Archive for the 'comics and cartooning' Category

Hype: Den store Storm P.-bog


Den landede for nogle uger siden, men det gør den ikke mindre aktuel. Den Store Storm P.-bog er et overflødighedshorn af den danske humorists bedste værker — valgt på tværs af tid og genre. Den dækker hele karrieren og alt fra ungdommens grove satire og ekspressionistiske maleri over banebrydende tegneserier som De tre små mænd og Nummermanden og Den kulørte side til klassiske plakater og ‘opfindelser’ og ikke mindst, alderdommens flue-bevingede visdomskondensater. Og meget mere.

Bogen er redigeret af Steffen Rayburn-Maarup fra forlaget Aben Maler i samarbejde med Storm P.-museet og Alvilda, der som bekendt i disse år har gang i en større udgivelsesrække med Storm P. Og jeg har haft æren at skrive forordet, hvilket trak tænder ud, men endte med at være en fornøjelse. Storm P. er svær at skrive om, fordi hans geni er så svært at indkredse, og fordi han bare er sjovere en dig og mig og hvad vi kan finde på at sige om ham. Men jeg har i efterhånden en del år gerne villet prøve kræfter med opgaven og her kom den så. Jeg havde givet mig selv alt for dårlig tid til at producere det gennemarbejdede essay, jeg førhen havde forestillet mig at ville skrive, men sådan er virkeligheden jo og jeg endte med at være godt tilfreds, selvom meget (‘i en perfekt drømmeverden’, som min mand Thorhauge altid siger) kunne have været bedre.

Men hul idet, det er Storm Ps. fantastiske og usigeligt morsomme tegninger det handler om, og dem har den her bog in spades. Læs den.

PS — bogen er også planlagt til udgivelse i USA, hos kvalitetsforlaget Fantagraphics. Hvornår ved jeg ikke, men du kan læse mere om det her.

De nye genreserier i Information

Fra Rybergs Gigant


I ugens Bog(Forum)tillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af en håndfuld nye danske udgivelser med forbavsende mange fællestræk. Mit postulat er, at de er udtryk for en bredere tendens blandt tidens yngre tegneseriemagere, nemlig at ny, personligt vinklet tilgang til de traditionelle genrer.

De anmeldte tegneserier er Lars Kramhøft og Tom Kristensens Inficeret, Tatiana Goldbergs Anima, Glenn Augusts Lava og Rune Rybergs Gigant.

Læs anmeldelsen her. Men bemærk venligst, at overskriften og rubrikken (som det reglen med avistekster) ikke er mine.

Fimbulvinter i Information


I dennes uges bogtillæg til dagbladet Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Søren Glosimodt Mosdals tegneserie Fimbulvinter, om Erik den Røde, Leif den Lykkelige og overgangen fra den gamle til den nye orden i vikingetidens Grønland. Et bjergtagende billeddigt, men også noget af en torso, der lader de løse ender flagre. Anmeldelsen kan læses her.

Soul on Fire


This review is was originally published in Danish at Rackham in 2004 and is reprinted here as a supplement to the short essay Yvan Alagbé’s comics that I’ve just published over at The Comics Journal.

The French-Belgian publishing structure Éditions Frémok, or FRMK for short, has now been in the game for ten years, initially separately, as Belgian Frémok and French Amok, and since 2002 together. They have managed one of the most consistent and challenging publishing programs in avant-garde comics. They have unerringly emphasized the boundary-breaking, the experimental, and often fine arts-oriented comics by some of the most innovative creators in Europe, people such as Thierry van Hasselt, Olivier Marboeuf, Dennis & Olivier Deprez, Stefano Ricci, Silvestre, Kamel Khélif, Vincent Fortemps, Michael Matthys, Dominique Goblet, Martin tom Dieck, Nabile Farès, Aristophane, and the Dane Søren Mosdal.

Their publications are unequivocally high art and as such expose themselves to criticism on two flanks. One is the risk of pretentiousness and postulated profundity, the other is the inevitable comparisons with other forms of visual art, comparisons which tend to put this kind of sequential painting to a disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, FRMK’s publication history is one of precarious and not always successfully negotiating these difficulties, but the fact that they persist is entirely to their credit. It is refreshing to see somebody uncompromisingly asserting their belief in the potential of the medium to fathom the wide expressive range that has traditionally been the domain of other media. Continue reading ‘Soul on Fire’

Et knald til i Information


I denne uges bogtillæg til dagbladet Information står min anmeldelse af Rikke Villadsens udfordrende tegneserie Et knald til at læse. Check den her.

