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THE FALL MIKAEL ROSS avant-verlag (Germany) | October 2018 | 130 Pages | Color

Foreign sales: France (Sarbacane); Italy (Bao Publishing); Korea (Hanulim Kids); The Netherlands (Scratch); Norway (NoComprendo); Spain (Reservoir Books) A masterpiece {…} Mikael Ross created an amazing comic. Although amazing is not enough. Surprising, too. Incredible at the least, because I know no other comic of the last ten, or twenty years, that given the same unfavorable conditions, had -and has become something so great.— Timur Vermes, Der Spiegel. There’s a village in Germany called Neuerkerode that is completely run by people with mental disability. They run the local restaurant, the local bar, the local supermarket – they are in charge. It’s a beautiful, almost incredible place that really exists and that’s where this story takes place. Noel had lived with his mother in a small apartment in Berlin for many years until one day everything changes. She falls. A stroke, probably, and all of a sudden she’s on the floor, in a big puddle of blood. Noel’s life is shaken to the core. A man with a beard suddenly claims that Noel can no longer stay alone in the old apartment. He has to move, away from Berlin, away from home. In a completely different environment, a care facility for other people with disabilities. For the first time in his life, Noel is on his own. But it's also the first time he's lived with so many other people. Who can he trust? Who does he like? Who loves him?

To write The Fall , Ross spent two years living 3 to 4 days a week in Neuerkerode himself. Entirely told from Noel’s perspective, The Fall is a master work showcasing the highs and lows of a young man with mental disability. It is the first comic to be awarded the "Berlin Comic Scholarship" launched in 2018. The prize, awarded by the cultural administration of the Berlin Senate, is an 8-month work grant amounting to 16,000 euros - and thus the most highly endowed funding for comic art in Germany. MIKAEL ROSS was born in 1984 in Munich. After completing an apprenticeship as a theater tailor at the Bavarian State Opera he moved to Berlin to study at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee, which influenced his first longer narrative Herrengedeck, self-published in 2008. He spent a year abroad at the Brussels College for Bande dessinée where he got acquainted with the Belgian comic artist Nicolas Wouters. Together they created the graphic novel Lauter Leben! about the Berlin squatter scene of the eighties. In 2016, Ross released the acclaimed coming-of-age story Totem , which was followed by the second collaboration of Ross and Wouters. Both volumes were first published by French publisher Éditions Sarbacane and then released in German. Even before the publication of Totem Mikael Ross began the research for his next project in the Lower Saxon community of Neuerkerode, where he lived for over one year with hundreds of people with mental disability. The Fall was commissioned by the Evangelische Stiftung Neuerkerode on the occasion of its 150th birthday in September 2018.The book was awarded in early 2018 with the first comic grant of the Berlin Senate. Ross still works as a tailor.

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