Matthias Gnehm Portrait
© Ali Ghandtschi

Guest 2015.


Tod eines Bankiers

Das Leben ist teuer / Der Tod ist gratis

Edition Moderne

Zürich, 2004 / 2005

Das Selbstexperiment

Edition Moderne

Zürich, 2008

Die Bekehrung

Edition Moderne

Zürich, 2011

Der Maler der Ewigen Portraitgalerie

Edition Moderne

Zürich, 2013

Die kopierte Stadt

Edition Hochparterre

Zürich, 2014

Matthias Gnehm [ Switzerland ]

Matthias Gnehm was born in Zurich in 1970 and graduated as an architect from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology there in 1999. Since then, he has been a freelancer not only in that profession, but also as a scenographer and as a comic book author and draftsman.

After contributing the illustrations to scenarios by the author Francis Rivolta from 1995 to 2002, including the comic commissioned by the Swiss parliament and set in its National and State Council Hall »Rätsel in Weiß« (2002, tr White Mystery), in 2004 appeared »Tod eines Bankiers. Das Leben ist teuer« (tr Death of a banker. Life is expensive), the first work in which Gnehm created both text and pictures. In 2005, a second volume of the colorfully staged business crime story followed; in it, the doomed banker Charles Gubler gives his successor the idea of making money from Gubler’s death, from which a web of intrigues is spun in Zurich’s world of high finance. As a special attraction, in this work Gnehm provides a suggestion for the design of the basin of Zurich’s lakeshore, which he presented in greater detail in an exhibition on the comic with architectural plans and 3D models. In 2008, the author remarked that the financial crisis, which put the »Tod eines Bankiers« series in the limelight again, had shown him that reality is crazier than any fiction. In the same year, »Das Selbstexperiment« (tr The self-experiment) appeared. Also playing in Zurich, in it a police commissioner faces the challenge of solving a murder case in which those involved were part of an experiment that makes their consciousness variable and thus interchangeable. With the broad horizon of an architect and the simplicity of his drawing style, Gnehm succeeds in constructing a complex plot around questions of identity; its humor arises from the unavoidable collapse. The author received support for his work from the Collegium Helveticum and expanded it in exhibitions in Lucerne and in the Semper Observatory in Zurich. In 2011, Gnehm published the graphic novel »Die Bekehrung« (tr The conversion), in which he treats puberty, religion, and first love, but also the phenomenon of urban sprawl in the example of the architectural changes in the village that serves as the setting. His current comic book, »Die kopierte Stadt« (2014, tr The copied city), also deals with architecture. An exact replica of the city of Zurich in China is the starting point for a story that devotes much love of detail to the relationship between original and copy.

Gnehm has received numerous awards, including the Prix coup de cœur of the Sierre Comics Festivals (2001) and a work subsidy from Pro Helvetia for »Die kopierte Stadt« (2014). Matthias Gnehm lives in Zurich.