Sunday, August 31, 2014

Movie rummage table special : Megamind

I have decided to give this part of the big Nick Knatterton post a post of its own since I don´t want it to get buried at the bottom of the post.

Because I really want to pimp this cartoon gem you might have missed among all the CGI cartoons that are constantly released. MEGAMIND is a rather brilliant movie that really surprised me and in a POSITIVE way.

One of the reasons why I think people passed on this movie is that it looks like your run of the mill superhero movie with all the usual tropes.

And while it has your typical archetypes it uses them well because there is your Superman like good guy, your Lex Luthor like bad guy, your minion in a fisbowl mounted on a gorilla body ( can anybody say Brainiape ? ) and your Lois Lane like reporter ladyfriend and the movies doesn´t have to loose time to introduce or characterize them. You know who they are, you know what they do and you know in which direction the movie is going.

Except you DON`T.

There is a big twist ten or fifteen minutes in the movie which just throws it into unexpected territory. Which is also one of its biggest problems of the production company since you don´t want to give it away in the trailers. So you can only show certain parts and therefore it looks like another of a dozen of superhero movies. I watched all the trailers on YouTube and I finally found one that doesn´t spoil too much of the plot.

Believe me, it´s sooo much better than it looks. The cast is also fantastic with Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill and the superb Tina Fey ( she´s funny AND hot ) and you will really regret it if you don´t watch this movie.

The soundtrack is equally impressive, especially if you´re a hardrock fan. And this is the point where you want to stop reading UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE TOTALLY SPOILED ! If you trust my judgement just go and get this movie. It´s been out for quite some time now and you should be able to get it cheap in one of these " 6 DVDs for 20 bucks " rummage tables.

What makes the movie really enjoyable are Megamind´s performances who really knows how to make an entrance. Watch at your own risk !

So this movie gets my recommendation. Megamind, I allow it !

Like all posts this one gets a video at the end even if all I posted here are some videos. I got waaay to many YouTube videos. So, a few posts back I posted a video about Hugo Pratt who did the fantastic CORTO MALTESE comic which I read as a kid in the monthly installments of ZACK comics.

The video is in italian and apparently from a whole series of comic creator interviews that I will try to post in my next episodes.

My pick for Today is about a british comic called SYDNEY JORDAN and I´m not sure if I know this one from ZACK. Anyway, enjoy this video.

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Warming up ? The SUN is WARMING UP ?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

World´s Greatest Comics : Nick Knatterton

Today I want to write a bit about one of the biggest german cult comics of all times, which is Manfred Schmidt´s masterpiece Nick Knatterton .

Which is no hyperbole on my part, I assure you of that. Nick Knatterton is one of the best known german comics of my generation because it was one of the many comics that was published in a magazine, QUICK.

Yes, back then magazines often included comic strips to attract younger readers although to be fair : with it´s stabs at the politics of its time and the often quite exaggerated physique of the sexy female characters in the strip it was probably enjoyed by adults as well. The black and white comic strip ran in two weekly installments in 11 to 38 parts from 1950 to 1959.

You know, people always say that we are now living in a new golden age of comics with all the adaptions being the big blockbuster movies but you don´t see that many comic strips in magazines now. Maybe I´m biased here but I remember that when I was a kid comics were in magazines, newspapers, the local school paper - everywhere. And you didn´t have to go to a special comic shop to get your comics. You could buy them at the stationary shop or the corner shop or the gas station and even if you lived in a tiny town there was a Mom and Pops store where they sold comics.

The condition of the comics was not as pristine as the copies you might get bagged and boarded in Todays comic shops and you could forget about reading consecutive issues but nobody cared about that since comics were a disposable read and more episodic in nature with little or no changes from issue to issue. Marvel Comics was one of the first companies to break the mold with the first stories that built upon another, continuity evolving from issue to issue, the hero getting older and changing and plotlines that went on for years with repercussions for the characters.

It was the reason for Marvel´s huge success turning them into the second big american comic company when it started. But let´s not dwell too much on that before I start to think about the mess Disney has turned it into.

At this point I should probably explain what the comic Nick Knatterton ( what a magnificent sounding german name ) is all about for my readers outside of Germany before I go into too much detail about its genesis and how immersed it is, not only in pop culture but in german culture period.

