'Der Rattenkönig'.

Levin Kurio is a German comic creator and publisher, whose Weissblech Comics is one of Germany's leading indie comic book imprints. After releasing the semi-autobiographical underground title 'Koma Comix', Kurio and Weissblech specialized in horror, fantasy and superhero spoofs. Among the company's most notable anthology and comic book titles are 'Weissblechs weltbeste Comics' (2000-2012), 'Horrorschocker' (since 2004), 'Bella Star' (2004-2005, since 2014), 'Captain Berlin' (since 2013) and 'Zombieman' (since 2018).

Early life and career
Levin Kurio was born in 1977 in Itzehoe, the capital of the Steinburg district in northern Germany. His childhood was spent in the hamlet Kükelühn, where he filled his days with drawing and hanging around with friends. His early teenage comics were semi-autobiographical, starring Kurio's alter ego Quevis, and largely dealt with drinking alcohol and smoking weed. Starting in 1992, they appeared in black-and-white pamphlets under the title 'Koma Comix' (1992-2001), photocopied and hand-stapled in an old abandoned cowshed, and then distributed among friends. Kurio also sold his DIY comix at festivals, like the 1993 Hamburger Comicsalon.

When Hauke Hille joined the team around 1996, the overall quality of the Weissblech comics improved. Hille introduced digital technology to the production process, and the books received color covers and more elaborate plots. Kurio and Hille promoted their releases through magazine advertisements and their website on the new Internet medium. Quevis and his side-kick Knülle remained the main characters in Kurio's own punk style comics, but the team branched out with additional titles, such as 'Sex und Crime', which also featured work by the newcomer Roman Turowski.

Weissblech Comics
In 1999, Weissblech Comics became an official company and gradually became more and more professional. Between 2003 and 2015 settled in Raisdorf (near Kiel) and since 2015 in Langenhagen, Kurio and his team have released over 100 titles. These are mostly filled with tongue-in-cheek horror and sci-fi, with covers spoofing the classic EC comic books of the 1940s and 1950s. An early groundbreaking title was 'XXX Comics' (1998-1999), introducing the space prostitute 'Bella Star', whose sci-fi adventures continued in 'Bella Star - Die Sternenhure' (2002-2005) and 'Bella Star' (2014-...). The three-issue fantasy mini series 'Kampf der Titanen' (2000-2001) was written and penciled by Kurio and inked by Turowski.

Weissblechs weltbeste Comics
Weissblech's breakout title was 'Weissblechs weltbeste Comics' (2000-2012), a "trashy" short story anthology, starring sex monsters, horny zombies, occult orgies, bare-breasted barbarians and "Drogengeile Teenieschlampen" ("Drug-hungry teenage sluts"). Over the years, the sexy humor anthology became a breeding ground for Germany's indie comic scene, with contributions by Rolf Nölte, Eckart Breitschuh, AHA, Rainer F. Engel and Wittek, in addition to Weissblech's own Kurio and Turowski. The success offered the imprint to expand with even more titles, such as the now defunct Schwarzweiss COMICKULT magazine (2002-2003) and additional anthology titles.

Horror and fantasy comics
The most notable and extensive new series was 'Horrorschocker', a full color horror anthology, launched in July 2004. With its steady publication rhythm (every three months), the magazine is also for sale in regular bookshops and at train station kiosks. An additional sci-fi/fantasy anthology was launched in 2009: 'Welten des Schreckens', accompanied in the following year by the horror nonsense title 'Derber Trash' (2010-...). In 2013, 'Weissblechs weltbeste Comics' was discontinued and succeeded by the 'Weissblech Sonderheft: Zombie Terror' series. Other titles appeared more sporadic, such as 'Ungeheuer!' (2011-2014), containing stories drawn by Klaus Scherwinski, and 'Nekromantik' (2016) by Martin Trafford and Jörg Buttgereit.


'Zombieman' #2.

Superheroes
Some Weissblech titles had recurring characters. Early examples are 'Bella Star' and 'Pater Dracula' (2003-2004), written by Josef Rother and drawn by several artists. A notable addition to the list was the 'Captain Berlin' series, featuring an all-German superhero, originally created by horror film director Jörg Buttgereit. The character first appeared in the live-action underground short 'Captain Berlin - Retter der Welt' (1982), then in a stage show and a radio play, before Buttgereit returned to film for the feature length comedy 'Captain Berlin versus Hitler' (2009). The ongoing comic book series was launched in November 2013, with stories created by Jörg Buttgereit, Levin Kurio and other Weissblech contributors. Later launches are the prehistoric amazon 'Kala - Die Urweltamazone' (2015-...), written and drawn by Levin Kurio in collaboration with Damir Hamidovic and Roman Turowski, the bondage adventures of 'Doris Daydream' (2018, written and drawn by Eckart Breitschuh) and Levin Kurio's zombie superhero 'Zombieman' (2018).

Recognition
Over the years, Kurio's Weissblech imprint gained a steady base of contributing artists and writers. Among the Weissblech regulars are Eckart Breitschuh, Horst Dounichdy-Glokken, Rainer F. Engel, Damir Hamidovic, Boris Koch, Yann Krehl, Falko Kutz, The LEP, Josef Rother, Peter Schaaff, Klaus Scherwinski, Roman Turowski, Michael Vogt, Till Lenecke, Der Verleger, Kolja and Wittek. With its fondness for trash and pulp, Weissblech Comics has become one of Germany's most notable indie comic publishers, awarded in 2012 with the ICOM Independent Comic Prize.


'Die Glocke von Rungholt'.

weissblechcomics.com

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