'Schöne Töchter'.

Flix is a Berlin-based German cartoonist, active since the late 1990s. He created semi-autobiographical graphic novels like 'held' (2002), 'sag was' (2003) and 'mädchen' (2005), as well as online diary comics. Flix is also noted for his heartwarming family humor comics 'Schöne Töchter' (2010-2015) and 'Glückskind' (2015- ), as well as his comic reinterpretations of classical literary works like Goethe's 'Faust' and 'Don Quixote' in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung. A follower of the Franco-Belgian comic tradition, Flix was the first German artist to create a guest episode of the classic series 'Spirou et Fantasio': 'Spirou in Berlin' (2018).

Early life and education
Flix was born in 1976 as Felix Görmann in the city of Münster, about 45 miles from the German-Dutch border. Growing up, he enjoyed reading the available Franco-Belgian comics from his public library. He was fond of the smooth linework associated with Spirou magazine, most notably the work of André Franquin, Peyo and Morris. He often copied their characters in his own drawings. At age sixteen, his cartooning ambitions became more serious, when a friend who worked in a bookstore brought him new comics to discover. Especially Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns' stirred up his desire to become a comic artist himself. Among Flix's other favorite artists are the Frenchmen Christophe Blain, Winshluss, Pascal Rabaté, Manu Larcenet and Guy Delisle, the Americans Bill Watterson, Craig Thompson and Will Eisner, and the German cartoonists Ralf König and Mawil. Görmann studied Communication Design at the Saar College of Fine Arts in Saarbrücken, Germany, at later at the Escola Massana in Barcelona, Spain.


'Held' (2002).

Early comics
With tips and tricks from cartoonist Peter Butschkow, Flix made his first professional comic book: 'Who the fuck is Faust?' (Echborn, 1998), a contemporary retelling of Goethe's literary classic. Four years later, his music humor comic 'Radio Ohrgasmus - Talkguerilla' (2002) was released by Carlsen's comics imprint B&L. Also in 2002, Flix graduated from Saar College with the graphic novel 'held' (2002) as his thesis project. The semi-autobiographical story tells the cartoonist's life story from birth to death, covering past, present and a fantasized future. Intended as a four-issue limited series, the indie publisher Zwerchfell released only the first installment, 'Kurze Hosen, Holzgewehr' (2002). In 2003, Carlsen Comic published the entire story in one volume, to much critical praise. 'held' earned the cartoonist the 2003 ICOM Independent Comic Preis for "Best Humor Work", and in the following year the Max & Moritz Prize for "Best German-language Comic" at the International Comics Show of Erlangen. It was subsequently published in Spanish, French, Polish and Korean.


'Da war mal was' (2009).

Semi-autobiographical comics
Following the success of his breakthrough graphic novel 'held', Flix continued to make comics with autobiographical elements. On his website, Flix writes that many of his stories are inspired by real events from his own life, but other than that fiction. 'sag was' (Carlsen Verlag, 2004) covered the rise and fall of a great romance, and 'mädchen' (Carlsen, 2006) was a love story that took place in one day. Between October 2005 and August 2007, the website of magazine Der Spiegel ran Flix's diary comic series 'Seitenwechsel', based on his post-graduation experiences as a drawing teacher at Saar College of Fine Arts. Since mid-2006, Flix irregularly shares scenes from his everyday life in his webcomic diary 'heldentage'. In 2007, Carlsen Verlag released a first book collection. The second collection, 'Der Swimmingpool des kleinen Mannes' (2009), was awarded the PENG! Münchner Comicpreis for "Best German Comic".

A special autobiographical series was 'Da war mal was' (2009). It dealt with the cartoonist's childhood memories of his home country's division in East Germany and West Germany, and was serialized in the Berliner Tagesspiegel and collected in book format by Carlsen. In August 2009, the story was the subject of an open air exposition at the Berlin Wall Memorial site.


'Glückskind', strip #279.

