Monthly Archive for May, 2008

The Komiks.dk Awards 2008

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The Komiks.dk awards were given out tonight at the official launch of Copenhagen’s international comics festival. They’re already up on the official site, with short motivations. Here’s the list: Continue reading ‘The Komiks.dk Awards 2008′

The Metabunker Crew at Komiks.dk

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I case you missed it, this weekend the international comics festival Komiks.dk will be held in Vanløse, Copenhagen. The Bunker gang will be there, involved in a number of activities, starting tonight with the Award Ceremony. Here are the events we’re involved in, as well as a number of other activities we recommend you take a look at: Continue reading ‘The Metabunker Crew at Komiks.dk’

Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Danish TV2: Interview with Gregorius Nekschot (above). Check out this interview of February 28th with the cartoonist recently targeted by the Dutch police. It’s in Danish and Dutch, with subtitles, but no English, unfortunately. Still, worth a view.
  • Information. For our Danish readers, here’s a good a primer on David B. and the upcoming Komiks.dk festival, that also happens to mention a book yours truly was involved in writing… ahem.
  • Hype: Blodets Konkubine & Sekvens

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    As mentioned before, this weekend sees the International Comics Festival in Copenhagen, Komiks.dk, going down. And of course there are auxillary events. On Saturday, the release party for Palle Schmidt’s new crime comic Blodets Konkubine and the opening of the exhibition Sekvens, which shows original works by the cartoonists mentioned on the flyer above, will be taking place at Galopperiet, Christiania. Also, remember the Simon Bukhave opening tomorrow.

    See you there?

    Hype: 676 part II


    Aben Malers nye kollektion af minitegneserier – de såkaldte 676′ere – er landet, og de er fyldt med overskud og virtuositet! For kun 35 kr. kan enten Mårdøn Smets Lazarus, Signe Parkins Bordskik, Peter Adolphsen/Zven Balslevs Duerne flyver højt over byen, Christopher Zielers Pigen og Katten samt Johan F. Krarups Pibemanden blive din. De er så rigeligt fundet til prisen og hermed endorsed som et af metabunkerens Komiks.dk-HOT PICKS™.

    Mere info her.

    Cartoon Bombing

    Following the arrest of Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot last week, it has become publicised that the Dutch Secret Service apparently has a division dedicated to checking all cartoons being published in the country for potentially offensive content. Whatever you may think of Nekschot’s racist junk, that should be cause for concern. And indeed, Dutch cartoonist Peter Nieuwendijk, founder and present Secretary General of the Federation of Cartoonists Organizations (FECO) is organising a campaign, supported by the Dutch Cartoons Association, the Dutch Foundation Pers and Prent (Press & Print), and Cartoonists Rights Network International, to inundate — “bomb” — the Dutch Ministry of Justice in cartoons. More information on how to participate here.

    Hype: Simon Bukhave

    Simon Bukhave
    This Friday will see the opening of Boy Wonder Simon Bukhave’s first solo exhibition. If you’re in Copenhagen (perhaps attending the Grand comics festival, Komiks.dk), go check it out. Simon has produced a couple of new, gorgeous drawings (see above) – and everything is for sale! Go, watch! Go buy! (In fact, just send him some goddamn money!)

    More info here.

    And for your convenience, here’s Simon’s site – and here’s studio Over Floden’s site.

    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!’

    Sidney Pollack RIP

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    One of Hollywood’s elder statesmen, the director, actor and producer Sidney Pollack has died. He was one of Tinseltown’s consummate craftsmen, never flashy but always solid — a comfortable presence in American mainstream cinema that, much like his contemporary Sidney Lumet, never lost sight of quality and subtle auteurial voice. From the caustically satirical They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (1969) to the pitch-perfect Three Days for Condor (1975) and Tootsie (1982) — each of the latter a sort of quality blueprint for their genres, of political thriller and romantic comedy respectively — his best films are unassuming, intelligent and gripping pieces of classic Hollywood cinema. Continue reading ‘Sidney Pollack RIP’

    Camu Tao RIP

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    Columbus, Ohio-based MC Tero Smith, alias Camu Tao, has passed away after a three-year battle with lung cancer, reports his long-time collaborator El-P of Definitive Jux Records. In his press release, he writes:

    “To those who knew Tero, he was an almost uncategorizable force of nature. Wild, hilarious, proud, loving, tough, outspoken, spontaneous and brilliant. He wore his heart on his sleeve and he dripped creativity, leaving inspiration and awe in the hearts and minds of anyone who was fortunate enough to see him work. “ Continue reading ‘Camu Tao RIP’

