By Christopher A. Sawyer
You have to hand it to Mercedes-Benz. It knows how to use its history to best effect. The latest effort is a comic book, Carl Benz – A Life Dedicated to Cars, written by Martin Grünewald and illustrated by Belgian artist Willy Harold Williamson. Published by Sadifa Media, the comic book is available through the Mercedes-Benz Museum shop. It also can also be ordered online from the Classic Store at www.mercedes-benz-classic-store.com.
Though the examples shown here are in German, the 52-page comic is available in German, English, French and Chinese and costs 19.80 Euros ($26.76 at current exchange rates, minus shipping and handling). According to Mercedes-Benz Classic head Michael Bock, “The historical accuracy of these wonderful drawings is impressive, while the speech bubbles really get to the heart of the story. Every little technical detail on the Benz Patent Motor Car is precisely drawn; and Carl and Bertha [Benz] are immediately recognizable.”
To its credit, the comic is based on historical fact, and the dialog created hews closely to the documented facts. It would be easy, given the format, to make history a bit more “exciting” than it really was in order to entice the reader. Also, the colors were placed on the drawings in three separate layers in an attempt to give them depth. A special hardback edition will be sold through the Mercedes-Benz Museum shop. It features a dust jacket with a drawing from the comic reprinted on its inside.