A message to the taxman

20 Jan

This morning I read an article on Albert Uderzo’s fiscal problems in the paper. It’s not so much that he evades taxes (at least it was not mentioned), but that some official all of a sudden is no longer willing to accept Uderzo’s authorship of “Asterix and Obelix“, a hugely popular series of comic books in Europe sind 1959. The official now says, Uderzo was merely René Goscinny’s illustrating employee, and has therefore to pay 203.000 € tax for author’s royalties Uderzo had claimed illegally. While this seems ridiculous – after all, after Goscinny died in 1977 – Uderzo also wrote the texts starting in 1979 and both men have made it clear several times that they had developed “Asterix and Obelix” together, sitting on a balcony, drinking Pastis and smoking cigarettes – it makes me want to state the following:

Adewani is a team of a writer (Achim Wagner) and an artist (Jörg Nittenwilm).
We don’t smoke.
We never had a Pastis together, we prefer coffee while working.
We work as a team.
Should we ever sell a copy, we share 50-50.
Development of text and illustrations are inseparable. Hence the joint name Adewani.

Who knows, maybe one day some fiscal officer gone wild might accuse one of us to be a fraud. In this case this post should set him right: The idea came up in a Café (Winzig) in Andernach, Germany in 2006.
We sat at a table too small for all the children’s picture books (for reference on what has been done by others). I had three stories to choose from, but soon after our third coffee I came up with an idea for another, which of course we jumped upon – together. Jörg did a few sketches of office appliances gone wild (they were soon replaced by “monsters”), we spun the story a little further and had some more coffee. Needless to say that the story changed a lot over the following weeks, but so did the sketches. As soon as the characters had their faces their character became ore clear and so illustration and text influenced each other along the way. So, Mr. Taxman of the future – it was all done by Adewani. Together.





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