So I came back from CRACK! a couple days ago and tomorrow is the first day with no meeting or things I have to do, so I will set the phone to silent and stay away from any other means of contact with the outside world.

Maybe spend the day in New Bordeaux or in space or the future.

But before I go into my 24h hibernation, here are some things from recent times that you may find interesting:

New books:

En Andra Chans (Tusen Serier) was written by me and drawn by Shko Askari. It’s written in Swedish & Arabic and consists of two interconnected stories, read in different directions, that meet in the middle. About war, racism, integrity and migration.
You can order it here.

CBA vol 36|37 (CBK) was edited by me, with stories by Akab, Spyros Verykios, Elena Guidolin and Serena Schinaia, with a cover by Radovan Popovic. I’m very happy with this latest volume of the international art comics anthology. This one is all in English.
You can order it here. Here’s another pic of the cover, this one modified during CRACK!:

Speaking of CRACK!… One of the things that happened there was a gig with Noise Against Fascism, for which I made this backdrop (which turned into a kind of cape during the gig):

And while I’m writing this I’m answering Facebook comments on this text. Some people seem to be unable to think outside the boundaries of the law, even if the law is immoral, which is kind of worrying. Others seem to have problems with texts longer than a tweet, so here’s a short summary:

When I grew up, in the 1980s/90s in a small town in Sweden, anything out of the “normal” was weird and something to stay away from (reading comics/listening to techno/being gay/being born somewhere else/watching foreign movies/being female etc).
Parallel to this, it was hard for immigrants to get asylum here (and it’s worse now, no matter what right-wing propaganda you hear). And anarchism was unheard of as a viable ideology. The mainstream ruled.
It’s all connected so what we do in CBK/CBA is antiracist by providing a printed space for what isn’t seen as normal.

Of course, it’s more elaborate in the blog post, so maybe read that…

Here’s an excerpt, which I think may be the most controversial part:

Once, a bunch of years ago, I was with a large group of people outside the refugee detention centre in Malmö. We were there to stop a deportation of a man from… I don’t even remember from where. The police came to get him. We stood in the way, blocking all entrances. After a while, the cops said: “All right, now you’ve made your statement. You’ve expressed your opinion. Now stand aside and let us do our job”. That hit me on a deep level. We were there to save someone’s life, and they thought we just wanted to express out opinion and then things could go back to repressive normality. Of course we didn’t move. We stayed there all day, hungry, getting burned by the sun, until the guy managed to break a window from the outside and get out. Within minutes he was in a car being driven away from there, to a life in hiding. Maybe eight months later, he got his permit of residency, proving us right.

People here seem to think that opinions is something everyone can have, as long as they don’t interfere with reality. Conversely, they also see them as something harmless, which is why we’re supposed to be so lenient towards racism. Because it’s just an opinion, which anyone is entitled to, and it has nothing to do with real life (and, incidentally, they won’t hurt you as long as you belong to the white mainstream (but who worth considering isn’t white mainstream?)). Except it does. Anything that today is ‘just an opinion’, may tomorrow be the new mainstream, with real-life consequences.

In other news… A while ago I made this book cover for Malvarma Bufedo (SLEA) the Esperanto version of Jenny Wrangborg‘s Kallskänken. Got my copies of the book the other day (and you can (soon anyway) order it here):

Also, if you drop by Hybriden these days (it’ll probably be closed but if you’re lucky or look through the window), you can see the Berättelser från Yunnan (Tusen Serier) exhibition by Emei Burell. Or you can order the book here.

And you will also see our banner in support of the XM24 squat in Bologna:

I’ll finish this off with two pages from Transgressions (Wormgod) that I think illustrate part of the point I wanted to make in that CBK blog post (click for bigger version):

You can, of course, order it here

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I don’t want to dream

April 26, 2017

Here’s something you should go see at Hybriden if you’re in Malmö between May 5-25 (read more about it here):


And if you feel the need for some new books to read, here are a few tips:
CBA vol 36|37: IN THE PITS OF MADNESS
Berättelser om Yunnan by Emei Burell
En Andra Chans by me & Shko Askari

The deadline is soon here! April 13 (note the timezone, not sure how that works at Indiegogo) is the last day to donate to CBK for the new volume of CBA.

Here’s my introduction to the book. Hope you like it (click it for biggermaking):

 

And let’s have the video once more, shall we? Just because it’s so nice:

Crowdfunding! CBA vol 36

March 13, 2017

The other day i finished lettering the comic I don’t want to dream by Spyros Verykios. We normally don’t do that but he needed help and I liked the story so much that it was worth it.

It’s a beautifully painted and quite disturbing comic of 43 pages that will be included in the upcoming CBA vol 36. A while ago we changed the structure for how we work with the editorial stuff in CBK. Instead of having big meetings that decide the contents of each issue (well, we still have those big meetings to discuss the comics), we have one person that is the main editor. This is because the new crew that took over CBK 2 years ago is a bit more diverse that earlier ones when it comes to taste. Which is a good thing in general, but it also meant that for each new volume, no one was completely happy with the contents. Having a rotating main editorship made a change in that; now everyone can at least be completely happy with one issue once in a while, and it’s ok to not be 100% satisfied the rest of the time. To be clear: I’m not saying that I don’t normally like the comics in CBA, but you always have your favorites. There’s a Swedish proverb to explain this. Taste is like the ass: divided.

