In Western Germany I soon switched to Mickey. That magazine was forbidden in
the DDR. Actually all that was forbidden in the DDR appealed to me. All they
knew there from the West were Fix und Foxi and other weak Disney-lookalikes.
Animal figures engaged in adventures couldn't amuse me. But the publisher of
Fix und Foxi - and later on some other magazines as well - started publishing
the French and Belgian comics Robbedoes, Asterix, Lucky Luke, and Johan en
Pirrewiet. And those really impressed me! For the first time those drawings
did something to me, especially the ones from Robbedoes. Not so much those of
Asterix, they were too perfect. I didn't realize it so much then, but with
Asterix you tend to forget that they are drawings. You don't have that with
' drawings always fascinated me. In that time he was my
How old were you then?
It started when I was about thirteen, fourteen.
I didn't know then that it was Franquin
beause they never showed the names of the authors. That happened only much
later, back then I only knew the comics. Later, when when I was at college,
I got French lessons. I'd have to say that I was not a good student
in that field, until I discovered that those comics were made in French.
Then I started buying Robbedoes albums, during vacantions in France
and around it, sometimes I ordered them by mail. I started with Dupuis
albums, later those of Lombard and Dargaud. Those comics were not
the only support for the French lessons at school. It also helped that I
read started reading books and listened to the Belgian radio because they
used to interview draftsmen. I was completely fascinated, a real fan.
That's how I got the hang of French. I didn't really speak it well,
but understood what they said on the radio and what I read.
The wordgags in Asterix I understood only much later.
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My community (military) service I also did in Düsseldorf.
I was a telephone operator in a hospital.
Soon I did nightshifts, which didn't require you to do much more
than be present for six hours. So I could draw pictures to my
heart's content, which I did with determination, since I still
had the ambition to make comics. In the daytime I slept and in
the evenings I drew. Therefore I didn't really waste time.
After that I went to Brussels.
None of the drawing from that period was published?
It didn't result in any comics?
No, but that was not the point. I was influenced
very much by Franquin
: large feet, big noses, humour.
A bit of adventure, but with funny characters.
Do you still own these drawings?
Andreas: I still have drawings from when I was sixteen,
charicatures of teachers. After that I soon switched to
notebooks in stead of in the margins or on separate sheets.
This resulted in a large collection of old notebooks containing
the most awful things.