When an ugly man is sad

  Only later did I notice that there was a small star next to that face, a hexagonal shape, a symbol of the Jewish people.
  They started fighting, like two sponge-padded gloves, and the people who had just come up the escalator looked at them. The children stood on either side, puzzled in his eyes, and a man parried and fought back, his roar was terrifying: “Let them take care of the children! Let them take care of themselves!”
  E. O. Braun, you see Yet? The six cartoons you drew are now in front of me with real scenes and dubbed voices. In the comics, the children fight, the adults who heard the sound quarrel, and then there is a mouth, then punches and kicks. Same. However, there is no humor in contrast in this scene that I have seen. The children stand on both sides and look at it in confusion. The way the adults fight is really ugly, so ugly.
  Adults are ugly, this is what I have recognized since I was a child. Handsome adults only exist in comic strips, such as Liang Shanbo’s characters with protagonist temperament. Adults in reality have the habit of frowning and the potential to be furious. There are too many reasons for them to have a straight face. There are also ugly children, but the reason why a child is ugly is often because his face and demeanor are too adult-like, because his frowning, squinting, and pouting are too natural, because when he fights, his mouth flies out. Words that adults can use. The adults in the comics are also ugly. You see Braun’s father, who is bald, with broom eyebrows, small eyes, a big belly, and has the kind of beard of an old-school German man on his nose and mouth. However, this kind of ugliness is understandable and forgivable: comics want to make people laugh, how can they not be ugly?
  ”Father and Son” became so popular, and it still sells continuously. The version I owned was borrowed from my classmates. I read and read it again and again. Walk. Come to think of it, after reading “Father and Son” once in half an hour, I didn’t have many chances to laugh. There are less than 200 stories in the book. For example, a father and son caught a small fish, discussed it and released it, but a big fish ate the small fish instantly. Another example is that they met a mermaid in the lake, the mermaid left, and the two wept together. Why did Braun make an ugly grown-up cry?
  My need for laughter peaked not long after I could remember, so I couldn’t see crying, let alone the cry of an ugly person. Ugly people seem to have no choice, either to be hated, or to be laughed at. Braun’s father, who was written into the novel as an “anti-hero” with no other choice, must be the kind of supporting role whose reaction is always half a beat when he is put into cartoons. However, Braun did not let go of his ugliness. He often used a touch of sympathy to make this ugly father show some special sides: he was often timid and saw a man waving a wine bottle from a distance. When people came running, he was scared and took his son to run for his life; but sometimes he was brave, exchanged fire with robbers who broke into houses, fired guns at each other through a door, even jumped into water to save people, and often he could Deal with some good-looking but deadpan military police.
  The son is a typical child: clever and mischievous, but his most routine job is to imitate his father. There is more than one object in the adult world for him to tease, but the only one he can imitate is his own father. He imitated his father’s image, majesty, gestures, and sometimes provoked patriarchal power, as if he wanted to be on an equal footing with adults, but once he encountered a real threat, he had to rely on his father’s protection and demonstration. He was not as tall as his father’s trouser waist, but he would smoke a pipe in front of his father, and he would wear a hood and a fake beard in front of the mirror. Once the provocation is too much and annoys the father, he will be picked up like a little duck and beaten on his knees.
  I need to laugh, but I’m picky about humor. For comics, I think good writers have just the right amount of imagination, taking a weird and elegant step out of reality. The best comics make people “laugh out loud”, everything in the picture is so normal, so calm. I remember a cartoon of a woman with a bare bottom standing in front of a bath tub with the fins of a shark exposed in the bath water; a road roller that pressed the shadow of a person into the road; and a flock of sheep, crossing the railway , The head sheep leaned their ears on the rails to listen to the movement. Their imaginations were controlled, and their sense of absurdity was moderate. If the painting bather caught a shark from the bathtub, and the two sheep committed suicide by lying on the rails, they would all be destroyed.
