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Reinhold Reitberger – RIP

Cartoonist and comics historian Reinhold Reitberger has passed away.


Reinhold C. Reitberger
December 25, 1946 – June 25, 2021

A cartoonist and comics historian based in Germany, Reinhold and Wolfgang Fuchs’ Anatomy of a Mass Medium, along with George Perry and Alan Aldridge’s Penguin Book of Comics (which I got one within a year of the other), informed me that there was a comics community beyond the U. S.

 

 

Less familiar to me was his cartooning career, but thanks to Lambiek:

Reinhold C. Reitberger, nicknamed “Reiti”, was born in 1946 in Munich. As a child he already loved reading comics and he and his childhood friend Wolfgang J. Fuchs often shared the latest albums and issues, while drawing their own comics as well.

Between 1985 and 1990 Reitberger and Fuchs worked for the cocoa drink brand Kaba, which used an anthropomorphic bear, ‘Berry der Plantagenbär’ (‘Berry the Plantation Bear’), as their mascot.

On 8 November 2001 on Reitberger launched the webcomic ‘Wally und die Comics’ (2001) for the website Comicradioshow.com. The series is set in a comics store and follows the life of Wally, an employee who has to deal with his co-workers and obsessive clients and comics collectors.

Since 1993 Reitberger has compiled a large amount of joke books for young audiences. He not only collects the jokes, but illustrates them too.

 

 

It was Paul Gravett who informed us of Reinhold’s death.
From his sources he adds:

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports: ‘Today the [Anatomy of a Mass Medium] book is regarded as the basic work of German comic research. The German fan scene has also formed on the basis of this. The “Comics” exhibition organized by Reitberger in the Munich City Museum had a similar effect three years later. The first major German exhibition on the topic and also an initial spark for many. The website of the oldest German comic magazine Comixene, which was founded in 1974, says: “On March 1, 1974, the Munich City Museum opened an exhibition entitled ‘Comics’. A sensation that electrified the few comic fans of the time. “Today the book is regarded as the basic work of German comic research. The German fan scene has also formed on the basis of this. The “Comics” exhibition organized by Reitberger in the Munich City Museum had a similar effect three years later. The first major German exhibition on the topic and also an initial spark for many. The website of the oldest German comic magazine Comixene, which was founded in 1974, says: “On March 1, 1974, the Munich City Museum opened an exhibition entitled ‘Comics’. A sensation that electrified the few comic fans of the time.” ‘

 

‘Reitberger and Fuchs, who died in 2020, were childhood friends who were enthusiastic about US comics, which they got through the GIs in army bases. In the Eighties they drew commercials like “Barney the Plantation Bear” and made comic contributions for television. At some point they parted ways. Fuchs made a name for himself as a translator for “Prinz Eisenherz” and Donald Duck expert. Reitberger, who had studied American studies and communication studies, concentrated on books for young people and jokes, wrote a Walt Disney biography in 1979, and only appeared marginally in the comics scene. Nobody knows what happened after 2009. Except maybe Reitberger’s sister, his ex-wife or the daughter that Rainer Schneider left behind.’

   
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