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Monday, March 01, 2010

Max Rosenkrantz: De laatste rit van Gerrit

Here's a guest post (mostly written by Theodor Westerhof, adapted from his post at the jewishcomics forum on Yahoo).

In Eppo 23 a/23k/the Eppo special for the thing with the trees and the red guy [Theodor's long-winded reference to Xmas], a story was published with a rather strongly Jewish (influenced) atmosphere in the frame story.

Plot summary :
Max Rosenkrantz, a blackhaired pub owner serving perfect pils(ener), observing the world with a sharp eye, has for five years been running Cafe Du Conmmerce - which has been in his family for generations in the centre of the Jordaan (let it suffice to say that that district of Amsterdam shares its name with Israel's border river, that during WW II the February Strike protesting the deportation of the Jews started there, that the Anne Frank House is situated there at the border of the district, that the "original immigrants" in the 17th century included quite a few Sephardim and that the Ashkenazim came about 20 years later ; it was a rather poor neighbourhood, of the common people, if not the commoner people, and certainly in fiction it's where the commonest people live).

He used to write songs, so called "smartlappen" (songs of life, tear jerkers, what they call in Belgium and Germany "Schlager", originally a denigrating name for the genre) and performed them in Du Commerce, with the timbre of the neighbourhood, until he died too young in a traffic accident (Turkish riding school involved). Childless and with no Rosenkrantz left, his death meant the end of Du Commerce. The comic maker claims that he is making comics based on Max Rosenkrantz's songs as a tribute to the Max Rosenkrantz anthology.

Nothing X-massy so far, the main story - about the death of a taxi driver - has nothing X-massy either, except for the statement that it happens in Amsterdam, on Christmas eve. Not even an inch of a tree is shown in the story, though the passenger looks rather angelic. Christmas eve is of course a great time to stress loneliness in a tearjerker song, but aside from the time of the tragedy nothing connects it with Xmas at all. No candles, trees, santas - just a tear jerking tragedy.

The writer, artist and colorist is Ben Westervoorde.

It is his first Eppo story, but the story strongly suggests that this story is the first in a series.

The story seems to have first appeared in Myx 3-2, pages 71-77.

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