Modern Relationships

On this page:

  • Filmriss
  • Der Junge von nebenan
  • Das kleine Schwarze

Rickenbach, Kati.  Filmriss.  Edition Moderne, 2007.

A sort of soap opera in comic form.  Told with levity and sarcasm, the author describes a life of blackouts, drug use and love.

The artists’ style prioritizes portraits, zooms and close-ups of the human face.  This artistic focus corresponds to the thematic concentration on the distressed, confused, elated or desperate feelings of individuals in modern society and in modern relationships.  A series of intertwined stories also emphasize the social interactivity that is both addictive and detrimental.

The text offers a lot of great colloquial phrases that would be great to teach “real” conversational German.

Filmriss cover filmriss sample page

matureAdult themes, sexuality.

Büsser, Martin. Der Junge von nebenan. Verbrecher Verlag, 2009. 

ISBN 13: 978-3940426406

This graphic novel tells the coming out story of a boy without a name, a boy in the 1970s.  The narrative combines the personal and the political as it is told against the backdrop of 1970s politics in West Germany.  It has been characterized as residing in the gray area between graphic novel and illustrated story.

Visually, the text features simple pencil sketches of various sizes and in a variety of layouts. The text is handwritten, which would make it difficult for American students to read.  There are also many pictures that graphically depict sex acts.

der junge von nebenan coverjunge von nebenan sample

adultGraphic sexual content.


Neubauer, Hannes. Das kleine Schwarze. Edition Moderne, 2011.

IBSN 13:978-3037310861

In a black humorous style, this book tells the story of the daily adventures of four roommates:  das kleine Schwarze, a women’s dress (machine washable), Couchy, a potato (mealy to waxy), L.B., a necktie (high quality and not well-heeled).

The artwork has been described as “street art style.”  The style matches the absurdity of the premise.

das kleine schwarze cover

E for everyoneNo questionable content, but some background may be needed to clarify some cultural elements or to explain the bizarre style of storytelling.