Death to 2016…

December 31, 2016

2016 ends and it’s time for a summation. I could comment on the new migration laws, on the ongoing/invigorated persecution of undocumented as well as beggars, the seeming rise of general stupidity, the steady decline of hope as species are going extinct at a rate we haven’t seen since the last ice age, various mad-people in power, abuses perpetrated by various states etc etc (I could also talk about celebrity deaths but why?). But I’m probably going to keep this personal and up-beat(?).

So here are some things I made/was involved in during the year. Mostly unpaid work as usual, which I’m getting increasingly tired of, but what are you going to do? Up-beat, was it? Right. Ok. This is me when I’m unemployed:

COMICS:
The Troll actually came out in the end of 2015, but it was still new when this year started, and it was also my only solo book, so I still feel that it counts.
I had some other plans for upcoming solo books, but none of them have turned into reality. Yet…

wormgodbook027thetroll

Publication-wise when it comes to my own comics, this has been more of an anthology year, with some comics being published in several places:
Viral was drawn in 2015 but published this year in CBAvol30.
Medication, published in CBAvol35: BLEED, Komikaze #42 (web) and #15 (paper) and possibly Alkom’x #9
Idle hands & recreation in CBAvol34: Re: Creation and idleness  and possibly Alkom’x #9
Fragments will be in CBAvol37 and possibly Alkom’x #9
Arg Kanin om Samma gamla visa in Asylkalendern 2017.

viralv2-2 medication-1xrpt idlehands01smpl vasta-aine-2

I sent some of these stories to some other places as well so they may turn up in more places in the future…

ASSOCIATIONS:
Some big steps forward were taken for both Tusen Serier and CBK. Both associations broke some ties with the Swedish Comics Association this year, which feels nice for various reasons that shall remain untold for now. It meant that CBK left the Comics Centre in the Mazetti building where we had been since 2005. Tusen Serier also finished the last project period that was run through the Comics Association. Both of these things lead up to both groups moving together and starting our new exhibition/store/studio/library/storage space Hybriden. We officially opened in March but it definitely feels like we’ve been there for more than a year… The new space also brought a brand-new webshop with it into existence.

cbk_logo 1000logo hybriden-logo

CBK also started to get its shit together with the release of CBAvol30: A new hope, which was the first volume made/compiled completely by the new editorial crew. We also published our last graphic novel issue, CBAvol33: Repeat Offenders by Julia Scott, and 3 more anthologies.

cbavol30covercbavol32cvr cbavol33cvr cbavol34cvrcbavol35cvr

FESTIVALS:
There was of course the AltCom 2016 festival, themed WORK. In many ways it felt like it was the best AltCom so far. We managed to create our own pocket universe during those few days in the end of July.

altcom2016zombies

Also visited some other festivals/events (not as many as planned, but enough):
SIS, CRACK!, Oulu art night, Novo Doba, Örebro.

EXHIBITIONS:
Vasta-Aine was an exhibition at the Oulu Comics Centre, featuring 3 of my recent comics, Medication, Fragments and Happiness.
-I had an exhibition at the CUK Imago in Belgrade during Novo Doba, with some of my old Wormgod prints and some original paintings.
-And, also during Novo Doba, I painted a mural at the Zemun-based cultural centre Matrijaršija.
-The BLEED group exhibition at Hybriden, organized by CBK and Kinga Dukaj, was the coolest exhibition I’ve been a part of for a long while. I made three paintings for this exhibition that took place in the midst of a seriel killer’s murder scene, walls and ceiling covered with plastic sheets, blood (most of it fake) spattered everywhere, special music by Feberdröm

