November 13, 2008

MAGIC INK - Wilhelm Busch - Inventor of the Comic Strip

The father of the modern comic strip was born in a small German village in 1832.

Wilhelm Busch, painter, beloved German poet and pioneer cartoonist longed to follow in the footsteps of Dutch painters like Paul Rubens and Frans Hals. Instead, he "stumbled into immortality", as a German politician once put it, by drawing a few caricatures for a satirical magazine. He soon added his own humorous verses, and his cartoons became longer and more elaborate. In 1865 he started the comic which made him famous: 'Max und Moritz'.

These first illustrated stories were the inspiration for 'Katzenjammer Kids' by Rudolph Dirks.

Busch lived like a hermit later in life and was a confirmed bachelor. He died in 1908 but his slapstick humour and his characters live on forever. He paved the way for the 20th century comic book.

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