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…

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20% sale!

December 16, 2017

We’re having a Xmas sale in the CBK webshop all through December. That includes all Wormgod books as well as CBK and Tusen Serier.

Use coupon code: xmas2017 and get 20% off on all books in the shop!

Fragment of Fragments…

December 11, 2017

Here’s a page from my story Fragments, from the upcoming CBA vol 38|39: FRAGMENTS.

You could even say that it’s a fragment och Fragments for FRAGMENTS…

We need money to publish this book, so please support our crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo where you can also see some more sample comic pages from the book.

Please note that the campaign ends on December 16!

CBK is currently looking for donations to cover the costs of printing and distribution of the upcoming anthology, CBA vol 38|39: FRAGMENTS.

This might be CBKs final try to make CBA survive. If it doesn’t work, the anthology may go on hold for an undefined time. This all depends on if we will receive Tidskriftsstöd (state support for magazines) for the next year or not. But until we do, or don’t,  we still have to pay for the printing cost of this upcoming anthology. In other words – this is the final chance to support CBA for some time (unless people suddenly start buying lots of back issues). So please help fund the crowdfunding campaign of this year’s final, upcoming anthology Fragments and we will be forever grateful.

CBA vol 38|39 features comics by Marie Jacotey-Voyatzis, Martin López Lam, Stefan Petrini, Rakel Stammer, Diego Shim, Henrik Rogowski, Victor Expolio, Insulina Kid, Mattias Elftorp and Gonzalo de las Heras, and texts by Mattias Elftorp and Saskia Gullstrand with Johanna Rojola and possibly some additional material in this more-than-a-hundred colorful pages issue. Both the cover and the issue is compiled by Christina Cromnow of the CBK editorial crew, who is currently working on her debut graphic novel.

These artists present their own fractal visions under the common concept of FRAGMENTS.
Also, for the first time in years, we include texts in this volume. But we need your help to make all this possible!

All the comics in the volume are already finished. We only need to put the whole volume together and do some final editing before sending it to print.

You can support this project via our campaign at Indiegogo where you can also see some sample comic pages from the book.
Please note that the campaign ends on December 16!

Dubbelmoral v2.0

November 25, 2017

Exhibition today!

With me, Najim Mouhsen, Emre Özdamarlar, Shabnam Faraee, Amalia Alvarez, Jorge Varas Varilla, Gonzalo Rodriguez and more!

See you there!

If you’re in Malmö this Wednesday (Oct 18), you should drop by Konsthallen between 19-21 for a workshop with Tusen Serier, Koshk (from Egypt) and Historielabbet. It’s an opportunity to meet Egyptian (and also local) comics people to talk and draw together.

And on Friday (October 20) it’s not only my birthday but also the release exhibition for mine and Shko Askari‘s (who also has his birthday that day) book En Andra Chans (order here if you can’t make it on Friday).

As you may know, this book is kind of special. Since it’s in both Swedish and Arabic, the storytelling structure had to accomodate the direction you read both languagues. It’s two intertwined stories that meet in the middle to form a coherent whole. It was quite interesting to figure out and I think it worked really well in the end.

The exhibition/release party is at Hybriden (@ Mitt Möllan, Bangatan 5, Malmö), between 17-22 on October 20.

It will feature Shko’s images from the book and a couple of extra drawings by me. For most of the characters, this will be the first time I ever draw them, so I’m kind of excited myself to see how they turn out 😛

Anyway, see you there!

You may or may not have noticed that we won’t be at the Gothenburg book fair* this year.

WORMGOD, TUSEN SERIER and CBK decided collectively not to participate at the book fair after learning that Fria Tider** are once again welcomed by the organisers.
Some months have passed since this news came, and several voices have been raised against the book fair, but it doesn’t look like they have listened to the criticism.

We know what Fria Tider stand for. They have connections to national socialist organisations (the kind that actually calls/recently called themselves nazis) and they want to remove people like us.
Among us are immigrants, homosexuals, anarchists etc, and we have an international perspective in most of what we do. We do not accept the idea that Swedish culture would be superior to others or even big enough to be able to stand on its own. So when the Book fair open their doors to Fria Tider, we take it as a sign that we are not welcome.

Shutting someone out who wants to silence others would not be a crime against the freedom of speech, as some people claim. Rather, it’s self defense. The Book fair should be about culture and communication. So it wouldn’t be wrong to make it a free from those who want to reduce the cultural sphere to only include what they see as “Swedish” culture.

We hope that the Book fair in the future will take their part of the responsibility for preventing the fascist and nazi regimes of old to happen again. In the name of free speech.

Translation: -Hello, we’ve come to ruin everything. -Of course, everyone have the right to their opinion. Welcome! Everyone is basically white here anyway, except some of the cleaners…

 

*The annual book fair in Gothenburg is the biggest one and one of the biggest cultural events in Sweden.

**A web-based “news” site with strong ties to the Swedish nazi movement.

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