By the way, if I´m referring to Nick Knatterton as a strip I´m talking about the art of comic it is. Because unlike most american strips that have only three panels ( one for the recap, one to move the story forward and the last one for the cliffhanger ) Nick Knatterton´s weekly strips had many panels and took up at least half a page. This is why when the german newspaper BILD included it in its CLASSIC COMIC LIBRARY they printed the comic sideways so they would not have to reduce it in size.

Nick Knattertton is the name of the main character, a master detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, indeed it´s one of the big inspirations for him. Not only in the way he is clothed but also in the way that he is the embodiment of a competent and effective private detective. He is not extraordinarily physically strong ( although he keeps in good shape ) and does not possess many fancy gadgets ( some of them would make James Bond envious and show Manfred Schmidt´s great knack for coming up with brilliant contraptions and gimmicks ), but his mental capabilities, his power of deduction, his senses, his memory and knowledge of various topics are incredible to the point of caricature. As an example, Knatterton was able to pinpoint his location after being thrown tied and blindfolded into the back of a van, thanks to memorizing the entire map of the city and feeling the van's momentum with his body when turning corners.


As for a visual inspiration he looks a lot like Hans Albers in the german classic DER MANN DER SHERLOCK HOLMES WAR ( The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes ) which is no big surprise since the movie came out in 1937, when Schmidt came up with the first version of the character.

To my shame I must confess that I have never seen the movie although I have seen most of Heinz Rühmann´s movies and some of Hans Albers movies like GROSSE FREIHEIT NUMMER SIEBEN ( Big Freedom Number 7 ).

But I know the basic plot : Hans Albers plays Morris Flynn, a luckless detective who has the brilliant idea to impersonate Sherlock Holmes with his assistant Macky McPherson - played by Heinz Rühmann - taking the role of Doctor Watson to get hired. Of course it works - especially after they tell everybody that they are NOT Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson - they get hired to solve a case and while they manage to do that they are accused of impersonating the famous detective and his trusty sidekick.

But then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle reveals himself in the court room who has followed the case rather amused and explains that Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are fictional characters that he invented. Then follows the usual Happy End but because of protest by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle´s heirs the scene where he protests couldn´t be shown on television until 1970.

Which I guess led to the ending not making much sense. I tried to find a video of the full movie on YouTube - for those who have not seen it like me - but I only found this one in eight parts ( german with english sub ).

But back to Nick Knatterton. Like I said, as a character he was inspired by Sherlock Holmes but as far as looks are concerned he was molded after Hans Albers as Morris Flynn who did wear tweed but had a different hat.

If you have seen the brilliant new adaption of Sherlock Holmes by the BBC you know how much people like the original hat but Nick Knatterton wore a beret like Hans Albers. They both smoked pipe like Holmes though.

Another source for the character was Superman and since his birth Nick Knatterton has always been compared to him for some strange reason.


That is something you read in almost every article about Nick Knatterton ( there will be some links to a few of them in the link section further down ) and which I don´t understand. But that´s the german press for you : some things are repeated constantly until they are taken for true. And while Nick Knatterton has nothing in common with Superman except maybe a strict code of honor and his attitude towards women ( Nick has no super powers and no secret identity ) a Superman comic was what prompted Manfred Schmidt to come up with the comic in the first place.

" This was a picture story where bubbles filled with text came out of the acting characters mouth, nose and ears or head, depending on if they were saying, hearing, smelling or thinking something. Helixes around the head were a sign of fading consciousness, stars for an earlier blow to the chin or other delicate parts of the body. A course of action that would fill many pages in a novel was here compressed into a small panel, thus the reader was able to skip 95 percent of the necessary reading. " 

Initially Manfred Schmidt wanted to make a parody to dispel people´s interest in this baloonfilled formed trash literature aimed at illiterates. But his laudible intention to ridicule the comics backfired completely and turned into one of those happy accidents for the history books. Even more so he created one of the first strips for adults and set his own standards.
" Because of Nick Knatterton the germans began to get an appetite for comics in earnest and devoured more and more of the stuff. " the artist once complained, tongue - in - cheek, about the success of his hero.

