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Forschung

Ein Medium wird geboren

In jenen erregten Tagen nach dem 11. September 2001, nachdem Terroristen mit ihrem Zerstörungswerk Amerika und der Welt einen Schock versetzt hatten, wurden die Türme des World Trade Centers unter dem nunmehr viel zitierten Begriff »Twin Towers« zum Symbol dieses mörderischen Gewaltakts. Tausende ließen ihr Leben, für die USA ein traumatisches Ereignis.

Wenige Woche schon danach machte sich der bekannte New Yorker Zeichner Art Spiegelman daran, das Ungeheuerliche dieser Terroristentat für sich zeichnerisch zu verarbeiten. Bekannt war Spiegelman bereits seit langem als Zeichner vieler kritischer Titelblätter der renommierten Zeitschrift »The New Yorker« und durch seinen preisgekrönten Comic über die Nazi-KZs1.

Seine Bildergeschichte zum 11. September lässt Spiegelman nicht als konventionelle Bildfolge ablaufen, vielmehr ist das Layout in sich verschachtelt, wechselt die Größen der Bildausschnitte, fügt montageartig unterschiedliche Bildelemente ein. Auf der zweiten Seite2 entdecken wir oben rechts zwei Jungen, mit knappem Strich gezeichnet, die sich einem weinend einem Photographen stellen. Ihren Köpfen entspringt je einer der »Twin Towers« wie eine fast monströse Kopfbedeckung.

Wer sich in der Geschichte der Comics umgesehen hat, entdeckt in ihnen zwei Comic-Figuren der frühen Comic-Geschichte: Es sind die »Katzenjammer Kids«, erfunden und gezeichnet vom deutschstämmigen Zeichner Rudolph Dirks, der heute zu den Vätern der ersten Stunde des modernen Comic Strips zählt.

Warum hat Spiegelman gerade die »Kids« in seinem aktuellen Comic auftreten lassen? Die »Katzies«, wie sie auch liebevoll von den Anhängern der Serie genannt wurden, sind zwei freche, witzige Brüder, wenn auch nicht Zwillinge, so doch vom Charakter her ähnlich, immer zu Streichen bereit. Als zwei der ersten einprägsamen Figuren der amerikanischen Comic-Geschichte haben Sie Generationen von Zeitungslesern, die mit ihnen aufwuchsen, ein unterhaltsames Wochenendschmunzeln bereitet, denn »The Katzenjammer Kids« ist bisher die am längsten laufende Comic-Serie der Welt. Sie hat nicht nur Jahrzehnte amerikanischer Geschichte begleitet, ihre Figuren und Geschichten sind selber zu einem Stück amerikanischer Kultur und Geschichte geworden.

In Spiegelmans aktueller Bildergeschichte zu »9-11« wird daher mit den »Kids« eine Facette aus den frühen Tagen dieses so amerikanischen Mediums Comics und zugleich auch ein Stück amerikanischer Kultur ins Licht gerückt, – nicht von ungefähr, denn in Zeiten von äußerer Gefahr oder innerer Krisen rücken Amerikaner, wie wir wissen, zusammen und besinnen sich ihrer Werte und Traditionen.

Die wenigsten aber wissen, dass sich die Spuren dieser amerikanischen »Kids« nach Deutschland zurückführen lassen, Spuren, die seit einiger Zeit in einem Projekt der HBK aufgenommen worden sind, dessen Ergebnisse in einem international ausgerichtetem Ausstellungsprojekt einmünden sollen. Dieses Projekt hat, obwohl es erst jetzt richtig beginnt, eine längere Vorgeschichte.

Anmerkungen

1 In allegorischer Form versucht Spiegelman in diesem Comic die Leiden seiner jüdischen Familie im deutschen KZ aufzuarbeiten. Wie in einer Tierfabel treten hier Menschen in Gestalt von Mäusen auf, und die KZ-Aufseher in Katzengestalt, – in Form und Inhalt wohl der prekärste Comic überhaupt. Art Spiegelman: »In the Shadow of no Towers«, New York 2002

2 Die Blätter dieses Albums wurden 2002 auch in der »Zeit« abgedruckt.

Weitere Informationen

  1. Allgemeine Einführung zu diesem Projekt
  2. Ein Medium wird geboren – Busch, Dirks, die frühen Comics
  3. Eine Entdeckung
  4. Die Vorbereitungsphase
  5. Die Inhalte
  6. Die Ziele

© 2004-2021 Prof. Dr. Eckhart Bauer, HBK Braunschweig