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matrijarsija-wall2

MORE BOOKS:
Tusen Serier released a batch of new books this year:
Fem historier om prostituerande by Amalia Alvarez
Myling by Amanda Casanellas & Yossra El Said
Mapuche by Jorge Varas Varilla
Void by Susanne Johansson (published in cooperation with Wormgod)
Cool Cykel by Tanja Komadina

prostituerande-1 mapuchecvr voidcover myling-1coolcykelcvr

THE ANGERED THING:
In November I took over from Amanda Casanellas who was there in October as the Tusen Serier residence artist at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg, a special residency that they had in cooperation with Blå Stället in Angered. During one month I could (mostly) concentrate on one thing instead of a hundred, which was probably quite healthy. I took some breaks to be at the BLEED exhibition and the Örebro festival, but still managed to draw 55 pages based on Amanda’s ideas, which were based on stories from Angered. Urban legends, folk tales, local mythology which we will work into a story to be published at some point during 2017…

screenshot_2016-11-22-01-45-2101

LIKE TEARS IN RAIN:
There were probably some more things that might be worth mentioning, some short comics, illustrations, book covers, maybe some project or other, but I simply can’t remember everything and I’m too lazy to look it up.

hdjul201601 crackland_fulbaileys strejkomslag

So I’m going to leave you with a (surprisingly long) list of stuff I’ve watched/played/read in the sessions of downtime squeezed in between all the rest. It’s not all from this year, because only idiots think that there’s no past. And yes, these are just from the top of my head, things I recommend that happened to not slip my mind:

PS3/4:
DMC | Beyond: Two Souls | Enslaved | Alice 2 | The Last Guardian (finally!) | Shadow of the Beast (worthy remake of childhood nostalgia) | Life is strange (just started but seems promising)

TV SERIES (the most noteworthy new discoveries / steady classics):
South ParkRick & MortyWestworld | Crazy Head | The OA | Orphan Black | Preacher | Daredevil | Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Doctor Who (even if there was only one new episodes)

FILMS:
Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen (Kitano is back!) | Sausage Party(!) | Maps to the stars | Lamerica | He never died | Extracted | Mr Six | Batman v Superman (Martha?!) | May Allah bless France | M. Butterfly | Borgman | The Lobster | High-Rise | Schizopolis | Kontroll | The Witch | Urge | Upstream Color | GhostbustersVanishing Waves (ok, I saw this in 2015, but still worth mentioning) | + of course the MCU stuff…

COMICS:
Low | The Wicked + the Divine | Supreme Blue Rose | Starve | Punk Rock Jesus | Empty Zone | Monstress | (all of) Hellblazer | Deadenders | Bitch Planet | Velvet | New Lone Wolf & Cub | Lazarus | Saga | Nameless | Injection | Caliban | Blackgas | Stormwatch (Ellis) | Animal Man (finally caught up on Morrison’s run)| Trees | Deadly Class | Miracleman | Annihilator | + caught up on the X-books up until Secret Wars

BOOKS:
Woman on the edge of time by Marge Piercy | The Dispossessed by Ursula K LeGuin

Yeah, regular books take me a long time, so 2 in one year is unusually good.

LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH:
Hope you found something interesting that you might have otherwise missed in these lists, and enjoy the last few hours of the year…

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AltCom 2016: afterword

August 5, 2016

The AltCom experience of 2016 is over, as much as something like this is ever over, because when a festival like this is at its best, it lingers in your soul/mind/5D construct.

We actually managed to create this separate plane of existence. A space that is its own thing and when it’s over it’s like you’re going back home, even if you already live in the same city. And when I say “we”, I don’t mean me, I don’t mean the organizers or volonteers, I mean all of us who took part in it. The guests/exhibitors/musicians/visitors. The smokers and drinkers. The ones who woke up, went to the festival and stayed until they passed out or went home (sometimes when the morning sun had come out and the birds started singing, sometimes when the wine was over, sometimes when it was just the right time to go). The ones who arrived late at night, the ones who left early. This international family that’s made up of people you almost only meet in these liminal existences. These special relationships with people you meet a few times a year, in different parts of the world, that you consider to be friends even if you hardly know most of them in any deeper sense.