After World War II comics were not very widespread in Germany. When publishers tried to establish the unaccustomed form of representation they mostly catered to a young audience. Nick Knatterton was the first comic in Germany for an adult readership. Eckart Sackmann, author about Nick Knatterton : " Something like this had not be seen here. This was new, this was funny - and also intelligent, if you knew how to read it. Nick Knatterton was a sensation. " No matter in which setting the master detective ended up - he not only encountered bad guys, blondes and brilliants but also many ( embosomed ) cliches : wise guys riding Vespa motorcycles and singing Capri fishermen in Italy, roughneck cowboys and proud indians in America, weird lords and swirling mists in England.

Over the years this parody of comic and crime fiction became more and more a parody of german reality in the 50s. Readers of QUICK could find much of what the detective underwent while solving his cases in the editorial section. Schmidt hit the nerve of the german " We are somebody again society " in a humorous way and anticipated something that would be rediscovered much later by the german satire publication PARDON.

Favorite targets of his potshots and low blows were politics and the authorities as well as the police, military and secret services. 

Nick Knatterton´s recipe for success was taking the comic genre in itself completely ironical. Furthermore the strips looked like technical user manuals than picture stories : sectional drawings of secret lairs and disguises, detailed explanations about the workings of technical devices or zoomed in panels could be found in almost every episode. Aside from that caption boxes often explained the course of action although they could be deducted from the pictures in most cases - or caption boxes contained ironic or in some cases information that made no sense.

After more than 350 episodes the strip was closed in 1959 because after almost ten years creator Manfred Schmidt didn´t want to subject himself anymore to the constant pressure of producing content. In following years he wrote and illustrated travel reports for QUICK, later on he directed travel movies and commercials. Nick Knatterton stayed present since various companies used the detective as a vehicle for advertising and in the 80s fifteen animated shorts were produced for the WDR tv station.

But we will come to the movie adaptions and the animated series later.


Here I want to make a quick break and talk a bit about Nick Knatterton outside of comics. Because like I said, Nick Knatterton became a big part of german culture. There is a " Nick - Knatterton - Honor - Cap " from the German Detective Association and ten motives were made for Munich´s tramway tickets . Although there was a big hallabaloo because a local politician took offense with how women were drawn on the tickets.

About ten years readers followed their " german Sherlock Holmes " on his hunt for gangsters between back alleys and high finance every week. Nothing could cloud his keen wit - except from buxom beauties.

While he certainly enjoys the female form - he is often distracted by femme fatales like Virginia Peng or Mi - Tse Meyer although he rather looks than touches - he has no significant other. " Justice is my bride. "

His catch phrase : " Conclusion " or " I conclude " ( " Kombiniere " or " Ich kombiniere " in german ) which was then followed by the conclusion itself quickly became a part the language. He´s still Germany´s best known detective and there are many articles about him like this one about an art exhibition in Hannover celebrating Manfred Schmidt´s 100th birthday .

It´s also covered by this article that has nice pictures of Knatterton paraphernalia like a Faschings mask ( Fasching or Fasnacht is the german version of Halloween only with lots of beer instead of candy ),

a Nick Knatterton board game " Who has me wins. "

 and even Nick Knatterton fretsaw saw patterns.

Now this is something that I probably have to explain for the younger people because this is something we used to do when I was a kid.


A fretsaw is a tool we used to make things and you hold it like this.

You buy it at the hardware store and it comes in a little toolbox like this.

Now when I was a little boy kids used to do this a lot and there were tv shows like ZUGESCHAUT UND MITGEBAUT which was one of the few things my father let us watch without fighting because he also wanted to see it.

Okay, what you do with the fretsaw saw pattern is you put in on top of a piece of wood, then you take the fretsaw and cut the wood following the pattern. And this way you can build toys like mobiles or figurines.


Now it is time to talk about the adaptions of Nick Knatterton to movies and cartoons, and this is the part where I found out a lot of new things.

The first was that there had been a Nick Knatterton movie made in 1959 called NICK KNATTERTONS ABENTEUERDER RAUB DER GLORIA NYLON

( The Kidnapping of Miss Nylon ) with Karl Lieffen as Nick Knatterton,

Susanne Cramer as innocent millionaire´s daughter Gloria Nylon,

Maria Sebaldt as VERY seductive female gang leader Virginia Peng

and Günter Pfitzman as Max and Gert Fröbe as Hugo.

