From film to comic
In “Wave and Smile”, Arne Jysch reconstructs the day-to-day life of a German army soldier in Afghanistan. “Der nasse Fisch” (i.e. The Wet Fish) is an adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s best-selling novel of the same name and focuses particular attention on the details of 1920s Berlin.
By Stefan Pannor
At a glanceArne Jysch was born in Bremen in 1973. He studied animation at the Film University Konrad Wolf in Potsdam from 1995 to 2000, since which time he has worked as a storyboard illustrator in Berlin. His projects include the storyboard for the film adaptation of the best-selling novel The Physician. His first comic was published in 2012: Wave and Smile depicts day-to-day life for German soldiers in Afghanistan.
A film rejectedJysch sees comics and films as being closely connected: “I first imagined Wave and Smile as a film, and sent out a short presentation to film production companies”, he explains. After his idea was rejected, he focused on his skills as a storyboard illustrator and sent off the same presentation to comic publishers. When turning his draft work into a fully-fledged comic, he drew on the experiences of Afghanistan reporter Julia Weigelt and German army personnel. This helped him paint as realistic a picture as possible of the country and of the military operations there – without having ever been in Afghanistan himself.
A special workWhile still working on Wave and Smile, Jysch produced the first drafts for a comic adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Der Nasse Fisch (i.e. The Wet Fish), a crime novel set in the 1920s. For reasons of space, he broke up the plot structure, shortened some elements and turned the character of Inspector Gereon into a first-person narrator. “In the books, he is so nicely reminiscent of the classic noir novels and films, which I found very fitting”, explains the illustrator. He additionally incorporated some things he particularly likes himself, from the cinema – “genres of the Hitchcock or James Bond variety” – and from Frank Miller’s Sin City comic series. In doing so, Jysch combines German history with the US classics of the genre.
For “Wave & Smile”, Jysch drew on the experiences of reporters and German army personnel in Afghanistan.
For the adaptation of “Der nasse Fisch”, Jysch turned the main character of Inspector Gereon into a first-person narrator.
Jysch created extensive archives of pictures, “from interior furnishings to cabins, buildings and vehicles”.
He also incorporated some things he particularly likes himself into the adaptation. The picture shows a stylistic allusion to Frank Miller’s “Sin City” comic homage to noir crime dramas.