Comics Scholarships Berlin 2019

The Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe has awarded scholarships for the second time to Berlin-based comics artists. A jury of five selected three artists from 96 applications. Maki Shimizu received the largest scholarship of €16,000. Till Thomas and Jana Klävers each received a scholarship of €2,000. The Paris residence scholarship, for which a total of 10 artists applied, was awarded to Konstantin Potapov. Aside from a residential studio, the scholarship is endowed with €15,000.

In cooperation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Museum for Communication, the German Comics Association will introduce the four scholarship recipients at ComicInvasionBerlin (May 11–12, 2019) as well as present their projects in a small exhibition.

Maki Shimizu

Scholarship €16,000

In just four panels, Maki Shimizu tells pointed and amusing short stories about her life as an artist in Berlin. Protagonists include the male cat Adagio and Maki Mouse. The three issues in the “ADAGIO” series have already been published.

With support of the comics scholarship, Maki Shimizu would like to draw further stories in a new issue that examines daily life in a Berlin quarter, the impending gentrification and the lives of people who have long lived there, as well as people with a migration background. The images shown here are four-panel stories from her ADAGIO comics.

Till Thomas

Scholarship €2,000

In his project “27% in September”, Till Thomas tells a story of failure. Lennart lives with his girlfriend Van and their son Nicki. After a misstep, things start to become shaky in the relationship. Lennart has to move out of their shared flat, faces financial hardship, and cannot find work. After his girlfriend leaves the city with their son for an indefinite amount of time, Lennart has a complete breakdown.

The story is to appear in three issues, which will be printed through a bicoloured risograph process. Each issue will include its own soundtrack composed by Karsten Fläming, which will reflect the comic’s desolate mood. Shown here are snippets from the planned project.

Janna Klävers

Scholarship €2,000

With the title “The absurd and the obscene from antiquity”, Janna Klävers wishes to develop short comics in which the actions of ancient mythological figures are placed in contrast to our own notions of ethics and morality today. Actual historical events are to be juxtaposed with mythological stories.

Janna Klävers places the question of how different we truly are today from the irrational, egoistic and in part childish behaviours of ancient heroes. The images shown here of examples of short comics she has already drawn.

Konstantin Potapov

Paris residence scholarship: Six months in a residential studio and €15,000

For his residency in Paris, Konstantin Potapov has set out to tour the city through an alternative route – by investigating the subculture of the drug scene against the backdrop of a mythical metropolis. The project relies on interviews and participative observation.

By taking part in the lives of a handful of drug users, he plans to create a documentary fiction that moves between sociological and graphic investigation. The images shown here are taken from his last project.