This is another movie I haven´t seen yet and while it´s probably not the greatest comic book movie ever it seems to be a rather entertaining and funny one judging by the great reviews I´ve read on the internet so far.

There was also another movie produced in 2002 called simply NICK KNATTERTON - THE MOVIE but the movie company went bankrupt and because the movie is part of the assets it has never been shown.

And judging by the way how german cinema mugged such properties like HUI BUH, WICKIE or JERRY COTTON in a dark alley I´m not sure that´s a bad thing. You can see a trailer here to judge for yourself but it looks rather bland to me. At least they got the part of Virginia Peng right.

Another movie that never got made - at least according to this post - was a cartoon by the producers of the WERNER movies around the year 2000.


But there were 15 cartoon shorts produced in the 80s for the WDR ( West German Radio ) and they are indeed still available on DVD. And to show you how old the cartoons really are here´s the picture of a VHS tape.

Now the cartoons are the reason why I started this post in the first place, which was instigated - once again - by a comment from Comic Bits Online blog mastermind Terry Hooper about german comic book documentaries.

Or rather the total lack thereof. You see, the case is : there are no german documentaries about comics. What you see on german tv are either documentaries from Amerika or France ( which means you are probably watching arte ). Apart from that you get short clips from the news or a report on comics from tv but those are filled with the usual prejudices about comics. Despite any hopes of success I went on YouTube to look for videos about some classic german comics - which is how I discovered a Nick Knatterton cartoon existed. I know. I shouldn´t be allowed to call myself a comic fan. Anyway, the first video I found was episode 5, MIEZEN MACHER UND MONETEN which has the first appearance of Mi - Tse Meyer.

But not only is it the first epsiode with the hasian femme fatale it also has the part where Nick Knatterton finds his nemesis Virginia Peng completely naked in the sauna ( sorry, no full frontal nudity on this one guys ).


One of the reasons why the cartoon was so successful is that like in the comic there are a lot of scantily clad women in it like underworld boss Virginia Peng, probably Nick Knatterton´s arch villain and main foil.

She can often be found at the ALIBI BAR, a seedy bar where the scum of the underworld meets to make deals and while she is alternating between capturing Nick or blowing him up she rather enjoys using her booming body to distract Nick and escape the grip of justice again and again.

Like I have said, there is no frontal nudity in episode 5 which doesn´t mean there is none at all. The series is filled with all kinds of gangsters, shady artists, starlets who want to get famous fast or any other kind of woman that isn´t above using her womanly wiles to achieve her goals.

It´s not like it´s especially explicit or graphic but it´s also not shying away from nudity since most readers of the original comic series were adults.

When it´s there it´s enbedded in the story like in episode 7 - BARGELD, BETTEN UND BRILLIANTED where Nick only gets a quick partial glance at some nude pics and is able to recognize Viginia Peng and Mi - Tse Meyer.

From memory. Which is not as easy as it sounds since he did see Virginia´s butt in the episode above but had to guess the form of Mi - Tse´s breasts.


And I guess this is all I can say on the subject. I know there are some audio dramas but I haven´t heard one yet so I can´t comment on that. So I guess this means it´s time to wrap up things and acknowledge the many websites that have made this post possible so I can watch all those Nick Knatterton cartoons as well as THE MAN WHO WAS SHERLOCK HOLMES.

First and foremost, this really extensive post on COMPUTER SPIELE MADE IN GERMANY has lots of pictures and all kinds of useful information that helped me tremendously. Also kudos to this article about the special limited edition of OH, NICK KNATTERTON in celebration of Manfred Schmidt´s 100th birthday. The book was written by german comic historian Eckhardt Sackmann who is also the author of this exhaustive article about Nick Knatterton on ZEIT ONLINE and another article on Nick Knatterton can be found on FLENSBURG ONLINE . You also might want to check out Joseph Huber who takes a look at the similarities between Nick Knatterton and Kottan , of austrian cult tv cop series KOTTAN ERMITTELT.

The always excellent CHRISTOPH ROOS has a post on the magazines and comics he got at the kiosk like QUICK, a solo post on Nick Knatterton and one about pulp / tv series detective Honey West which doesn´t have anything to do with the subject of this post but which is a fun read.

ROSARIEDLSCHUTZGESPENST´S BLOG also has a personal comic reading history that includes Nick Knatterton. No idea what this website is all about but it seems to be dedicated to people using the phone in comics.