Newspaper comics and cartoons
Since 2002, Flix has frequently appeared in German print media, starting with the cartoon series 'Verflixt!' (2002- ), that runs in the Saarbrücker Zeitung and other newspapers. Carlsen Verlag collected Flix's cartoons in books like 'Verflixt! (...und jetzt?!)' (2005), 'Für Dich - Du bist süß!' (2006) and 'Verliebt!' (2009). Under the Lappan imprint, Carlsen released thematic cartoon collections about relationships ('Sag einfach nichts!', 2019) and relaxing ('Einatmen! Ausatmen!', 2019), the latter made in collaboration with Carina Lange. With scriptwriter Ralph Ruthe, Flix makes the funny animal comic 'Ferdinand, der Reporterhund' ("Ferdinand the Dog Reporter"). It appears in Dein Spiegel, the monthly children's supplement of the news weekly Der Spiegel, launched in September 2009.

For the Berliner Tageszeitung newspaper, Flix made 'Schöne Töchter' (2010-October 2015), a gentle comic strip about a modern love life, in which the artist experimented freely with panel layouts. It was awarded the 2012 Max & Moritz Prize for "Best Humor Strip". When 'Schöne Töchter' was concluded, Flix launched 'Glückskind' (2015- ) in the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung. Appearing every Monday, Flix's widely praised heartwarming family humor strip deals with the interactions between mister Glück, his daughter Josi and a three-legged raccoon named Rocco. Book collections of both strips have appeared at Carlsen Verlag.


'Faust von Flix' (2009).

Comics based on classic literature
Flix also returned to making comics based on classic literature by transposing the stories to the present. The Frankfurther Allgemeinen Zeitung serialized Flix's humorous interpretations of Goethe's 'Faust' (2009) and Miguel de Cervantes' 'Don Quijote' (2012), before they were published in book format. In the same tradition, Flix wrote 'Münchhausen. Die Wahrheit übers Lügen' (Carlsen, 2016), creating a modern version of the classic German novel by R.E. Raspe, with the artist Bernd Kessel.


'Don Quijote' (2012).

Spirou in Berlin
Around 2018, Carlsen Verlag was looking for a local artist to create a German adventure of the Belgian comic hero Spirou, to coincide with the character's 80th anniversary. Since he is an avid follower of the Franco-Belgian comic style and a gifted storyteller, Flix was chosen for the job. Flix's story, 'Spirou in Berlin', was a Cold War-themed adventure set in 1989 East Berlin, interwoven with subtle nods to André Franquin's classic 'Spirou' stories and East-German comics and children's literature. While 'Spirou & Fantasio' is generally a series published directly in French and Dutch by Éditions Dupuis, 'Spirou in Berlin' was at first a German-only release by Carlsen Verlag. The French version appeared at Dupuis in 2019 and it wasn't until 2021 before a Dutch translation followed. In Germany, Flix's take on 'Spirou & Fantasio' was awarded the 2019 PENG! Münchner Comicpreis.


'Spirou in Berlin' (2018).

Children's picture books
Besides comics and cartoons, Flix has also been working on children's picture books. His first book, 'Das Schlaf', was released in 2014 by Aladin Verlag in Hamburg, and deals with a bespectacled sheep who has several tricks in his briefcase to get a stubborn little boy to go to sleep. For Insel-Verlag, Flix has made the illustrations for a new German translation of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' ('Der Weihnachtsabend'. 2014) and a fairy tale collection of the Brothers Grimm ('Grimms Märchen', 2018).

Recognition
Flix is one of the few German cartoonists with international notability. Besides German, his books have been published in French, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese and Korean. In his home country, several of his books have been awarded prestigious prizes like the ICOM Independent Comic Preis, the PENG! Münchner Comicpreis, the Max & Moritz Prize and the Rudolph Dirks Award. His cartoons have earned him the Swiss Cartoon Award (2004) and the Stuttgart Cartoon Award (2007). Since the early 2000s, Flix has become one of Germany's leading contemporary comic authors, praised for his technically well-constructed stories, clever dialogues, comedy timing and touching slice-of-life themes. Based in Berlin, he shares a studio with the cartoonist Marvin Clifford.


Flix, as he appears in his autobiographical comics.

www.der-flix.de

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