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ALLAN KÄMPE 



It was in the early 1940's. Eugen Semitjov had taken the first steps towards a planned engineering
career and worked  in Sundbyberg. An angular little inspiring job at major Drafting tables with rulers, compasses and millimetre scales. Outside the paper edges scrawl his aircrafts - his great passion in those days - and fun guys. One senior manager said they have discovered that Eugen was pretty good at perspective drawing. It led to Eugen besides writing had to draw - not write - those machines that did not yet exist and therefore could not be photographed: new constructions of rock drilling machines, pumps and
other things that were in progress. For the company directory needed "sight" representations of future products. Eugen's talent was considered useful, and it was him who asked Eugen to take a course in drawing - with a view to a future directory-drawer career . So come, that Eugen landed on an evening course at Berghs Advertising School, in one of the old houses at Regeringsgatan in Stockholm. After a couple of basic lesson hours, he received his first task: to make an ad for a vitamin-rich school breakfast, as Eugen thought that was in direct contrast to his drawing dreams. and  he told his teacher. Head of the School, Gösta Bergh, who tried to examine Eugen's talent in another area. Eugen had read a story in the science fiction magazine "Jules Verne Magazine" where the illustration was sheared away. A novel called "mutiny in space". Bergh also picked up a few pages from the Flash Gordon comic of the American "Alex Raymond" from their collections and showed Eugen how an ink pen should be used to give Speed effect to a power GUSHING spaceship. It was so much more inspiring than a school breakfast. Bergh had directed Eugen on the right track. Eugen had not given up on engineering; he continued with in  the engineering office  in the daytime and studied at the course three nights a week. It was a nice time, when he often sat with other classmates after school at Café Prague or at the pub Japan higher on Kungsgatan in Stockholm, playing artists and bohemian with a bottle of house wine, scrolling in big croquis-papers and discussed the forms of tonight's nude model. Eugen's huge interest at that time was otherwise comic. He had for years followed the Flash Gordon week by week. Now Eugen had begun to see the elegant image suites with new eyes - Classmates Lust woke up to make their own comic, following their own ideas. Alongside his drawing office job should such a moonlighting, improve his finances. Eugens first comic was a terrible space melodrama. He named it to Rolf Steel. The heroine, a princess from Venus, "Mayne" was named after his contemporary infatuation, a cute blond student at the school. Eugen drew Rolf Steel in weekly magazine format and twenty pages were finished, he searched a cartoon publishers. One of them was the Bulls Press who lived high on the sale of American comics to the Scandinavian press. the manager: Bjarne Steinsvik watched Rolf Steel and said almost immediately that he did not want it. But he also said that Eugen showed signs of talent and suggested him to write poetry and draw a whole new comic. The family belonged to Eugen was not unimaginative. Eugen went home and confers with his brother on an appropriate comic theme. They recalled one of the countless novels that their father had written. It was about a group of researchers who drew away from the Polar Regions and established a science centre with the goal to save the world from its own evil. It was an inspiring background. So it was born "Järntrusten" located at the North Pole. Eugen's new comic hero was named Allan Kämpe and he was a pilot at the Swedish Air Force. Allan crash-landed at the North Pole, but he was rescued by a patrol from the "Järntrusten". Allan started to work for "Järntrusten" in service with his eternal companion Eva. He equipped with humane weapons (that only paralyzes enemies) and the aircraft that surpasses all that is in the world. Allan Kämpe becomes a kind of technical "Superman" but also a common man when he did not have their technological tools within reach. With a new package of comic pages Eugen returned to Steinsvik at Bulls. This time he looked closely at Eugen's production and offered him permanent employment with twice the salary that he had in the drawing office. The company in Sundbyberg had to search for their proposed directory drawer elsewhere. Eugen stepped into a new world - with the wonderful aroma of printer's ink, with stacks of comics that could be read long before they were published in the newspapers. And Eugen was finally in the right place!  - But he had very much left to learn. . .

Allan Kämpe made his entrance at the right time. It was war in the world. German submarines in the Atlantic blocked and prevented the supply of U.S. comics to Europe, comic shortage was severe. Allan Kämpe was easily sold, but also became popular before the peace came and with the new avalanche of American material. The weekly comic was daily and the work grew on Eugen's Drawing tables. As time went on Allan Kämpe where now published in twenty Swedish newspapers. After the war Allan Kämpe was published in Norway, Denmark, and Finland - he reached all the way to Argentina and became one of the post-war situations in Germany's first cartoons. But in the beginning did Eugen just to take out the series. Bulls had lacked an illustrator and Steinsvik loaded on Eugen assignments for their newspapers "Teknik För Alla" and the "Veckans Äventyr" (the old Jules Verne-magazine). . .

The idea was that Eugene would have drawn together a reserve of Allan Kämpe before the comic began, but Allan Kämpe had to stand aside for several months to make space for all the rest. Eugen was not particularly good with time margin when the publication began in Åhlén & Åkerlund Weekly Series. Autumn 1943 Eugen was called up for military service as
Engineer at F8 in Barkarby military base outside Stockholm in Sweden. But he managed to keep the comic current: Between guard passes during the turbulent year 1944 - when he often had to sit and warm running airplanes all through the night - he produced Allan Kämpe adventures in the station building next to the hangar. Allan Kämpe lived on for fourteen long years. Allan Kämpe became in time quite tiring. It is a great feeling to deliver a finished job, a drawing, an article - but this job had no end. Eugen could not even take a vacation without having to pack down the ink, cartoon paper, pens and brushes. 1946 Eugen left the tray of the Bulls and was a freelance, which he remained ever since. But Allan Kämpe hung with until 1957. When Eugen sometimes was asked if it was not difficult to keep the comic running fourteen years, he was responding: - The last 13 years were the worst. After seven years with Allan Kämpe he felt a need to tell more than what could be done in comic boxes - write articles. It was at first quite short such - comic form had forced him to work with highly compressed text, and it was difficult to get out of the habit. In 1949 the Americans had launched up a TWO-STAGE ROCKET with a movie camera on board. In the cinema when the popular commercials where showed we could watch, our planet filmed from 400 kilometres altitude. It was shaking scenes but you could clearly see an arched horizon line - for the first time it was  photographically proven that the earth was round. The event gave Eugen's interest in space, a new kick.



© EugenSemitjov's Memorial Foundation