Nick Knatterton is not only popular in Germany. I found this long french article and I want to include it even if I have no idea what it´s about.

During my research I also stumbled upon GARGAMEL´ IN MEKANI, a turkish website ( I think ) with two posts about the comic. It also has posts on RACHEL RISING , DYLAN DOG , TORPEDO , TARZAN artist Rex Maxon and especially for my good pal Terry Hooper posts on CLIFTON , DOCTOR WHO with Peter Cushing and EAGLE and MS PEEL and LION .

Wow, once again this post has become longer than I thought but I guess as always it takes far less time to read it then it takes to write this stuff.

In this post´s video section I want to start with one last Nick Knatterton cartoon ( I know, another one ? ), the second episode ( or is it the third ? ) which I want to include because it tells the SECRETS OF THE ALIBI BAR. And because it´s the only episode I found which has english subtitles.

If you don´t want to watch it just skip the video and if you want to see even more Nick Knatterton you can find all of the episodes on YouTube.

Since this is a reworked version ( you can find a re - post of the original Nick Knatterton post here ) I´m adding another video about an exhibition on Nick Knatterton and the depiction of women in his time period. 

I want to end this post with another comic interview, this one about the great Milo Manara. It´s in italian but you can see a lot of his artwork.

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I'm the bad guy. I don't save the day, I don't fly off into the sunset and I don't get the girl.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From the frying pan back into the fire again

Yesterday I didn´t post because I was too busy celebrating. Yep, just like I dreaded I was fired thanks to the usual antics of guys from the jobcenter.

Well, to tell the truth I was going to get fired in any case but I hoped to get a new contract where my employer would pay for my health insurance.

And I wouldn´t have to bother with the jobcenter again. So on Monday morning I got the good news that this new contract didn´t go through. My boss would have liked to do it but even he has a boss and that boss also has a boss. And I guess it´s a hard sell when you want to give somebody a new contract and the first thing he is going to do is go to the clinic in Markgröningen to get his knee fixed followed by 3 to 4 months of rehab.

What a marvelous way to start a week. The next thing I did was go to my health insurance company to tell them what was up and after that I went straight to the unemployment office. There I had to tell the complete story of my misfortune again and they sent me over to the jobcenter.

Now for those of you outside of Germany this is how it works when you are unemployed in this land of milk and honey. The unemployment office and the jobcenter used to be one thing. They did everything in regards to unemployment ( which was mainly get you a job instead of the paperwork that is their main focus now ) and you had one address where you could go to get everything. Then somebody - probably a community politician - had the brilliant idea to split it into two separate things. So one of them could always claim that they were not responsible and tell people that they had to go to the other building for that. " You could not go to the job interview we arranged for you because you had no money ? Sorry, that´s the other department. We only do job service here. And since you didn´t get to the interview you will not get paid for the next 4 weeks. Next ! "

So one hand can always claim ignorance about what the other is doing because they we tired of being the guilty party when things went south. 

Because let´s face it : in eleven out of ten cases the unemployment office is going to mess up things for you in worse ways than anybody else can or dares to imagine. Like my current predicament. But with the new system of being two separate entities they could always shirk their responsibility.

So you have two places you must go to when you loose your job and now it´s not as bad as it was because now the unemployment office and the jobcenter in Ludwigsburg are merely a few hundred meters apart. They used to be in different parts of town and I remember well how much walking from one building to the other and back was involved when you had to apply for things. I guess in a lot of towns that is still the case.

Anyway, there is still a lot of walking involved which isn´t exactly a walk in the park when you have an injured knee. I had to spend almost my last bucks to get there after my visit to the health insurance company and I hadn´t eaten yet. Lately I have made it a habit to get a small pizza after going to the health insurance company because there is a pizza delivery and shop right at the bus station. But as luck would have it they were not open and since I hadn´t slept much I was tired and hungry when I finally got to the unemployment office with my control slip. Of course they didn´t really have time for me because there was some construction going on and they were going to switch off the power so they were closed for the rest of the day. But at least I got an appointment for the next day.

Which was probably for the best because I´m not really the most diplomatic person - especially when I have been lied to and taken advantage of - and I was already starting to get into a mood.

