3 December 2009

News: Swedish cartoonists interviewed

Recently there was a big article containing interviews with three cartoonists from Malmö, Stina Johnson, Sara Hansson and Lars Krantz, in the magazine Kommunalarbetaren. The interviews can be found here. They also did a short interview with yours truly, which resulted in this added text about learning to read comics.

The image was drawn by Sara Hansson, and taken form her book Den hemliga kroppen (the Secret body).

Review: Asterios Polyp

It's the third of December and time for review number three in my review marathon. This time, one of the best books published in English during 2009:

Title: Asterios Polyp
By: David Mazzucchelli
Language: English
344 pages, color
Pantheon, 2009
ISBN: 978-0307377326

Comics are all about the power of icons, even comics striving for realism in the drawings. Many comics artists throughout the centuries have grasped this fundamental fact and used it to tell stories that reach out and touch their readers. Someone who has decided to try and take this truth to even higher levels of achievement and communication is the American master draughtsman and storyteller David Mazzucchelli.

Mazzucchelli has finally written and drawn a major graphic novel, something that many have been waiting for.

The story is if not simple then at least rather straight forward: a grouchy, onboxious and rather aloof architect hits rock bottom when his apartment is burned down in the initial scene of the book and we then follow his life both in real time and in flash-backs as it progresses towards a greater understanding of what his life is all about. This has been done before. What is captivating in this book is Mazzucchelli's complete grasp of the communicative potential of comics, the playfullness with which he uses the way images can not only illustrate but lead and indeed deepen the understanding of he narrative and his genuinly personal brush stroke and way of using color. This all meshes together into a totally unique reading experience. 

We will run a short article/long review by British writer Paul Gravett in the forthcoming issue of Bild & Bubbla (just sent to the printer and will be shiping in about two weeks) so I will not talk at length about the book here, more than to say that this really is one of the very best graphic novels from the year 2009 and well worth the investment both in money and time, to buy and to read. And do buy it, as I recommend you to re-read this book several times.

News: Crumb number one

Not surpisingly, The Book of Genesis by Robert Crumb has moved up to the number one slot in sales of graphic novels in the US. ICv2 has the full chart for November. In Sweden, the book is just now out and even though it has had favourable reviews, it is still too early to predict how well it has done sales wise.