Archive for the 'interviews' Category

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Hype: Mixed Double/JFK

I dag udkommer en af årets sjoveste danske tegneserier, Mixed Double af Johan F. Krarup. Krarup har i løbet af 2008 markeret sig som den suværent mest produktive danske tegneseriefortæller, i januar med humor-samlingen Brunt (Brun Blomst), i juni den selvbiografiske Pibemanden (Aben Maler) og ‘No Title’ i antologien Son of a Horse vol. 2 (Son of Horse) og nu, med den 88-sider lange Mixed Double, understreger han sin position som en af tidens førende tegneseriefortællere. Metabunkeren tog en lille snak med ham i anledning af dagens udgivelse:

Johan F. Krarup, fortæl om Mixed Double. Hvad er der på spil?

Mixed Double handler ikke om tennis, men er en undskyldning for at lave et clash mellem fire ustabile mennesker. Jeg har givet hver af dem et handicap, som jeg udfordrer og undersøger gennem tegneserien. Der er en fx nørdet fingerbølsamler (han kunne også have været tegneseriesamler), der bor hos sin mor og er seksuelt uerfaren. Og så er der lystløgneren, den højtuddannede pige fra ‘den kreative klasse’ med eget galleri og egne komplekser og endelig mund- og fodmaleren, hvis personlighed er ligefrem og kynisk, men som for mig selv er svær at blive klog på. Continue reading ‘Hype: Mixed Double/JFK’

Things to Come — An Interview with Jneiro Jarel and Khujo Goodie

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At the recent Roskilde Festival I had the opportunity to interview MC and producer Jneiro Jarel for Rapspot. Jarel has been in the game for well over a decade, but took his act to the next level last year with the so-called Shape of Broad Minds project and the album Craft of the Lost Art. Continue reading ‘Things to Come — An Interview with Jneiro Jarel and Khujo Goodie’

Komiks.dk 2008 — Reaktioner fra branchen

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Forrige weekend afholdtes den internationale tegneseriefestival Komiks.dk i København for tredje gang. Festivalen, der igen var vokset i bredde og ambition i forhold til sidste omgang, har med denne væsentligt mere professionelt afviklede tredje udgave for alvor konsolideret sig som en central institution i det danske tegneserielandskab. Publikum mødte talstærkt op og der er i følge festivalformand Mads Bluhm et betydeligt overskud på bundlinien, men desværre er det usikkert om der kommer en festival til i 2010. Metabunkeren bringer en række indtryk og betragtninger fra forskellige deltagende. Continue reading ‘Komiks.dk 2008 — Reaktioner fra branchen’

Tegneseriemarkedet: Det nye Carlsen


Efter der nu er kommet afklaring om Carlsens frasalg af forlagets tegneserielinje (i kølvandet på Egmonts overtagelse af Bonnier-forlagene) er forlaget Carlsen i tegneseriesammenhæng sat tilbage til År 0. Bortset fra Valhalla og mangalinjen, tilhører alle forlagets titler nu Kurt Dahlgaards forlag Cobolt. Carsten Søndergaard, der i en årrække har sat sit tydelige fingeraftryk på Carlsens tegneserielinje, er nu forlagschef på Cobolt, og dermed er banen kridtet op for en ny mand ved roret på Carlsen. Han hedder Johnnie McCoy, og har i flere år styret Carlsens succesfulde mangalinje med sikker hånd. Indtil videre er han forholdsvis ukendt i tegneseriekulturen, men Metabunkeren sætter hermed spotlight på den nye Carlsen-kaptajn, som i det følgende giver udtryk for optimisme i forhold til tegneserimarkedets fremtid:

Johnnie McCoy – efter Egmonts overtagelse af Bonnierforlagene, og det
 efterfølgende salg af Carlsens tegneserietitler til Forlaget Cobolt, er det dig der er den nye chef for Carlsens tegneserieprogram. Du har tidligere været chef på Carlsens mangaudgivelser, men nu hvor Carsten Søndergaard er blevet chef for Cobolt, og Jens Trasborg har givet slip på tegneserierne, har du altså fået ansvaret for hele tegneserieprogrammet – hvis der altså ER sådan et? Bortset fra mangaen har Carlsen jo ikke længere nogen tegneserititler. Dermed er det store spørgsmål: er Carlsen færdig som tegneserieudgiver?

