Sayonara September. And a bit about SPX 2009…

May 14, 2009

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…


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