Werner is the most successful German comic, with more than 10 million books and even more tickets for the movies sold. Created by Rötger Feldmann a.k.a. Brösel, it started in 1981 as an underground comic, but after the Porsche vs. Horex race in Hartenholm in 1988 and even more after the premiere of the first movie, Werner - Beinhart!, it entered the mainstream.Werner is a guy from northern Germany who particularly likes two things: beer and heavily customized motorbikes. The movies display him as a plumber apprentice, as does the flashback-like Lehrjahre sind keine Herrenjahre series in some of the books, the first book also shows him in several other jobs which he keeps messing up, often deliberately, and otherwise unemployed and enjoying it. He keeps clashing with governmental agencies, especially with the police, usually represented by the two village cops Bruno and Helmut. In earlier books, he is sometimes seen in company of Ölfuß (based on the real-life motorbike customizer who built the Red Porsche Killer later on), and from the fifth book on, his most frequent companion is his brother Andi (based on Brösel's real-life brother Andi who is also Andi's voice actor in the movies), and he also often meets the bikers from the MC Kläppstuhl since then.
Werner – Oder was? (1981)
Werner – Alles klar? (1982)
Werner – Wer sonst? (1983)
Werner – Eiskalt! (1985)
Werner – Normal ja! (1987)
Werner – Besser is das! (1989)
Werner – Ouhauerha! (1992)
Werner – Wer bremst hat Angst! (1984)
Werner – Na also! (1996)
Werner – Exgummibur! (1998)
Werner – Volle Latte! (2002)
Werner – Freie Bahn mit Marzipan! (2004)
Werner – Beinhart! (1990)
Werner – Das muss kesseln!!! (1996)
Werner – Volles Rooäää!!! (1999)
Werner – Gekotzt wird später! (2003)
Werner – Eiskalt! (2011)
Contains examples of the following tropes:
The Alleged Car: Andi's Ford Taunus 17m in "Besser is das!" (Normal ja!) and Gekotzt wird später!
Art Evolution: Can be watched throughout Oder was? and over the course of the first eight books. The drawings got clearer and more detailed. Eiskalt! let a shade of gray enter. Some stories from Normal ja! on were inked, yet still remained grayscale. Ouhauerha! was the first book in color, and when its successor Wer bremst hat Angst! was released, the art had evolved so much that people decided this wasn't the Werner they knew and loved anymore, also because hardly anything was actually drawn by Brösel himself anymore rather than the staff of artists he had hired meanwhile.
Art Shift: After the complaints about the books from Wer bremst hat Angst! to Exgummibur!, Brösel sort of went back to the roots and drew almost all of Volle Latte! himself in a much simpler style. The only exceptions are the very beginning which parodies the mainstream-compatible, high-quality Werner drawings and guest drawings by Jörg Reymann who had done a lot of drawing for Brösel before, this time in his unmistakable own style which was intended to clash with Brösel's, also to mock the fact that Brösel couldn't draw women.
Author Avatar: Some believed that Werner and Brösel are the same person. In fact, however, Brösel's Author Avatar has been a Werner look-alike with glasses in the first few books. Around the time when Beinhart! was produced with Brösel starring as himself in the live-action parts, he drew a more faithful comic version of himself that also appears in later books.
Brösel drew both himself and guest artist Jörg Reymann into Volle Latte! He went by the name Ørg to make it less obvious.
Beach Episode: Usually involves Flachköpper (head dives in shallow water).
The Beautiful Game: Not quite that beautiful. The unvoluntary "soccer games" in Wer sonst?/Beinhart! and Volle Latte!/Gekotzt wird später! both follow this principle: Werner tosses a soccer ball into the middle of a crowded place (a market square and a camping lot respectively) and comments on the ensuing chaos like a sports reporter.
Brand X: Played straight by fictional brands such as Coma Pils and parody brands like Happlage & Schnappe or Kastrat. Averted with most brand names, though, particularly vehicle brands and models, both existing and defunct (Horex, Harley-Davidson, Lanz, Hanomag, Bentley, Honda, Allgeier...), and beer brands (Flensburger, Faxe, shoving a bottle of Beck's into the fourth wall).
Brösel: And I said, "Werner, don't do that!" But HE doesn't listen.
Chainsaw Good: The Dolmette, a bike with 24 chainsaw motors! It was designed and built before it entered the comic.
In Gekotzt wird später!, Andi uses a chainsaw to top chop the Oldsmobile in one quick swipe.
Cool Bike: Lots. The fact that Brösel is a motorcycle nut and draws extremely realistic (but often still wacky) bikes helps a lot.
Werner's bike in the first book, Oder was?, was an entirely fictional Horex Regina made up in the fashion of US choppers of the 1970s, complete with a long springer fork and Iron Cross rear-view mirrors. Werner says he rides Horex because he gets sick from riding BMW. He also has a personal dislike against Harley-Davidson.
