Some sequels…

August 14, 2017

Had a meeting with Raquel Lozano last week about Bekele 2. It’s just the first step where we made a list of themes and maybe a few scenes that we wanted to include in the book. General directions we wanted to move Bekele and the other characters in.

Came home a bit drunk from that, so I guess it wasn’t the same day bu the day after, where I wrote down another piece of voice-over for Transgressions 2. I had a session with that in early June as well, compiling ideas and writing some unfinished scenes and partial dialogue. I think I have a fair grasp of where I want to go with it. Some thoughts about ancient goddesses and fictionalisation of (what used to be) consensus reality. Piecing all of it together still remains, and also deciding how connected the story needs to be to the soundtrack, but I’m tentatively excited about it. The plan is to get it published next spring, so there’s still plenty of time.

And last night I had an idea and thought that maybe we should also make a sequel to After the ends of the world, but we’ll see about that. Especially since this is the only idea I have for it:

It started when the president of the United States, in his first term, decided to exit the Paris Agreement. Sure, there was one Democratic president just after him, but he ended up nuking a few countries, and after that it was all Republicans, so in the end the world declared war on the US, in an act of environmental self defense against their global suicide. So then we all got nuked in the end and now we have to live underground.

Linoprint!

July 4, 2017

It hasn’t always been easy for me to work with linoprint. But yesterday at a Tusen Serier workshop I discovered the softcut lino plate, which allowed me to work faster and more intuitively. So suddenly I felt more at home with the material.

These are not the best quality prints I made, but I like it when things aren’t perfect.

Coming soon in a collective zine from Amanda Casanellas and Tusen Serier

Below the surface we are all dead. You just have to admit it, accept it and embrace it.

Everything isn’t black or white, they said. But that was a lie, of course, just like everything else.

 

This one is the one I’m most happy with. It’s not a print but the paper I had to protect the table from when I was rolling the lino:

To me, a big part of my aesthetics in art is about embracing accidents.

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

Now you can order my new book, En Andra Chans (scripted by me and drawn by Shko Askari), at the CBK webshop or the usual internet bookstores in Scandinavia (Adlibris, Bokus, etc if you prefer, but it’s cheaper at CBK and all the money will go directly to Tusen Serier, which is a lot nicer)!

Not sure why I write this in English since the book is in Swedish & Arabic, but now it is the way it is and we will all just have to live with it.

Here’s a page from the book:

More info + samples at the Tusen Serier site!

My first book in Arabic (& Swedish) is officially released by Tusen Serier next week, April 12!

I wrote the story a few years ago, and it’s finally finished and printed and ready for reading.

The whole thing started when one of the artists associated with Tusen Serier, Yousif Akar, asked if I’d want to write a script for him to draw. I thought it sounded fun, but all I knew was that it was supposed to be in Swedish and Arabic, and I just had no idea what it was going to be about. Until one day, on the train between Stockholm/Malmö(?), when I realised that I’d have to deal with the fact that you read the two languages from different directions.

From that point, the story more or less wrote itself. It turned into two stories, told in each direction, revolving around the same situation but with different main characters, that meet in the middle.

Then Yousif dropped out of the project because of reasons, and through the help of magician (etc) Stefan Eriksson, I got in contact with Shko Askari, who became the new artist of the book, which turned out really nicely. And here it is, now.

An Iraqi doctor is on his way to work in Baghdad when a car bomb is detonated just outside the hospital. He starts treating the victims, but there are some people who think that certain victims are less deserving than others.
/
A Swedish student gets an email from a long lost migrated relative in the US. He wants to come visit her in Malmö.

Those are the starts of the two stories. I don’t want to risk spoiling anything by telling you more than that.

Anyway, you can order the book through the CBK webshop.

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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…

In the midst of everything else, I am currently in Gothenburg on an artist’s residency collaboration between Blå Stället in Angered (a suburb of Gothenburg) and Konstepidemin.

Amanda Casanellas was here last month and did research about the myths and legendsa of Angered. This month, I’m continuing that work, trying to take these old stories in new directions and tying them together in a new narrative.

Came home to Malmö over the weekend for the BLEED exhibition and took the opportunity to finish some of the pages.

Tomorrow (Nov 22) at 1630 at Konstepidemin (close to Linnéplatsen) I will do a short presentation about everything, basically. There are also other residence artists who will also present their stuff and ther will be beer etc. And I will have lots of books that you can buy. So drop by if you’re in town!

Here’s one of the pages of the upcoming book:

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Edit: The time said 17 before, but my presentation starts at 1630, it turns out…