'Provi-Stars' #4 and #9.

Erwin Frick is a German comic artist and illustrator, known for his work on advertising comics like 'KNAX' (1974) and 'Provi-Stars' (1978-1998).

Not much is known about the artist himself. In 1974 he was the original artist of KNAX, the promotional comic magazine published by the Deutschen Sparkassenverlag in Stuttgart. The bi-monthly is given freely to the youngest clients of the German savings banks, but is also available in France, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Norway. The stories are set in a medieval-like community on an isolated island called Knax, with the characters representing an idealized image of a bourgeois society. The kids Didi and Dodo are the main heroes, who often have to take on a gang of robbers known as the "Fetzensteiner". Many of the early stories had savings education as main theme, but this later became less prominent.

The first 'Knax' issue (1974).

Creative leads of the project were Peter Wiechmann and Manfred Klinke, who initially produced the magazine through Kauka Verlag. While Erwin Frick has the honor of being the first to draw this long-running title, his role ended after the first issue. From then on, the art duties were transferred to Spanish agency artists, starting with Angel Nadal. By 1980 Wiechmann and his associate Fred Kipka turned production over to their Studio Comicon, and from 1988 on Kipka continued on his own through Kipkakomiks. Kipka himself wrote most of the stories, while the art was provided by Tony Fernández, Carlos Grangel, Josep Nebot, Carlos Guirado, Daniel Pérez and Angel Rodriguez, all affiliated with Studio Comicup in Barcelona, and Massimo Fecchi from Italy. Since 2004 production is again solely a German matter, with Götz Bachmann writing the scripts and Roberto Freire, Boris Zatko, Ulf S. Graupner and Franz Gerg forming the art team.

A comic with more involvement by Erwin Frick was 'Provi-Stars' (1978-1998), another advertising comic. The annual 24-page comic books, written and drawn by Frick, were distributed to children by the local branches of the Provinzial-Versicherung insurance group, mostly in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. The characters are all anthropomorphic animals with either beaks or pink or black noses. First of all there's Dr. Kräsch, a not so bright inventor, who instigates most of the adventures. His disasters have to be corrected by the smarter two of the trio, the timid Alblecht and the cunning Spidi. In later years, the more intelligent scientist Dr. Kleinstein joined the team. The storylines were often rather free-spirited, and saw the heroes going on an adventurous journey. While the comic was aimed at children, older comic fans enjoyed the self-irony that was interwoven in the stories, often with regard to Bavarian habits.

Series and books by Erwin Frick in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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