to give vent to his anger, when, for example, he’s trodden in dog shit again or feels tormented by the obsession with mobile phones. Then he immediately creates a cartoon on this theme.

©Tom has a great gift for reproducing crazy everyday situations strikingly and with dry, black humour, which explains the French title of his satire: Touché. In his real-life situations, which he depicts with a deadly pen, not only do you recognise things that you have experienced, but sometimes also aspects of your own character that you don’t like very much.

©Tom, a Swabian by birth, began to draw at the age of four, later filling his schoolbooks with scribbles. But it wasn’t until 1989, after he’d dropped out of his politics course, that he began to concentrate on drawing comics. His first strips were published in newspapers and city magazines, but it was only when he joined the taz that he became well known throughout Germany. So well known, in fact, that in 2000 his waspish and sometimes macabre humour won him the Max-und-Moritz prize for the best German-language strip and his doorstops of comic publications became even more popular with the readers.

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
Mail Symbolinfo@stockholm.goethe.org
March 2005