It is a bit weird but every time a post involves Germany and specifically German comics there are a high number of German comickers viewing the item. But when I post something on Germany's first super heroes, D-Gruppe, the views from Germany increase even more.
Now what I do not understand is why, if German super heroes are such a big draw to these people, they are not buying the D-Gruppe mini series, 2012 Annual or the Complete D-Gruppe which contains all of it??
Not a copy of D-Gruppe has sold. But I'm not alone here.
When I was active on German comic forums I used to post in German and English. I got more very rude responses "Your German is bad!" (in, actually, very poor German so the rude ones were not that well educated) or "What business is it of your what's been published in Germany -go back to your 2000 AD!". I think these were what my aunt in Germany would have called "arschlochs"!
I then me with the "We DO NOT have super hero comics in Germany!" I guess they were referring to home grown super heroes as opposed to all the Marvel, DC, Archie and UK (Robot Archie, The Spider) comics reprinted there?
Dorn Der Morgenstern was the follow on from the RPG (role playing game) inspired comic series Helden. Randalf Paker was the creator/writer/artist of both series and his work was gorgeous but both titles failed to get sales to keep it going. Unbelievable.
Wind Konig was more a small press effort but vanished -there is a list of these books and sample pages in the second link below.
Background on the group, etc,:http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/germanys-first-super-hero-team-d-gruppe.html
And on German super heroes after D-Gruppe (and boosting an ego I do not have):http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/return-of-german-super-heroes-and-my.html
So WHY are comickers not buying? With Dorn they had a high quality, full colour comic and New Arden was full colour -though I know nothing of the background to this comic or the publishers or why it ceased publication.
Is it because they only want to see the characters from Marvel and DC which, let's be honest, has never treated "minority countries" like Germany or the UK with much thought or respect character-wise. Oh, and I was talking to a DC representative at one of the old UK Comic Art Conventions in the 1980s and we talked about characters for Europe and it was he who referred to "minority countries"!!
Oddly, Jerry Ordway was very nice to talk to. He did say that "a lot of Americans think the UK and Europe are all cobbled streets, gas lamps and castles"! But added "A lot of Americans couldn't tell you the name of the state next door to theirs -they can be quite insular."
Archie Goodwin, bless him, was THE nicest person I've spoken to who worked in comics and he had the opinion that countries like Germany would start producing their own DC and Marvel style comics "in a few years".
Back to German comic forums -I get distracted easily.
The other big problem I had was with the "arty" crowd who believed that the only comics that should be allowed were art-house based. Social relevance. "Entertainment"? "Super Heroes"?? "Schneiden wir den Scheiß jetzt heraus!" ("let's cut that shit out right now!"). "Superhelden sind für kleine kinder oder Menschen, die in der nähe sind analphabeten!" ("Super heroes are for little kids or people who are near illiterate!") as one nice person put it.
In fact, my time on German comic forums was negative apart from, I think I've got this right, "Darkjedi" who supplied me with a lot of scans of German comics and I'll be eternally grateful for that!
Yet, despite all the arty crowd say -in the UK the arty comics people "who knew" were telling me for years that France and Germany, Europe in general, never had super hero comics. That says far more about their limited knowledge and yet people still regard them as the 'experts' on European comics!--I still see You Tube videos of German and Austrian comic conventions where comickers are there and buying...super hero comics! And cos-play is kicking in even in France, where French creators told me it was frowned upon (I guess that "comics are a serious art form" attitude).
So, if a good idea and story and characters based in Germany are not doing the trick....the language? I point to the number of US ("Americanised English") super hero comics selling there. "They aint in colour!" Well, looking at Dorn and New Arden which were great colour comics -especially Dorn- that can't be the answer.
For me, personally, D-Gruppe was never the same after Ben Dilworth quit. "Die Rache der Eis-Königin" (The Revenge of The Ice Queen") the first legitimate D-Gruppe story, is one I still like looking at and if the guy I was dealing with at Bastei Verlag had not had the carpet swept from under him by the new bosses, it would have seen print.
Incidentally, the person I was dealing with in 1991 was Werner Geismar, Editor-in-Chief at Bastei. I just found the old letters!
To me it is a mystery why there is so much interest in D-Gruppe but no sales. Ideally, I'd be in Germany at comic events selling books but lords know what tables cost at European comic events!
So until some German publisher decides D-Gruppe is a good idea for the German market I'll just carry on drawing them in The Green Skies (at this very moment....well, not while typing) and wondering whether the ultimate fate of group leader Kopfmannand his team that vanished in Return of the Gods will ever be revealed?
Vielleicht sollte Ich mich auf den kopf mit kopien der D-Gruppe bücher zu schlagen?