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Move Over Catwoman, Here’s Die Mietzecacher …

Nobody could ever say that the cat has got Melanie Lipka’s tongue.

When the 22-year-old Bavarian doesn’t have her GPSr in hand, she’s creating popular geo-cartoon Die Mietzecacher, based on her caching experiences with her partner (and occasionally their furry feline).

It’s been nearly a year since Lipka (GC handle: Mietzecacher, which means ‘puss cacher’) published her first installment in German last July 15 and she’s enjoyed watching her creation develop in that time – notably with the addition of an English-language version provided by a Canadian geocacher.

“Stage 1 was only available in German first, with a really crappy translation in the artist’s comment. At this point I didn’t intend to translate it. But on September 27 of that year, Stage 1 also appeared in English and since that time every strip has been released in two languages.”

Each stage of Die Mietzecacher is posted to four locations – Lipka’s DeviantArt gallery, her Facebook page, the Geocaching-Franken website and the GC.com forums (in both the German Speaking and Geocaching Topics sections) – giving her access to a broader readership.

She says the most common reaction to her work is: ‘Oh yeah I recognise myself in your comics!’ “and I love that”. “Many people post pictures of their adventures showing scenes from one of the comic strips. Of course, there are also comments like: ‘Keep up the good work!’, ‘I love your drawings’ etc. At the beginning there were also people who corrected my English but since Richard (GC handle: dfx) began translating the comics, those comments have stopped.”

Although this is her first regular strip, Lipka has been dabbling with comics for some time. “The first comic strips I made were for a contest of an online game. Then I made some comics about university and especially maths because my teacher was a really funny guy and that inspired me to doodle onto my maths notes.”

Each Die Mietzecacher plot is produced in a similar fashion, she says – waiting for inspiration and then writing it down “immediately”. “Most of the storylines only take two to five minutes but I really have to write them down promptly when they come up.  When it’s time for the monthly comic, I take that scrap paper, pick one story and plug my graphics tablet in. From then on , it takes about 30 minutes to an hour to finish each strip.”

And while Lipka is proud of every strip, her absolute favourite is the final panel of her Stage 5 cartoon. “I love that weißwurst costume (weißwurst = bavarian veal sausage).”

When not drawing or caching, the university student is “working hard” to become an electrical engineer. “I know that’s a funny mix but this study path is more creative than you would expect.”

*If you’d like to discover Melanie Lipka’s big cat-themed travel bug Mietzecacherin, the code is C627RK.

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