Ulli Lust

Translating Sensations

“Any real-life event can be the cause for comics.”

Ulli Lust is a cartoonist and the author of several award-winning graphic novels. Her published work also includes comic journalism featuring observations on contemporary life. Her most celebrated graphic novel, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, is an autobiographical work which revisits the trials and tribulations of her rebellious 17-year-old self on a hitchhiking trip through Italy some 25 years later. The novel was translated into ten languages and won several awards, including the 2011 Prix de la revelation at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Her recent autobiographical novel, How I Tried to Be a Good Person, is a memoir of a passionate but ultimately disastrous love triangle between herself as a young artist in Vienna, her older partner, and another man who had recently emigrated from Lagos. The work was shortlisted for the Fauve d’Or at Angoulême in 2018.




Lust’s narrative-based work also includes Voices in the Dark, an adaptation of the novel Flughunde by Marcel Beyer, which presents a fictional account of Helga Goebbels, the daughter of German World War II minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Since 2013, she teaches as a professor for comics and illustration at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany.


As a mentor, Lust is seeking applicants who want to create a nonfiction comic work, be it documentary, autobiographical, or based on historical events. “Any real-life event can be the cause for comics,” she says. “The question is how to shape it into an exciting visual narrative. The images do not have to represent an utterly realistic view; comics can translate the sensations that come with being alive. Any historic or biographical incident gets its significance by the emotions it triggers in us. The author’s job is to enable the readers to see other people’s perspective and understand their feelings, to transmit the experience, how it feels to be in other people’s skin.”

Applicants should ideally have some experience in graphic storytelling and comics, and perhaps have even already created a book. “Comics are a complex medium—countless decisions have to be made concerning the layers of interrelated aspects of a comic: The images, text, storyline, composition, consistency, and so on. Mentoring a comic project is not just mental support, it is quite similar to the work of an editor. We will talk about your narrative intentions and what can actually be seen on the paper.”


Watch the video statement to find out more about what Lust is looking for in applications: