comic art by Galip Tekin

Galip Tekin was a leading Turkish comic author of the generation which emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. He contributed to most of the country's leading comics and satirical magazines, like Gırgır and Uykusuz, and was specialized in politically driven science fiction and fantasy stories. His best known series was 'Pı'ya Mektuplar' ("Letters to Pi", 1994). 

Early life and career
Born in Konta in 1958, he was a student at the School of Fine Arts in Istanbul between 1977 and 1980, but dropped out of school a year before obtaining his degree. He made his first contributions to the Turkish humor magazine Gırgır in 1978. Tekin initially worked in a more traditional humor style, inspired by the Turkish comic pioneer Oğuz Aral, who had founded the magazine in 1972. By 1984, he settled in a more modern semi-realistic drawing style, with influences from Western European authors like Enki Bilal, Moebius and André Franquin. In the 1980s, Tekin also contributed to Fırt and the newspaper Günaydın, and in the 1990s his work appeared in the humor magazines Hıbır, Fırfır, Leman, Limon and L-Manyak. He was editor-in-chief of Dıgıl magazine for a short period in 1989. In later years, Tekin was one of the pillars of Uykusuz, the most widely distributed satirical weekly of Turkey, and a contributor to Penguen. The artist also published in the monthly Hortlak, which was founded by Memo Tembelçizer in 2016. Throughout his career, Tekin has made over 400 science fiction/fantasy stories. His scripts often contained metaphorical references to the political and societal problems of his country, which resulted in more than one hitch with the authorities. 

comic art by Galip Tekin

His best known series was 'Pı'ya Mektuplar' ("Letters to Pi", 1994). In 2011 and 2012, Tekin compiled his best known works, such as 'Alavarza', 'Delik', 'Son Neoplan' and 'Tursuntur', in the 3-volume series 'Tuhaf Öyküler' (literally "Strange Tales"). Some of his comic book stories were adapted into the fantastic-fiction TV show 'Acayip Hikayeler' ("Bizarre Stories", 2012-2013). Tekin was furthermore a pioneer in Comics studies in Turkey. He was a teacher in comic art and animation at the Bosphorus University of Istanbul since 1985, and at Istanbul Bilgi University from 1994 to 2000.

Final years and death
The political situation in Turkey weakened his financial situation in later years, especially when Uykusuz could no longer compensate its contributors. In 2008, Tekin was arrested for allegedly conspiring to hire a contract killer after a shootout at Kemancı Bar in Taksim. The suspicion was cast on him, since he was the co-owner of the bar. He was released after charges against him were dropped. During his 7 months detention, Tekin made 850 illustrations, which were compiled into a textbook. Galip Tekin was found dead in his appartment in the Arnavutköy district of Istanbul on 6 July 2017. The popular artist, who has served as an inspiration and mentor to a new generation of Turkish comic artists, was only 59 years old.

Comic art by Galip Tekin

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