'Cotton Candy Latte'.

Lae Schäfer is a Dutch alternative comic artist, known for autobiographical, experimental stories. Most of Lae's comics have appeared in small press mini-comics, the comic magazine Zone 5300 and on online platforms like Tapastic.com and Pulp de Luxe. Lae prefers to be referred to in the gender neutral "singular they".

Early life and influences
Lae Schäfer was born in 1994 in Amsterdam. They studied animation at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam for a year, but dropped out because they couldn't find the patience for the craft. A more pleasing experience was the comic training at the Artez School of the Arts in Zwolle. Among their teachers were Hanco Kolk and Sam Peeters. Schäfer ranks among her graphic influences artists like Carl Barks, Enki Bilal, Kim Duchateau, Daniel Clowes, Brecht Evens, Tom Gauld, Kerascoët, Hanco Kolk, Lamelos, Manu Larcenet, Martin Lodewijk, Jean-Claude Mézières, Moebius, Alex Norris, Jacques Tardi, Bastien Vives and Wasco, as well as film directors like Chan-wook Park and Quentin Tarantino.

A recurring fascination in Schäfer's work are demons and devils, as well as vintage music from the 1940s through the 1960s. Schäfer prefers drawing from reality, and especially focuses on human relations and absurd situations. They have been experimenting with several techniques, as showcased in the 2016 self-published comic book 'Child's Play', which featured artwork drawn in the styles of Joann Sfar, Lamelos, Matthias Picard, Winsor McCay and Hanco Kolk.

Child's Play by Lae Schaefer
Lae draws in the style of Winsor McCay's 'Little Nemo' (from 'Child's Play').

Early career
In the early 2010s, Schäfer posted an autobiographical comic strip called 'Lae's Life' on Tapastic.com, which explored several drawing techniques and featured open-hearted comic strips about the awkward situations in their life. They self-published more adult-oriented print zines like 'Wolkje, De Schattigste Voyeur', 'Peter Pan Is Stom', 'Drinking Glasses', 'Cotton Candy Latte', 'Geheimpjes' and 'Fruit', some of which have also appeared online on the Flemish comics portals Stroke and Pulp de Luxe.

Fruit by Lae Schafer

In 2015, Schaefer's official comics debut appeared in the alternative comic magazine Zone 5300 (#108). Since September 2016, they have also made the back cover illustration in the university magazine Ad Valvas. Further work include illustrations for the online feminist magazine LOVER, and a contribution to Oeverloos (2015), Maia Matches' free comics paper for the Amsterdam quarter Noord. 

Lae's Life
'Lae's Life'.

Other activities
At daytime, Schäfer mostly concentrates on drawing. In the evenings they have performed as a live cartoonist with their VJ friend Glitterende Eenhoorn at the Paradiso pop temple in Amsterdam, or as a dancer in sexy mini-dresses based on 1960s comic heroines, designed by Martin Draax. Schäfer has also posed for illustrations of Kristof Spaey's 'Fake Vintage Book Covers' project. In 2016, Schäfer made a beautiful overview drawing of the current location of comics shop Lambiek on the Koningsstraat 27 in Amsterdam, and in June 2017, they painted a couple of large murals with Lenart Slabe during the Release Fest at HAL 25 in Alkmaar. In April 2017, they participated in Wasco's art project at the WGKunst Gallery in Amsterdam. With nine other artists they worked side by side, both collectively and solo, on the creation of monsters and other gruesome and weird creatures. The result were several paintings, murals, collage artworks, illustrations and comic strips, which were on exhibit at the gallery afterwards. An overview magazine was published as well. Besides Lae and Wasco, the other participating artists were Anne Stalinski, Jeroen Funke, Merel Barends, Tommy A, Peter de Wit, René Windig, Dace Sietina and Eliane Gerrits. 

Schäefer's story 'Drinking Glasses' was nominated for the Belgian comic prize Plastieken Plunk in 2016. 

Overview of comics shop Lambiek by Lae Schafer
Lae's overview of comic shop Lambiek shop at Koningsstraat 27 in Amsterdam. Overviews of the previous locations of the store have been made by Peter Pontiac (Kerkstraat 79) and Joost Halbertsma (Kerkstraat 13). 

Lae's Life on tapastic.com
Lae's comics on stroke-strips.be

Series and books by Lae Schäfer you can order today:


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