What was it all about? Jarmo Dorak paced up and down his room again. They had been very kind. They had gradually given him access to the Internet and other information. But not more. He still couldn’t get in touch with the outside world. Yes, he no longer had a family, but there were sure to be friends who were worried about him. He had found it was six years since he disappeared. He had to catch up these six years first. And he couldn’t believe what had happened on earth. One of the biggest countries on the planet on the brink of a civil war that was forced by fanatical gun enthusiasts. The climate change. The pandemic. And it was precisely this moment that the curator had chosen to let Jarmo fall back into this reality from the “between space”.
The people at ASTROCOHORS had said they would need to consult. Then they would make a decision. Oh yes, he had completely forgotten that with the other catastrophes: The blockade of the solar system by an unknown force that called itself the HIGH HAND. The solar system was thus cut off from the rest of the galaxy. And as before, the earth was on its own. With all these crazy people … Jarmo’s mind whirled back and forth again. They wanted to make a decision. But about what? Okay about him. But what exactly should this decision concern? Would you finally let him go? Or should he stay here in the ATLANTIS base, locked up in this room? Just what he’s the last … He counted in his mind. August September October November December. Five months! It’s been five months. He had tried to distract himself like they had said. He had done research about six missed years and penned a few reports, just as he had done in the “between space.” “Computer!” He called into the room. The ATLANTIS base computer was specially configured for him. He couldn’t address the system directly. Everything he asked for was checked beforehand by a monitor program. That’s why he couldn’t address artificial intelligence by its real name – ARNOLD. The computer beeped in response. “Play me a song,” ordered Dorak. “The Song of the Language of Shakespeare …” The computer beeped again and shortly afterwards a strange song could be heard, parts of which Jarmo sang softly along.
“Hello, you bloody anglophonians, from London to L.A…. Among you are very few who speak a foreign language, but we do… The language of Shakespeare you can smoke in the pipe…”
He sat down again. Wasn’t it New Year’s Eve today? Would they at least wish him a happy new year? As far as he understood, the fireworks were off this year anyway. But then he heard a noise. Was there someone coming?
Many careers of famous franco-belgian comic artists started when they were working at a comic magazine. Theses magazines were the foundations of European comic culture. In this episode, Jarmo Dorak takes a look at four of them who were very famous – and one of them is even published until today…
Even in dark times there can be light… the artist Erich Ohser, known under his pen name E.O. Plauen lived in the darkest times but was still able to bring a bit of light. His short cartoon stories of “The Adventures of Father and Son” show a critical view at the time he lived in. And they are still beloved until today. So Jarmo Dorak takes a closer look at some of Ohser’s work.
The book of the Adventures of “Father and Son” can be ordered on AMAZON right here (sponsored link):
The ATLANTIS base conference room was hectic. Messages were passed on as they came in. “The BOURGOGNE reports, second squadron of enemy spaceships destroyed, a third is on the way to Uranus!” “The HEART OF GLASS destroyed another squadron.” “The radar has lost contact with the alien space station.” At the last report, Admiral McCloud pricked up his ears. He crossed the room to one of the tables. It was Commander Gibeur herself who was in charge here. “What was that?” Asked McCloud. “Enlighten me.”
Gibeur called up an image on a small pad that showed a section of the solar system. In the middle of the picture was the planet Uranus and two markings: “BOURGOGNE” and “FREEDOM BALLOON”. “We have received a message from BOURGOGNE”, explained Gibeur. “During the fighting, a huge space station suddenly appeared, here.” Another point appeared in the picture. The point moved out of the shadow of the planet. “How can such a huge thing come to this planet unnoticed?” Asked McCloud. “We don’t know, sir,” admitted Gibeur. “We did not receive any radar echo before either. Perhaps the surface of this station consists of something that camouflages it. In any case, the FREEDOM BALLOON shot at the alien space station, whereupon it withdrew. See, here!” The screen showed how the point of the alien space station was moving faster and faster from Uranus. The course was away from the planet’s orbit towards the edge of the solar system when suddenly the point disappeared. “What has happened there?” “We don’t know, sir! The station may have made itself invisible to the radar again. We also have no further sightings of the station. It seems to be something like a command ship. It seems to be identical to a station, that Grand Admiral Prawn was looking for. “ “Prawn,” McCloud growled. “Could it be that he was on the space station?” “Possibly. We don’t exactly know. But it would look like him and his HIGH HAND.” The HIGH HAND! Yes, in fact, fueling a conflict is exactly what the HIGH HAND would do. An internal war in the solar system. At the end of the conflict, someone will be the leader. Scurra thought it was him. He would be the space emperor. But the mysterious leader of the HIGH HAND, Prawn’s Commander, wanted this title for himself. And he wouldn’t share, not even with Scurra.