  The best stories in “Father and Son” show this controlled imagination. For example, “Eating Noodles”: at the dinner table, the son held the noodles with his hands and put them into his mouth, and the father took him to the museum to see the sculpture of Laocoon and his son wrapped in snakes; “Shame on the Nude”: The father and son gave a The naked statue wears a hat, a coat, and a cane, and laughs. Finally, just as the father takes off his trousers, he sees the guide coming over with a group of spectators. I am very happy every time I see this group of paintings. If adults can “free themselves”, what’s the harm in being ugly.
  But my chances of being happy are really few, at best 1/5 of the whole book. Braun’s style, especially the brushwork, has a black texture that I can’t laugh at. He only handed down this book in his life, and it took more than three years to complete the content of the book. Behind his humorous creations is a humorless identity: a Jew living in Germany, or in Germany in the 1930s.
  Braun could draw people’s fights as if they were dancing, but he knew that a fight was a fight. He was someone who had seen violence and left a “politically incorrect” profile for it. One of his early masterpieces depicts a man urinating on the snow with the word “swastika”. He’s brooding about something that gets in the way of thinking about how to be “funny” from a purely technical point of view, and some flickering, lingering apprehension will bring his humorous imagination to a screeching halt. Western cartoons are good at turning evil into a part of comedy. The villains have one eye, ugly fangs, fat buttocks and waists, and their body proportions are seriously out of balance. How cruel is it?”, but for Braun, evil is a reality that must be faced.
  In one story about “the intolerable”, a hooligan blew smoke into his father’s face for no reason, pierced his hat, popped a balloon in his son’s hand, and laughed wildly. This hooligan had a strong figure, broad shoulders and a round waist. His father cried and begged for mercy, but he failed. In this cartoon, I have seen the wickedness drawn in line. The wicked person is extremely arrogant, and he is sure that arrogance will not bring any adverse consequences to himself.
  The ending is very relieved. However, Braun weakened the strength of the oppression suffered by the father and the son, and those who abused them did not die. It is in this entertaining design that I see something terrifying: the strong play the weak, just as the cat plays the mouse. When the father finally rises up against the strong, the story has lost its humor. Think about it, too, how many of the countless stories celebrating bravery from ancient times to the present can be said to be humorous? Some people in the world are villains who are talented, and good people are not necessarily strong because of their kindness or resistance. On the contrary, they will recognize their own ugliness and humbleness.
  ”Father and Son” was originally serialized in the “Berlin Pictorial”, and the Pictorial had similar concerns when it invited Braun: whether he would be too serious in life, he, a person deeply worried about political reality, can really be humorous ? Of course, what they are most afraid of is the sensitive identity of the painter, and they are worried that the publication will be affected. Later, the work “Father and Son” became an instant hit, and the newspaper was relieved. Braun created a spiritual haven, but also a safe zone from politics: the family world of dad and son. No matter what the outside world is like, the cooperation, confrontation and carnival between father and son are not disturbed. And “Berlin Pictorial” also gave Braun an opportunity to entrust those unquenchable worries and anger to art, and to a sense of humor and imagination to appease.

  It was the last years of the Weimar era, and the greatest German writers were speechless. German intellectuals were often self-doubting connoisseurs, Saturn-illuminated men, eagerly wishing for life to become tragedy and tragedy to become law. The anguish of Braun, the Jew, was probably no exception, though more of a concern for personal safety: he lived in seclusion in Marburg on the Rhine, painted, and with a pen slightly delayed possible disaster. The popularity of “Father and Son” did not bring him the joy of success.
  There are times when the ugly is brave, and there are times when the ugly is sad. As an ugly man, my father often died to save face, and his son would vent his anger after playing chess, but I still remember the moment when the father and son were gentle, compassionate, and unbearable: they couldn’t bear to sit and watch the beggars, and they couldn’t bear to stew a small fish that they caught. Couldn’t bear to kill a wasp that got in the way of their meal. There is a story about two people planting peas, and there is always a bird who comes and takes away the peas that have just been planted. Later, the son managed to get around the bird’s back and suddenly caught it. In the last frame, the bird is blindfolded by a handkerchief and is still placed back on the branch where it had been resting. Compared with the common frustration, anger and violence in comics, this kind of funny kindness is rare, and if the person who drew it knew that his comics were only packaged by booksellers as “hilarious classics that have swept the world for more than half a century”, How sad.
