I want to tell you about my friend Christian Moser. He was an artist from Munich, and made wonderful art. He drew quirks and bad habits humans have in the form of cute, adorable monsters. He published many books at one of the biggest publishers in Germany. He was 47 years old, and unfortunately he died of a heart attack on August 13th. I want to share a few thoughts about him before they fade away with time. Before I forget them.
How I met Christian
I met him around 2001, at the Comicfestival in Munich. My dad drove me there (I was 17 years old) and Christian was one of the jurors in a comic competition for young people. I drove to the festival and realized I hadn't won (later I realized that they had forgotten to pick up my comic pages from the postal office, so it hadn't even reached the competition which was quite sad back then).
I tried to make the best of the festival and stood in line to show my portfolio to Reinhard Kleist. The line at his desk was so long, so I switched over to the shorter line: Christian Moser's line (I never told him that :-)). He was super nice to me, promised to look at my portfolio. Later, I met him outside and he gave very usable feedback. When I left, I almost forgot to say goodbye (my dad reminded me).
A friend for every comic festival
We started to have e-mail contact, where he turned out to be a caring, supportive friend. At my next, big festival, "Comicfestival Erlangen 2002", I knew NOBODY except Christian. He took care so that I would have social hang-outs at the festival. He invited me to gatherings with other cartoonists and managed to get me a ticket to a rather larger comic party. He made sure I took a cab home that evening. He was like a big-festival-brother.
From there on, it became tradition to meet at every festival, to drink coffee, walk around, check out museums and talk about life, comics, etc. Hanging out with Christian were my "calm moments" at the festival, because he was a calm, friendly human being. We only saw once a year, but it was never strange to see him again.
I think it was Comicfestival Erlangen 2006 where we took a train from Nurnberg to Munich to get home (Munich was his last stop, I had 4 more train hours to go after that). During the train ride, we had a great conversation about life and love and so on. When I came home, I got an e-mail by him telling me that he thought of me as a good friend now. And so did I.
(Below: The art he made for the back of my 2007 comic "Xoth". I love to look at it. He was so talented.)
Our last hang-out
Time passed by, and from 2009-2012 I spend 3 years in new York, so I missed a few festivals. But when I returned in 2012, I managed to visit the Comicfestival in Munich in 2013. I am more than happy that I got a last chance to hang out with Christian before he passed. We had coffee and food at one of his favorite cafes (I forgot the name). Christian told me about an idea he had for a book featuring my work: He wanted me to create a nerdy collection of my art, with some new comics about my nerd life. He said he would help me edit it, and maybe even introduce it to publishers. I was super excited about this project.
Later we walked to the Robert Crumb Q&A with Crumb and his wife being there life. We enjoyed it a lot, and made fun of embarrassing people during audience questions. We agreed that there is always at least one embarrassing audience member. One of the reasons why I don't like panel discussions very much.
It was great to see him again. I feel lucky, because I have some fresh memories. I keep on remembering our conversation in the cafe, and our giggling during the Crumb panel discussions.
On August 16th I got the e-mail by one of Christian's friends. I couldn't believe it. I cried plenty. Crying is so good in situations like that. A good friend of mine was my crying buddy for the evening. I am not used to losing friends yet. It's a bit of a new experience for me. It kinda sucks.
That's it. That's the most important stuff I have to say. I am not so good with words, but I felt it was important to get it down before it all fades and becomes the shadow of a memory.