22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Max Baitinger

Max Baitinger
Max Baitinger [© Melina Weissenborn]

Max Baitinger was born in the Bavarian town of Penzberg in 1982. His studies in illustration at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig culminated in the 2013 publication of the graphic novel »Heimdall«. In Norse mythology, Heimdall is the guardian among the gods. Since he is omniscient, he was chosen to oversee everything. He possesses a large horn to warn of danger. Is he up to his responsibility? Max Baitinger’s crisp black-and-white illustrations depict Heimdall as a brooding, almost human god.

The graphic novel »Röhner« [2016] follows the story of a first-person narrator who leads a life that is organized down to the last detail until a letter arrives from Röhner, an old acquaintance who wants to move in with the narrator. From then on, the narrator ponders ways to get rid of the unwanted guest. Once again in black and white, Max Baitinger’s minimalist drawings leave plenty of room for comedy to emerge alongside an atmosphere of waiting and uncertainty.

»Birgit« [2017] also illustrates the tale of a character faced with a new situation: the heroine, an office administrator, gets a new superior and turns her back on the office soon afterwards. The radio station DLF Kultur described the novel as »aesthetically highly sophisticated and at the same time original« and also applauded the »meticulousness of the visually precise drawings«. »Birgit« was awarded the Hans Meid Foundation’s sponsorship prize.

Baitinger’s »Happy Place« [2020] is a collection of comic short stories that often play into the surreal and are infused with subtle irony. According to the »Tagesspiegel«, »the author proves once again his fine sense for the absurdities of everyday human life«.

The recently published biographical comic »Sibylla« [2021] focuses its attention on the baroque poet Sibylla Schwarz, who was born in Greifswald in 1621 and died at the age of 17. Over 200 of her poems were published posthumously. The Thirty Years’ War, expulsion, and exile are as much a theme in the poems as friendship and love. Max Baitinger’s illustrations depict the contrasts in her life – for example, between her subtlety and the brutal circumstances of her life – with breaks and stylistic changes. Max Baitinger received the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung Comic Book Award for »the smartest and cheekiest book to come out of his profession for a long time« [»FAZ«]: The jury stated that »He cleverly and skilfully constructs a narrative framework from different levels that testifies to remarkable graphic strength«.

Max Baitinger is co-organizer of the Leipzig »Millionaires Club« comic festival. He lives in Leipzig.

Date: 2022