I have neither had the time nor the energy to write many reviews lately. Partly because I have been ill for a long time this autumn, partly because I have had way too much to do - but also due to the fact that I have been writing longer and longer reviews. I decided early on that I would not do that here at Sekventiellt, as I wanted to show you as much as possible of what's being published and my time is limited. But as usual I have a tendency to overdo things, and writing these reviews has become somewhat of an obstacle.
So, new resolve: shorter reviews, more often. And I'll start by giving you one new review every day until Christmas, making my pile of review copies visably smaller and hopefully giving you ideas as to what to give to your loved ones. OK? Well, here we go!
142 pages, black & white
Myling Media, 2009
This anthology is the first published book from a new publisher, Myling Media. A "myling" is, and now I quote Wikipedia: "In Scandinavian folklore, Mylings are the phantasmal incarnations of the souls of unbaptized children that had been forced to roam the earth until they could persuade someone (or otherwise cause enough of a ruckus to make their wishes known) to bury them properly." This will give you an indication of the direction this new publisher is taking: Swedish horror comics.
Silhuetter (silhouettes) has entries of varied quality, of course. One of the most convincing (and making convincing horror comics is hard, since being scary without falling into the traps of being either just plain silly or overly dramatic, is tricky) is Lars Krantz, who really gives me a chill with his Bunkerfeber (Bunker Fever) about a soldier during WWI. Krantz commands both writing and drawing and executes them both beautifully together.
Another story that caught my attention was Oflyt (Unlucky) by Johannes Streith. Here the drawings are not as convincing, but the story kept me going and the ending was truly horrifying. There are others of course, but instead of naming more names I'll settle for saying that on the whole this was an interesting read. Not the best anthology I've read, but if you're into new Swedish comics and/or horror comics, give it a try and support this new publisher's endeavours.
1 December 2009
Every year since the start of the school in 1999 we have had a collaboration between the Comic Art School of Malmö and Sydsvenska Dagbladet, the biggest newspaper in southern Sweden. The students attending the first year of the school gets to make brand new comic strips, which are sent in to a jury at the newspaper. Three of the comics are chosen and printed for one week each (six strips in total) in the comics section during December. This year's competetion has just been finished, the jury have had their say and the first strip is in today's paper, written and drawn by Catarina Batista (se the example above).
An article and an interview with the chosen three can be found here.
In Sweden, sales of Japanese comics, manga, is waning after a short boom since the early 21st century and the publishers seems to be competing with each other on who is able to cancel the most titles right now. In Japan, where the sales of the biggest selling comics magazines have also been waning the last ten years or so, the sales of the collected books - the tankoubons - is still on the rise, though. One Piece is by far the best selling comic in Japan right now and the latest collection, volume 56, has a record breaking first print-run of 2.85 million copies. Add to that the fact that the accumulated sales for One Piece in Japan is 176 million copies and it really doesn't sound like an industry in trouble.
Thanks to Axel Trumpfheller for the tip.