Gavrilo Princip i Information


Har netop anmeldt sæsonens bedst modtagne, bedst sælgende og uden sammenligning mest overvurderede tegneserie, Henrik Rehrs Gavrilo Princip, for Information. Du kan læse anmeldelsen, med titlen “En dans i havregrød”, her. Billedet ovenfor er ikke gengivet i anmeldelsen, med det er det, titlen konkret henviser til.

Boom PING PING

Nikoline Werdelin for the win!


It’s been a week and half since the big show, but I still think this year’s Ping awards deserve a few words for what little international audience this site still has after months of hibernation.

The Ping awards is an annual set of awards given to comics in Denmark in the manner of the Angoulême Fauves or the American Eisners. Founded by the Danish Comics Council, the awards are a revivification of a differently conceived, hall of fame-type award of the same name which was bestowed on single creators through the early nineties, as well as of the awards programme hosted by the comics biennial Komiks.dk from 2004-2010. The Pings are named after one of the best known characters created by one of the greatest Danish cartoonists, Robert Storm Petersen, aka. Storm P. (1882-1949). Continue reading ‘Boom PING PING’

Cliffs monologer i Information


For et par uger siden blev min anmeldelse af Johan F. Krarups topunderholdende Cliffs monologer fra sidste år offentliggjort. Check den her.

The Week

The week in review

OK, I’ll try again. As should be evident, I’m not finding much time to blog these days, but I refuse to let go entirely, and who knows if times might not turn more propitious, Bunker-wise in the not-too-far future? Also, the National Gallery internet presence, which I’ve previously hinted at, is also still in the works. So, not much to say right now, but I have some links to share!

  • In-depth interview with Jean-Luc Martinez, the recently appointed director of the Louvre. Excellent, critical interview in which the director at Tribune de l’art takes his time to answer Didier Rykner’s not always easy questions. In three parts: one, two, three.
  • Pharoahe Monche interviewed. Another in-depth interview, this one with one of the greatest rap lyricists. Candid and insightful.
  • T.J. Clark on Veronese’s Allegories of Love at the National Galleries. Clark takes a close look at four wonderful pictures that just happen to be on display in one of the great exhibitions of the decade right where I work. Clark does tend to go on a little long, but it is still highly worthwhile to follow his eye.
  • How Not to Make a Graphic Novel. Fine piece by Sean Michael Robinson on the creative process as it pertains to long-form comics.
  • Raphael’s Influence on Titian 1508-1520. Kiril Penušliski examines the evidence and adds a few good observations to the evidence. Now, somebody should examine more closely Titian’s influence on Raphael…
  • The New Chairman

    Passing the mantle: Thomas Thorhauge and Stine Spedsbjerg at the Danish Comics Council general assembly in March


    It happened a few weeks ago, but I figured I should still note it here: we have a new chairman, or rather chairwoman, of the Danish Comics Council. Elected at the general assembly on 18 March, Stine Spedsbjerg succeeds my pal Thomas Thorhauge who had decided to step down. Stine is a successful online cartoon diarist and earns her keep in advertising. She’s enormously enterprising and resourceful — I can’t think of a better person to take over.

    The Danish Comics Council was founded in 2009. I was part of the founding group along with a diverse group of comics professionals, and have sat on the board since. Considering that we have had no funding apart from the annual fee paid by members, it’s been a productive five years: we’ve had a hand in the establishment of a state-approved cartoonist’s programme (BA, ‘graphic storytelling’) at the Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark — the first of its kind in Denmark; we’ve managed to place the semi-private Comics Museum archive with a state-recognized institution, the Storm P. Museum in Copenhagen, which secures it for the future in terms of preservation, collection, expansion, research and facilitation; we’ve created an comics award, the Ping, given annually to cartoonists in a number of categories; we’ve undertaken annual registration of all comics published in Denmark, published annually in a small compendium; we’ve arranged two conferences at the University of Copenhagen, one of which helped stimulate the establishment of the Nordic Network for Comics Research (NNCORE): we’ve partnered with the ambitious Danish comics biennial Copenhagen Comics; we’ve brought comics to wide audiences through live cartooning and other activities; and quite a lot more.

    While Thomas takes a well-deserved breather (though remaining at the Council’s board), there is plenty for Stine to get up to. The Comics Council is still essentially an unfunded organisation and other affiliated groups such as Copenhagen Comics will also depend on more steady sources of funding to survive — the hope is eventually to secure larger, ongoing partnerships with possible patrons, as well as with the Danish State to help secure an institutional infrastructure for Danish comics in the future. And I know Stine also has ambitions for preaching the comics gospel to a much wider audience than is currently the case.

    Here’s to the next half-decade!

    Photo: Henrik Conradsen

    The Week

    Paolo Veronese, The Conversion of Mary Magdalene, about 1548, oil on canvas, 117.5 x 163.5 cm. London, The National Gallery.


