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A Prussian Blues


Simon Spruyt

Prussia, early 20th century. Ludwig von Schlitt grows up among the nobility, in an environment full of faded glory. His father lost a leg for his country, which is why Ludwig and his older brother Oswald are privileged to attend the Köslin cadet school, where King Wilhelm II is revered as an omnipresent deity. Their embittered mother has been in a sanatorium for years, a long way from the castle where the housekeeper is the only remaining member of staff and where entire wings have been closed off to save money. The introverted Ludwig blossoms when he discovers his special talent for shooting. Tasked with the maintenance of a new machine gun, he decides to change the course of history when the king visits the cadet school.

Stylistically blowing the reader away
Jury Willy Vandersteen Prize

In ‘Junker’ Simon Spruyt draws an impressive and opulent family drama. His self-imposed restriction of working exclusively in shades of Prussian blue adds to the melancholic atmosphere of loss that haunts the Von Schlitt family. By depriving secondary characters of faces, Spruyt foregrounds his main characters, which further reinforces their isolation. Once again, he shows us what a versatile artist he is, both as a draughtsman and a script writer. With fully developed characters, stunning drawings and a sophisticated script-with-a-twist Spruyt consolidates his reputation as one of Flanders’ most original comic artists.

Brilliant use of the narrative and graphic possibilities of comics
German promotional film for 'Junker'