Nick Knatterton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nick Knatterton was a comic series published in the German magazine Quick between 1950 and 1959 with the main character of a master detective of the same name.


The author and illustrator of the series was Manfred Schmidt , who, by his own admission, actually wanted to parody the American Superman comics with Knatterton . The name alludes to Nick Carter and Nat Pinkerton, two pre-war crime fiction series in booklet format.

Schmidt wrote and illustrated his first detective story set in Chicago as early as 1935 for the magazine Grüne Post : “The prominent chin is already there and so is the coat, which is checked against all the laws of the art of drawing. Schmidt only had to revive the character as a comic after the war. "

The stories with many, often political swipes at the economic miracle , the tax office and Adenauer & Co. initially appeared weekly with two strips of images each in Quick , with the lengths of the stories varying between 11 and 38 episodes. The comic series was also sold abroad and enjoyed great popularity there as in Germany.

There is a Nick Knatterton honor cap from the Association of German Detective Officers .

role models

Qualities that help Nick achieve his outstanding detective work are (in addition to his enormous physical strength) his precise eyesight, hearing and smell as well as his superior mental abilities. These are also an indication that " Sherlock Holmes " by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle could have been a role model for Nick. Further similarities are: Both are lean and tall, have sharp features, are pipe smokers and violinists. He also wears a plaid coat like Sherlock Holmes, and both of them have enough money not to have to work all the time.

Another role model for Nick Knatterton was Nat Pinkerton, the main character in the US American novel book series “Nat Pinkerton. The King of Detectives ”. Manfred Schmidt read it as a teenager. In this series, car chases and shootings were the order of the day. The solution to a criminal case no longer came about through sophisticated thinking (as, for example, with Sherlock Holmes), but rather in the course of a turbulent plot.

According to his own account, the trigger for Schmidt's work on Nick Knatterton was the comic book “ Superman ”, about which he literally said: “It was a picture story where text-filled bubbles oozed out of the mouth, nose and ears or forehead of the characters, depending on what they were doing said, heard, smelled or even thought. Spirals around the head indicated dwindling consciousness, asterisks a previous blow on the chin or other sensitive parts of the body. A plot that would fill many pages in a novel was condensed into a small picture, so you achieved a reading saving of almost 95 percent. “However, Superman and Nick are quite different: First, Nick has no direct superpowers, all of his abilities are exaggerated expressions of human capabilities, and secondly, he has no alter ego, unlike Superman, whose second self is a small, inconspicuous reporter.

Another role model for Nick Knatterton could have been the comic series " Dick Tracy ". However, the similarities are limited to the sharp facial features of the main characters and their fight against crime. The depictions of violence in "Dick Tracy" are brutal and even led to (unsuccessful) public protests, while Nick Knatterton's violence is always harmless and there are never any deaths. Dick Tracy is also a prototypical police officer, while Nick Knatterton is a private investigator and sometimes has problems with the police, e.g. B. in "The shot in the artificial back of the head".

In summary it can be said that there are many obvious similarities between "Nick Knatterton" and "Sherlock Holmes" and "Nat Pinkerton", while "Superman" can only be seen as a trigger for Manfred Schmidt's work and "Dick Tracy" only distant relatives having.


From 1952 onwards, edited volumes appeared, in which two to three of the Knatterton episodes were published in revised form. In the 1970s, the stories were initially combined into two volumes, then published in one volume as a complete edition, in which, however, two episodes were missing. These two missing episodes were then printed in 1983 in the comic magazine Comic Forum in issues 17 and 18. A real complete edition is only available with the anniversary edition of 1998 - but here, too, the stories are not included in chronological order. In 2007 another complete edition was published, the content of which is completely identical to that of 1998, but shows the comics in strip format - one comic on each page. The volume "Oh, Nick Knatterton" published by Eckart Sackmann for Manfred Schmidt's centenary contains the first story of the series in the version in which it was printed in Quick .

The stories

According to the origin story devised by Manfred Schmidt, the master detective comes from an ancient noble family near Kyritz an der Knatter . The young Nikolaus Kuno Freiherr von Knatter showed great intelligence at an early age, which led to the decision to become a detective. In order not to bring the family into disrepute, he chose the pseudonym "Nick Knatterton" instead of his ancestral name. Its winged word " combine, ... " entered German usage.

There was no fixed opponent of Nick Knatterton in the comics. In several comics, however, an opponent named Virginia Peng appears who on the one hand is in love with Knatterton, but on the other hand wants to harm him. B. with the help of some gold diggers (The Gold Vein of Bloody Corner) she blows up the house in which Knatterton is currently staying. She is also jealous of every female partner Knattertons (which was one of the reasons for the demolition).