It started with the preparty sessions where a few of us sat down with some wine after putting up exhibitions, discussing anything from printing techniques to working conditions to drug culture to Pokémon Go to the effect the internet has on communication and on underground and zine culture. Then it all grew as the actual festival started. People meeting, inspiring each other, giving birth to new collaborations, extending invitations to future events, other worlds to visit in the future. An intersection of pasts, present and futures.

lostpiece

The lost/found piece, by Alkbazz…

Many of us will meet again, because this part of the comics culture is borderless by nature and part of a network of recurring aquaintances, but we may never meet again in this exact same constellation of people.

And then there’s the story of the lost luggage that arrived just in time for the Saturday afterparty so we could complete the exhibition a few hours before it closed, the stolen items, the missed flight, the missing guest, like an offering to the god of Branquignole. Maybe the price to pay for everything else running more or less smoothly. Sleep was another casualty, but what are you gonna do?

So thank you to everyone who came, who let people stay in their homes, who participated, volunteered, carried tables, held talks/performances/workshops, who brought their art or simply their presence. For an AltCom festival that became something beyond the sum of its parts. Not unlike the language/artform of comics itself.

altcom2016rasa01

Check this comics interpretation of the festival, by Radovan Popović

AltCom!

July 25, 2016

As you may have noticed, a lot of my life has circulated around AltCom this last time.

I would like to tell you all about it in an engaging way that really makes you understand why you should come, like all the exhibitions, parties, filmprogram, talks & workshops and the comics market and the free book that you can find all over the festival. But I simply don’t have time, so instead I’ll just send you to the festival’s website, which by now is almost completed with all the information you might need:

www.altcomfestival.se

Hope to see you there!

altcom2016poster_anthology

Poster based on the anthology cover art by Kinga Dukaj.

The AltCom festival anthology arrived from the printer yesterday!

anthology_arrived

It’s a 100 page book with comics relating to WORK by an assortment of international artists and it will be given away for free before, during and after the festival. Some of the featured artists will also be present at the festival.

Read more about it here.

The festival takes place July 28-31 in Malmö. See you there!

POSTERS!

July 6, 2016

Maybe something else will be added, but these are the main & exhibition posters för AltCom 2016. Read more about everything here!

altcom2016poster

altcom2016poster_stripburge

altcom2016poster_1000

altcom2016poster_cbk

altcom2016poster_wormgod

altcom2016poster_aniara

Back from CRACK!

July 3, 2016

Back from CRACKLAND, putting the preparations for AltCom 2016 into high gear (is that the expression? I never learned to drive a car and my bikes usually didn’t have any gears).

Most of the posters are finished, most of the program is set, most of the tables are booked, but there is still a lot of space for additions and changes, so it’s going to be a couple of interesting weeks until it all starts…

To start the month and also to put the festival in a bigger context, here’s a little thing I wrote on the site the other day:

crackland_fulbaileys

Feberdröm & me in the Wormgod/Tusen Serier/CBK + friends cell…

So we just came back from the CRACK! festival in Rome, which is more or less the hub/parent/sibling of the European(+) scene for underground/alternative/DIY/art comics & temporary art. The festival gathers hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors under the same roof, or actually in the tunnels under the same fort.

CRACK! is the great inspiration for AltCom and many others, even if the conditions very from country to country. For example, the squatting culture in Italy and Sweden are completely different. If you try to occupy an empty building to turn it into a social centre in Sweden, you will have to deal with a massive police assault on you almost directly. No such squat in Sweden has lasted more than a few months in recent years, and even that is extremely rare. It’s more likely that you will be back on the street within hours. Whereas Forte Prenestino (the social centre where CRACK! is held) celebrates its 30th anniversary as a squat this year.

On the other hand, Malmö is a friendly city and it’s possible to cooperate with a lot of venues (like Folkets Park, Panora, Mitt Möllan and others during the previous AltComs) without having to spend all of your budget just to find a place to have the festival’s exhibitions, comics market, etc.

