Archive for the 'comics and cartooning' Category

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Nina Hemmingsson i Information


Så er jeg her igen. Endnu en tegneserieanmeldelse i Informations bogtillæg. Denne gang omhandler det Nina Hemmingssons Du vil ha’ mig, hendes danske debut her, godt et dusin år efter hun brændte igennem i Sverige. Jeg gør mig lidt tanker om hvorfor det har taget så lang tid, men bruger mere tid på at forsæge at indkredse hendes fandenivoldske humor. Læs her, men der er som sædvanlig paywall.

Fuglemanden, en McGraphic Novel


Så kører det. Denne uge er der i Informations (nydesignede) bogtillæg endnu en af mine tegneserienameldelser, af Sarah Engell og Lillian Brøggers Fuglemanden. Den er er jeg ikke vild med. Hermed et kort uddrag af anmeldelsen:

Tegneserieformen konsoliderer sig for tiden i litteraturverdenen. Etablerede forlag, der mestendels gør sig i bøger uden billeder, har med fremkomsten af den såkaldte ’graphic novel’ fået færten af en form, som kan noget nyt og andet og samtidig trives i et litterært register. Forfattere, filmfolk, illustratorer og andet godtfolk prøver kræfter med tegninger og talebobler. Resultatet er det fremvoksende fænomen, man kunne kalde en McGraphic Novel.

… nu har ungdomsforfatter Sarah Engell og illustrator Lillian Brøgger – kendte og respekterede skikkelser på deres respektive felter – signeret en vaskeægte tegneserie med titlen Fuglemanden. Den er nærmest indbegrebet af en McGraphic Novel. En tegneserie i bogform, der behandler et ’alvorligt’ emne og fastholder litterær dekorum. Der er hak i alle de rigtige kasser.

Læs den her, ed abonnement.

Signe Parkins i Information


Efter laaang tid er jeg tilbage i Information med en tegneserieanmeldelse. Det gælder Signe Parkins’ helstøbte tegneserielyrik Tusindfryd. Læs her, men beware the paywall.

CAV

Fra Cavs bidrag til antologien BLÆK som undertegnede redigerede med Thomas Thohauge og Frederik Storm i 2006.


Cav er død. Det er så uendeligt trist. Jeg tror jeg kan sige, at vi var venner, selvom vi ikke sås tit. Vi var i hvert fald gode kolleger en årrække, hvor dansk tegneseriekultur rykkede sig meget. Eller lad mig sige det på denne måde: da jeg for nogle år siden — fordi jeg endnu engang stod foran en flytning til udlandet — på smertelig vis skulle skille mig af med en tredjedel af mine fra barndommen elskede amerikanske tegneserieblade, var der ingen tvivl om hvem der skulle have dem.

Jeg holdt meget af ham, som kollega og menneske. Det var altid en fornøjelse at være sammen med Cav. Han lyste op og gjorde glad, hvor end han gik, men det tyder på at det ikke altid gik den anden vej. Han var tydeligvis også dybt plaget i perioder. Thomas Thorhauge har skrevet en oplysende og gribende nekrolog og jeg har ikke meget konkret at tilføje, men synes alligevel jeg ville dele nogle anekdotiske minder. Continue reading ‘CAV’

Claveloux på Nummer9

Fra mesterværket "La main verte"/"The Green Hand"


På tegneseriesitet Nummer9 har jeg netop brudt med lang tids stener og publiceret en anmeldelse! OK, det er en slags genoptryk af en tekst, jeg skrev til The Comics Journal sidste år, men alligevel — hop over på Nieren og check mit take på den nyligt udkomne amerkanske udgave af Nicole Claveloux’ (og Edith Zhas) fantastiske — på enhver måde — tegneserier fra sidst i halvfjerdserne/begyndelsen af firserne. Nogle af de mest overrumplende og naturligt originale tegneserier, jeg længe har læst.

The Green Hand at The Comics Journal


So, I already have another Common Currency column up at The Comics Journal. I know, crazy right? Anyway, it’s basically a standard review of French artist and writer Nicole Claveloux’ The Green Hand, just now reissued in a handsome English-language edition by New York Review Comics. I make the case that especially the tile story is a largely forgotten masterpiece, representing a road not really taken in the form until perhaps recently. In part because comics have been so bad at accomodating woman creators, again until recently. Things are changing. Go, read.

Common Currency – The Return!


Finally, after I don’t even want to think about how long, I’m back at The Comics Journal with an installment of my column on European Comics. While I’ve been writing other things there, I have been neglecting that particular commitment. And no, my last one didn’t really count, as it was about the very non-European Chester Brown.