In general, women were often represented in the Knatterton stories, but were usually portrayed one-sidedly and from the perspective of male chauvinism. In the comics, Knatterton was proposed several times, but each time he evaded them ("My bride is justice!") . But after the episode The Legacy in the Tie (in Schmidt's words) the “dream of many women came true”: Nick Knatterton got under the hood. The happy bride was the millionaire heiress Linda Knips, who helped Knatterton to inherit her. Nick promised Linda after the wedding that he would never go hunting for crooks again so that "he would not be damaged". In Volume 5 Nick Knatterton with Toni Knatter - Another 100 Adventures: The threatening letter in pajamas + inheritance in a tie appears as the young detective Toni Knatter.

Knatterton's adventures were supposed to end after this episode, but readers "forced the pen back into the author's hand."

Film adaptations

Logo of the cartoon series (1979)

Motifs from the series were filmed as animations in 1979 by Manfred Schmidt in his own studio . The series is characterized by the fact that the characters are led through the plot without a word and the plot is told by the voice actor Christian Marschall . In some episodes, Knatterton says or thinks some passages with the voice of Hans Jürgen Diedrich . Another main feature are the schematic representations of the technical refinements that appear in the series, which are usually explained as an X-ray section . The total of 14 episodes (10 to 25 minutes long) and the introductory film (approx. 5 minutes) are now available on two DVDs.

In 1959 the German production of the Knatterton real film Nick Knatterton's Adventure - The Robbery of Gloria Nylon , which, however, did not find Manfred Schmidt's favor. Directed by Hans Quest played Karl Lieffen the lead role. Also played: Gert Fröbe , the cabaret artists Wolfgang Müller and Wolfgang Neuss , Günter Pfitzmann and Susanne Cramer in the role of Gloria. The music came from Willy Mattes , who u. a. also wrote the music for the Edgar Wallace films The Frog with the Mask (1959) and The Red Circle (1960).

Another real film with the title Nick Knatterton - The film with Jens Schäfer in the lead role was shot in 2002. However, the manufacturing company had to file for bankruptcy. Since the film was part of the bankruptcy estate , it has not yet been released. A test screening during the Munich Film Week was torn up by the criticism.

Characters in the cartoons

Nick Knatterton

He is the main character in the series. His real name is Nikolaus Kuno Freiherr von Knatter , and he was born in the castle of his ancestors on the Knatter river near Kyritz. His mother is a countess and reads detective novels from morning until night. His father Kasimir Kuno Freiherr von Knatter is a rich baron. Nick, too, had been rummaging through his mother's crime novels since he could read. He later decided to become a master detective. His family only agreed if he did not use the name Freiherr von Knatter as a detective. He is a fan of the humane use of force and mostly uses chin hooks to stun his opponents. He has a variety of chin hook techniques. He also has a great gift for combinations. His head works like a computer and solves the trickiest cases. He has a penchant for language gimmicks ( combine: I play a role in the film after he's been wrapped up).


The police are portrayed rather negatively in the series. Police officers never believe Knatterton and always laugh at him when he's in a tight spot.

Molly minor or Dolly major

Molly Moll is a photo model who appears repeatedly in the stories and is mostly shown only half dressed. Her most important characteristic is arguably her naivety . Molly Moll has blonde hair. She later had her hair dyed brown and now calls herself Dolly Dur.


A criminal who is an accomplice to Juwelen-Jupp and Virginia Peng. He is known for cracking safes. He appears for the first time in the Friday always episode , but has no connections there, only his fingerprints can be found on Molly Moll's buttocks. Later, fed up with being a criminal, he becomes the bodyguard of Barbara Beerbottle, a millionaire widow.

Jewel Jupp

Juwelen-Jupp is one of Knatterton's main enemies. He is a notorious jewel thief and has a twin brother named Miezen-Max. He's also the friend of Virginia Peng, who runs the Alibi bar. Despite many accomplices, he is always discovered by Knatterton. The external characteristic is his mole on his left hand.

Kitty Max

Miezen-Max is the twin brother of Juwelen-Jupp. The two twins look very similar and are dressed in the same way. You are mistaken for a person who uses different names. But in the episode Cash, Beds and Diamonds both appear; thus it becomes clear that it is not just one person.


Hinke-Hugo only appears in the Friday episode . He is a criminal and was charged with robbery, but Nick Knatterton was able to prove his innocence. He is also a guest in the Alibi bar.

Virginia Peng

Virginia Peng, nee Schulze, formerly known as The Virgin , is the landlady of the Alibi-Bar and, so to speak, a gangster bride. She is a friend of the jewel thief Juwelen-Jupp and boss of the underworld (apart from Juwelen-Jupp). She is also the stepmother of Mi-Tse Meyer, the landlady of the Bei Mi-Tse restaurant , after she married her father Tsching-Peng. She has brown, curly hair and a strong figure. She also has a weakness for Knatterton and - in most cases - escapes justice at the end of the day.

Max wax

Max Wachs' greatest hobby is depicting celebrities as wax figures. He belongs to the gang of Virginia Peng and creates wax figures depicting his accomplices, with which he can provide them with false alibis.


He is an accomplice to Juwelen-Jupp and a dangerous thug. He's the strongest of the gang, but not the brightest.

