Planning to update my knowledge on the bourgeoning Indian graphic novel market during the next year or so. Thanks to Sumit Kumar and Thomas Karlsson for getting me started with this little gem.
Archive for July, 2016
As those of you working as comics artist, journalists, editors or authors know, there can be long bouts of work with little or no obvious payoff. And then there’s periods when everything just comes together and your mailbox (physical and digital) is filled daily with new publications. That has been the case for me these last few weeks.
It started with my latest academic article, Comic Studies in the Nordic Countries – Field or discipline? being published in the great Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. This has been in the works literally for years now, so seeing it in print was really satisfying.
When it got this new graphic novel by Max Andersson, actually the first since Pixy, which was published an astonishing 25 years ago, I was really elated. For me Pixy was one of the major eye openers to the potential of comics and I have followed Andersson’s career ever since. But he has mostly created shorter comics, and though highly interesting, not quite matching the more epic qualities of Pixy. So, it was with some trepidation that I took on reading The Excavation, although I had read some of these comics before, in various publication including the comic book Death and Candy.
A story that begins promising and has great potential, which unfortunately is sorely misspent by scriptwriter Cauvin at the end. The idea of alternative, subjective versions of the chaotic reality during a battle is inspired, although no one who reads this long-running series would ever believe in the possibility that Blutch, one of the comic’s two main characters, actually would have died. Despite this, entertaining and well done, if not ingenious.
This is the 38th album of the Les Tuniques Bleues and the artist Lambil is as good as ever in his somewhat more realistic version of the dynamic Marcinelle-style. Sometimes I feel, however, that the script writer Cauvin has lost some of his edge thorough the years. In this particular album, though, he rises to the occasion. A battle between the North and the Confederate soldiers is contrasted with a protracted childbirth. Life and death. This has of course been done before, but Cauvin manages just the right balance between nonsense and seriousness. The pacifist end of the story is also spot on.