Radically Fresh Cartoons

Simplicissmus, or der Simpl, was Germany’s most acerbic graphic satire journal (founded in 1896).  It was hounded by Kaiser Wilhelm’s censors for its continual assault on his ministers, clergy, military officers, government bureaucracy, as well as urbanization and industrialization in cartoons and graphic commentaries that are as fresh today as they were radical in their own day. The commentary on the grip (flu) by Th. Th. Heine (above) appears as though it came from a contemporary graphic novel, but it was 1929.

The Simplicissimus cartoonist Karl Arnold (below), commenting on the party scene in Berlin,  produced precision line drawings that were expressive in attitude more than in pure form. The mixture of primitive and precise was what gave his style its tension.

Some of the best artists found outlet in der Simpl, see a significant website of the work here.

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