Toddl's T-shirt: On the 8th day, God created Harley Davidson
Werner: He must've had a bad day.
In the second book, Alles klar?, he got the same Horex Regina 400 chopper that Brösel was working on, only in the state the bike would have been in, had it ever been finished the way it was planned, including a candle as a headlight. This was also the first book in which Brösel drew Harleys for almost all the other bikers, sometimes tricked out in ludicrous ways (fuel tank that's half aquarium, sidecar made of a small wooden door, an armchair, footrests, a wheel, and an ashtray, red lantern for tail light, and so on). In one story in the fourth book, Eiskalt!, it was equipped with gimmicks such as the Wurstblinker (sausage blinker - yep, a blinker that shoots sausages and other food items) which reappears in the tuned-up version in the first movie, Beinhart!
The fourth book also featured the "Red Porsche Killer", a Horex made for defeating a 1972 Porsche 911 S owned by Brösel's then-publisher and "manager" Holgi in a race. Four (!) Horex Regina 400 engines totally rebuilt out of aluminum and stroked from 400ccm to 610ccm each were built into a dragster frame painted metalflake pink. The "Red Porsche Killer" was built in real life and actually ran two races against said Porsche.
After years of riding Horex, Werner decided to build his very own motorbike in the late 90s. The heart of this machine was a 1000ccm (61cui) single which gave it the name "Satte Literschüssel"; when it was built for real, it turned out this behemoth had a displacement of 1444ccm (88cui), still in one cylinder only. The motor was so big that it became a supporting part of the frame. Other features included a fork mostly made of wood and a shovel blade for a seat. The Name "Satte Literschüssel" is also a wordplay with "Satelitenschüssel" which means Satelite Dish.
Around the same time, Andi built the tiniest bike of the Wernersen (Feldmann) fleet, the Notkessel. A motorcycle mostly made of stainless steel, even smaller than a Honda Monkey, but powered by a 175ccm Honda twin which looks almost huge in the tiny frame. Despite being quite tall, Andi can actually ride it, and it appears in some comics, too.
As revealed in the documentary book Die Kulteisen der Wernersens, Andi built quite a number of other more or less weird bikes before the Notkessel, for example the Vampire, a bike made of parts Andi just had lying around, including two complete BSA power plants.
Then there was the Dolmette (see Chainsaw Good) which wasn't designed by either Feldmann brother for a change but by an engineer from Dolmar (Hamburg). There's little that's cooler than a motorcycle with 24 working engines.
Another wacky idea was the Heizölkessel, based on a vibration-free parallel twin engine with two crankshafts prescribed by a doctor and acquired at a pharmacy. Due to a crazy bet against speedbikers, Werner rebuilt it to a turbocharged diesel and fit it into a comfortable chopper frame. This bike sort of came true, too: It is named Neander and built by a Kiel-based company. It does have a working two-cylinder, twin-crankshaft turbo-diesel with lots of horsepower, and it is currently the second most expensive production bike in the world.
Cool Car: The Metülisator, a car with a radial engine from a World War II warbird(!) running on methyl alcohol.
And the Regentenschüssel, the heavily customized 1975 Oldsmobile 98 Regency featured in the fourth movie, Gekotzt wird später!
Nobelschröder's Bentley Blower (with a living supercharger) might count, too. After all, it can keep up with the 1,500hp Metülisator in Wer bremst hat Angst!
Cross Over: Dex & Dogfort appear in Volle Latte!, drawn by Jörg Reymann himself. In retour, Werner appears in the third Dex & Dogfort book, Schlachthofgiganten.
In the story about Wilhelm Busch's 150th birthday at the end of Alles klar?, Werner and Wilhelm Busch let loose his characters from Max and Moritz because they find the celebration boring.
Cult: The Bhagwan sect in Sektenquatsch und Eiermatsch. In the course of this story, former Bhagwan followers even start a new cult around Werner who manages to send the whole bunch to Tibet to find Master Renrew.
Werners Platte, a record produced by Brösel and the Fuckin' Kius Band, contains a song named "Bhagwan" which mocks the sect.
Dada Comics: Some one-pagers can only described as that.
The Danza: Andi, brother of Werner / his creator Rötger Feldmann
Defictionalization: The beer Werner drinks, some of the vehicles, and the Horex vs. Porsche race.
Executive Meddling: The title of the sixth book, Besser is das!, had to be censored after the first edition because the Flensburger brewery understood it as comparative advertising in favor of Werner's recently launched own beer brand, "Bölkstoff". Werner had been drinking Flensburger beer all the time before, in fact, he was the reason behind the immense increase in popularity for the small brewery near the Danish border in the 1980s.
