Year
1973

Comments
from the article "Years of study (1995)":
Then you arrive in Belgium. When was that?
Andreas: That was in 1973, I was 22. I spent three years at Saint-Luc and two years at the academy of Sint-Gilles. Saint-Luc is a sort of general art academy, with courses on architecture, illustration, sculpting, and the like. There was one comics workshop where Eddy Paape used to teach for years. I started there the year he was succeeded by Claude Renard. Then it was called Atelier R with the R of Recherche (Research). Renard had been a student-assistent of Paape and replaced him without having any professional experience.
I find it hard to talk about Saint-Luc, because in retrospect I think I didn't learn much there. In any case regarding comics. The drawing lessons, working with models and perhaps even the course art history were definately interesting. But there were also completely useless courses, like philosophy or literature. And during modelling classes we were busier throwing clay at eachother than anything else. In the comics workshop we sometimes had compulsory assignments and sometimes we could do what we wanted. Renard made his round amongst his pupils to talk about their work, make corrections, and such. Later I realised that it was all very much without engagement. It was always like: "Yes, not bad, but maybe there you should..." Never something specific like: "No, this is not right; yes, that is right; here's how to do it..." If you don't have any previous knowledge, such an approach is not likely. Furthermore, there was a sort of breach with the rest of the world. Everything that happened at school was "fantastic" and everything else "worthless". With the exception of Métal Hurlant there were only idiots, people without any sense. This trashed my idols completely - except for Franquin and maybe Moebius, who were considered geniuses. In three years a sort of coccoon formed in which everyone told eachother "Great, what you're doing." But it wasn't really all that much. With that luggage we wouldn't have found a job at any magazine, any publisher. As an example: at a given moment we asked for a course on writing a scenario and we got a course on semantics! Not that it was completely useless, but we never learned to write a scenario. Actually we never learned to tell a story at Saint-Luc.
In what direction did they send you then? The aesthetics side?
Andreas: It went: "You have to make the plate composition stand out." It was the time of Druillet, Moebius, Metal Hurlant... I once tried to create a classic adventure story with a classic plate composition, straight bars. I was barked at: "How could you do that?" You had to find solutions, show a lot of white, stuff that was highly fashionable. It had nothing to do with telling a story. They wanted a nice plate to stick to a wall at the end of the year. The story didn't matter.