January 26 - Friends (#PhotoBlog365)

by Björn Roose January. 26, 2019 710 views

Honestly, there's not a lot of people which I would call "friends". Maybe (probably) I'm just not good at keeping that kind of relationship going. Not interested enough. Asking too much of my time. Two days in a week are really all mine and I like to share those with my girlfriend. Something along those lines.

There's one exception though: a guy I got to know in my favorite pub in Schaarbeek (Brussels), back when I used to live there, in the 1990's. We didn't see each other every week or so, but when we did, we had an amazing lot of fun.

Then I moved out of Brussels and we lost contact entirely (we only met in that pub, did never exchange phone numbers or addresses). Actually I lost contact with everybody I had known there, except for the people I worked with.

But this guy stumbled over the blog of a certain Björn Roose some ten years later and asked himself whether that could be the Björn Roose he had known. So he contacted this Björn Roose via that blog and indeed ... that was me. His place however was some 100 kilometers apart from mine so we didn't see each other often even after that.

And then came the day on which I lost the job I had been doing for fifteen years. On that exact day he called me to ask if I was interested in doing a project with him. Since I had some time on my hands I said yes.

My friend's name is Patrick Giets and that project is a comic called The Maier Files. It started as an indy project and despite the fact that Patrick has invested years in it (he just had to tell this story), it has remained so. Publishers find it "not easy enough", the characters are "too complicated", it's "not clear who are the good guys and the bad guys". And they are at least partly right about that. I have always been amazed that with every episode Patrick managed to stay in line with what he had written before (I mainly do correction of the English, translation to Dutch, suggestions for other view points or additions to the scenario), but as he says: the characters tell him what the story should be, not the other way round. And the characters are not just your average superheroes or neighbourhood kids. They are gods and goddesses, scientists, people running black lodges, secret service guys, fractions of superpowers (the US, national socialist Germany, the Vatican, the UK) fighting each other, and caught up in the middle of that a Flemish-German couple and a guy called Rolf Dietrich, (former) leader of a renegade Waffen SS-commando. Really nobody there which can be easily defined as good or bad. The baseline of the story is "Trust no one" after all.

But still, there's friends in this story too: this renegade Waffen SS-commando. At times they find it hard to trust their leader Rolf, but their friendship keeps them together, even when most of the time they don't have a clue what is going on around them.

Here's a shot of two of the pages of Awakening, Book 2 of the series, which feature this group of friends; underneath you'll find a few shots my girlfriend did back in 2014 while we were discussing Book 0, The legacy.

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Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

I have no idea how  I missed this entry when you originally posted it but glad I stumbled upon it. First of all the narrative is very interesting. Obviously this was a friendship that was meant to be. Secondly love the pics really shows two people that are connected. 
As to the graphic novel at first glance it reminded me of Maus books 1 &2 and then I though boy if I were still teaching this book would definitely find its home on my bookshelf at school. It would be the perfect graphic novel for some of my boys who did not like to read and reminded me of that fact but would pick up a graphic novel and get mesmerized. Well done Bjorn smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks, Camellia smile I've always been a reader myself, but I for one got interested in history mainly because of reading eurocomics (which are indeed closer to the graphic novel than to the kind of comics firms like Marvel or DC produce) as a boy. I think Patrick is gonna be happy with the Maus comparison. But I'll have to explain him about Maus (I've read it, but he has never been a big comics fan like me) smile

1 year, 9 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski 1 year, 10 months ago

Very cool! I love the photos, and the story behind the friendship. I always find it interesting how collaborations like this happen. Sounds (and looks) like a really fun project to be involved in.

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 10 months ago

It is indeed, Bethany smile

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Lisa Britton 1 year, 10 months ago

What a great story, and a true friendship.
Great shots.

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Lisa Britton 1 year, 10 months ago

Thanks, Lisa smile

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 10 months ago

And I love this kind of graphic novel.

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 10 months ago

Me too smile Funny thing is Patrick didn't know I was into comics when he asked me for the project ... smile

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 10 months ago

Hope a publisher publishes it.

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 10 months ago

That would be a good thing, yeah. He does sell in pdf and print on demand via the site, but that doesn't get the comic in shops (and thus with the comic readers), even apart from the fact that he has to ask rather high prices for the printer version.

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva 1 year, 10 months ago

A fascinating personal story!! girlfriend took some great shots

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 10 months ago

I'll tell her smile

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
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