So, click over to read my piece on how the newfound freedom occasioned by the international New Wave of comics in the nineties and early naughts is causing some confusion among even very talented cartoonists today, resulting in a lot of spectacular-looking, ambitious-seeming comics that don’t amount to all that much. Includes reviews of work by Olivier Josso Hamel, Yannis la Macchia and Antoine Marchalot. Go go go!

Above: from Yannis la Macchia’s Des batisseurs.

Teknokosmos

Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott og Stan Lee, fra "This Man... This Monster!", Fantastic Four #51 (1966)

I sidste uges udgave af Weekendavisen kunne man læse min artikel om Jack Kirby, skrevet i anledning af hundredeåret for hans fødsel 28 august i år. På grund af en redaktionsfejl, trykte avisen desværre en kladde i stedet for den grundigt omskrevne — og i mine øjne væsentlig bedre — udgave af min tekst. Da det er for sent at rette op på i sig selv, bringer jeg derfor den egentlige, færdige tekst her. Med ekstra billeder. God læselyst!

Jack Kirby er energi! Spændstigt trukne linjer, intenst strålende parallelskraveringer, kompakte sorte prikker, der sitrer på papiret. Kantede figurer, heroiske af statur, med ansigterne fortrukne af følelser og hænderne strakt mod os i voldsom forkortning. De brydes i eksplosive slagsmål, deres kroppe i fejende bevægelse. Vildtvoksende arkitekturer og teknologiske abstraktioner, kvasi-kubistisk undfanget i hvad der kunne være den femte dimension. Sammenstillingen af grovkornet hverdag og bjergtagende kosmiske panoramaer. Billeder der truer med at bryde rammerne. Continue reading ‘Teknokosmos’

Kirby i Weekendavisen


I denne uges udgave af Weekendavisen står min artikel om Jack Kirby, skrevet i anledning af 100-året for hans fødsel, at laese. Køb eller lån avisen for jeres Kirbyfix og klik videre hertil for mere om Kirby i Bunkeren.

Billede fra Devil Dinosaur #4 (1974), af Jack Kirby og Mike Royer.

Danish Comics of the Year 2016


Here’s my contribution to Paul Gravett’s annual review of international comics: the best Danish comics of 2015, in my opinion. A bit of a fallow year, but the ones that were good, were really good. Here they are:

Hvad føler du lige nu? (‘What are you feeling right now?’)
by Philip Ytournel
Aben maler
Ytournel is the brightest and probably funniest newspaper cartoonist in Denmark. At their best, his strips break the old, long-established boundaries in terms of format, medium and — most importantly — humour, demonstrating that editorial cartooning can be different and creative, in spite of prescriptive tradition. And he is just plain funny, blending political with keenly observed, social satire. He has an eye for the absurdity and vanity in the banal details of diction and posture that other cartoonists either don’t notice or find too shallow to mine for commentary. This book collects his best work from more than a decade’s worth of work at the daily newspaper Politiken, including his brilliant 2013 comics inset on Søren Kierkegaard, written and drawn on the occasion of the world-famous Danish philosopher’s bicentenary. In it, he not only provides an ‘Existentialism for Beginners-type intro, but also comments hilariously on recent reception history and attendant controversy, and most poignantly situates Kierkegaard’s relevance to the average life of an average person wanting to be a football coach.

Dansker (’Dane’)
by Halfdan Pisket
Fahrenheit
The third and final volume in Pisket’s poetic and hard-hitting biography of his Armenian-Turkish immigrant father focuses on his slow and always imperfect settlement, not only in Danish society but into his role as father. Here are links to my reviews on this site of the first volume and . Through his David B-esque blank writing and suggestive, symbolist chiaroscuro, Pisket achieves a remarkable feat of hermeneutic empathy in portraying his own young self externally — through the eyes of his traumatised, criminal and in many ways irresponsible father. We come to understand, even sympathise with him, and we sense that the cartoonist himself does too, through the act of writing and drawing it out. While this means that the more ambiguous feelings expressed through his portrayal in the more powerful earlier volumes are somewhat neglected, it is beautifully moving.

Here are my picks for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Kirby at 100


Today, Jack Kirby, one of the great artists of the twentieth century and a visionary of the comics form, would have turned 100. For those unfamiliar with this extraordinary person and artist, or merely wanting to brush up, here’s a good primer and here is the touching and informative reminiscence by Kirby’s friend and erstwhile employee Mark Evanier, and here are a couple of really good pieces on his work reposted today by two great comics critics, Ken Parille and Andrei Molotiu.

