The passing of the great trumpetist Donald Byrd last week brought me back to his music, but also to the music that taught me about him. The great jazz-inflected wave of hip hop music during those magical years in the early nineties, before sampling laws changed the direction of the art, relied in no small measure on his music. Here’s my time machine. Continue reading ‘Donald Byrd in Hip Hop’
Archive for the 'documentation' Category
As recently noted in this space, the holdings of the Danish Comics Museum, collected over three decades by its founder Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen, have now entered the Storm P. Museum in Copenhagen. In short, this means that its future is secured at a State-approved institution with everything that implies in terms of conservation, development and research. A milestone event in Danish comics and one we in the Danish Comics Council, who have helped midwife the process, are happy to see come to fruition.
These photos provide at panorama of the guests at last night’s reception, pretty much a who’s who of a certain set of generations in Danish comics. Many of the creators, editors, publishers, and retailers of the seventies and eighties, contemporaries of Hjorth-Jørgensen, showed up to celebrate. It was great to see them all. A the mic, Iben Overgaard, director of the Storm P. Museum, initiated the proceedings, and she was followed by Thomas Thorhauge, chairman of the Danish Comics Council, and Hjorth-Jørgensen himself, both of whose speeches are excerpted in the videos below. Continue reading ‘Flix: The Comics Museum at Storm P.’
So, Cool Comics — the exhibition I co-curated at Gammel Holtegaard (greater Copenhagen) — is over. For a show running just a month on a modest budget and with very little prep time, I was impressed with what they pulled off at the gallery and it seems it was a success, with a good number of visitors and lots of media coverage through its run.
The director Mads Damsbo is really dedicated to showcasing the intersection between popular culture and high art and is planning to continue to do so in the coming years with new iterations of the Cool Comics idea. Color me excited that we have a gallery that devotes its energy simultaneously to such forms as comics, animation and digital media and to once popular, now enshrined high art such as the drawings of François Boucher — the object of a world class selection of drawings displayed beautifully at Gammel Holtegaard just prior to Cool Comics.
Click on over to the Bunker’s photo page to experience our virtual walk-through of the exhibition courtesy of our ailing Canon Ixus camera. Enjoy, and keep an eye on future shows at Gammel Holtegaard!
As mentioned here previously, last Thursday saw the Danish sneak release of the Nordic comics anthology KOLOR KLIMAX (to be released in the US and internationally by Fantagraphics Books in March). It was a fine evening; lots of Copenhagen comics folk turned out. Here are some photos hastily snapped at idle moments. Enjoy!
Same day saw a fine review by Bart Beaty, published at Comics Reporter. I was happy to see that he noticed not only some of the consolidated talents, but some relatively new ones, Johan F. Krarup and Mikkel Damsbo/Gitte Broeng, who I also think contributed really outstanding pieces to the book. Here’s a pull quote from Bart:
“Ultimately, there is no way not to recommend Kolor Klimax. It showcases a wide range of extremely talented cartoonists, and will open your eyes to a whole world of comics that get far too little attention. Something to anticipate for Spring.”
On 11 February the striking employees of seminal French comics publisher l’Association announced that they were lifting the strike that they had been conducting since 10 January. They are satisfied that efforts at mediation between them and directorial have led to the decision to hold a general assembly on 5 March where the problems plaguing the publisher will be addressed.
At the the heart of the conflict is the announcement of redundancies made by the direction in December, a decision the employees don’t believe is justified by the troubled financial situation the publisher finds itself in, in part due to the collapse of their distributor Le Comptoir des indépendants last fall, but primarily due to reduced sales in general. They have been insisting that there are other means of solving its current solvency issues, including reducing its enormously costly back catalogue storage (apparently, l’Association has never held a sale or eliminated inventory). They describe the decision to fire a number of employees as a “philosophical” one, meant to strengthen the publisher’s new line of radical but reduced output and express dissatisfaction with this decision having been made over their heads and without consulting the membership (remember, l’Association is not registered as a traditional business, but rather as an organisation).
