Man without a tribe

A comic about a cave man, who has to go through life on his own. The story is about loneliness and how the instinct-driven part of our brain is interpreting this state of being. Loneliness and isolation are such a big problem in many countries by now, that i.e. the British government assigned a minister who is responsible only for this issue.

Humans are social animals. Especially for the part of our mind which is associating an in-group with security and protection, being alone can become a source of stress. Even if you are objectively not in any danger, you may feel vulnerable and anxious on an instinctive level, just like the cave man in the comic.

The sentence “I am a man without a tribe” was the first thing that came to my mind regarding this comic. In my opinion, it sums up this feeling to be on your own, to have no group you belong to, very concisely. It also reminds me of the modern usage of the word “tribalism” as a description for defining yourself strongly through your affiliation with a group.

The more people see their subculture, scene or cultural background as the defining trait of their identity, the more you will notice if you can not or don’t want to clearly place yourself in that regard. You might feel like the main character in the comic who has to venture out of his safe cave on his own time and time again.

Translation challenges

This first sentence is also the reason, however, why so far I haven’t translated this comic into German, unlike other examples. I have yet to think of a good equivalent in German which isn’t either sounding awkward or isn’t carrying the same meaning.

“Ich bin ein Mann ohne Stamm” sounds a little silly to me, due to the fact that it almost rhymes. Also, the German word “Stamm” can mean both “tribe” and “treetrunk” and I didn’t want to use an ambiguous word in the very first sentence. “Ich bin ein Mensch ohne Sippe” sounds better, but I think the term “Sippe” is too close in meaning to the word “family” and too limiting because of that. Because of this, the comic will be available only in English for the moment.

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