Six Questions for Hauck & Bauer

Antje Kunstmann Verlag Hauck & Bauer are Elias Hauck (drawings) and Dominik Bauer (text), both born in 1978. They publish in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the satire magazine Titanic, and under Spiegel Online’s heading Spam.

You’re both from the Lower Franconian town of Alzenau. What are your memories of your Bavarian homeland?

We got to know each other quite late in Alzenau, we didn’t spend our childhood together. So our memories have to do with beer. Alzenau is a nice, friendly town with a CSU government and a castle.

Today, one of you lives in Berlin, the other in Frankfurt a.M. How do your stories arise?

Dominik, the one in Frankfurt, thinks up the stories, and Elias, the one in Berlin, then draws them. Betweentimes we chat via mobile phone or email about the details. We don’t discuss things if one of us thinks something isn’t good, whether an idea or a drawing. That gets dropped pretty quickly.

Diashow Hauck und Bauer

What makes a good cartoon?

It’s good if it’s funny. It’s even better if there’s something more as well – that scares the reader, moves or irritates him or her. The humour in the magazine Titanic, particularly the humorous drawings, definitely opened a few doors in our minds.

What method always works for producing a joke?

We don’t know of any safe-and-sure method. Wouldn’t interest us, either. On the other hand, how to make sure nobody laughs is something we don’t know about any more since Mario Barth.

You draw for Spiegel Online, the Frankfurter Sonntagszeitung and the magazine Titanic: Do your commissions vary according to the medium?

For ten years now, we’ve been doing our FAS column Am Rande der Gesellschaft (i.e. on the margins of society) without any assigned topics, which is fabulous, of course. There are no assigned topics from Spiegel Online, either. Only in the case of Titanic do we agree on a topic for the month with our colleagues Rattelschneck and Rudi Hurzlmeier, which we then milk for all it’s worth on a joint double-page spread („Hier lacht der Betrachter / i.e. here laughs the viewer).

Which of your works have been rejected by the editorial boards – and why?

You sense it sometimes when certain things aren’t printed, the official line is that “we didn’t think it was all that funny” – which is perfectly OK. For us at least, no topics are taboo. It was funny some time back when we were supposed to bring along a couple of jokes for a BR show that caused some dissension. The jokes were then not shown in the show for fear of stirring up controversy.

Dominik Bauer, Elias Hauck: Man tut, was man kann: Nix. (i.e. you do what you can: nothing)
Antje Kunstmann Verlag Munich 2013. 152 pages.
ISBN 978-3-88897-876-0

Rieke Harmsen conducted the interview.

Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
September 2013

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