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Comic artist Maki Shimizu in conversation with Gesa Ufer (moderator); music by Illute

We want to experience culture, be outside and among people: So we're making a Kesselhaus Summer Stage, the "Kesselhaus Summer Stage"! In September, we're going to extend it - and present visitors with literary events on the roof of the KulturBrauerei: book presentations with talk and music.

In conversation with Gesa Ufer (radioeins), Japanese comic artist Maki Shimizu will present her graphic novel "Über Leben" on September 9. The evening will be musically accompanied by the singer/songwriter Illute.

Maki Shimizu's fourth comic book publication with Jaja Verlag has it all. Just these weighty topics alone, which the comic artist faces courageously and completely without rose-colored glasses: It's about death and murder, about gentrification and homelessness, about trauma and prostate, about domestic violence and child abuse, but ultimately also about love and depth.

It's the bad underbelly of life that Maki Shimizu (over)draws in "About Life," and it's the existential problems, mostly left out of society, that she takes on with a great deal of empathy, telling a thrilling comic crime story in the process. With soft and hard pencil drawing, she captures the heavy themes in a nuanced, blunt, yet gentle way. We already know the two main characters from volumes Adagio 1-3 (which you don't need to have read to understand this story), they are friends Maki-Mouse and Adagio the cat. Now we get to know their new studio community and there the existential problems start first with a drastic rent increase.

Maki Shimizu has created a remarkable and heart-touching graphic novel about life with "About Life," with well-portioned subtle humor and masterful draftsmanship.
With deep feeling, a distinctive voice, powerful lyrics and a melancholy that is unique in the German pop world, she takes us on her very personal journey about Bad Guys, quicksand and the addiction to dopamine. "So far I lack the courage, let me out of your quicksand" we listen to her and in the end she is redeemed after all. Happy ending.

Sponsored by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe through the Foundation for Cultural Education and Cultural Consulting as part of the DRAUSSENSTADT initiative.

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Participating artists
Maki Shizimu