Monthly Archive for June, 2007

Natasja – In Memoriam

natasja_sunburst.jpgThis is so sad. I can’t really bring myself to write about anything else at the moment. It is, however, some solace that so many people have been showing their love these last days. And there are also some news about what happens now.

People interested in helping Natasja’s mother and family give her a nice funeral are encouraged to visit her MySpace page where further information can be found.

For those who read Danish, my obituary can be seen in a slightly different version over at RapSpot. Everyone is also encouraged to visit the RapSpot board where the community is paying respect and showing love. Also, read MC and hip hop journalist PTA’s reminiscences here, and be sure to read the best obituary written so far, by selector and journalist Ras Money, here. Danish daily Information has a good one too. Also, The Jamaica Observer has the news, with testimony from Natasja’s friend and fellow dancehall DJ Lady G. Continue reading ‘Natasja – In Memoriam’

Natasja 1974-2007

little_t.jpgToday brought incredibly sad news. Danish dancehall queen Natasja Saad has died in a car crash in Jamaica.

A fixture in Danish hip hop, reggae and dancehall since the late eighties, when she performed on stage for the first time, she had both an astonishing talent and true star quality. I first saw her on stage in 1989, opening for Ice-T and the Rhyme Syndicate at the now long gone, classic venue Saga in Copenhagen. Perky and energetic, she already had her tight ragga flow and distinctive rascally delivery down, totally outshining the older MC, J-Sun, whom she was sharing the stage with. In the following years she was ubiquitous on the Copenhagen hip hop scene, performing with Karen Mukupa (and, at the beginning also MC Emcee) as the group No Name Requested as well as delivering numerous guest shots at other people’s shows and recordings. Her tenacity, vigour and sheer talent on stage was impressive and though I didn’t always dig her music, she remains one of the artists from that period I respect the most. Continue reading ‘Natasja 1974-2007′

Carlsen stays Carlsen

On Seriejournalen’s message board, Carlsen editor Carsten Søndergaard notes that the negotiations at Aschehoug/Egmont after their acquisition of Bonnier Forlagene have resulted in the publishing house Carlsen, previously owned by Bonnier, remains its own publisher, while Egmont Serieforlaget continues to function as is. Effectively that means the new media group has two distinct comics publishing houses. Probably the best solution all round.

We hope to have more on all this shortly.

Hype: Denmark Represents at MoCCA

This coming weekend, June 23-24, will once again see the MoCCA ArtFest in the Puck Building in SoHo, New York. Always an event well worth attending, there will be extra reason to do so this year for people interested in Scandinavian comics. The Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish consulates have collaborated on a joint manifestation at the festival. The Danish part is organized by New York-based Danish cartoonist Henrik Rehr, who has invited a group of distinguished Danish cartoonists and publishers, all of whom will be at hand to draw, and talk about their work. Look for similar manifestations from the other participating countries – the Scandinavian contigent can be found at booths S13-17. Continue reading ‘Hype: Denmark Represents at MoCCA’

Hergé 100

Hergé 100
9 Danish cartoonists remember Hergé on the occasion of the great comics artist’s centenary.


Raphael’s Portrait of Lorenzo de’Medici: A Case of Visual vs. Documentary Evidence

The portrait of Lorenzo de’Medici, Duke of Urbino (1492-1519), coming up for sale at Christie’s on the 5th of July is an interesting case study in the perpetual problem in art history of reconciling visual and textual evidence. I have just visited Christie’s in London and examined the painting. It is obviously a severely damaged, extensively restored painting, but it is still quite beautiful. To me it looks like it was substantially painted by Raphael himself, but things are unfortunately not so easy. Continue reading ‘Raphael’s Portrait of Lorenzo de’Medici: A Case of Visual vs. Documentary Evidence’

Shrug Value

Not wanting to feel left out, I’m adding my 2 cents on Damien Hirst’s new skull. It is a platinum cast of a human skull, with real teeth, studded with 8.601 diamonds, the forehead set with a 50-karat stone. At a reported production cost of £8-10 million and a sales price around £50 million, the press release called it the “most expensive work of contemporary art ever created” (whatever that means), and that’s kind of the point. Continue reading ‘Shrug Value’

Hart and Madden Play at 5 Obstructions

It seems almost auspicious that American cartoonists Tom Hart (Hutch Owen) and Matt Madden (99 Ways to Tell a Story) decided to do a comics version of Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s film The Five Obstructions just as the former was turning 70. Go check out their little game of constraint – it’s both fun and an inspiring display of creative comics thinking.

Hype: Undertegnede i norske Morgenbladet

epileptisk_t.jpgTil særlig vore norske læsere, vil jeg anbefale at checke denne uges udgave af Morgenbladet, hvori undertegnede har en anmeldelse af David Bs Epileptisk. Men først og fremmest vil jeg anbefale jer at læse Epileptisk – et af den moderne tegneseries mesterværker.

Udgiveren, No Comprendo Press, har i øvrigt også udsendt David Bs lille mesterlige allegori, Familiebomben, på norsk. Nåja, der er også et stort interview med David B. i Rackham-udgivelsen Forandringstegn, og en udvidet udgave af det i The Comics Journal #275.

