Welcome to
The Piracy is Liberation 006: Violence release party @ Utkanten (Industrigatan 20, Malmö)
July 4 2009
Music: Harsh noise and industrial live performances and a DJ-set with a selection of violent music.
Art: Two exhibitions on the theme of violence will be shown.

LIVE:
CONCRETE THREAT will present a one-man performance this time, but promises an experience at least as harsh as last time.
KOEFF
returns, this time in person and not just projected on the walls.
R.W.F. will do their first live performance in this constellation with their intense death-rave.
NIMAM SPREGLEDA will deliver hard old-school industrial.
More bands may be added…

EXHIBITIONS:
WORMGOD presents an expansion of the exhibition konSEKVENS that was shown in Växjö earlier this year. Wormgod is the combined forces of Susanne Johansson and Mattias Elftorp.
MATTIAS ELFTORP will also make a rerun of parts of the Violence exhibition with a sequence from the book of the same name. : VÅLD

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All back-issues of Piracy is Liberation will be available at good prices.

The entrance fee is 40 SEK, but you get in for free if you buy one or more copies of Piracy is Liberation. Please note that you need to be a member to get in. Send an email with name, first 6 digits and address to mattias@elftorp.com.
Membership costs 75 SEK/year.

This event is arranged by Wormgod with the support by C’est Bon Kultur.

If you’re on Facebook, here’s the event.

And here’s a video from the Concrete Threat gig at the Piracy005 release party:

New shoes here I come!

Leaving…

May 25, 2009

My introduction to C’est Bon Anthology vol. 7, coming out in time for the MoCCA festival in New York in about two weeks.

Having worked with C’est Bon Kultur since 2001, this is my final issue as a member of the editorial crew of c’est bon anthology. In all, since the start, this is the 23rd issue of the publication, and as usual I would have to say that this might be the best one (the latest one always is), even if I’ve had some favorites that are still going strong. Like the first issue as an international anthology, back in 2004, with contributions by both Danijel Zezelj and Anke Feuchtenberger in the same book. Or the first volume to be included in the Previews catalogue (which meant real international distribution as well as content), with comics by such great artists as Ho Che Anderson and Martin Tom Dieck, along with lots of others.

Some of the artists we’ve worked with have been already known to us, some have been new and we are happy to have come in contact with all of them and had the opportunity to spread their work through the anthology.

It’s been a long time and now it’s over. I may be the last one standing of the original founders of C’est Bon Kultur, but this association has always been dynamic, moving in different directions. That will continue and I feel fine moving on to other things (mainly my cyberpunk epic Piracy is Liberation and the art project Wormgod that I’m doing with Susanne Johansson), confident that the book is in good hands. I’ll probably contribute to the anthology now and then. It’s nice to get the chance to do something short and experimental in between other things. Having said that,
I look forward to being a reader first and foremost.

Sweden is a small country and not our main audience, but it’s where we live and it’s nice to see that we’ve affected the local comics scene by showing that there is a world outside the borders. This influence is something that was needed and that is visible when you look at what is now published in this country. We have always wished and worked for a greater diversity and in many ways that has come true. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the editors I’ve worked with over the years, all the artists who have contributed their work and all the readers who have made it all possible. Thank you for a great eight years and I hope I’ll see you around somewhere in the future.

I’ll be working with C’est Bon Kultur until the end of June, and I’ll also return in October/November to participate in the C’est Bon Panorama II exhibition.

What was I going to write here?

Oh well…

 

Time for a break, I think.

I was at the MoCCA ArtFest in New York City two years ago, and it was a great festival. Last year I didn’t make it, but this time I’m going again, and I’ll bring lots more of my books to show around. I’ll also be participating in a panel on the Nordic comics scene, on June 6, Saturday afternoon at 4.

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The thing takes place June 6-7, and I’ll also be there the whole week before the festival, so feel free to contact me about anything happening in New York that week.

I went to see the new Star Trek movie today. I liked it, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. It (or rather the title) made me think about somsething that I’ve touched upon in Piracy is Liberation.

They didn’t name it Star Trek XI, or even Star Trek: [individual movie title], even though it is the eleventh movie in the series. They named it Star Trek, like the others didn’t count. OK, considering the story in the film, that might be understandable, but I still think we can see some kind of trend here. A trend to ignore the past and make everything seem new.

Same thing with Rambo, Rocky Balboa and others I can’t think of right now. There is a history behind these films, and the contents of the films are building on this history, but in naming and marketing the thing, that history is more or less ignored.

Same thing with many of the remakes that have come in the last couple of years. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Departed, The Ring, Dark Water, Pulse, Dawn of the Dead and lots of others. Remakes of things that came from far away in time and/or space (counted from Hollywood, of course).

Of coursem you might not want to admit that the film you just made is a rermake, because it takes away some artistic merit from it. And there is some logic in making things sound new because of how the media works. News sell, even if they aren’t really news. So it’s understandable in a short-sighted capitalist perspective, but in the long run and a larger perspective, I’m wondering where it will lead (expecially if we see this trend in films and media as a sign of a cultural phenomenon in all of society)…

Still just a detail, but more finished. I’ll let Åsa decide when to show the whole thing…

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I’m working a bit behind the scenes with a friend of mine on her book, Sayonara September, which will be out this September from Kartago Förlag.

Detail from an unfinished piece I'm doing for the Sayonara September gallery...

Detail from an unfinished piece I'm doing for the Sayonara September gallery...