“Sir!” Someone called at that moment. “Message from Jupiter: the alien forces are withdrawing!” “The same from Mercury!” More and more identical messages came in. It was always about the attackers withdrawing. But the radar revealed that they were not gone. They withdrew to the edge of the system. The blockade would then remain. Commander Gibeur activated the large main screen again and looked at the map of the solar system. “For now it looks like we’ve won,” she said. “But something is wrong.” “Yes,” confirmed McCloud. “Because we didn’t win. We just held out long enough for the enemy to lose interest. Now this enemy is gathering at the edge of the solar system and is waiting to strike again.” Gibeur looked at her pad. “What I see here, we are lucky enough that Lokubami is under control and we will see a new praetor today.” McCloud nodded weakly. “Still that. But we saw how sensitive it all is. We stood on the precipice of fascism. One step further and the solar system would have plunged into chaos. We have to do something.” “What do you have in mind, Admiral?” “I’m going to make a very lonely decision now. Maybe it’s wrong. But like I just said, we have to do something. Our weakest point is undoubtedly the Earth. The Terrans are unable to cope with the diversity they offer Galaxis offers to deal with. We have to do something first! Make Terra wise again. Something like that. “ “And how is that supposed to work?” “I will consult with my fellow admirals. But I think we will transfer this task to the ASTROCOHORS CLUB. We had this team, this Ostap Yefimov and his people. They seemed to be quite capable. They should take over the task To redesign ASTROCOHORS CLUB. Hell, we have to redesign ASTROCOHORS as a whole.“ The admiral turned to the door. “I’ll have a talk with the officers in a moment,” he said. “If the enemy shows up again, let me know!”
“Why is it always with an alarm?” Yelled Admiral McCloud into the room. “It’s amazing, some people need some sleep and we have an emergency! What is it?”
The crew gathered in the conference room looked towards the door. McCloud had stopped in the doorway. The alarm was still ringing through the corridors of ATLANTIS base. “Can anyone turn off the noise?” Asked McCloud. “I think they are all gathered.” “All but you, sir,” confirmed Commander Gibeur, who was standing at a table. She had switched on the projection screen. An overview map of the solar system could be seen on the screen. And points that moved between planets. Something had happened. “Well, I’m here now,” said McCloud. “So what’s up?” Gibeur brushed her hair back from her face. She was quite tense. “It happens what we had long feared. The Armada, which has been shielding the solar system from the outside world for almost a month, has started moving. A squadron is moving towards Uranus.” “Uranus!” McCloud’s eyes widened. “So they really want to disrupt the ceremony?” “I don’t think they just want to disrupt the ceremony,” said Gibeur. “They want to prevent them. Intelligence reports say that Scurra, the now deposed Praetor of Lokubami, has moved to an unknown location. Armed militias are moving towards the capital of Lokubami. We must suspect that they want to implement Scurra’s plan, in which he is proclaimed emperor. “ McCloud shook his head. “Why always emperor? Praetor is also a nice office and when you’re done, you just leave.” “You know, sir,” Gibeur pointed out, “that those who have power are always afraid of losing it again. The only question is: what do we do now?” All the officers in the room stared at McCloud in awe. The decision he had to make now was not an easy one. “Which ship is nearby?” Asked the admiral. “The BOURGOGNE,” replied Gibeur. “She is in the same position and is watching the situation exactly as we are.”
“Basically we have no choice,” McCloud stated. “Our job is to protect freedom, peace and democracy. Even if democracy is as strangely shaped as in Lokubami. But we cannot risk losing that. Get in touch with BOURGOGNE. They have to stop the squadron.” . If the BOURGOGNE should ask for support … do we have other ships nearby? “ “The HEART OF GLASS would still be available.” “The HEART OF GLASS, of all things,” McCloud grumbled. “Okay, if the worst comes to the worst, let’s use them. But to be on the safe side, put the fleet on alert. Who knows what the alien armada is up to. We may have to help out in many places in the solar system. And we have… To save Earth!” “Yes, sir! I will inform the BOURGOGNE immediately.” “And to everyone else: I need tactics and suggestions! Look at the maps, the strength of the Armada, all the information you need. This could be difficult today and I want us to be prepared!” The officers immediately got to work. In the meantime, Commander Gibeur spoke to the BOURGOGNE, who immediately set out to intercept the foreign squadron.
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