'Der Contibuben'. 

Hermann Schütz was an early 20th-century German painter, illustrator and comic artist. For the magazine Echo Continental, he drew the text comic 'Der Contibuben' (1923-1926). The scriptwriter was Erich Maria Remarque, later famous as the author of the scathing anti-war novel 'Im Westen nichts Neues' ('All Quiet on the Western Front', 1929).

Life and career
Hermann Karl Friedrich Schütz was born in 1875 in Schwerin, Germany. He was the son of a controller in service of the government. Hermann's twin brother, Georg Hans Heinrich Schütz (1875-1945), later become a well known caricaturist, illustrator and painter. Both brothers studied at the Königliche Kunstschule of Berlin ("Royal School of Art of Berlin"). From 1906 on, Schütz created illustrations for the weekly youth magazine "Woche für die deutsche Jugend". He was particularly known for livening up the pages of Das deutsche Reichsheer and the art magazine Pütz. Schütz survived his twin brother by eight years. He passed away in 1953 in Schwerin.


'Der Contibuben'. 

Der Contibuben
In the mid-1920s, Schütz was a regular contributor to Echo Continental, the monthly house magazine of the rubber and tire company Continental AG. The publication aimed at both its employees and its customers. It offered information about cycling and car-related events and sports games, but also regular sports news about football and tennis. Various graphic artists illustrated covers and articles, among them Carl Franz Bauer, Carlo Egler, Ludwig Ehrenberger, Julius Ussy Engelhard, Kurt Heiligenstaedt, Paul Kaufmann, Theo Matejko, Willy Müller, Bernd Reuters, Otto Schendel and Jupp Wiertz.

In 1923, chief editor Erich Maria Remarque created a comic strip for Echo Continental, scripted by him under the pseudonym EMR, and drawn by Schütz: 'Der Contibuben' (1923-1926). The titular characters Fritz und Franz are pranksters in the same tradition of Wilhelm Busch's scoundrels 'Max und Moritz' and Rudolph Dirks' 'Der Katzenjammer Kids'. Like 'Max und Moritz' and most comics from this era, 'Der Contibuben' was a text comic, with rhyming couplets underneath the images. Interestingly enough, Fritz and Franz are depicted as identical twins, which might hint at Schütz taking inspiration from his own childhood. The comic characters also have two dogs, Flock and Karo.

In 1925, Remarque left Echo Continental and joined the publishing company Scherl-Verlag. Nevertheless he continued to write his comic feature until it was discontinued in December 1926. Erich Maria Remarque passed away on 25 September 1970. 


Cover Illustration for Echo Continental, 1926. 

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