2017

January 6, 2018

I recently made a post about 2018 and the increasing fictionalization of the world.
Here’s the prequel, the story of some of the fiction I’ve been living in during the past year.

First, a list of things I’ve done or been part of publishing, and links to where to buy them:

En Andra Chans (Tusen Serier) by me and Shko Askari. A bilingual story, or rather a mix of several stories, intertwined and read in different directions to create a complex story in Swedish and Arabic.

CBAvol36|37: In the pits of madness (CBK) with me as main editor and stories from some great artists from Greece and Italy. This is more or less the ultimate volume of CBA for me, probably the one that’s most aligned with my personal taste so far.

I also had a few stories in Alkom’x #9 (NEIN) from Alkbazz/Le Garage L.

There may have been more that I’ve forgotten (like perhaps some book cover or noise video backdrop), but it actually has been quite a slow year creation-wise for me. Though I should also mention that I’m part of the Dubbelmoral v2.0 group exhibition from Tusen Serier that’s still going on until next week at Hybriden.

But enough about me. There’s so much else to be interested in. Feel free to take everything mentioned in this blog post as recommended reading/playing/watching, because it’s all great!

PS4:
There are games that you really fall for because they’re beautiful or engaging or just great stories or gaming experiences, like the Uncharted series or the new generation of Tomb Raider games, or RiME for that matter. As you can see from this list, I’ve ben catching up on a lot of games this year.

Mafia III

Then there are the game worlds that really drew me in. I’m not saying that these are better than the other ones I’m mentioning, but I have special feelings for them. When I start playing them there’s a certain anticipation, maybe because they are open worlds where you really feel that you are going away for a while to spend some time in another place. Like Mafia III, Horizon Zero Dawn and, to some extent, Bloodborne (which I recently started and haven’t gotten that far into).

Horizon Zero Dawn

Bloodborne

There are also the simpler experiences, more reminiscent of the old platformers from my youth but updated with stunning graphics and intriguing stories in all their simple complexities, like Inside, Little Nightmares, Limbo, Black the Fall, Unravel and the remake of my childhood classic Shadow of the Beast.

Shadow of the Beast

And there are some games that deserve a special mention: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, with its soundscape, intense fight scenes and psychological ambitions, Journey, with its non-story story of travelling through magic landscapes and The Last of Us which is another classic that I hadn’t played until now and which surprised me with its depths of emotion and suspense.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Also Bound, which was kind of simple but worked great in VR, as did Superhot.

I also played Wolfenstein: the new order in preparation for Wolfenstein II: the new colossus which I didn’t get around to yet. FPS aren’t normally my thing, but I’m making an exception for these. Speaking of games for letting off steam, Danger Zone was a nice find for some healthy demolition fun.

RiME

I could go on but I have other things to talk about…

TV:
I don’t have a TV, but still manage to follow some TV series. Here are some of the most noteworthy new discoveries and steady classics (I think I’ll just namedrop some stuff here that you’ve probably already seen or heard of, other wise check them out):
South Park | Rick & Morty | Preacher | Defenders | Punisher | The Gifted (Little-talked-about X-men spin-off that’s actually really good) | Legion (More talked-about X-men spin-off that’s even better) | Doctor Who | Twin Peaks (of course) | Orphan Black | Agents of SHIELD | Runaways | Archer | Killjoys | The OrvilleStar Trek: Discovery | Black Mirror | Show Pieces (mini series written by Alan Moore some years back that I just discovered)

FILMS:
Some films that stood out from the background noise of MCU (that I do enjoy) and… Is there anything else in the background noise anymore? Not necessarily released, but watched, in 2017:
Nobi/Fires on the plain (finally managed to see Tsukamoto’s new one, 3 years after it was first released) | Why don’t you play in Hell (one of those that make me want to watch everything by Sion Sono because they are such a delight) | Arrival (but how come they didn’t try to show them pictures?) | Get Out | Dope | Locke | Colossal.
I also caught up on some of Akira Kurosawa‘s old samurai movies, but though I liked most of them, none managed to reach the heights of Masaki Kobayashi at his best (ok, I’ve only sen two of his, but still)…

COMICS:
Some of these are one-shots, but most are stories that I’m following regularly as the collections are released, a few are old ones that I didn’t read until now:
Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash (Dave McKean) | Enhistoria (Unastoria by Gipi) | Fatale | Kill or be Killed | The Fade Out | Jessica Jones | Low | The Wicked + the Divine | Monstress | Bitch Planet | Lazarus | Saga | Injection | Trees | Deadly Class | Velvet | Starve | Jupiter’s Circle & Jupiter’s Legacy | New Lone Wolf and Cub | Seven to Eternity | Trigrammaton | Mellom Planeter | Osynliga händer | Pop Gun War 2 | Conditioner | Paper Girls | Civil War II | Inhumans vs X-men | Action Comics (new 52) | Wonder Woman: Earth One | Multiversity | All-new Wolverine | Miracleman | Frostbite | Tract | and I’m just now re-reading Claremont’s Sovereign Seven from the mid-90s.

