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Komische Künste

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Komische Künste

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Q21 Backstage: Cartoons as a popular yet underestimated genre receive support and promotion by the gallery, the shop, and publications of Komische Künste in the MuseumsQuartier Wien.

Cartoons are art with a high entertainment value. They are graphic artworks with a punchline, not just drawn jokes. That’s what makes them so appealing: They move at the interface between art and illustration.

Interview with Clemens Ettenauer: born 1986 in the countryside, in Vienna since 2007. After taking evening classes for his high school diploma, he started his training as a publishing assistant. In 2010, he founded Holzbaum Publishing House.

Who are you?

I am a publisher, a bookseller, a gallerist and an event organiser.

Since when have you been at Q21?

Since 2012. But Komische Künste has existed since 2010. I became involved in 2012 and have been the manager ever since.

What are your fields of activity?

I publish books, mostly with a connection to humour or Vienna, and organise cartoon exhibitions. Since 2013, I have also been hosting the indie book fair BuchQuartier, which is currently taking a break due to the coronavirus. The thing I enjoy most about everyday work is our Facebook pages ‘Wien in leiwanden Grafiken’ and ‘Österreich in leiwanden Grafiken’, where we use pie and bar charts to make satirical comments on life.

Cartoons are art because…?

…they are the result of a creative process.

How do you reach your goals?

When I’m enthusiastic about something, I just get started instead of overthinking. I also use very long to-do lists.

What challenges do you face?

Since we don’t receive any subsidies, it has become more and more important that our books appeal to the markets. Still, we want to keep a certain standard, because otherwise it wouldn’t be fun anymore.

What's the special thing about cartoons?

They can help us become more relaxed about things that make us angry, because they allow us to laugh at them

Cartoons can…?

…make people laugh and think.

Photo: Marlene Karpischek

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