Daniel Robert Epstein RIP

It’s incredibly sad to hear of the death of pop culture journalist Daniel Robert Epstein’s sudden death at the way-too-young age of 31 a couple of days ago. Epstein was a hugely prolific journalist specializing in interviews with an astonishingly broad range of artists and pop culture personalities. His interviews were engaging and to the point. Deepest condolences to his friends and family. He will be missed.

Loose yourself in Epstein’s extensive interview archive at Suicide Girls; read the obituary of the same site here, and that of Newsarama’s Matt Brady’s here.

Re: Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence

Ovre på Seriejournalen kommenterer Hans Müller, tegneren bag en af de vindende striber i Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence,, min kritik:

“Wivel, hvad mener du med “det meget begrænsede eksempelmateriale der er tilgængeligt”…? Du henviser til de 4 eksempler der i sin tid blev lagt på, antager jeg. Har du overhovedet ulejliget dig med at læse de 4 striber i de måneder de kørte i avisen? For at holde mig til mit egen stribe, fremhæver du den i mine øjne ringeste af dem alle (den med flyveren) og bruger den som grundlag for at sable hele molevitten som WM til Familiejournalen. Faktisk forholder det sig sådan, at netop den med flyveren ikke kom gennem min egen “censur” da jeg leverede 31 striber til at køre marts måned igennem i avisen. Men du har vel ikke læst resten af dem…? Jeg synes faktisk selv, at rigtigt mange af mine striber holdt et godt niveau, enkelte fungerede ikke rigtigt, men sådan er det jo…det er ikke så ofte man møder serieskabere der er lige skarpe hver eneste dag. …læg til dette det faktum at ingen af serierne fik mere tid end omkring 30 dage til at udvikle sig.” Continue reading ‘Re: Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence’

Happy 70th Birthday, Jørgen Leth!

Well, I absolutely adore legendary poet, filmmaker and sports commentator Jørgen Leth, so today is a great occasion to celebrate the man and his works. Mr. Leth himself will talk to his audience in Cinemateket in Copenhagen later today, go meet him! At the same time, the first part of a brand new dvd compilation of Leth’s entire film production will be launched – oh joy! …Happy Birthday, mr. Leth!

If you read Danish, do click here to read Berlingske Tidende‘s Ebbe Iversen’s accurate and thorough piece on Leth’s career.

Illustration by myself.

Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence: Et panorama af middelmådighed

Der lyder i disse dage stor kritik af Berlingske tidende fra dele af det danske tegneseriemiljø, efter dagbladet har annonceret, at de ikke har intentioner om at fortsætte med at bringe en af vinderstriberne i den stort anlagte tegneseriekonkurrence, de kørte i efteråret. Dette er ganske forståeligt – konkurrencen blev amatøragtigt afviklet og den meddelelse, kulturredaktør Iver Høj Nielsen netop har givet de tre vindere, er da også fesen. Dumt, dumt, ligesom det var dumt pludselig at annoncere en anden runde, da vinderne var fundet, uden at have nævnt muligheden for en sådan fra starten. Men når det er sagt, ville det have været endnu dummere af Berlingske rent faktisk at have bundet dagligt an med en af de middelmådigheder, konkurrencen affødte. Ingen grund til at føje skade til spot. Continue reading ‘Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence: Et panorama af middelmådighed’

Egmont/Bonnier: Worst Case Scenario For Danish Comics Culture

Yesterday saw the announcement that Nordic media conglomerate Egmont has acquired its rival, Bonnier Books. Since then, the Danish media have written a great deal about tendencies in Scandinavian book culture (where the presence of bookstore chains is steadily growing, causing predictions that they will eventually end up dictating publishing), in which both Egmont and Bonnier are major players. Here at the Metabunker, the development as it pertains to Danish comics culture especially is cause for concern. Egmont’s acquisition may have huge consequences, at least for the Danish market. Both companies have their own comics divisions: Egmont has Serieforlaget and Bonnier has Carlsen. And though both publishers are very commercially driven, they are extremely different in terms of attitude, philosophy and market strategy.

So, here’s the Metabunker’s four-point worst case scenario for Danish comics culture, and at the end of this piece, a constructive what-to-do:
Continue reading ‘Egmont/Bonnier: Worst Case Scenario For Danish Comics Culture’

Egmont køber Bonnier Forlagene – opdateret

Bogmarkedet meddeler, at der i disse timer bliver skrevet dansk forlagshistorie; Egmont-forlaget Aschehoug har netop købt Bonnier Forlagene, der blandt andet tæller Lindhardt og Ringhof, Børsens Forlag, Akademisk Forlag og Carlsen. Bonnier Forlagenes hidtige direktør Morten Hesseldahl forlader storforlaget, der fortsætter under navnet Lindhardt & Ringhof. Hvorvidt Egmont Serieforlaget og Carlsen vil blive sammenlagt ved overtagelsen vides pt. ikke, men Metabunkeren vil følge sagen løbende.

Læs mere om udviklingen i det danske bogmarked i Politiken og på Nyhedsavisen beskriver forfatternes frygt for “forlagsmaskiner”, som også Information beskriver. Endelig kan Politiken fortælle at Bonniers tidligere adminstrerende dirketør, den tidligere tegneserieforfatter Morten Hesseldahl, bliver ny administrerende direktør på dagbladet Information.