  I like to go to the zoo, but when I see the green peacock with its feet bound for a group photo, I think of the middle-class men and women drawn by Braun in “Father and Son”, who are hypocritical and shallow, posing and seducing The little birds came as a backdrop for taking pictures, and the son fed these little birds, which moved the angels and flew to kiss the child’s face. But the appearance of angels always means that human beings cannot help. In the human world, kindness is often forced to the corner by ruthlessness. Walking out of the house, father and son encounter a society in which the sense of superiority and inferiority is still strong, a society in which servants are expressionless and dedicated to using their power to the extreme, a society in which the dignitaries are snobbish and vain, and the citizens are brave and ruthless. The police are arrogant from their clothes to their appearance, with Bismarck-style herringbone beards upturned at both ends, and always carry other people’s collars; the guards in military appearance still retain the style of the Wilhelm II era, charming and bullying. People are judged by their appearance; the grassroots are restless, and even the waiters in the Finnish steam room have a sadistic tendency to abuse guests at will. “Class friendship” is rare: there is a story of a duck my father bought that was swept up the chimney of a house by a gale, dropped into the stove, and served straight to the table as a god-send Christmas present. When the father and son saw it outside the window, they quietly turned and left. The father was tiptoeing, as if he had just finished a prank with his son – beauty is always inseparable from the innocence of innocence.
  Although I can’t laugh often, I still read “Father and Son” often, and I recommend the funniest stories to my friends. However, we sometimes discuss why some stories are not fun. At that time, I always couldn’t accept some cartoons whose protagonists were often tearful. I hoped that I would not live in a drama, but no matter what, I still rarely saw woodcut style illustrations in newspapers and magazines. , that gloomy and desolate atmosphere will evoke my association with Braun. In the word “life”, the word “survival” occupies half of the country. This is a signal released by the world of adults. Adults want their children to be “always happy”, but they are in the life they understand. Can’t make an example.
  In the later stages of the “Father and Son” series, for some reason, Braun began to tell an adventurous story on and off: He let father and son inherit a large inheritance, live in a luxurious mansion, and then had an accident on a trip and was left behind on an uninhabited island. They found a carrier pigeon and wanted it to send a letter of distress, but the pigeon stood still, and in a fit of rage, the two killed the pigeon and put it on a wooden stick and roasted it deliciously.
  The grandfathers in the picture are still happy, but Braun’s image is blurred and gone. Is he in despair at this time? The desert island mood prompts father and son to kill a bird, do they remember their kindness when they planted peas?
  Although anti-Nazi, Braun stood by Germany when World War II really started. During the “Strange War” period on the German-French front, he also drew a cartoon satirizing French soldiers drying clothes on their gun barrels in preparation for surrender. However, these works did not change his fate of dying from persecution. These things, I only learned about them later. When I read “Father and Son” when I was a child, I saw that the painter was “killed” in the preface. The direction of execution to understand, because I can not accept this terrible fact.
  Just as I have never dared to turn the last page of the comic – father and son nailed a farewell letter to a tree branch, then walked hand in hand into the distance, into the sky, and 6 weeks later into the sun (maybe the moon), Then, the celestial body showed the smiling face of a father: broom brows, small eyes, and an old-school German man’s beard on the muzzle. I closed the back cover with just one glance, feeling like a friend whom I had spoken to yesterday suddenly had an obituary. I can’t stand this ending, and I don’t know how the original newspapers and readers could have tolerated the painter’s ending like this. Only later did I notice that there was a small star next to that face, a hexagon, a symbol of the Jewish people; I learned that attention is a skill that requires slow learning.