I already knew I liked her stuff, but working this close with someone else’s material gives you a new appreciation for it. It’s really an interesting experience. Also, after having read the first 100 or so pages of the book, I really look forward to having the finished book in my hands and getting to read it all at once (which will have to wait though, since there are three books planned before it’s all done. -Which is another reason why I like it. There are very few comics creators working in sweden right now who take their time to tell their stories like this. Who let the details drag out for a long time (counted in pages), because they’ve realised that there’s a lot to be said for details, and also let the overall story take its time to reach its conclusion. There are also (still) very few artists working in sweden right now who put this much effort into refining their art. But there are some, and I’m hoping there will be more of that in the coming years.

At this year’s SPX in Stockholm (hosted by Serieteket), there were some books that I especially looked forward to reading when I got home. One was Niklas Asker‘s Second Thoughts, recently released from Top Shelf Comix, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not a very long story, but there’s a great sensitivity in it, and attention to the little things. And I really like the art. I already look forward to Niklas’ next book, so hopefully he’ll get the time to do it soon…

There was also a book by Natalia Batista, called A Song for Elise, which I haven’t read yet, but it looks interesting. First swedish Yaoi I’ve seen and I’m quite intrigued. I just need a bit more time to read stuff.

Speaking of reading… Pretty soon I expect I’ll get to see the new Oblivion High too, created by rama, creator of Vesi Oli Mustaa. The problem is that all her books so far are in finnish, which I don’t understand much of, so I can’t read them. Seems like finnish publishers are more willing to look at new interesting stuff than the swedish ones. Big surprise.

Other than the ones I’ve mentioned, most of what I got at the SPX was not swedish books. There’s still so much, more interesting, stuff that are published elsewhere that I can’t really be bothered by most of the swedish stuff. Which is too bad, of course, but it’s just the way things are, at least for now. The swedish comics climate has long been constituted (maybe I should say dominated, because there are of course some, more peripheral, exceptions) by a very small community that has for a long time been quite uninterested in looking past the national borders. Consequently, the most interesting work right now seems to be created by artists who have looked to the outside for inspiration, be it Manga or western comics…

I should mention, I guess, that this thing about not looking outside of the national borders for inspiration is a problem that has as much to do with swedish society in general as it has with the swedish comics culture. Självgodhet is the swedish word that comes to mind.

By the way, I’m starting to suspect that Piracy is Liberation will be at least 20 books, and not 19 as I used to think until I started planning for book 007…

And, last but not least, I should mention that Suss and I have started to plan the first graphic novel to come out of the Wormgod project. It’s a horror story, naturally. More on that later…

There will be a book 007 before the end of 2009 after all! I wasn’t sure, but events are falling into place that will allow me to do it. I’ll start working on it after the June World Tour (MoCCA in New York City, Punk Illegal in Munkedal and Crack! in Rome) is over… The theme for this book will be religion. I will explore the religious structures of the City’s society and we may get to witness the birth of a new semi-divine entity. Also, I suspect, the first appearance of Ming (who was mentioned in book 005).

We will also see the effects of the last pages of book 006. The rules have changed in a very fundamental way for the inhabitants of the City. So what’s the next step? How will the authorities/rebels react to this development?

As soon as Suss has some time I’ll ask her for a cover, and I’ll get to work on the insides of the book.

Wormgod: konSEKVENS

May 6, 2009

wormgodlogo1

So. The first Wormgod exhibition, konSEKVENS, took place this April at the Växjö University.

For some more info, and the image in its entirety, go to the Wormgod site.

Being at the Academic Perspectives on Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels as Intercultural & Intermedial Phenomena event was a bit weird when we were just a few comics creators present and so many academics. It’s usually the other way around. The participants were nice though (except for one) and the lectures were interesting. -To a varying degree, I should add. There’s a limit to how much use you have as a creator for a definition of what comics are, and in some ways, definitions can even be limiting. But apart from that, it was a nice setting. Except…

A number of the copies I brought of Piracy is Liberation were stolen. Normally, I wouldn’t mind terribly. Charging money for the books is just a necessary evil, but in this case, considering the type of students I suspect to be the culprits, it doesn’t feel ok. Oh well. With some luck they’ll read the books and rethink their choices in life*…

konsekvens01akonsekvens01b1konsekvens01c

Anyway…
konSEKVENS is only the beginning and will be expanded into another exhibition called VÅLD. It will be shown at the release party for Piracy is Liberation 006: Violence, probably some time in July at Utkanten in Malmö. Keep your eyes peeled for information as things fall into place for the arrangement.

In conclusion, here’s the presentation that accompanied the image at the exhibition:

This exhibition is a sequential artwork about consequences. The image tells a story, perhaps many stories, about a crucial event in human history. Something that has affected our generation and our view on life in a very basic way. An event that brought death into the equation, on a scale that is bigger even than specieswide extincion.
konSEKVENS is also an experiment in linear/non-linear thinking. The images and their stories can be read like a comic strip, but it is up to their viewers to make the connections between different image elements and arrive at something that is not chronological. Something that is spread out through time: a multitude of events and their consequences.
In the end, we all live in the shadow of the mushroom cloud. A shadow outside of time that reaches the lab in Los Alamos, the streets of Hiroshima, the Whute House, the board rooms of the war industry and the minds of the visitors here today at the University of Växjö.

 

* Växjö University is not only the host for academic comics events, there is also the police academy. And, as we all know, the police are not to be trusted.