I met Klaus when he came to Greece for the first time, as a guest of En Plo publications. In two packed halls in the center of Athens, His Eminence Nikolaos Mesogaias was interviewing him.
A happy, ascetic German spoke to us about his adventurous, full of suspense and dangers life with a disarming honesty, since the boldness of his character and the great wounds in his soul that characterized his entire childhood pushed him to extreme paths... The whole character of the interview was a public confession of a highly delinquent man who, by a powerful intervention of God, made a 180-degree turn.
I wanted to know more about this man, both in life and by reading his biography. And she and he are full of colors, adventure, dangers, deep pain but also a competitive search, which for years took the form of an escape from the unbearable pain and emptiness he was experiencing; until his release from all this suffering, and until he is given new life and new powers, which to this day seem to remain inexhaustible, as he continues to roam the world as a wandering troubadour, recounting his adventures and his encounter with God and his beloved old man Sophronius, a great figure of the 20th century , founder of the famous monastery of the Holy Forerunner in Essex, England.
Along the way we became friends and one day, as we were walking in Fokionos Negri, he mentioned to me that someone had offered him to transfer his life to the screen, which he wasn't sure if he would want to accept.
"Your life is indeed being offered for a movie script," I told him. "As well, it could easily become a graphic novel!"
"I would love that!" she exclaimed happily. "You're not telling me, could you do it yourself?"
That's it. I made some trials, which turned out sufficiently tempting to convince us that the venture would have a good chance of success. Then I talked it over with the publishers and got the green light. Thus began a two-year adventure until the book was completed.
The graphic novel is a favorite art form of mine, but one I hadn't ventured into until then. It is a form that combines illustration, something I have already done professionally for many years, with narration, a hitherto private way of expression. These came to tie me together and take me to all corners of the earth, to many of the beliefs and spiritual practices of its people, all those who today (due to the fact that we now live in a multicultural world, where everyone and everything is exposed and available ) trouble us, perhaps tempt us, attract us, confuse us, orient us or disorient us, and which Klaus experienced, through his labyrinthine path, in his search for the meaning of life. The answer of his search as an encounter with the truth and life itself was and is what justifies his entire course, and the dominant inspiration for the elaboration of this graphic novel. In a future edition, perhaps we should include a CD with suspenseful, relaxing, and joyful musical alternations, which will set the "tone" for the emotional alternations that accompany inspiration and execution!
The end is only the beginning
illustration: Melita Antoniadou