The Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen is currently showing a sample of unpublished work from comic artists throughout Germany. UNVERÖFFENTLICHT – Die deutsche Comicszene packt aus! (Unpublished – the comic scene unpacks!) features works by over 50 artists from Wilhelm Busch to contemporaries like Ulli Lust, Ralf König and, well, me.

I have contributed a selection of Millborough strips that for one reason or another were rejected by the editors at Journal SPIROU over the last years. The journal’s readership is mainly comprised of younger comic enthusiasts and since Millborough usually targets a more mature audience it’s not surprising that, at times, strips are deemed too adult-orientated for SPIROU. It’s actually been a bit of a surprise to see that old man Millborough DOES seem to be able to connect with younger readers every now and again. A nice surprise.

Besides those strips visitors will be able to see two stories I drew about five years ago. In “Callcenter Hero” I tried to exorcise the demons of working in a callcenter, a job I relied on for over ten years doing customer surveys for banks and insurance companies. It’s mental assembly line work in precarious conditions, monotonous, insecure, badly paid, with little to none appreciation but a lot of chicanery from your employers. All in all a most disgusting affair. But, of course, valuable food for the artist’s spirit, whose diet consists not only of beauty, but of a good serving of sorrow as well.

“Plaything” looks back at episodes of my childhood in the mid-1980s, a time defined to a large degree by escalating conflicts between my parents, and me struggling to remain a functioning child through it all. This story was planned as a part of a longer narrative that would have featured the character from “Callcenter Hero” as its protagonist. At the time the themes of these stories felt very close, however. Perhaps too close to face them for months on end. I am sure I will return to these chapters of my life eventually, but at the time I preferred to keep those doors shut.

UNVERÖFFENTLICHT – Die deutsche Comicszene packt aus!
October 3, 2021 – January 16, 2022
Ludwiggalerie Schloss Oberhausen
Konrad-Adenauer-Allee 46
46049 Oberhausen

An extensive catalogue is available at the museum and via Edition Alfonz.

The artist (me) standing in front of an unpublished story about the soul-crushing work in a callcenter. Work I had to do part time for years in order to pay my rent.