Likewise, merch with the "Red Porsche Killer" on it had to be censored upon "request" by Porsche. Also, the book Das Rennen names it "Red XXXXXX Killer".
Flanderization: Meister Röhrich just was a bit peculiar at the beginning, but later he reached The Ditz levels of stupidity. (The funny work-related accidents he went through during the series may have helped, though)
Funetik Aksent: All dialects in the comics are written the way they're pronounced. And there are a lot of dialect speakers.
German Dialects: Various northern ones feature prominently (makes sense, the comic is set in the northernmost part of Germany) After the first movie appeared and Werner for the first time became popular in the whole of Germany many people from the south of Germany thought the language was made up just for the movie and nobody would really speak like that.
Guilty Pleasures: After Werner provoked an all-out brawl on a bazar by throwing a soccer ball and commented the brawl, pretending it to be a soccer match, he said the following after the "match":
Werner: "Nicht ganz fair, aber fein" (German for something like "Not quite fair, but quite neat").
Horny Vikings: The actor in the Faxe beer TV commercial gone wrong around the end of "Sektenquatsch und Eiermatsch" in the book Alles klar?
Hospital Hottie: Brösel's nurse in Beinhart!. Averted by the pesky nurses in Wer sonst?, though.
I'll Take Two Beers Too: Probably one of Brösel's favorite jokes. Started in "Pioniere des Metülzeitalters" in the book Ouhauerha!: Werner orders two beers, Andi wants two, too. Werner then orders four beers straight away, Andi orders another four for himself. This repeats with four liquors (times two) and another four beers (times two). It's taken to the extreme in the fourth movie, Gekotzt wird später! with seven beers and another seven for everyone else.
Impossible Task: In order to join Werner's "club", Hugo has every single former Bhagwan member open a bottle of beer with a raw egg. The result gives "Sektenquatsch und Eiermatsch" half of its title.
Just for Pun: The jokes with bears (Bärenwitze) and grebes (Taucherwitze; "Taucher" also translates to "diver") are just a few of many examples, almost none of which translate into English properly.
Lemming Cops: Bruno and Helmut during their first appearance in "Werner macht die Grünen blau" when they both still look the same and have about the same amount of brain. Punch drunk, they try to chase Werner and end up driving against the traffic on the wrong side of a six-lane Autobahn, hitting several cars on their way, and eventually stopping the entire traffic because they believe everyone else is driving the wrong way.
Hörni: You shan't say "something", you shall say something.
Right Behind Me: Werner and his buddy make silly rhymes like: "The idiot, the idiot / wore a sweater that was red". Of course, The Brute who wears a red sweater sits behind Werner and proceeds to beat out his lights. While making a rhyme himself. Note: The original comic was b/w, so Brösel had to scribble "RED" all over the sweater instead.
Sdrawkcab Name: Master Renrew who is claimed to be in Tibet and able to teach the former Bhagwan members how to open a bottle with a raw egg. He's of course Werner's invention to get rid of the Bhagwan horde.
Self-Deprecation: In the title story in Volle Latte!, Werner wants Brösel to draw a woman for him and ends up complaining that Brösel can't draw women. Up to and including this book, Brösel really couldn't draw beautiful women. Werner's dream woman had to be drawn by Jörg Reymann both in the making of the comic and In-Universe.
Take That: For a long time, Werner's publisher "Holgi" featured prominently in the comic. After he changed the publisher, the character appeared for a last time (only named as "Porsche driver"), to have his Porsche crushed first by the Metülisator and then by Nobelschröder's Bentley.
Holgi's reply: He had a comic book drawn with himself as the main character named Holgi - Räum das Feld, Mann!
Talking Animal: Appear in some stories, the grebe jokes and bear jokes in particular.
Talking to Himself: Andi (the real one) speaks the characters of Andi, Röhrich and other ones
Technology Porn: Brösel can't draw women (at least, he couldn't for most of his career), but boy, can he draw machines and vehicles!
The Red Porsche Killer concept drawings in Eiskalt!, provided by the real-life Ölfuß, definitely count, too. While he drew them, he kept stating that it's possible to actually build all that. He did, and it worked.
Among the reasons for Werner to throw up are riding a BMW motorcycle and seeing a German motorcycle cop dressed in green coveralls on the old white and green police bikes. His brother Andi sometimes has to hurl upon spotting Japanese sports bikes.
In "Dieselterror" in Volle Latte!, riding humongous singles gets the better of Werner. He is so shaken that he feels he can't drink beer anymore. When he does, he immediately throws up several cubic meters of foam.
Write Who You Know: Many characters in the first few books are real-life acquaintances of Brösel or his brother Andi. Most of them haven't even been renamed. In the early books Meister Röhrich had the name of his reallife counterpart, but he sued against it, so the name was changed to Röhrich.