BOOKS:
I’ve read more books (you know, the kind without pictures in them) in 2017 than I’ve managed to do in 20 years…
Kallskänken by Jenny Wrangborg | Normal by Warren Ellis | The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin | Consumed by David Cronenberg | Vurt by Jeff Noon (and I really wish I could find the sequels, Pollen and Automated Alice, but it seems hard…)

So I guess that’s it. The whole long list of things, worlds and entertainment worth indulging in last year. Kind of wondering how all of that could fit into one year…

Advertisements

2018

January 4, 2018

Welcome to 2018 and the fictionalized world.

What used to be nerd trivia is now common knowledge. When I was a kid, it wasn’t ok to know things like: who is Aunt May, what are the superpowers of the X-men, what’s the name of Superman’s adoptive mother and Batman’s birth mother? Ok, the last two have no justification for their exaggerated status as common knowledge, if you get my drift, but still. Who would have guessed that there would ever be a Black Panther movie that people in general (even in Sweden) would look forward to? Who would have thought that a Punisher TV series would even be possible?

That’s fiction gaining ground in the general consciousness. Superhero fiction it may be, and I’m not saying it’s a lower form because it’s superheroes because I know there are some good stories coming out of the genre, but you know, who would have thought that this underestimated genre could become so successful in the mainstream? And, maybe more importantly, what will come from it? Because out of a superhero-dominated North American comics culture came lots of interesting stuff, within the genre and from other parts of a culture whose lifeblood was those menand women in tights. Now I’m talking about a period that spans the 1980s and forward that is still evolving.

Speaking of women in tights… Did you know that, for example, the X-men comics were doing things with gender equality in the late 70s/early 80s that the movie industry is still working to catch up with. Could you imagine that the Wonder Woman movie, as progressive as it is in some respects, is actually a step backwards in many ways. It’s shameful to have to wait until now for this kind of big female superhero main character. At the same time it’s great that it finally came. It’s great that it opened the door for more. At the same time it’s shameful in the execution. How Wonderful wouldn’t it have been to have this Amazon woman come into the early 1900s world of men and simply not accept any of it. To have her look at the guys running the world, be they “good” or “bad”, and simply decide to fix it. Instead we got a character who decided to go shopping for clothes and play along as if she’d been indoctrinated into the role of the “fairer sex” all her life. Logically she would see Ares in all of Patriarchal society rather than one single man. I’m just saying. It could have been a great movie.

Anyway. While the nerd in me is hopeful, there’s also a darker side to this development. The city I live in has been depicted as a warzone, invaded by bearded men from foreign countries. And it doesn’t matter that it’s not true if real-life laws and policies are based on that image.

Similarly, if regular news is being treated as fake news and fake news is being treated as the hidden truth that the “elite” has tried to hide from us, sooned or later this new “truth” will be the basis of real-life policies (as if that wasn’t already enough of the case). The “elite” clearly not being people like the US president or the third biggest party in Sweden, but someone else. It’s not the Jews anymore, so probably the secret Leftist/Muslim conspiracy. You know, the ones who really rule the place, which explains why we all live in a Socialist Sharia dystopia. The ones who keep enforcing the belief that the Earth is round and other such nonsense…

So yeah, the future is going to be… interesting…

Here’s some of what I plan to be doing this year:

The theme for the AltCom 2018 comics festival, in late August, will be: HOW TO SURVIVE A DICTATORSHIP. There will be exhibitions and talks from people who have already lived through dictatorships as well as people who plan to survive future ones (you may have already guessed that 2018 is election year in Sweden).

I have a bunch of plans for new books, some of which involving the concept of the fictionalization of reality, but I don’t want to jinx anything so I won’t tell you what they are. Except I’ll have a comic in the upcoming CBA vol 38|39: Fragments that will be released really soon.

I will probably also have some part in the upcoming exhibitions FRAGMENTS and BEST OF CBK in the first half of the year. Both exhibited at Hybriden in Malmö.

Other than that, most of my time will be spent working with the zine workshop, FANZINEVERKSTADEN, a new project run by Tusen Serier with financing from Arvsfonden, which will be a space for selfpublishing of comics. I won’t talk about it more just yet, but when we get closer to actually opening, there will be announcements, so look for them.

Up next:
What other fictions did I live in during 2017? A special blog post dedicated to the games and books and comics and movies and so on that I ingested last year as inoculation for all the bullshit. Also about some of the things I produced, though it was a slightly less productive year than usual…