It was founded in 1986 by Paul Derouet, director of Contours Talent Agency Hamburg, who has also acted as host and organiser of the workshop in close cooperation with the Cultural Office of the City of Erlangen.
Since 2019 the Department for Festivals and Cultural Programmes at the Cultural Office, which also organises the Erlangen International Comic Salon, acts as host of the workshop. Ralf Marczinczik, comic artist and art director from Dortmund, who has been familiar with the aims and content of the workshop for many years, has been asked to take over the role of managing organiser. The team of lecturers is completed by a number of internationally renowned comic artists from all over Europe. Past instructors include artists like MAX Bardin, Baru, Flix, Serge LeTendre, Reinhard Kleist, Mawil, Pascal Rabaté, Birgit Weyhe and Barbara Yelin.
The workshop is directed primarily at German-speaking comic artists that have already gained experience in the fields of graphic literature and comics. However, as part of an initiative to foster international and intercultural exchange, the workshop welcomes guest artists from all over the world, i.a. from China, France, India and Nigeria, on a regular basis. The workshop supports participants to either continue with an already existing larger graphic novel / comic project or to work on a specific topic that is announced a few weeks prior to the workshop. The originating works are presented to a wide public as well as professional visitors, like publishers, journalists and comic experts, during the International Comic Salon.
Many of the more than 350 artists that have participated in the workshop since its establishment have become an important part of the German and international comic scene and have taken over the role of workshop instructors themselves – among them: Harm Bengen, Reinhard Kleist, Isabel Kreitz, Thomas von Kummant, Nicolas Mahler, Uli Oesterle and Benjamin von Eckartsberg.
More information (in German) about the goals and history of the workshop can be found in the below Comixene interview with Paul Derouet, founder and longstanding organiser of the workshop.