Knackerton, by Manfred Schmidt (De Volkskrant, 1956)
'Nick Knatteron'. Dutch-language version. 

Manfred Schmidt started his comics career when he was fourteen years old, with the publication of his first cartoons in the Bremer Nachrichten. Upon graduation from the Staatlichen Kunstgewerbeschule Bremen, he turned to journalism, working for Ullstein Verlag in Berlin. During the Nazi reign, he was involved with the animation activities of the Ministry of Propaganda. During World War II, he was stationed at the Eastern Front, and during this period he drew cartoons for the Wehrmacht newspaper, Panzer Voran.

Nick Knatterton, by Manfred Schmidt
'Nick Knatterton'. 

After the war, Schmidt got a job at the editorial offices of the publishing house Rowohlt and it's magazine Pinguin. He got his hands on a copy of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's 'Superman', and he disliked it so much that he created a parody of American comics. His detective serial 'Nick Knatterton' first appeared in the German magazine Quick in 1950. 'Nick Knatterton' became a great success and also found its way to publications in The Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey, among other countries. A merchandise line followed in the 1950s.

Knatterton by Manfred Schmidt
Nick Knatterton: 'Affen, Frauen und Brillanten'. Redrawn version by Studio Manfred Schmidt for Fernseh Woche, 1980s.

Schmidt dropped his activities as a comic artist in 1959. He focused on travel reports and writing books on comics. He also headed his own animation studio, producing among others a series of 'Nick Knatterton' broadcasts for WDR television.

De Bedrieger Bedrogen
World War II propaganda comic most likely by Schmidt. This is the Dutch edition, called 'De Bedrieger Bedrogen'.

Manfred Schmidt's position as comic critic in Germany was unique. He wrote many books on the subject, and hosted a TV series on the history of comics, which he injected with the occasional ironic note, born from his aversion to mainstream comics. Schmidt died in 1999, at the age of 86.

Manfred Schmidt was a strong influence on Belgian comic artist Pom

Nick Knackerton fruit wrap
Fruit wrap paper.

Series and books by Manfred Schmidt you can order today:


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