FRAGMENTS exhibition

February 7, 2018

Welcome to the opening of the exhibition FRAGMENTS, which is also the release of the brand new CBA vol 38|39, both of which feature comics by me.

Feb 9, 17-22
@ HYBRIDEN (Mitt Möllan, Bangatan 5)

The past can be found in the form of small parts inside your body. Some parts are impossible to get rid of. Maybe they’re important, maybe they’re not. But they do exist for a reason. What is your reason?
Even though your past time is out of reach, there is always the possibility of deciding how it will look in front of other people. What would your fragments look like if you showed them in public?

CBA vol 38|39 cover by Christina Cromnow

The exhibition will showcase fragments of the comics from the new issue, and there is also an interactive element. Join us by drawing your own memories on the wall during the exhibition opening.

We have crayons!

Christina Cromnow, the main editor of vol 38|39, says about the theme:
“I’m remembering my own life in fragments. There are only pieces left of my past time. But what interests me is just that, WHICH pieces are the ones remaining? And why? And what story does all of this tell? The simple story should be that whatever’s left are the moments that made an impression. It doesn’t matter if it’s nonsense or vitality. It’s there because it influenced me somehow.”

Artists featured with fragments in the exhibition: Marie Jacotey-Voyatzis, Victor Expolio, Mattias Elftorp, Martin López Lam, Anna Krztoń, Diego Shim, Stefan Petrini, Hanna Lundin Tistelö, Insulina Kid, Rakel Stammer, Henrik Rogowski, Gonzalo de las Heras, Johanna Rojola, Kinga Dukaj

As usual, there will be some snacks, wine and non-alcoholic alternatives.

The exhibition lasts until April 11 and is organised with support from Malmö Kulturstöd.

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We want comics and texts for
CBA vol 40 – Worst Case Scenario
What’s the worst that could happen? And if that happens, what’s the worst that could happen? And if that happens, what’s the worst that could happen? And so on…

There’s a psychiatric method in cognitive behavioral therapy called “The Downward Arrow Technique” where you begin by writing down the answers to this repeated question and we thought it’d be the perfect theme for our upcoming CBA vol 40. Especially since this is an election year in Sweden. Especially since war and famine and climate change and personal disasters are on the horizon. So how bad can it get?

Deadline: APRIL 15
Main editor: Kinga Dukaj
(More details below…)

Think of a scenario where you imagine the absolute worst thing that could happen.
When you have that in mind, ask: if that happens, whats the worst that could happen?
When you have that answer continue asking it about 3 more times until you’ve got a clear story.
Use this as a script for your comic.

Editors note: The goal in the Downward Arrow Technique is to explore your core beliefs and work through them, and is often used for anxiety, phobias and other disruptive thought patterns. This method is very practical, simple and effective in helping the person get to the root of their negative thoughts and unhealthy beliefs about themselves. However, this is not the goal in CBA vol 40. We just want to know the worst.

Please read and follow these guidelines:
Number of pages: We prefer comics that are about 5-30 pages, but any number is welcome.
Format: 20x26cm
Color scheme: Black and white
Language: English
Format: .TIF
Resolution: 1200 dpi line art or 300 dpi grayscale
Bleed: 5mm. Think you know how to handle bleed? Read THIS to make sure you know what we mean.
Within this space, there are no limits.

Please send us high-resolution files from the start.
Also include a short presentation text about yourself, with one URL (if you have a website).
Please ask us if you are unsure about formats, resolution, bleed, etc. We prefer stupid questions to bad files. And there are no stupid questions!

Unfortunately we cannot offer you any payment for participating. If we publish your submission you will receive 10 free copies of the issue. That’s all we can offer at this date. Hopefully you will find being in CBA an enjoyable experience. Naturally, copyright for your material will stay in your hands.

—TEXT GUIDELINES—
We’re looking for texts that touch upon the subject, preferably articles, essays and exploratory texts. We’re not looking for short stories for this issue.

Feel free tp share the Facebook event to anyone who might be interested!

You can read a longer version of this post HERE.

Also coming soon: Call for submissions for the AltCom 2018 anthology: HOW TO SURVIVE A DICTATORSHIP

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…

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…

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.