Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
by Satis Shroff
Wolfgang Keller is a friendly guy 45, with curly hair, greying at the sides, wears glasses, has a sympathetic voice and was born in Pirmasens (Pfalz). He’s an excellent illustrator. He hands me his ‘Dunkelziffer,’ a comic book in A4 format with a balck cover, autumnal leaves strewn across the front cover with three characters: a male in a Humphry Bogart trenchcoat, a paunchy bespectacled guy with a bald head and a young, blonde with the right curves in a cocktail dress. They all have sombre expressions on their faces. Something secretive and mysterious lurks in the air, you can sense it.
There’s a young man on a Freiburger bridge and below him gushes the river Dreisam. What a name for a river: einsam, zweisam and dreisam. A play on the words ‘to be alone, a couple and as a triplet.’
It’s windy, there are leaves dancing crazily around him and the breeze from the Vale of Hell (Höllental) puffs his hair to the left of his head. ‘The Autumn of Love’ is the subtitle and the story develops. The bespectacled young man approaches the burly guy in a café and says:
‘I’ll kill her.’
He stops speaking and after a while, which seems like an hour, he says:
‘I can’t bear it. Quarrel again. Actually almost every day. Eats my soul!’
The burly guy who’s seated looks up and says, ‘If we planted a tree each time you said you’d kill your wife, we’d have a flourishing rain forest.’
The protagonist of this story is an illustrator who has created a comic-figure named Andreas Bär. Andreas has been helping him to make money. The illustrator is of the opinion that he cn live on him and thereby work on himself through the fictive figure. At the moment he’s broke: no ideas, no energy. Only the eternal strife with his wife Claudia.
His best friend helps him to hire a killer for 60,000 bucks. What happens in the end? Wolfgang Keller the author and creator of this story has you hooked till the last page. Wolfgang has an impressive background: he did his graphic design studies from 1987 till 1991. He wasn’t satisfied with graphic design and studied art under different master painters. He began exhibiting his works at the Eco-cartoon 90 along with Horst Haitzingen, who is a big name in the world of political cartoons in the German speaking world. And so began a long journey of exhibitions. He worked from 1991-99 as a graphic designer with the Ehapa Verlag in Stuttgart and then as a free-lance graphic artist in Freiburg.
He even exhibited in October 1993 at the ‘Jazz and Black Romantic’ during the Frankfurter Book Fair. In June 1996 he held an exhibition together with B.Schwär and T.Willmann with the title ‘Vielfalt in der Einheit’ (Variety in Union) at the marketplace in Meissen, formerly East Germany, where the impeccable porcelain comes from.
From June 2000 till June 2002 he was a comic illustrator at the International Comic-Salon in Erlangen, Comic Days at the Cologne Library, Comic Börse Stuttgart, and again in Erlangen (Bavaria). More exhibitions followed in Breitnau, Care Arte´, the ‘Fumetto’ in Luzern’s International Comic Festival. Then a stint at the Art School Filderstadt, Salon de la Peniture 2004 de Zillisheim, followed by ‘Le Salon International Art and Couleurs in Nancy-Champpigneulles and a series of exhibitions in Ingersheim (Colmar), Synagogue of Bergheim, Freiburg and Gallery Birkenmeier in Breitnau. He has published ‘Dunkelziffer’ Band I & II and ‘Surcomix’ Band 2 together with other artists.
I wish him well in his artistic and story-telling endeavours
More by : Satis Shroff