Great ways to learn German: Part 2 – Comics

In the first part of this short series I gave you an overview of the German newspapers. In the second part I want to talk about comic books and cartoons.
Comics are a fun and easy way to learn new vocabulary – due to the limited text and of course the drawings. In Germany you can buy international comics, which are of course translated. If you are already familiar with titles like “Asterix” or “TinTin”, then you will find it pretty easy to follow the German version. I grew up with both comics. In my family we devoured every Asterix and would sometimes have binge reading sessions as soon as a new title came out – and read the whole lot we collected. My favourite Asterix comics are “Asterix der Legionär”, “Die Trabantenstadt”, “Obelix GMBH & Co.Kg” and of course “Asterix bei den Briten”. With Asterix you can even learn some Latin! – Veni, vedi, vici!

Asterix comics

Asterix comics – copyright Helen White

I also used to read some of the comics of French author and feminist Claire Bretecher, but honestly can’t remember their titles.
Of course, Germany has its very own comic authors and cartoonists, so I thought I mention a few I like. First up Walter Moers, whose books have been translated into English like his “Kaept’n Blaubär” series – “Captain Bluebear”.
Moers is also responsible for the “Kleines Arschloch” comics (Little Asshole) and his “Adolf” series  among other cartoons. Unfortunately I don’t own any of his books (I remember borrowing them from friends), but he has his own Facebook page which gives you an idea of his work.

Schnurrr comic

Schnnurrr by Uli Stein – copyright Helen White

One of my favourite cartoonists is Uli Stein. He is famous for his mice and his cartoons are instantly recognisable. I own a few of his books and they do make me chuckle. As a cat lover I had to buy “Schnurrr…” (Purrrr..). I also love his series about education “Pisa-Alarm” – “Pisa Alert” and “Pisa 2 – Es get Aufwärz”.

Pisa comic

Pisa by Uli Stein – copyrigh Helen White

Last Christmas I bought his book “Das kleine Schwarze von Uli Stein” – The little black one by Uli Stein – which is full of pretty macabre cartoons. You can find some of his cartoons on his website. If you don’t find these funny, then there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Das kleine Schwarze cartoons

Das kleine Schwarze by Uli Stein – copyright Helen White

And finally I have to mention Ralf König, who is famous for his “Schwulencomics” – “gay comics” and one of his comics “Der bewegte Mann” has been a very successful film with Till Schweiger and Katja Riemann. It’s the only comic of his I own and I have no idea what his other work is like, but if you want to find out you can have a look at his website here.

Der bewegte Mann - Ralf König

Der bewegte Mann – Ralf König – copyright Helen White

As a child I also used to read Disney comics and a comic named “Conny”, which was a weekly one featuring a horse story. But I have no idea if Conny still exists. Most stories were actually British and just translated.
If you want to read satirical cartoons it’s worth checking out the magazine “Titanic”, which is similar to “Private Eye”.
And that’s it. Hope you got some ideas from this. Otherwise – when you are in Germany – go to a bookshop and browse the comic section – you’re sure to find something that makes you laugh out loud.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment and share if you like this post.

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Helen White

I am a bilingual journalist, jewellery designer, German tutor, and translator – and I am passionate about cats.

Helen White – who has written posts on Helen Kaut Press.


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