Since there was nothing else to do for the rest of the day I went home and even forgot that I wanted to check if I had won the big lottery money.

That would have really helped me out of my misery. One big jackpot and all my troubles are over. It´s really unbelievable that in the 21st century money is still the big problem solver. The rich people also cry ? Dude, us poor folks do nothing else. So like I just said, I forgot to check the lottery ticket but I remembered that I had to buy a new light bulb if I didn´t want to go blind and I almost shat my pants because of that. No, not what you are thinking. I didn´t almost shit my pants because I remembered I had to buy a new light bulb. You hear of these things that old people get all exited and with all the drama they relieve themselves without noticing.

And that´s what I am now. One of the old people. But no, that was not it. And it also wasn´t that I leaned down to grab the light bulb and nature took its course. The thing was that before buying the light bulb I had eaten at SUBWAYS - since the pizza shop had been closed - and although I had been on the toilet right after it ( no pun intended ) just when I had bought the light bulb and was on my way out I got the distinct feeling that another toilet break was due and that is was getting urgent very fast.

Now I should have mentioned that I was doing my shopping at the new Wilhelms Galerie shopping mall and they have a chart with every shop on it. So all I had to do was look for the toilets and go there. That sounds easy. The only problem was that the toilets are not where they are on the chart. So I went up to the second floor, down again to the first floor and back all the while my business was becoming more and more urgent.

If a nice woman with a on the parking decks on the third floor hadn´t told me where to find the toilets I surely would have either shat into my pants or made my business in some dark secluded corner of the parking deck.

So, I had been sacked, I still had no health insurance, I wasn´t even unemployed anymore, I almost shat my pants because I was old so I did what everybody with almost no sleep would have done after a day like this : get a sixpack. And I´m not talking about bodybuilding here, buddy ( but you already guessed so ). When I got home I put the beer into the fridge, then I picked up my latest amazon package from the kind neighbour who accepted it while I was out fighting the elements and the world at large ( I don´t know when I´ll be able to pay those comics ), changed the light bulb in my room - the new one is like looking into a supernova compared to the old one - changed out of my sweaty clothes and got plastered.

I tried to do a new post later in the evening but the internet was acting very strange and I was not in a good mood. So I got rid of some of the things on my computer and prepared some of the pictures for my next posts. Last week I had been on the Comic Art Fans website again after a long hiatus ( I think I landed there looking for pictures for my MASTER OF KUNG FU MONDAY posts ) and I found a lot of pictures of original black and white art. As a blogger it´s always difficult to find good art - or art that helps you to illustrate certain points - and because of the many great original pages that collectors are selling or just want to show there I was thinking about doing a new feature that I could call BLACK AND WHITE ( fill in day of the week here ). Despite there being a lot of ESSENTIAL and SHOWCASE volumes being out there a black and white page is not the same as an original art page where you can see the pencil lines and the brush strokes the artist was making like in this page by Alan Davis.

Anyway, as usual when I fire up the laptop I got late so I had another beer and watched an episode of the MUPPET SHOW before going to sleep.

Which is SO much better, let me tell you. The Muppet Show is already damn funny to begin with but after a cold one it´s hilarious. Which brings us to Today. I never get much sleep before an important appointment and I tried to stay in bed a bit longer but once I´m awake there´s just no use so I went to the jobcenter very early. There were almost no people there including the ones that work there. My case worker was also not there and while I had taken the first volume of the John Sable Omnibus to read there ( always take something big to read if you have a doctor´s appointment or have to go to an office ) I was much too tired to read.

I had already bought the second volume a few years ago but I always kept off buying the first one. But now that I wasn´t sure what was going to happen to me I wanted to close as much unfinished business as possible.

You might remember that a few posts back I mentioned that I got the german SABLE album that has the first two issues but while it´s the same material I´m glad I had the opportunity to compare. The Mike Grell art looks really better in the bigger format although I must say that I was a bit surprised by how much of the art is still in the smaller format. When I first bought the second volume I was a bit disappointed by how small it is but if you want to read a big chunk of this series for a good price this is the way to go. Anyway, let´s get back to my adventure at the jobcenter.  

