8 June 2011
Translation: The Macabre Adventures of Viktor Kasparsson
By: Dennis Gustafsson
68 pages, color, soft bound
There's something brewing in the Swedish comics culture. You don't need to be a genius to notice that there are more and more original Swedish graphic novels published in genres like science fiction, horror, adventure and so on; something that was almost unheard of just ten years ago. Many, including myself, have already written about this phenomenon, but I still feel it worth mentioning in conjuncture with a review of this début book.
Albumförlaget, which had so far only published translations of French and Belgian comics, now also publishes Swedish artists, broadening the possibilities, both for Swedish artists and for Swedish readers. And last but not least, that this comic is set in my beloved Skåne, the very south of Sweden.
The stories are set in the 1930s and tell tales of horror and the supernatural, in an otherwise realistically rendered historical setting. The hero is made out of of a classical mould: a lone, tweed-clad private investigator, who encounters a surprising number of supernatural beings in his investigations. The book consists of a number of shorter stories, each capped of by a letter written by the hero, summing up his feelings about what has occurred. We are treated to versions of a number of Swedish myths, including the one one about Näcken (a water sprite). The writing works, but still leaves some things to be desired. I especially would have preferred a longer story, or a more cohesive connecting of the short stories to each other.