On the other hand, Sweden is kind of expensive compared to other countries (though Malmö is cheap for Sweden), if not as expensive as Norway or Switzerland, so it comes with some other issues that we need to handle when organizing our event. We compensate by keeping as many parts as possible of the festival free of charge, like tables, entrance fees, festival anthology…

An important aspect of AltCom is that even if the comics fair is an important part of it, since it gives small press publishers and artists the opportunity to sell their books and the public the opportunity to buy them, we focus a lot on the social aspect.

That’s why we start the festival off with a two-day exhibition opening for several exhibitions at once, gathered in the same place. It creates a meeting ground for artists from different parts of the world, to show their stuff, to talk, to drink together and make new plans for the future, as well as meet a public that get the chance to experience something new.

The CRACK! festival is truly a seed for a future that may come, a seed that may be part of creating an atmosphere based on participation, mutual respect, creativity and boundless exchange. And that’s what we also try to be with AltCom, even if we are in Sweden and don’t have a huge squatted-since 30-years fort.

This seed is already bearing fruit. Weeds are cropping up in various places taking different forms, such as:
AFA (Autoproduzioni Fichissime Anderground) Milano (ITA)
Combat Comics Livorno (ITA)
Ratatà Macerata (ITA)
Ca.Co.FEST Bari (ITA)
BORDA Fest – Produzioni Sotterranee Lucca (ITA)
PICS Pescara Intergalactic Comics Show Pescara (ITA)
F.OFF Angoulême (FRA)
Tenderete Valencia (ESP)
Gutter Fest Barcelona (ESP)
Vendetta Marseille (FRA)
PRINTNOIZE Berlin (GER)
Ohoho Festival Zagreb (CRO)
NOVO DOBA Beograd (SRB)
ŠKVER! Art Project Mali Lošinj (CRO)
Fijuk network (Balkans/International)
and of course AltCom and probably many more…

Slowly moving forward…

April 8, 2016

Like a bunch of zombies, in torn work clothes, the AltCom festival is moving forward…

We just got some more money confirmed, so we know that the anthology will happen again this year, and also some other things that wren’t ready to disclose just now.

See the AltCom festival website for news as we drag ourselves forward…

altcom2016zombies

Reposted from the AltCom website:

Time to announce the festival anthology of 2016:

We don’t have all the funding secured yet, but there’s a Kickstarter, so let’s assume that everything will be fine and open this call for submissions anyway!

The theme for this year is WORK, and we would like you to give us your stories interpreting that theme.

WHAT we want:
Pages: 1-5, black/white
Language: English
Format: 140x182mm (a little bit smaller than A5) +5mm bleed on all sides
Files: High-resolution .TIFF, preferably
If you are unsure what we mean by “high-resolution”, please ask. Not sure what we mean by “bleed”? Read this! Lots of artists don’t know, and it’s better to ask than to send us files that we can’t use.

Introduction to the theme.

WHEN we want it:
Deadline: May 15

Send questions and submissions to: submissions [at] altcomfestival [dot] se

Please feel free to invite more comics artists to the Facebook event.

anthology_kickstarter

WHO we are:
The AltCom 2016 anthology will be edited by the Hybrid of CBK & Tusen Serier.

As usual, no one gets paid for participating. But on the other hand, no one pays for it either since we’ll be giving the book away for free during and after the festival!

And yes, we do accept comics that have already been published elsewhere, as long as we like them and they fit into the theme.

Memories of 2016…

January 8, 2016

As we have seen in The Troll. memories work both backwards and forwards in what we usually see as the linear flow of time.

thetroll-memories

They’re not always exactly corresponding to what actually happens when it actually happens, so bear that in mind when reading these recollections from the future:

SPACE

CBK and Tusen Serier will move into a new space together at Mitt Möllan. It will work as a combined exhibition space and studio, with the possibility for workshops and a store for buying our books, as well as stuff from Wormgod, Ritualen and others that are connected to CBK or Tusen Serier in some way.