As much as I can´t sleep at home when I have to go somewhere as much I can sleep in every office, bus or toilet. Which was another thing that was like the day before. I had to walk up and down from the first floor to the second floor, back again and then to the third floor to find a toilet that wasn´t locked. For me that exemplifies the jobcenter to a t : there are toilets for the visitors but they are out of order. Then they tell you to use the toilets for the employees but they are all locked. You try to go to the women´s toilets as a last resort but they are also all locked. So that in the end you have to think outside of the box and use the toilets in the third floor unless you want to sit in your own feces for the rest of the day.

Man, Today I´m really talking a lot about toilets and taking a dump and the likes but I guess that´s what is to be expected when you talk about Germany´s great bureaucracy. So after waiting another long while my case worker arrived and we could finally start sorting this mess out.

I still don´t know what happened or why it happened. I don´t even know when exactly it happened. I know is that my case worker doesn´t know.

Or she´s just not telling. It doesn´t make any difference either way. It makes no difference that I always believed my case worker and followed the rules. Oh, you don´t get much money from the unemployment office so you should get a low income job. You will still get your monthly payment and you will ahve some extra cash. Oh, sorry, my mistake. Since you earn more in your new job than the meager pitiance we give you you won´t even get that anymore. But don´t bother. We´ll still pay your health insurance so that´s not a problem. And guess what comes next ? One day you find out that your unemployment status has been revoked, your health insurance was cancelled two years ago and your knee is effed up.

But like I said, without anybody to verify it that´s just my story and it doesn´t help me with my current situation anyway. I now have to apply again for the status of unemployed which means that I have to fill out a new application with all the paperwork and bells and whistles as usual. I had hoped that for once I would be spared the whole song and dance routine but who am I kidding here ? I´m much to old and too experienced to really believe that. Somehow I knew it was going to end like this. I knew I was going to loose my job because of those idiots from the jobcenter and I knew I had to fill out all the necessary papers all over.

The only good thing about this is that since it´s a brand new solicitation for unemployment money I will try to get help from some experts so that they have to pay me what they are obligated to pay by the law instead of the meager amount they tricked me into the last time. Momentarily that is the only silver lining on this big thunder cloud that is hanging over me.

And if that should really all come to pass - which is a big IF in capital letters - and the jobcenter pays once again my health insurance in two or three weeks time ( I guess I have to pay the monthly rates for the past two years until then out of my now empty pocket ) I can look forward to get a knee implant and months of rehab before I can work again. Yay !

You know, the more I think about it the more I realize that I´m in the same position as Walter White in BREAKING BAD. The only difference is that I´m not a chemistry teacher and I don´t know how to cook meth.

So now you know about my current situation and as usual I have to wrap things up here since I have to start with the paperwork Tomorrow. Sorry that we didn´t get to talk about comics but I wanted to explain why there may not be that many new posts the next few weeks. At least this post was not as oversexed as my last one since I had a few complaints. And the usual guys begging for more of that content. So for all the people out there who are starving for pictures of hot babes here´s one of Tatyana Ali in her pre show dress of the 2014 BET Awards. No viagra needed here !

Little Ashley sure has grown up nicely since her FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR days. Although she already showed some great potential back then.

Did she have a booming hardbody like a teenage Janet Jackson or what ?

Man, with that terrific body and a voice to match Tatyana Ali´s the total package - and I´m not talking about Lex Luger. You work that body girl !

Although she still could take some grinding lessons from Janet Jackson.

Especially this move is very popular with the male audience members.

Back to Tatyana Ali she really bOObed all out in later movie appearances :

Okay, I think my crude attempt at an segueway for my first video Today went just a little bit off the rails but Tatyana Ali is just an absolute dream girl ( what I wouldn´t do to her ) and I had a rough day. I´m a big fan of talk shows and some of them I can only watch on the internet. So I wanted to post this clip of the british Graham Norton Show where Will Smith and Gary Barlow perform the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

For the second video I had to go to MyVideo since the GEMA has blocked in on You Tube - as usual. It´s the great Udo Jürgens with the unofficial anthem of the unemployed masses in tribute to my new social status.

Our last video is of a more comic related matter and as usual it has been - kind of - instigated by Terry Hooper who has been posting so many european comic interviews on his blog lately. This one is with the great Hugo Pratt about his CORTO MALTESE series and I chose it because you see a lot of his artwork in this one including the master himself drawing.

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Destiny is not the path given to us, but the path we choose for ourselves.