    Bringing It All Back Home

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    Public Enemy brought it all back home Friday night. Performing, for the first time ever, their classic album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) in its entirety, they returned to a defining moment in modern music history and consolidated their status as perhaps the greatest hip hop group ever. Though not held at the Hammersmith Apollo, where they performed on the Def Jam Tour in 1987 — the show that was subsequently immortalised in live segments on the album — but rather at a sold out Brixton Academy across town, it was still one hell of a homecoming. Continue reading ‘Bringing It All Back Home’

    Picks of the Week

    So why it is such an upsetting photograph is not just because we see someone smiling in the context of the horrible, but that when we look at her, we begin to have to resist smiling ourselves. So it’s a terrible, terrible picture for that reason alone.

    – Paul Ekman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • New York Times: “The Most Curious Thing.” Errol Morris, director of the documentary on Abu Ghraib writes about his investigation into one of the most infamous photographs associated with the scandal, that of reservist Sabrina Harman posing over the body of the murdered prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi. This is a great humanist piece of journalism. Read it.
  • Let’s take it back to the Old School. Great live recordings from back in the days — from Funky 4+1 at the T-Connection to Marly Marl spinning at Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack. Fantastic stuff.
  • Will Elder. In honour of Mad‘s Maddest Artist, who passed away last week, here’re some links to his work: Download his Harvey Kurtzman’s classic “Goodman Goes Playboy here, read their Mad stories “Dragged Net” here, and “Outer Sanctum” here and here, and here’s some original art from the Kurtzman’s Humbug. Also, check out this fine, short documentary on his work and life: part 1, part 2. And read the director and Elder’s his son-in-law Gary VandenBergh’s eulogy here.
  • Shot in the Head II

    OK, since yesterday I’ve been looking over some more of this Gregorius Nekschot’s work and let’s just say that I’m not interested in reproducing any of it here. I may be missing some kind of mitigating knowledge of context, but have a hard time seeing how his work is different from this, this, or this (and if you want more comparative material, check out the Nazi Propaganda Archive. Be warned, however, that all of those links contain disturbing racist imagery).

    It seems to me a pretty accurate assessment when the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office calls this hate speech. The question, of course, is whether it should be banned by law and whether producers of such material, such as Nekschot, should be prosecuted for spreading it. I don’t believe that’s the way to go about things — it’s a slippery slope towards greater censorship and will only worsen the situation. And, in any case, garbage like this is ultimately just a symptom of serious problems in the society that fosters it. Problems that obviously and urgently need to be addressed.

    What I find shocking is not so much that some crank produces this crap, but that many people apparently take it seriously instead of rejecting it outright. Where the hell are we, if depicting our fellow human beings like this is somehow acceptable enough that it gets published in newspapers? Where do we, as self-proclaimed enlightened and civilised societies, draw the line?

    Funny how staid and measured the Bomb in the Turban seems these days.

    At Nightfall

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    There is a distinct sense of hesitation to the work of the Italian Renaissance painter Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547). In spite of a high level of craft and an acute visual sensibility, many of his pictures are characterised by a searching insecurity, which also seems reflected in his notoriously low rate of productivity. According to Vasari’s biography, his longtime friend and mentor, Michelangelo, went as far as to describe him as plain lazy. He did this at a time when the two artists had fallen out — allegedly over the older master choosing fresco instead of oil as the medium for his Sistine Last Judgement — but is somehow characteristic of the professional relationship that more than anything determined Sebastiano’s career as an artist. The creative boost he got from the older artist’s Protean vision developed over time to become a crushing creative dependency. Continue reading ‘At Nightfall’

    Shot in the Head

    The arrest and 30-hour detainment of Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot and the seizure of his property by police at the end of last week is disturbing news. The arrest was part of an investigation into alleged spreading of hate-speech in his cartoons and political commentary, based on a complaint made by a Dutch imam in 2005. I’m not familiar with Nekschot’s work, but what I’ve seen — coarse and repulsive as it is — is not substantially different from the hateful agitprop of a Geert Wilders for example, and not even his garbage merits this kind of action. Ignoring this kind of idiocy is the best way of combatting it.

    What the hell is wrong with the Dutch government?

    Reporters without Borders’ report. Nekschot’s website. Detailed commentary by blogger sympathetic to Nekschot.