27 November 2009

Portrait: Friberg & Thorelli

As those who knows me will tell you, I am always open to flattery of any kind... I mean what else can I call this beautiful drawing which I just got sent from the artist couple Emelie Friberg and Mattias Thorelli? The title is "Knight Fredrik, Defender of Comics Everywhere"...

Mattias and Emelie are both artists and makes comics together, hence the double signature on the drawing. Their most ambitious project is What Birds Know, a long and beautifully drawn fantasy story. So, what are you waiting for? Go and read!

Oh, and thanks you guys! The image is really one of the most beautiful anyone has ever drawn for me. I especially like the strange look in the horse's eye :)

Review: The Book of Genesis

Title: Första Moseboken Genesis
Original title: The Book of Genesis
By: Robert Crumb
Language: English
224 pages, black & white
Kartago, 2009
ISBN: 978-91-860-0343-2

There is an old Scandinavian saying which roughly translates to: "When the devil gets old, he gets religious" and I can see many interpreting the fact that the "dirty" old Underground artist Robert Crumb has created a comic based on the Book of Genesis as proof of this. When reading the book, you realise it is actually the other way around. What Crumb has done is try to put pictures to these age old stories without the religious zeal of almost everyone who has done this before, or as he himself states in the introduction: "I approached this as a straight illustration job, with no intention to ridicule or make visual jokes."

Crumb, an atheist, has done what no one has managed before him and that is to show us what actually happens in the Book of Genesis (Första Moseboken på svenska), without covering it with all the interpretations which generations upon generations have added to these words. When researching my books The Comics go to Hell and Comic Art Propaganda I have read a large quantity of comics based on the Bible, and none has come even close to rendering the people in these stories as such believable, real human beings. Crumb's by now incredible know-how of creating comics, his obsessive detailed drawings and meticulous crosshatching makes this a captivating read (even though parts of it is repetitive and boring in the original...).

All the characters from these stories are portrayed as true to life, Semitic people, which of course is an interpretation in itself. Nevertheless, this made me read the Book of Genesis in a wholly (and not holy...) new way, seeing all the very human endevours which lies behind these archetypical stories.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book, for both atheist and believers, as it is beautiful as well as interesting.