Comic Book / Mosaik

Mosaik is a German comic magazine. It was founded in East Germany in 1955 to counter the "bad influence" of capitalist comic books, which before the building of the Wall could still reach East German readers fairly easily. Mosaik thus became the affordable alternative which supplied not comics, but Bildergeschichten (picture-stories) to the children of the republic of workers and peasants.

For 223 issues the main feature told the continuing saga of the kobold-like Digedags - Dig, Dag, and Digedag - in different periods of world history. These creations of the Hannes Hegen (pen-name of artist Johannes Eduard Hegenbarth, 1925-2014) were a huge success in the German Democratic Republic and were also exported to West Germany, Austria, Hungary, Finland and the Netherlands. However, when Hegen left the magazine in 1975 the feature had to be continued because he owned the creative rights to the characters (a somewhat different situation to the one of many comics creators in the "Free West"). The stories continue to be available in reprint produced by other publishers.

Since 1976 the numbering started anew and the Digedags have been replaced by the rather similar trio of the three Die Abrafaxe - Abrax, Brabax, and Califax - who were designed by Lona Rietschel. With the Abrafaxe Mosaik continued to go from strength to strength and even successfully mastered the transition to capitalism after 1990. The Abrafaxe continue to appear in Mosaik and various spin-offs, and since 2008 there is a quarterly spin-off series featuring their distaff counterparts, Anna, Bella, and Caramella.

German-speakers can consult Mosaik's own wiki, the Mosapedia.

Tropes to be found in Mosaik during the Digedags era and in general:

  • Alliterative Names: Dig, Dag, and Digedag, obviously. Also their most successful supporting character, Ritter Runkel ("Knight Runkel").
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Digedags consisted of black-haired Dig, blond Dag and red-headed Digedag. The pattern continued with Abrax (blond), Brabax (redhead), and Califax (black hair) and their respective counterparts Anna, Bella, and Caramella.
  • Breakout Character: The 13th-century knight Ritter Runkel, famed for his rhymed "rules of chivalry", who debuted in No. 90.
  • Cold War: The Digedags appeared since 1955, but the only story arc where the politics of the day were to some extent reflected was the space series (No. 25-44).
  • The High Middle Ages: The Ritter Runkel arc.
  • Spin-Off: While after 1975 no new Digedags stories were published, there have been four text novels about Ritter Runkel (2002-2012) written by his co-creator Lothar Dräger and illustrated by Ulf S. Graupner.