Archive for May, 2016
Palimpsest is an autobiographical graphic novel about a Swede who was adopted from Korea searching for her origins. Sjöblom has previously made shorter comics and illustrated children’s books, but this is her first full-length graphic novel.
Scriptwriter Patrick Rochling and comics artist Li Österberg keep adding to their low-key but extensive book series about a fictional Sweden. First out was Johannasviten (the Johanna series), five graphic novels which were later collected in one volume. Right now they are in the midst of creating a trilogy that follows another character, Eliana, who in the first volume, Gasraketen, was a child in the 80s, and now in the second, Partydrottningen (The Party Queen), is a teenager in the 90s.
Is it really the 17th book since we started the Comic Art School? I made sure we created a yearbook that very first year, i.e. 1999/2000, otherwise there would not have been an impetuous for making sure there was one each and every year. Now it would feel incredibly wrong to break this winning streak. But 17… That’s a long time, and many new comics artists that have been presented to the general public throughout the years.
This is a great collection of early stories by Rutu Modan. I read most of them in the anthologies that her collective Actus Tragicus put out in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but rereading them in one go puts them all together and shows the development of a great comics artists, on her way to creating the intriguing graphic novel Exit Wounds.
Re-reading this book in preparation for an artist talk with Modan in a few day, and actually enjoying it more than the first time around. Modan has a way of writing real people doing real things, having real relationships, and you sense that outside of the panels they are actually living real lives. That’s a rare quality in comics, and the closest I can come to something that compares are the graphic novels by Anneli Furmark, which are sadly, so far, not available in English.
The second book by the Argentinian comics artist artist Liniers in Swedish and just like the previous one, Regnballongen, a wonderful, compassionate, thoughtful little book that is suitable both for those who recently learned to read, and for reading aloud. Read more…
The second collection of the French children’s comics Benjamin Bear/L´ours Barnabé, which is just as strange and at the same time pedagogical as the previous volume. In my review of the first collection Benny Björn på rätt spår I compared this series with the absurd Cowboy Henk, and that impression remains. Fun, unexpectedly drastic and at the same time always with an eye on teaching young readers things about how our world works. So far from dreary educational comics as you can possibly get. Refreshing.