Monthly Archive for November, 2012

Educating Comics Creators


It’s been several years coming, it has taken a lot of hard work, but now it is here: the first professional educational track for comics creators in Denmark. Today, The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark, announced their new four-year bachelor in graphic storytelling. And thus, a new chapter in Danish comics history seems to begin.

I believe this may well be a watershed for comics in Denmark. In our neighbouring country, Sweden, they have had two such programmes for over a decade and it has made a huge difference to local comics production, both in terms of quality and quantity. Although other factors have contributed, people in the know attribute the relative health of Swedish comics in large part to the schools in Stockholm and Malmö. So the potential here in Denmark seems evident.

For more than a decade, the Animation Workshop has been educating animators at a high level. It is an institution that enjoys great respect internationally, not the least because of its excellent guest lecturer/master class system. It is a primarily craft-oriented school, but the comics track is expressly defined as both market-oriented and auteur-driven. The idea is to educate cartoonists to develop their vision in comics form for application across as variety of media and platforms.

Director Morten Thorning and his team has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to have the programme approved by all the relevant instances. And we in the Danish Comics Council — particularly chairman Thomas Thorhauge along with Allan Haverholm, Lars Horneman, Kim Hagen, and Cav Bøgelund — have been along for the ride as consultants, instigators, and fellow advocates. Fruit of our labours and all that.

To read more about the new programme, please visit the website of The Animation Workshop. Non-Danes are more than welcome! And if you’re not already a member of The Danish Comics Council, please consider joining. Your membership makes a big difference to our work.

Illustration by Thomas Thorhauge.

Cool Comics Opens Today


Gl. Holtegaard, a quality-oriented small museum north of Copenhagen introduces its most recent innovation, Cool Comics, today. Conceived as an annual mini-festival it encompasses an exhibition of comics and animation art to which I’ve acted as a consultant/curator on the comics section, as well as a series of workshops and talks over the next month. The opening is today at 5pm and the exhibition runs till 16 December. Come tonight (added “incentive”: I’m opening the exhibition along with long-time comics critic Jakob Stegelmann), or visit over the next month for a fresh perspective on Danish comics and animation right now!

Comics at the Copenhagen Book Fair

Kinda unrelated: yrs. truly interviewing Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, and Charles Burns along with Paul Gravett, at Komiks.dk 2010. Photo by Frederik Høyer-Chr.


This weekend sees the Copenhagen Book Fair, or Bogforum — the book event of the year in Denmark. This year, the fair has moved to Bella Center in Amager to accommodate the crowds. Let’s hope people who have gotten used to the proximity afforded by the traditional venue, Forum, at border of Frederiksberg.

Comics have always been represented at the fair in some measure, but this year sees an unprecedented amplification of their presence, in that the Danish comics grass roots organizations have been given a large area in which to set up for free. The Danish Comics Council and the festival organisers in Copenhagen Comics have teamed up with The Association of Danish Comics Creators, the Ping Awards, the Blågård library, and the Goethe Institute to create a nexus of all Danish comics realities at the fair.

We provide extensive programming consisting of live drawing by a range of Danish artists throughout the whole event, as well as interviews with creators, workshops for children, a relaxing reading area, and other surprise goodies. To see the whole programme, please visit the website of the Danish Comics Council, and please drop by — we’ll be in area e-006.

Thomas Thorhauge on Jørgen Leth in True Story


Also, Thomas Thorhauge, chairman of the Danish Comics Council and sometime Bunker contributor will be participating in the general programming, being interviewed by the great Jørgen Leth — writer, critic and filmmaker (The Five Obstructions) — at 3.40 pm on Friday ‘under the clock’ in area C2-023. They will be talking about his newspaper strip on film, True Story, which was collected in book form last year as Det sidste ord. Not to be missed.

With writer Benni Bødker, Thorhauge is also participating in an interview on the recently published YA book Djævlens øjne, which he illustrated. That’s Saturday at 3pm at the childrens’ stage, after which the two of them will be signing their book in area C3-038. Check out the whole programme here.

I hope to see you there!

Sanity Prevails.