BOOKS

Personally, I really really want to get started on the next Piracy is Liberation book. I also have ideas for The Troll 2, but I promised myself I would make another Piracy book first. It’s been far too long…

gdpiracy-vollogo

I wrote the script for a book that is now being drawn by Shko Askari, to be published by Tusen Serier pretty soon, I hope. I have a preliminary title for it, but I’m trying to think of a better one, so I won’t tell you what it is.

I didn’t manage to make the Transgressions 2 book last year, which would have a soundtrack by Brazilian band Anarcho Vomit Noise, but with any luck that could also happen this year.

gdtransgressionslogo

PUBLISHING

Apart from the Askari book, there are several more books planned from Tusen Serier. Here are a few of them:

Myling by Amanda Casanellas & Yossra El Said:

myling-1

Five stories about prostituters by Amalia Alvarez:

prostituerande-1

Void by Susanne Johansson (published as a collaboration between Wormgod & Tusen Serier):

voidcover

Mapuche – Jordens folk by Jorge Varilla

mapuchecvr.jpg

 

From CBK, CBA vol 30 already came from the printer but hasn’t been officially released yet, so that will happen when we get the new space up and running:

cbavol30cover

This is actually the last issue from last year, so there will be 4 more in 2016. But more on those later. We’re right now in the process of finishing the selection for vol 32, which has been a far more complicated process that expected, then there’s a graphic novel issue by Julia Scott (some time around May) and two more anthology issues before the year is over. We’re right now preparing the call for submissions for those books.

I will be the main editor of vol 37, but that’s not until 2018. No hurry…

EXHIBITIONS

The Troll exhibition is still up at the old Tusen Serier place, but it’s not really open for the public any longer…

We also have some other stuff planned for the new place, but it’s all very vague so far, so I can’t say any more about it yet…

I’ve been asked to have an exhibition at the comics centre in Oulu in August. That’s gonna be fun, especially if I’ll be able to go there to see it myself. Tommi Musturi will have an exhibition there at the same time, so that could turn out really nice.

FESTIVALS

So the AltCom festival will happen in August, after all (for a while we thought we would have no budget for it at all, but then we got some so now everything is ok). We will try to figure out the last details in the coming few months, and then there will be some kind of announcement about it.

AltCom2016promo

Not sure yet which other festivals I’m going to, but here’s a preliminary plan for the tour of 2016:

Uppsala Comix
Fumetto
SIS
CRACK!
Helsinki
Novo Doba

Maybe also Å-fest and possibly something else. It all depends on funding, mostly. Anyway, see you there, hopefully!

MORE

Oh, and did I mention that I am currently unemployed? Luckily, there should be no problem with the unemployment insurance, so it’s ok, but I will need to spend some time looking for new paid jobs. Some of the above will come with some money, but most of it is pure creativity and lack of self-preservation skills.

As you may have noticed, I didn’t include any links here, so for more information you can go to www.elftorp.com and find your way to most of what I’ve mentioned here.

Anyway. The future is coming towards us and not all of it is bright. As usual. So let’s just do our best and I’ll see you when it arrives.

Today + near future news

August 7, 2015

The Tusen Serier/Sverok wall/jam comics exhibition that’s been going on this week will be finished today, which we will celebrate with alcohol, of course. We have three jam comics going on the walls, and yesterday we made some connections between the different stories, so they will all be concluded today in a SUPER RAVE PARTY OF DEATH. Literally (or at least in some kind of literal form).

We start at 16 and go on until 22-ish, depending on when we run out of wine…

1000nerd_pride

In other news:

As you may know, I’ve been organizing the AltCom festival (website will soon be updated) for the Swedish Comics Association since 2010. The next edition, however, will be run by CBK in cooperation with Tusen Serier. I will still be the main organizer, but it still feels new and exciting.

And speaking of Tusen Serier, it just completed the transition from a project run by the Comics Association into an organization in its own rights. Which also feels great!

And one last item. A new book from CBK is nearing completion: Creation of a god / Att skapa en gud by Henrik Möller & Lars Krantz, based on a short story by Richard Stanley. Here’s the first official preview of the cover:

vallondencvr