'Junker' is a coming-of-age story, set in the early 20th century. Ludwig von Schlitt and his older brother Oswald are privileged to attend the Köslin cadet school, where King Wilhelm II is revered as an omnipresent deity. As both young men are growing older, they are each in their own way confronted with their parents’ loveless marriage, father Ernst’s war trauma, mother Claudia’s disillusioned escapism and the ideological brainwashing at school. Dutybound Oswald changes into a rebel, while for Ludwig, Wilhelm II becomes the symbol of everything that has failed in his life.
Simon Spruyt is a masterful storyteller. The tone, style and atmosphere of his graphic novels vary greatly from book to book, but are always just right. In 'Junker', Spruyt again demonstrates that he masters and manipulates the graphic novel medium like no other.
Both in Flanders, the Netherlands and France, 'Junker' has been received as a 'literary gem' or 'jewel'. Rights have also been sold to France (Cambourakis) and Germany (Carlsen comics).