Konrad Knicker

A stingy millionaire who is blackmailed by a compromising photo in the episode The Secrets of the Alibi Bar . Knicker is so stingy that he doesn't even want to buy a watchdog, but instead uses a playback device (tape) with a dog barking.

Karoline Knicker

She is the wife of Konrad Knicker and has a daughter named Discountina. She teams up with Virginia Peng to extort money from her husband for a robe, but also so that he can get under the hood.

Discountina Knicker

She is the daughter of Konrad and Karoline Knicker. She is in league with her mother about blackmail.


His real name is unknown. He is an accomplice of Virginia, the landlady of the Alibi bar. He got the name because of his broken tooth.

List of stories

Comics (1950–1964)

(the historical order in brackets)

  1. The shot in the artificial back of the head (1)
  2. Bloody Corner's Gold Vein (3)
  3. The Capri Fisherman's Pin Tooth (9)
  4. The Indian diamond case (5)
  5. The inheritance in the tie (11)
  6. The million in the bucket (13)
  7. A head fell in the Thames (17)
  8. The secret of the super bee (18)
  9. The shaving soap secret weapon (2)
  10. The treasure in the leg cast (7)
  11. A lock falls out the door (8)
  12. The threatening letter in pajamas (10)
  13. Veridium 275 (12)
  14. The secret behind the porthole (15)
  15. Monkeys, women and diamonds (16)
  16. Friday evening at nine (14)
  17. The stolen hip line (6)
  18. The crime of the loose screw (4)


  1. Do you know Knatterton?
  2. Always on Fridays
  3. The secrets of the alibi bar
  4. Culprits, doors and safes
  5. The remote controlled super bee
  6. Pussies, doers and money
  7. Expenses, weirdos and spies
  8. Shooters and computers
  9. Cash, beds and diamonds
  10. Collectors, forgers and crooks
  11. The criminal stock cube
  12. A head fell into the Thames
  13. Grab, girls and grand hotels
  14. Fashions, painters and models
  15. Fints, flirts and filmmakers

Radio play versions

In March 2007, Der Audio Verlag (DAV) released the following two radio plays on CD:

Two more CDs followed in February 2008:


  • 2013: Nick Knatterton and other adventures - Manfred Schmidt on his 100th birthday , Wilhelm Busch Museum for Caricature and Drawing (Hanover, Georgengarten), January 13 to April 21, 2013.
  • 2014: All right, Commissioner? Knatterton, Kottan, Emil and other detectives. , Caricature Museum Krems , April 6 to November 16, 2014.


  • Eckart Sackmann: Oh, Nick Knatterton. comicplus +, Hildesheim 2013, ISBN 978-3-89474-234-8
  • Manfred Schmidt: Nick Knatterton: All the exciting adventures of the famous master detective. Lappan Verlag, Oldenburg, 2007, ISBN 3-8303-3152-5 .
  • Manfred Schmidt: Nick Knatterton. Lappan Verlag, Oldenburg, 1998, ISBN 3-89082-804-3 .
  • Ralf Palandt : Nick Knatterton scandal. In: Eckart Sackmann (ed.): Deutsche Comicforschung 2007. Comicplus, Hildesheim 2006, ISBN 3-89474-168-6 , pp. 99-104.
  • Eckart Sackmann: Combine ... - Manfred Schmidt, a humorist with ulterior motives - Book accompanying the exhibition "Combine: Nick Knatterton" in the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover. comicplus +, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-89474-072-8 .
  • Image comic library 7 "Nick Knatterton" [Stories: 1,3,5,8 → the secret of the super bee, 9, 11, 13]
  • Johanna Gråsten: Language games in "Nick Knatterton" by Manfred Schmidt and his Finnish translation "Nikke Knatterton". Per gradu. Joensuu University, 1995.
  • Maria Haukilahti: Sarjakuvan sanaleikkien kääntäminen: Esimerkkinä Nikke Knatterton -sarjakuvan ensi- ja uudelleensuomennos. Per gradu. University of Tampere, 2013. [German short version on pages 72–82: “Translation of language games in the animated series, using the example of the Finnish first and new translation by Nick Knatterton .”] Online version.
  • Ulli Otto: Nick Knatterton. In: Marcus Czerwionka (ed.): Lexicon of Comics. CORIAN-VERLAG, Meitingen 2004, ISBN 3-89048-900-1 , pp. 1-4.

Individual evidence

  1. "Nick Knatterton" in Hanover: The checked detective. FAZ , January 18, 2013. Last accessed April 7, 2013.
  2. ^ Goethe Institute: Manfred Schmidt. Last accessed on August 5, 2008.
  3. Hans Jürgen Diedrich in the German synchronous file
  4. Spiegel Online: " Abgedendet und rejected ", February 7, 2005, last accessed August 5, 2008
  5. ^ Nick Knatterton and other adventures - Manfred Schmidt on his 100th birthday. ( Memento of the original from January 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. The Herrenwitz detective: Nick Knatterton as a mirror of the economic miracle of the Federal Republic. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Page on the exhibition ( Memento of the original from April 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed August 5, 2014 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links