'Çetin Kaptan' from Yavrutürk #38 (1936).

Ercüment Kalmık (also referred to as "Ercüment Kalmuk") was a Turkish painter, who also made some comics during the early stages of his career. His best known feature was about the adventurous boy 'Çetin Kaptan' (a.k.a. 'Çetinin', 1937-1939) in the children's magazine Yavrutürk.

Early life and education
Kalmık was born in 1909 in Istanbul and received his artistic education at the Academy of Fine Arts. One of his teachers was the Turkish painter İbrahim Çallı, who taught him the techniques of patterns and linear expression. In his paintings, Kalmık tried to ensure faithful representations and realism in the background atmosphere. These were also focus points in his comic stories, which he made from 1936 until the early 1940s.

Çetin Kaptan
His best known feature was about the kid captain 'Çetin Kaptan', whom he created with the writer Rakım Çalapala. He was credited as "Ercümend". The comics serial appeared in the first issue in the children's magazine Yavrutürk Çocuk Gazetesi, published on 2 May 1936. Çetin Kaptan was one of the first comics heroes of the young Turkish Republic, after Cemal Nadir Güler's 'Amcabey' (1929-1947) and the early creations of Orhan Halil Tolon, such as 'Zıpzıp Ali' (1933-1935), and arguably became the most famous.


'Çetinin', from Yavrutürk #121 (1938).

The main hero was a young boy in his early teens, with a knack for adventure, roaming the seas and standing up for those in need. The authors tried to make his otherwise unlikely adventures more realistic by mingling the character with true-life events and people. In one of the episodes the young captain teams up with the female fighter pilot Sabiha Gökçen (1913-2001). A little later on his heroic tales impress no less than the founder of the Turkish Republic himself: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Çetin Kaptan also becomes friends with Ülkü, Atatürk's daughter. In another episode the series took a more educational turn, when the captain learned about the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Besides being a sailor, the young hero has also been an architect, chauffeur, teacher and dentist in later stories.

Popularity
The series caught on with the magazine's young readership and remained Yavrutürk's leading feature throughout the decade. Çetin also made an appearance in one of Kalmık's other features, 'Adem Baba'nın Torunu' ("Adem Baba's Grandson", 1941). By then Çetin's adventures had been taken over by Orhan Halil Tolon (starting in issue #157, 1939). Yavrutürk's original run ended in 1941. The magazine was relaunched in 1947, when Nehar Tüblek drew new adventures with 'Çetin Kaptan'.

Painter & art historian
Ercüment Kalmık devoted the rest of his life to painting. He left Yavrutürk for a first time in 1939, when he went to Paris to study in André Lhote's workshop. He also took courses in art history from the Sorbonne University. Upon his return to Turkey in 1940, he briefly returned to comics and then worked as an art teacher at several high schools between 1942 and 1947. He continued to paint throughout the next decades, inspired by impressionism and cubism, and with a strong focus on figurative abstraction and patterns. Much of his imagery was related to fishermen, boats and sailboats. He additionally made etchings, and was a teacher in colors, shapes and composition at the Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture, as well as a guest lecturer at Berlin Technical University. He furthermore wrote articles about the theoretical and intellectual concepts of Turkish painting, and was the author of the specialized books 'Renklerin Armoni Sistemleri' ("Harmony Systems of Colors" and 'Tabiatta ve Sanatta Doku' ("Texture in Nature and Art"), both published by the Istanbul Technical University in 1950. His work has been part of several solo and group exhibitions.

Death
Ercüment Kalmık and passed away in 1971.


'Çetin Kaptan' from Yavrutürk #184 (1939).

Series and books by Ercüment Kalmik in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

X

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.