Carlsen vil bestemt stadig udgive tegneserier. Jeg fik faktisk ansvaret for comicsprogrammet før Egmonts overtagelse af Bonnier-forlagene. Med ansvaret overtog jeg også et comicsprogram, der stort set var lagt for de næste par år. Men efter EU’s afgørelse i efteråret 2007 stod vi så pludselig og skulle lave et ny program og denne gang uden at kunne tænke i genudnyttelse af bagkataloget. Så den opgave har vi ufortrødent kastet os over. For læserne er der jo den gevinst ved den nye situation, at der nu er et forlag mere i Danmark, som laver kvalitetstegneserier. Jeg er selv oplært af Carsten Søndergaard, Jens Trasborg og Pia Christensen og har af dem har fået nok den bedste mesterlæreuddannelse, man kan få inden for dette område i Danmark. Jeg kan således garantere, at kvalitetsfanen fortsat vil blive holdt højt både hos Søndergaard/Dahlgård og hos os. Samtidig kan skilmsissen mellem Søndergaard og Carlsen ikke undgå at resultere i et endnu bredere tegneserieudgivelsesbillede i Danmark fremover, og det er vel ikke så ringe endda. Continue reading ‘Tegneseriemarkedet: Det nye Carlsen’

Tegneseriemarkedet: Enter Cobolt!

Carsten Soendergaard
Forleden blev sløret løftet for det nye forlag, der fremover skal varetage forlaget Carlsens tegneserietitler – som følge af den lange, indviklede og noget uforståelige juridiske proces, der fulgte i kølvandet på Egmonts opkøb af Bonniers forlagsdivision. Groft forenklet brød EUs konkurrencemyndigheder sig ikke om den nye mastodont, og betingede en godkendelse af overtagelsen med et krav om frasalg af Carlsens tegneserielinje. Efter flere måneder er der nu kommet klarhed over situationen: Carlsens tegneserietitler (minus manga og Valhalla) bliver videreført i et nyt dansk og uafhængigt forlag med navnet Cobolt. Forlagets ejer, manden med pengene, er Kurt Dahlgaard, og forlagschefen bliver Carsten Søndergaard. Metabunkeren har interviewet sidstnævnte, og her følger hvad Søndergaard havde på hjerte:

Kan du fortælle lidt om Forlaget Cobolts udgivelsesprofil – vil forlaget “nøjes” med at vedligeholde alle de gamle Carlsen-titler, eller kan man forvente en mere offensiv stil?

Cobolt har ikke tænkt sig blot at hvile på laurbærrene. Tegneseriemarkedets interessante udvikling de se seneste år vil naturligt komme til at præge Cobolts program fremover, både hvad angår titler, genrer, udgivelsesformater og salgskanaler. Endnu er det dog for tidligt at løfte sløret for meget konkrete planer for nye udgivelser. I første omgang vil der blive skruet op for de mange udgivelser, hvor produktionen har ligget underdrejet, mens forhandlingerne om overdragelsen fra Bonnier til Cobolt har stået på. Continue reading ‘Tegneseriemarkedet: Enter Cobolt!’

Diving In and Coming Up: Nick Bertozzi Interviewed


It’s been a busy year for Nick Bertozzi. 2007 saw two new graphic novels out from the New York-based cartoonist, both followed by extensive promotional touring including reading sessions, book signings and panel discussions at various conventions and book stores. Endeavours such as these of course reflect the growing interest in the graphic novel, and the continuous climb of the art form as a whole – and it’s a climb that in no small measure can be attributed to the bold experiments of Bertozzi’s generation.

Having largely discarded both the stylistics and the contents of genre-based comics, the avant-garde of today’s comic book artists have embarked on a seemingly boundless foray into the mechanics of what constitutes great storytelling and great art. Judging from his two new books, The Salon and Houdini: The Handcuff King, 37-year-old Nick Bertozzi seems to find at least part of the answer in historical events. Continue reading ‘Diving In and Coming Up: Nick Bertozzi Interviewed’

John Romita Jr. Interviewed

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Danish Comics collector and power-enthusiast Henrik Andreasen has just posted a short interview with one of the premier American mainstream artists of his generation, John Romita Jr., over at Sequential Tart. This interview originally ran in Danish in Rackham #5, and was the result of a collaboration between Andreasen and myself, with yours truly providing Henrik with a set of written questions that he took to San Diego in 2002 and used as the basis for the interview. Good to see it being given a new lease on life!