I myself will be contributing a piece to the rolling celebration taking place all week at Danish comics site Nummer9, masterminded by my friend and occasional collaborator Henry Sørensen, whose feature-length 2009 essay on Kirby leads a variety of homages and critical takes. He posted the first part of it today, soon to be followed by the second, as well as the first of a series of tributes by Danish cartoonists. Meanwhile, Danish afficionados Morten Søndergård and Kim Schou have posted a two-hour podcast on Kirby. All of this, regrettably is only available in Danish, but if you do read the language stay tuned for more, including an article by yours truly which will feature the image above (from New Gods #5, 1971) and will subsequently be posted somewhere (probably here) in English, I hope.

Oh, there have of course also been a few posts on Kirby on this site. Among them are my thoughts on Kirby’s extraordinary transitional work on the Challengers of the Unknown in the late 1950s, my take on his last Fantastic Four story with Stan Lee, and my review of Evanier’s 2008 monograph, which has just been re-released to mark the centenary. Also, there is the provocative 2007 article by aforementioned Søndergård on his possible involvement not just in the creation of Spider-Man, but the execution of some of the first comics pages featuring the character. I don’t really believe it, but it is worth your attention, as is the debate it sparked, which features Evanier (again!) as well as Blake Bell, expert Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, and others.

UPDATE: here’s my essay in Danish at Nummer9 and in English at The Comics Journal.

PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING PING

Trump i Doonesbury i Information


I denne weekends Moderne Tider-tillæg i Information står min anmeldelse af den særlige Trump-opsamling af G.B. Trudeaus Doonesbury at læse. Jeg gør mig i den forbindelse nogle tanker om det at satirisere Trump — noget, der tydeligvis ikke er så nemt som man skulle tro. Hermed en smagsprøve:

Det bliver taget for givet, at Trump er en gave til satirikerne. At han serverer deres levebrød på et sølvfad. Jeg er ikke så sikker. Ja, særligt de amerikanske aftenshowværter har kronede dage – med Stephen Colbert og Trevor Noah i spidsen – men de koncentrerer sig i højere grad om den politiske og mediemæssige kontekst der muliggør galskaben, end om manden selv. Dem der gør har det svært: at Alec Baldwin er blevet lagt for had af præsidenten kalder nok på kollegernes misundelse, men hans Saturday Night Live-portræt af præsidenten er hverken særligt præcist eller særligt sjovt. Han udkonkurreres i dén grad af den ægte vare.

Læs mere her

Flygtningekrisen i danske tegneserier

Fra Lars Hornemans bidrag til Uledsaget


Information har endelig trykt en anmeldelse jeg skrev for flere måneder siden, om hvorledes flygtningekrisen og immigrationsspørgsmål mere generelt er begyndt at vise sig, rent tematisk, i danske tegneserier, her konkret antologien Uledsaget, der rummer bidrag af Lars Horneman, Tom Kristensen, Adam O., Halfdan Pisket, Karoline Stjernfelt, baseret på fem uledsagede flygtningedrenges historier; Morten Dürr og Lars Hornemans ungdomsserie Zenobia, der fortæller historien om en druknende flygtningepige; og ikke mindst Johan F. Krarups verité-fiktion Styrelsen, om en blød mands forfald til korruption som sagsbehandler i Udlæningenstyrelsen. Anmeldelsen kan læses her (advarsel: paywall den første måneds tid) og her er et uddrag (om Styrelsen):

Den bløde mand, Laursen, inkarnerer en dansk kultur, hvor tilliden til medmennesket er høj og korruption en sjældenhed. Hans manglende evne til at sige fra udstiller systemets sårbarhed overfor pragmatisk udnyttelse, mens hans patetisk morsomt skildrede moralske kvababbelser antyder styrken i det anstændighedens imperativ, han trods alt lever under. Krarups tegninger er en anelse skematiske og bliver over så mange sider monotone, men at han forstår nuancens kunst ses i bogens sidste billede af Laursen.

Hype: New Reviews

Krazy Kat Sunday page 6 October, 1940


Over at The Comics Journal I’ve just had my rather long, unfocused… er, discursive review of Michael Tisserand’s major new biography Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White published. Herriman’s Krazy Kat is widely, and for pretty good reasons, regarded as one of the greatest comics of all time, and really should also be considered on of the great, distinct works of art of the twentieth century, in my opinion. I have some thoughts about the strip, as well as assorted other comics embedded in the review. Anyway, check it out.

Oh, and in the latest issue of The Burlington Magazine you can read my review of Claudia Bertling Biaggini’s book on Sebastiano del Piombo, Felix Pictor.

Pushwagner at The Comics Journal


What more appropriate comic could I have been writing about on the day of that bogus, horrifying presidential auguration? That’s right, the Norwegian artist Pushwagner’s Dystopian 1970s masterwork Soft City, now out in a handsome American edition from the New York Review. Go, read, at The Comics Journal.