178 pages, color, softcover
Aben maler/Fantagraphics, 2009
Thing are happening, and happening fast in the comics business. Just years ago, nobody had heard of Scandinavian comics outside of, well, Scandinavia... Now there are several anthologies out there, and Scandinavian artists are popping up seemingly everywhere.
Anyway, the above tome is an example of this very trend. An anthology containing comics by Danish artists, produced by the Danish Aben maler (The Monkey paints) and co-published by the American Fantagraphics. It's a beautiful book, full of very different temperaments and different styles. All comics are from the 21st century and together they show both the great width and breadth of Danish comics. There are quiet, direct, hard hitting stories, like Nicoline Werdelin's Because I love you so much, a comic in the traditional strip format, telling a story of paedophilia that stays with the reader long after the book is finished. And there are more poetic, allegorical, dreamy stories like Allan Haverholm's Tomb of the rabbit King or Simon Bukhave's All that I hold in my hand.
I have read almost all of these comics before, in various publications, but for an English reader all of will probably be new. And if you want new, interesting and strange, look no further.