Father and Son

E. O. Plauen (Author) Elke Schulze (Afterword by)
& 1 more
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Father and Son is one of the most beloved comic strips ever drawn--an uproarious, timeless ode to the pleasures, pitfalls, and endless absurdity of family life.

Father and Son is a slyly heartwarming, dizzyingly inventive classic in the tradition of Calvin and Hobbes and The Simpsons. Created in 1934 by the German political cartoonist Erich Ohser (using the pseudonym E.O. Plauen after being blacklisted for his opposition to the Nazi regime), the gruff, loving, mustachioed father and his sweet but troublemaking son embark on adventures both everyday and extraordinary: family photoshoots and summer vacations, shipwrecks and battles with gangsters, a Christmas feast with forest animals and a trip to the zoo. Drawn almost entirely without dialogue, the strips overflow with slapstick, fantasy, and anarchic visual puns. Father and Son remains an uproarious, timeless ode to the pleasures, pitfalls, and endless absurdity of family life.

This NYRC edition is an extra-wide hardcover with raised cover image, and features new English hand-lettering.

Product Details

New York Review Comics
Publish Date
May 09, 2017
9.7 X 1.0 X 6.4 inches | 1.4 pounds
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About the Author

E.O. Plauen was the pseudonym of Erich Ohser (1903-1944). In the 1920s, he studied art in Leipzig and began a career as a cartoonist and illustrator. He moved to Berlin in 1927, and began collaborating with his friend, the writer Erich Kästner, including drawing illustrations for Kästner's first book of poetry (which would later be burned by the Nazis). Ohser's caricatures of high-ranking Nazis such as Goebbels and Hitler led to his being banned from publishing after they took power. Unable to use his own name, he paired his initials, "E.O.," with "Plauen," the town he grew up in, and using this pseudonym created Vater und Sohn in 1934; it appeared in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, to great acclaim, until 1937. Though he was allowed to return to regular magazine work in 1940--his caricatures of Stalin were especially popular--he was arrested four years later by the Gestapo for disparaging the regime. The day before his trial, he committed suicide in his cell.

Joel Rotenberg was trained as a linguist and now translates from German and French. He lives in New York.


"A lovely new edition that will make an excellent stocking filler...if you don't know Plauen's strangely affecting work already, these are dialogue-free, slapstick adventures involving a gruff but loving father and his sweet but occasionally naughty son." --Rachel Cooke, The Guardian

"This gem of an unjustly forgotten book was originally published in the 1930s. German cartoonist Erich Ohser created this charming comic strip under the pen name E.O. Plauen after being barred by the Nazi government from drawing political cartoons....None of the darkness in his life can be seen in this sunny pantomime strip about a gruff but indulgent father and his mischievous, tousle-haired son. There's a warmth to the characters' relationship unusual in old gag cartoons....A perfect book for Father's Day." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Fatherhood is a many hued thing. Some moments are pure joy. Others contain levels of frustration you hadn't thought possible. Then there's the self-doubt and the love. It's a hard thing to capture in words -- trust us -- and a hard thing to capture in images and a hard thing to capture in both. That's why comic strips that offer even the slightest nod to the real experience of fatherhood, like Calvin & Hobbes, hit so hard. But no comic strip has captured a father's rapport with his son as beautifully or accurately as the largely forgotten German comic Father & Son." --Joshua David Stein, Fatherly