Art from the recently published
World War Hulk #5. Romita in full form, with great Janson inks and spectacular colour work by Christina Strain (plus some schlocky lettering in the sound effects). Pity the script by Greg Pak suffers from such poor plotting.

Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 4 of 4

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This is the last installment of our interview with cartoonist Anders Nilsen; 1, 2, 3.

Moving on to the much more traditionally narrative Big Questions. It’s evident that you had been leading up to Algernon’s descent into Hades for a while before it became obvious that that’s what you were doing. What made you decide to adapt the myth? [of Orpheus and Eurydice]

It’s funny, I actually didn’t mean to adapt the myth. It just sort of worked out that way. Once I realized that that was the story I was telling, I liked it, and I’ve been trying to reinforce the connections a bit. Bringing in more of Algernon’s singing for example. I’m also just really interested in myths, fairy-tales and religious stories like the Bible. They are endlessly interpretable and adaptable. A bottomless source. They’re the template for pretty much all storytelling in the Western world. Whether by design or by stumbling onto them I think there is much to be gained from brushing up against them, borrowing, stealing, rewriting and quoting from them, whether subtly, like the story you mentioned or overtly like in the Sisyphus story I did in Kramers 4. Continue reading ‘Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 4 of 4′

Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 3 of 4

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Continuing our interview with cartoonist Anders Nilsen; 1, 2, 4.

CAMBRIDGE-CHICAGO 2007
A lot has happened since we last spoke – back in the Fall of 2004, I believe it was – but I think I would like to pick up more or less where we left off, which will also maintain the chronology somewhat. We ended up talking about your drawing, and about approaches to storytelling with drawing, and you’d just started publishing comics in your much looser sketchbook style back then. In the years that have passed, you’ve published Monologues for the Coming Plague, as well as a couple of pieces in Mome in which you make use of that approach. Could you give me an impression of what it has given you in terms of your storytelling, and how you think it supports your artistic endeavour?

I just re-read the older interview… Indeed, a lot has happened. There are several things that might be worth re-visiting. One being that I’m not working as a cook anymore (for which I am very grateful).

As for the present question… I think I touched momentarily on it previously, but it is really helpful to me to have the two different approaches running simultaneously. I started the looser-styled stuff, what turned, ultimately, into Monologues for the Coming Plague, while I was working on Dogs and Water. I was working on that book as well as Big Questions, and that meant all the drawing I was doing was for relatively polished, finished, official-feeling stories. Until that time I had always kept sketchbooks, which allowed a degree of experimentation and playfulness. The amount of work I was doing for BQ and DW had eclipsed that. Also, though both those projects are in a way improvisational, they are/were slow to realize. I was inspired in part by going on a tour with several other cartoonists to start drawing, and storytelling, purely for fun again. To varying degrees I’ve kept both styles going in the years that have followed, and still have, though both have evolved, partly because of events in my life. The End isn’t about humor or absurdism in the same way, but it grows pretty directly out of that more experimental work. I’m a great believer that once an artist knows exactly what they are doing, there is a problem. Leaving myself open to various possibilities is part of keeping myself on my toes and also keeping myself entertained, which is really what it’s all about in the end. I occasionally lament the potential polish or seamlessness I have traded for that restlessness, but ultimately I think I’m happier. And hopefully more fun to read as well. Continue reading ‘Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 3 of 4′

Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 2 of 4

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Continuing our interview with cartoonist Anders Nilsen; 1, 3, 4.

Another reason I asked is that I just read your new book [Dogs and Water], which seemed a little bit more constructed than your previous work. I mean, it doesn’t come off as tightly constructed or anything, but there seems to have been some guiding thought put into how it’s put together. You interject the main narrative with those scenes of the man on the water, for example…

