I Was A Strange Kid

I spent most of my childhood drawing weird comics.

These were full of gunfights, motorcycles, lasers, and explosions and they were usually inspired by Knight Rider or McGyver. But that’s not strange at all, isn’t it?

I also loved history books. Those dull Soviet-era biographies and monographs that the adults had on the upper shelves of the bookshelf. My favorites were about the legendary Estonian wrestler Georg Lurich and the good old biography of Beethoven.

The most typical family photo of the Estonian SSR. The year is 1985 and Perestroika has not yet taken off. That is me with the Mickey Mouse shirt. Photo by Robert Vahisalu (1985).

But my absolute favorite that beat them all was the book called History of the University of Tartu that enlisted all of the prominent Baltic-German professors of Imperial Russia: the founder of embryology Karl Ernst von Baer and the astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Struve. They were my heroes! And now comes the good part…

I also incorporated them to my comics, gave them laser swords and Uzis, gave them super-powers and made them fight the criminals, shoot at the mafiosos and chase them with white Ferraris just like Sonny Crockett in Miami Vice. The professors were excellent fighters.


“History of the University of Tartu” with some of my super-heroes. The university actually dates from 1632 and was founded by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden just moments before he was killed in the battle of Lützen

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