    In a couple of weeks’ time, we’re opening the first major show of the works of Venetian Renaissance artist Paolo Veronese in decades at the National Gallery. Although it falls within my area of responsibility and will therefore occupy much of my time for the next few months, it’s an exhibition I have had nothing to do with, having started at the gallery only a few months ago. But needless to say one I’m looking forward to immensely: it’s a privilege thus to be dropped into the midst of a great project on an artist of immense generosity.

    It’s not just that his pictures pull out all the stops, that his art is a rarely paralleled display of elegance, magnificence, and virtuosity, it’s that there is something profoundly touching about those qualities in his work. He is one of the few artists who really understood the lessons of Raphael. His immaculate sense of composition, his grasp of form, two- as well as three-dimensional, his sensitive use of gesture, and the subtlety of his portrayal of human interaction are all elements in what seems to me a distinctly civilising art, to paraphrase Kenneth Clark’s characterisation of Raphael. Contemplating Veronese is not only a joy, it makes you feel better about life and who we are.

    That’s the high register. Keep an eye on the NG website for further thoughts and more concrete analysis during the course of the exhibition. I’ll keep you posted here and on twitter.

    Links:

  • “There Are Good Guys and Bad Guys.” Bhob Stewart’s classic essay on/obituary of Wally Wood reprinted at the Comics Journal to mark the passing of its author. RIP. Read it, it is one of the most evocative, personal texts of its kind in comics. Really brings the great, flawed cartoonist to life.
  • Nikoline Werdelin interviewed. Arguably the greatest living Danish cartoonist, Werdelin has rarely if ever been interviewed about her comics (she has often talked to journalists about other things — life, style, death, and everything in between), so this in-depth, work-oriented interview by Thomas Thorhauge is a major scoop. Unfortunately it is only available in Danish, as is indeed the case with most of her work. English readers can sample her in From Wonderland with Love.
  • Finally, this uncredited photo, from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, is arresting, sobering, terrible. A reminder that something has to be done there. A no-fly zone blocking the government’s use of their air force remains a good place to start.
  • Trondheim on the Angoulême Grand Prix

    Illustration by Trondheim of the Angoulême mascot (designed by him) and Bill Watterson's Calvin

    Over at The Comics Journal, I’ve just posted a small article on the recent changes to the Grand Prix awarded at the Angoulême comics festival, this year to Bill Watterson. It is arguably the greatest formal honor bestowed in the comics world, and any change brings with it controversy, of course. I asked the great cartoonist, and member of the Grand Prix awarding body, Lewis Trondheim to help me out a bit. Check it out.

    Danish Comics of the Year 2013


    Once again, Paul Gravett has taken a trip around the globe for his annual survey of the best in world comics. And as usual, I’ve contributed a small list of what I consider the best/most notable Danish comics of last year. Read the full list here and here, but just in case, here’s my contribution: Continue reading ‘Danish Comics of the Year 2013′

    Notable Comics Criticism of 2013

    From Jim Woodring's Fran, a comic Joe McCulloch made me appreciate more, even if the cartoonist's recent work has left me a bit cold


    Once again, Ng Suat Tong has posted an overview of some of the best comics criticism published online in the year gone by over at the Hooded Utilitarian. In previous years, he has gathered differing juries consisting of a fairly wide range of critics, but this year he has dispensed with that in favor of just selecting a bunch of pieces on his own.

    And once again, I’m flattered to be included on his list, especially considering just how little I’ve written in the past year. I’ve kept wanting to, but other things just kept getting in the way, and much as I want to say things are going to be different, that probably won’t change much in the coming year. Anyway, it was nice to see my piece on Abel Lanzac (aka. Antonin Baudry) and Christophe Blain’s Quai d’Orsay and Willem’s Degeulasse, written for The Comics Journal last August, mentioned. Especially since so many really excellent pieces (as well as some fairly mediocre one, it has to be said) were included.

    Suat’s taking stock, which has now been running for five years, remains a valuable service to the corner of the comics internet interested in serious writing about the art form, and I for one am grateful that he still makes the effort. Also, he continues to write outstanding comics criticism himself: from the last year, I particularly liked his critique of Michael Deforge(‘s critics), his appreciation of The Trigan Empire, his essay on Daniel Clowes’ because of Shia Laboef now rather famous “Justin M. Damiano”, his examination of Suehiro Maruo’s The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, and his head-scratching dissection of a particularly lauded xkcd story.

    Now, don’t waste more time here — go check out the list.

    Ruijters i Information


    I Informations bogtillæg fra i fredags stod min anmeldelse af Marcel Ruijters De hellige, udgivet på dansk af forlaget Forlæns, at læse. Du kan se den her.