That’s interesting, because when I first did the story, it was 73 pages and there was no dream sequence, or whatever that is. The last 20 pages were him on the water and it seemed really disconnected from the body of the story, so I ended up lengthening the first part and interjecting the second part into the story. Um… I’m trying to think whether it was more constructed… I think I struggled with it more. It came from a series of really quick strips I did several years ago, drawn on top of photographs with whiteout, sort of experimental [since printed in Mome]… and when Chris Oliveros asked me to do a story for the [Drawn & Quarterly] Showcase, I thought about those strips right away and started thinking about how I could expand them. So I basically started out by taking those two and redrawing them as regular comic pages and when I was done I was completely stumped as to where else to go with it. As I said, it was originally a 73-page story, but there were a ton more pages I didn’t use, and then I ended up throwing 25 of the supposedly good pages as well and doing about forty more new ones. So I don’t know whether it was more constructed, but… Continue reading ‘Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 2 of 4′

Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 1 of 4

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Anders Nilsen (b. 1973) is coming into his own as one of his generation’s simultaneously most intellectually inquisitive and intuitively astute comics artists. Since the debut of his ongoing, “core” series Big Questions (9 issues published so far, 1999-2007), he has been unswerving in his exploration of, well, some of the big questions of life, all the while developing his at times scratchily harsh at others innocuously perambulatory, but always searching line, experimenting with different kinds of narrative.

Beginning with small, autonomous vignettes, Big Questions soon started growing into a grand ensemble piece that follows a number of small birds, a stray halfwit, a lost pilot, and others around, and under, an open landscape in search of answers. Nilsen’s world seems simultaneously absurd and fatalistic, but never entirely bleak. The bleaknehttp://www.metabunker.dk/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=847ss is leavened by the warmth that often exists between his protagonists, and occasional humour, and – perhaps more than anything else – the sense of purposeful exploration the animates all of his stories.

In addition to Big Questions, Nilsen has released the story of a young freak’s self-mutilation, The Ballad of the Two-Headed Boy (in minicomics form 1999, as a book 2000), the dreamlike narrative of a man traveling across a war-torn landscape, Dogs and Water, the alternately nonsensically silly and ontologically probing collection of gags, Monologues for the Coming Plague (2006), as well as contributed notable work to a number of anthologies such as Kramers Ergot, Blood Orange and Mome.

In the spring of 2005 tragedy struck in Nilsen’s life. His fiancée, Cheryl Weaver, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system. She succumbed to it the Fall of that same year. For a while, his loss naturally came to dictate his work. In 2006 he released Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, which assembles letters, photos, short comics and other documents of their time together to create an alternately funny, humbling and harrowing slice of lived life. Private life made public in a way that makes you flinch, but ultimately take notice. In the more analytical The End (2007), Nilsen explores the state of mourning and memory, in search of something approximating the cathartic.

The following interview is a combination of two separate interviews, made several years apart. It consists of four parts: 2, 3, 4. The first two parts were conducted at SPX 2004 in Bethesda MA when Dogs and Water had just come out and Nilsen was looking forward to new challenges. The latter two parts were conducted via email from June-September 2007 and finds Nilsen essentially asking the same questions, further on up the road. Continue reading ‘Anders Nilsen – The Metabunker Interview pt. 1 of 4′

Covering BLÆK

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When Rackham’s Danish comics anthology from last year, BLÆK, was recently selected amongst the books of the year by the Association of Danish Bookbinders, it turned out to be in the ‘cover’ category. Besides acknowledging the fine work done by our designer, Frederik Storm, this is, of course, first and foremost a recognition of cover artist Jan Solheim. To mark the occasion, I asked to him to talk a little about his ideas for, and work on, the cover, and he also coughed up some of his preliminary sketches. read on… Continue reading ‘Covering BLÆK’

Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. III of III

def_jux_live_rf2003.jpgThis concludes my 2003 interview with El-P and Aesop Rock. Here’s part I and here’s part II. Continue reading ‘Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. III of III’

Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. II of III

aesop_rock_live.jpgThis is continuing my 2003 interview with El-P and Aesop Rock. Here’s part I and here’s part III. Continue reading ‘Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. II of III’

Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. I of III

el-p_aesop_rock_live.jpgTo mark the release of New York hip hop veteran, innovator and impressario El-P’s second solo album, and first solo effort in nearly five years, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, the Metabunker re-presents an in-depth interview yours truly conducted with El-P and fellow innovator and Def Jukie Aesop Rock in El-P’s home/studio back in the winter of 2003, originally used for an article in the Danish weekly newspaper Weekendavisen and published in edited form and translated into Danish at Rapspot. This, however, is the works – word for word, part I of III (here are part II and part III). Continue reading ‘Sieze the Moment! An Interview with El-P & Aesop Rock pt. I of III’