Father and Son (comics)

Father and son are the best known figures of the German cartoonist Erich Ohser alias eoplauen ( 1903-1944 ). The wordless stories are about the adventures of a plump, balding father and his son struwwelpetrigen who grapple with a variety of everyday situations.

Creation and publication

In 1934 the editor Kurt Kusenberg from Ullstein was tasked to look for a designer for a to be installed at the Berlin newspaper Illustrirten Sign Series. Among the more than 20 signatories, with whom he had contact, the choice fell on the artist Erich Ohser who had submitted several designs, including a draft of father and son. Since Ohser was fined for his political cartoons during the time of the Weimar Republic by the non-inclusion in the Reich Chamber of Culture de facto with a prohibition, a solution had to be found, such as the drawings were published yet. Thus, the publisher received permission from the Ministry of Propaganda that Ohser may publish " non-political drawings under a pseudonym ." Therefore Ohser signed the stories of father and son throughout with eop, where the first two letters represented his initials and got the p for his home town of Plauen. Later, as his stage name prevailed eoplauen.

On 13 December 1934, the first story of father and son appeared with the title The poor house essay in Berlin Illustrirten newspaper, reaching an audience of millions. In total, until December 1937, when the last episode of Father and Son appeared, 157 stories in the Berliner Zeitung published Illustrirten, although Ohser has since been occupied by a prohibition that could be reversed by the initiative of the Ullsteinhaus publisher. 1936 advertise in return had father and son for the Winter Relief for the general election in 1936 and the Summer Olympics. Ohser ended the series at his own request, leaving father and son goodbye in issue 49/1937 of the Berlin Illustrirten newspaper with a picture story in which the two title characters run towards the horizon and then off into the sky. Even in the penultimate picture story, father and son had shown horrified about the fact that they were caught in the center of a growing commercialization. Meanwhile cartoons had already appeared, which made fun of the longevity of the series.

In Ullstein was in 1935 with an initial print run of 10,000 copies a book entitled Father and Son - published 50 funny pranks and adventures, which contained in addition to 40 previously published stories 10 new pictures; the foreword was written under the pseudonym Hans Ohl Kusenberg. Due to popular demand the print run was increased to a total of 90,000 copies. In the years 1936 and 1938 two more books were published. After the Second World War, the Südverlag Konstanz gained 1948 all rights to father and son. By Südverlag that is, if rights holders, and various licensees were only in German-speaking various book editions with father and son stories, including that sold in the East German Eulenspiegel Verlag, so that the total circulation early on included several hundred thousand books.

A total of 192 different father and son stories were published.


Were father and son in 1962 praised at the time as "the most popular figures of fun of the century", so feels Eckart Sackmann " the chosen form " as " even then hopelessly old-fashioned " because " in their unworldly honesty the strips [ ... ] Flying on the leaves the turn of the century [ reference ]. " For Andreas C. Knigge, devoted to stories of father and son, in his book 50 classic comics in a separate chapter, eoplauen has " created a timeless classic, behind its popularity came the fate of the artist into oblivion ." Also for Bernd Dolle - Weinkauff are the stories of father and son " a new classic of pictorial history in Germany ", he however does not count strips to the comics, but to the pantomime.