17 October 2009

Live: Bromander on stage

Right now the comics artist Henrik Bromander (Allt jag rör vid försvinner - Everything I touch Vanishes) is talking about doing political comics in general, and his own work in that genre at the Amalthea café in Malmö.

The audience is full of comics artists from Malmö and the small café is packed.

This is the first of a series of talks about comics this autumn, arranged by comics artist Liv Strömqvist (Einsteins fru - The Wife of Einstein). Next is comic artist Loka Kanarp (Pärlor och patroner - Pearls and bullets) who talks at the Amathea café at the 28th of October. Considering that the last arrivals today had to stand, I recommend arriving early.

News: Crumb does the Book of Genesis

For a long time, people have been talking about Robert Crumb's latest big project, to illustrate the Book of Genesis from the Bible. Now it's here and it's all over the web, of course. Above, you can see a video of someone at the publisher flipping through a copy. And there is an interview today in The New York Times. In the latter, do not miss out on the slide show, where Crumb comments on many of the pivotal moments in the Book of Genesis.

I received my copy yesterday, and will start reading it in a day or two. Expect a review here soon. Having written a whole book on the Devil and the Bible in comics (The Comics go to Hell), I am really looking forward to Crumb's version/vision.

Thanks to Lotten Peterson for the tip.

Review: Ett plus

Title: Ett plus
By: Jojo Falk
Language: Swedish
104 pages, b&w
Optimal Press, 2009
ISBN: 978-91-85951-10-9

The Swedish comics artists are growing up. In the 90's it was teenage angst, now it's stories of having children. We have already been treated to Joanna Rubin Dranger's Alltid redo att dö för mitt barn (Always ready to die for my child), Rasmus Gran's Varannan utan (Every other week without), Åsa Grennvall's stories in Galago about being a mother and so on.

Now it was illustrator and comics artist Jojo Falk's turn to deal with becoming a parent, in comic form. Ett plus (A plus - a pun alluding to the mark on the pregnancy test, the fact that a child adds one person to the family and that this is a positive thing) is a book collecting short comics of varying length about becoming pregnant, having a child and raising a child up to the age of one. As a father of a six-year-old, I recognize many of the situations, thoughts and dilemmas that are presented and it was sometimes quite a dejà-vu reading this book.

Jojo Falk uses her minimalistic, effective and very expressive style to convey the extreme emotions of this autobiographical journey. One of the very last comics in the book, showing Jojo trying to draw one of the comics of the book, at the same time as the child is vying for attention, is also quite revealing as to the way this book was created. There's a reason why it consists of several quick, short reflections on what was happening rather than one long story, as this was probably what the artist could cope with during the time it depicts.

There are several other Swedish comics artists right now working on comics about becoming a parent, so this will in all certainty become a genre of its own. Of the ones issued so far, I prefer Russinet by the Finnish artist Katja Tukianen as a more artistic vision and Rubin Dranger's Alltid redo att dö för mitt barn as a more politically charged version. For the average reader, having just become a parent or thinking of taking this step in life, I can see that Jojo Falk's book might just be the perfect choice, though, as it presents the adventure of becoming a parent in a way that many will be able to connect to.