Le Monde diplomatique – The Comic Page

LE MONDE diplomatique © LE MONDE diplomatique

Le Monde diplomatique – The comic page

LE MONDE diplomatique, the major monthly newspaper for international politics currently published in twenty languages, the German language edition was launched in 1995 by the daily German newspaper Die Tageszeitung (taz) and the Swiss weekly WoZ.

Since 2005, the last cover page of the German edition of Le Monde diplomatique has featured a comic strip. The German edition is the only one that publishes this comic page. Karoline Bofinger, comic editor of Le Monde diplomatique every month selects a comic artist or cartoonist who designs this page and captures his or her personal view of international politics and current events. Over the years, renowned illustrators and comic-strip artists have created remarkable contributions — and often brilliantly mastered the particular challenge of the large page format as well as the limited narrative space. The comics so created cast an unpredictable, often absurd and sometimes melancholy glance at politics, everyday life and culture. The concept refers back to the beginnings of modern comic strips, which emerged at the end of the 19th century as the icing on the cake of newspapers traditionally adorning the last page.

Here stars of the German alternative comic scene like ATAK, Anke Feuchtenberger or Henning Wagenbreth meet German illustrators/picture book authors like Nele Brönner or old master Volker Pfüller. And young talents such as Anna Haifisch and Robert Deutsch join established artists such as Barbara Yelin or Jim Avignon. Their works walk the tightrope between high culture and trivia that has become the trademark of postmodern visual art. Stylistic eclecticism, their inclination towards an excessive use of quotations of all kinds, and above all their irreverent and liberal use of the diverse graphic possibilities of our time are the essential elements of their contemporary image and story production, which apparently has lost all reservations about our fascination with the trivial imagery of comics. 

Reprodukt publishers have so far edited 3 large-format anthologies, each containing fifty comic pages. The works of the artists were shown in major exhibitions in Berlin, Munich, Greifswald, Hamburg, Leipzig and Linz/Austria.

Karoline Bofinger
Comic-Editor of Le MONDE diplomatique 

Article by Armin Abmeier and Helmut Kronthaler. 
From Hogan’s Alley to the big wide world. The comic strip from its beginnings to Le Monde diplomatique.