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Comic Strip / Vater und Sohn

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Vater und Sohn is a German b/w comic strip by Erich Ohser aka e.o.plauen that tells about the hijinks in the life of a father and his son. It was published weekly during 1934-37 in the Berliner Illustrirten Zeitung.

Before you ask: Yes, this was during the time of Nazi Germany. Here's the background: The artist had made anti-nazi caricatures during the Weimar Republic, so when Those Wacky Nazis came to power, he was forbidden to publish anything. They only made an exception since V+S was completely unpolitical, and published under a pseudonym. And even so, he still had trouble with the nazis - he ended up committing suicide in Gestapo custody.



  • The Chain of Harm: Great-grandfather once tries to make a photo of his descendants: grandfather, father and son strike a weird pose that collapses before great-grandfather can shoot the photo, breaking a background prop in the process. Great-grandfather takes out his anger on grandfather by slaping him, who then slaps father, who in turn slaps son. The son's reaction is not depicted.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The mother only appeared in the first few strips.
  • Corporal Punishment: used often, mostly for comedic purpose: father punishing his son, the teacher/headmaster punishing father for doing badly in school (after father helped son with homework), great-grandfather slaping grandfather, who in turn slaps father, who slaps son, all for ruining a photograph.
  • Generation Xerox: When we meet the grandfather and great-grandfather.
  • Advertisement:
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": It seems more like No Name Given initially. But then we see: They even sign with "Vater" and "Sohn".
  • Message in a Bottle: when father and son are stranded on a lonely island, father sends one to the headmaster of his son's school to excuse his absence.
  • Name and Name: Father and Son are the main characters and typically also the only characters to appear in a strip.
  • The Punishment Is the Crime: When the son smokes a pipe - in front of his father - the father reacts by simply not doing anything. It doesn't take too long, and the son feels sick from the tobacco and leaves, probably for the bathroom.
  • Tricked into Signing: Son once brings home a test with a bad grade which thus has to be shown to and signed by his father. To avoid his father's ire, he instigates a game where they try out their signatures blindfolded and slips his test among the blank papers they write on.
  • Silence Is Golden: the entire comic is without speech-bubbles, instead conveying the information through facial expressions, gesture, and often over-the-top body-language, as well as, on occasion, inscriptions (for example: a package of raisins labeled with "Rosinen" - raisins).
  • Single Malt Vision: In one strip, the father gets so drunk, he thinks he has four sons and buys four tickets for him.
  • Sore Loser: The father isn't pleased when he gets defeated by the son in Chess.
  • Utility Weapon: father and son once bake a cake with raisins... only to forget the raisins. So the son takes their rifle from the wall, the father loads it with raisins, and proceeds to fire the raisins into the cake.