Responding to this press release and to the events of the last month and a half in general, l’Association’s unofficial director and editorial and ideological centre, Jean-Christophe Menu has released a long letter, sharing his point of view on the affair. I won’t go into detail, but merely note the main points here: Continue reading ‘L’Association strike lifted, but uncertainties remain’
While my attempts to reach the involved parties hasn’t met with much success, a little more information on the Association strike has trickled onto the web, including a press release by the staff, stating in a little more detail their motivations and grievances. It was sent out on 14 January week ago and runs like this:
Chers tous, auteurs, adhérents, libraires, éditeurs, journalistes, amis,
Nous, salariés de L’Association, sommes en grève depuis le lundi 10 janvier 2011 suite à l’annonce de la suppression de 3 à 4 postes sur 7, à partir de février 2011, et à l’impossibilité d’établir un dialogue constructif sur le sujet avec les instances dirigeantes.
Nos revendications restent celles émises au début de notre mouvement: Continue reading ‘More on the Association Strike’
As mentioned earlier on this blog, the Danish Comics Council organised a panel discussion on transgressive cartooning at the University of Copenhagen this past Tuesday, focusing in equal measures on the recent debate about legislation against drawn and animated child pornography and the Mohammad cartoons.
It was a lively and well-attended event, despite the regrettable last-minute cancellation by the Social Democrat member of parliament Karen Hækkerup, who is the instigator of the proposal to ban drawn child pornography. The Council invited a number of other politicians who have supported the proposal, but without luck. The debate was streamed live on the internet and is archived in its entirety here.
Several photographers were there, including my buddy Frederik Høyer-Christensen, who took the above photo of literary critic Klaus Rothstein and commentator/lawyer Jacob Mchangama and has more in his Flickr- and Facebook sets. More images, from photographer Niels Larsen and cartoonists Erik Petri and Annette Carlsen can be seen at the Danish Comics Council website.
To my considerable regret, I could not attend the Helsinki Comics Festival this past weekend. It looked awesome, and sounded even more so from what I heard from Bunker associate Thomas Thorhauge, who was there as part of the Danish delegation, which also comprised one-time Bunker contributor Cav Bøgelund, as well as our buddies Simon Bukhave, Steffen Rayburn Maarup, Søren G. Mosdal and Christian Skovgaard. For those who read Danish, Thomas’ reports are here and here, while him and Cav have put together a nice flickr-set for everyone’s non-linguistic enjoyment.
The third Comics and Beats event in Copenhagen, hosted by the Danish Comics Council and the venue Vega took place last night. Cartoonists Ib Kjeldsmark, Cav Bøgelund and Mikkel Sommer improvised live with markers to the tunes of DJ TribleMe, while Bunker denizen and council chairman Thomas Thorhauge kept them on their toes as the evening’s emcee. A fourth cartoonist, Annette Carlsen was present and documented the event in her sketchbook, while photographer Frederik Høyer-Christensen did his part. See more images at the Council site.
Regular readers might be aware that I was recently involved in the planning of an academic conference on comics at the University of Copenhagen. It was called Contemporary Comics and took place on Friday May 21st. It featured 12 international speakers, as well as the Canadian scholar Jacques Samson, who delivered the keynote address, and cartoonist Chris Ware in conversation with British comics expert Paul Gravett.
The conference tied in with that weekend’s International comics festival, Komiks.dk, and was organized jointly by the Institute of Art and Cultural Studies, the Danish Comics Council and the festival. I very much enjoyed being part of the conference committee, which besides myself consisted of Rikke Platz Cortsen, Andreas Gregersen, Liva Skogeman, Christian Jess Rasmussen and Carsten Fogh Nielsen. Credit is especially due to Rikke, Ph.D-student at the Institute, who in addition to helming the conference taught a course on comics in the spring semester and saw her students through their exams at the festival itself, in front of a broad audience. Without her, none of this would have happened. Also, thanks to everyone else involved and everyone who turned up. It was nice meeting you all, and a great day!
We now have some pictures up over at the Danish Comics Council website — here are the photos taken on the day by Henrik Conradsen, from which the above image of Gravett and Ware is culled, and here are cartoonist Erik Petris live sketches.