So CBA vol 36 is my volume. I got to use my absolute favorites of the material that has come in from the last calls for submissions (Spyros Verykios, Akab & Elena Guidolin), and also headhunted some other stuff (Serena Schinaia & the cover by Radovan Popović), and I’m really happy with it.

The problem is that CBK is currently out of money. Tusen Serier is letting us wait a bit with paying our part of the rent for Hybriden, but it’s not a good situation since our funding from the Swedish Arts Council was cut off. So we decided to try crowdfunding via Indiegogo.

HERE’S THE CAMPAIGN PAGE. Please help us by donating some money and/or share the link and spread the word (if you prefer, it’s also possible to donate directly to us via PayPal: info [at] cbkcomics [.] com). It would really mean a lot to us (and to me, since this volume is a personal matter) and you’ll also get some perks as thank you. The really big spenders will get our entire back catalogue of what we still have in print, which is a massive pile.

Also check out this really cool promo video with art from the book, made by Víctor Expolio, with music by Feberdröm.

Let’s plunge together into the pits of madness. Let’s watch the dissolution of reality, let’s dance with clear heads and see where it takes us. Let’s travel the river hiding in the desert sands until the wind rises and we reach the final collapse. Let’s look deep into the eye of the tiger. And see afterwards if we dare to dream.

BLEED – paintings

January 27, 2017

My paintings from last year’s BLEED exhibition (by CBK/Tusen Serier):

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The exhibition was made for the release of CBAvol35.

You can see more exhibition photos at Tusen Serier, samples from the book at CBK where you can also order it.
Please do; CBK desperately needs money (crowdfunding thing coming up soon) and it’s a really good issue.

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New year, new plans. Here are a few mentions of future stuff…

UPCOMING GRAPHIC NOVELS:
En Andra Chans (Tusen Serier) by me and Shko Askari
Sagor från Angered (working title) (Tusen Serier & Blå Stället) by me, Amanda Casanellas & Segal Mohammed
Piracy is Liberation v03 (Wormgod) IF I can only find the time for this, it’d definitely be about time to finally be able to continue this story…

EXHIBITIONS:
Cool Cykel (Tusen Serier presents Tanja Komadina) in February
I don’t want to dream (CBK presents Spyros Verykios and CBAvol36) in May

MORE BOOKS:
Berättelser om Yunnan – minnen från kulturrevolutionen (Tusen Serier) by Emei Burell
CBAvol36: In the pits of madness (CBK) with me as main editor, really excited about this one…
CBAvol37: Fragments (CBK)

FESTIVALS:
I’ll probably be going to the usual ones, maybe something new, we’ll see (preliminary dates)…
Copenhagen Comix (Feb)
SIS (May)
CRACK! (Jun)
Helsinki (Sep)
Novo Doba (Oct)

+ VARIOUS OTHER STUFF
It’s too early to tell yet, but we have some big plans for Hybriden. More news when we know if they will actually happen…

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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

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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…

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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.

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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…

BLEED – Nov 18

November 9, 2016

Really excited about this one. I made some paintings for this exhibition. I also have a comic in the new volume of CBA. I haven’t seen any of the other art but I have a suspicion that it’s all going to be really interesting.

If you can’t make it, you can order the book here.

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Promo art by Kinga Dukaj

BLEED: Art exhibition by Tusen Serier & Release party for CBA vol 35 by CBK

Opening: November 18, 17-22 @ Hybriden (Claesgatan 8, Malmö)
The exhibition will remain until November 28.

Join us as we dive into a red world. Tonight we’ll explore just what it means to BLEED. What does blood mean to you? Are you afraid of it? Do you worship it? Or is it just the color that attracts you?

At Hybriden you will see artists draw blood and see their visual interpretations of the theme.

It will indeed be a red experience. We will overwhelm your senses! Not just by the artwork itself, but the music will be tailored for this night. The wine will be blessed and prepared. Amongst all of this we will have a blood fountain.

The exhibition is accompanied by CBA vol 35: BLEED that includes a wide array of comics on the same theme.

Participating artist in the exhibition are:
Vladica Čulić
Merima Dizdarević
Kinga Dukaj
Mattias Elftorp
Bekim Gaši
Aida Ghardagian
Susanne Johansson
Vuk Palibrk
Stefan Petrini
Henrik Rogowski
Rakel Stammer
more may be added…

Music by Markus Samnell (better known as Feberdröm)

See you there!

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See also:
Tusen Serier
CBK
Facebook event

The exhibition is a cooperation between Tusen Serier and CBK, with support from Malmö Kulturstöd.

Bleed for me…

May 13, 2016

Images from a new comic I made for CBA vol 35: Bleed and also for Alkom’X #10.

The story is called Medication, which goes well with my recent stories Viral and Immunology. Not sure why my titles of late have circulated around these medical themes.

Anyway, here you are. Enjoy!

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Also, this Saturday (May 14) is the release of the new issue of CBA.

CBA vol 33: REPEAT OFFENDERS by Julia Scott @ Panora (Friisgatan 19, Malmö) 17-20.

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Idle hands & recreation

April 25, 2016

I recently made this story intended for an upcoming volume of CBA.

Some of you may recognize the character from Happiness, my contribution to Workburger (from Stripburger).

Here are a few sample panels (click images for bigger):

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