Sketchdump!

Recently I finished this sketchbook, with its slightly questionable cover:

Here are some previously unpublished sketches from that book! V^(oo)^V

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Five Years Sometimes With You

Silly little piggy comic about brief moments of being impossible together with the impossible man who in various ways was an inspiration for most of my comics 2009-2014, and then fucked off. V^(oo)^V
I made it mostly so I’d have some shorter material for the next Plutonium Comics (it will be published there, in Swedish, in time for SIS14), since all my other brand spanking new comics were ~20-60 pages … V°(oo)°;V

(Read it behind the cut)

Post-hacking

So today my website got hacked and all the contents wiped out. I’ve been restoring it from an aged backup, but some of it (like Dog Island) I have to rebuild pretty much from scratch. Whee!

The hacker also changed the login database, so I couldn’t access the WordPress admin, but thanks to these instructions I was able to change it back, with a new password. Just mentioning it here in case the same happens to somebody else …

Update, Sunday:

Okay, now it should all be as before. If you should find some missing graphics or broken links somewhere, message me!

2012! The year of extremes?

The year started with crazy hard work drawing as much comics as possible. I had two comics that were supposed to go to print in March. So I slept very little, abused a lot of coffeine, and lost myself in the higher purpose of creating the most awesome comics I could in this insanely short time frame.

One was my contribution to Swedish Comic Sin 3 – the first comic I have ever drawn with grey shading. It was also a bit challenging to draw in smaller format, and it certainly was challenging to draw sex scenes that would really do justice to the characters and their feelings. (But fun!!! :3)

Even more challenging was the other comic I had to finish – Driftwood, which I’d been working on since I was 15. V`(oo)´;V
Even if there were a couple of stupid errors in it (such as an unfinished retouch job on one page, ugh), and I’ve now decided to extend one of the last scenes a bit for the English book version, the book as it was published in Swedish is already incredible. V*(oo)*V

Those crazy months were not made easier by the fact that somebody gave me lots of psychological abuse, but I endured it and just kept drawing one page after the other and drowning out my brain. (And, by all means, it gave me some useful inspiration for Willie’s dad in Driftwood.) As for personal relationships, I figured they could go to hell for all I cared, because I had more important things to do …

A fan checks out the latest
(Frida Ulvegren reads my porn at SPX12 – photo by Ilan)

Then I went to SPX12 (or Stockholm International Comics Festival). On one hand it was a really positive experience since I got to meet many of my wonderful friends in the Swedish comics scene, and met some new friends as well. It was exciting to present the Driftwood book and see that people actually wanted to have it. :3 To top it off, my zine Tunguska #9 was awarded the prize for best zine of 2011 by the Swedish Comics Association.
On the other hand I also had to interact with some annoying and insane people. But Ilan was by my side and made it perhaps not quite as bad.

Otherwise, Driftwood got practically no reviews or media attention. I can only speculate about the reasons. Because the press release sucked? Or because a book “doesn’t exist” in Sweden unless it’s on Adlibris, which is too bad since Epix has a policy to delay release to the commercial internet bookstores? Or because nobody wants to read almost 400 pages just for a review? Or because it’s too weird and Swedish people don’t even know where to start categorizing it …?
However, it was surprisingly and heartwarmingly well-received in the libraries. It got a very nice review in the main library catalogue, a mention in the yearly catalogue for the best new children’s and young adult books for libraries, and has been acquired by many libraries across the country. The vast majority of the truckloads of comics I devoured in my youth were borrowed from libraries (Gothenburg city library especially in my heart forever ♥), so that means a lot to me.

Anyway, after I got home from Stockholm, I had to compensate for the fact that I’d taken 3 months off from dayjobs by working my ass off. Since my solar panel was busted and it wasn’t very powerful anyway, I had to spend most of my time in the city to work. So my gardening really suffered this year. But I was still able to grow some cucumbers and other nice things.

First cucumbers!

At one point early in the year I had to “blackmail” a client (a local comics publisher, and not the awesome one that I’ve been working for since 2006) because they were holding my payments. I’d agreed to do two jobs for them, and I’d had no previous experience with them.
They were 15 days late with the payment for the first job, and after several reminders to which they just replied “yes, we will pay soon”, I stated that I wouldn’t start the second job until they’d paid me for the first … at which they paid immediately. This made them extremely untrustworthy, so to make sure I did get paid for the second job, I demanded the money before I delivered the files. After that was settled, I will of course never work for them again.
Oh the joys of freelancing.

So anyway, during May-December I mostly did lots of dayjob work. I also completed the nearly superhuman feat of teaching my mum to work with InDesign and Photoshop so she could create and publish her first book all by herself!

But I did make some time to enjoy the finer things in life, too. (Hairy men, etc. :3)

I started drawing Dog Island – the sequel to Driftwood. But overall I drew very little comics. Of course, anything would seem pathetic compared to the first three months of the year … ;__;
In other art forms, I am teaching myself to play dombra (slowly but steadily). But it’s extremely embarrassing to play in front of other humans so that’s all I’ll say about that.

The Memorial to Romani victims of the Holocaust

In October, a strange thing happened: the Memorial to Romani victims of the Holocaust in Berlin was finally opened after 20 years of delay(!).

In the fall I moved to my winter residence in the city again, and continued working my ass off with dayjobs. But this meant that in the end I got the means to finally end a very strained professional relationship.

I went to some more festivals – Helsinki comics festival, Zinefest Berlin and AltCom Malmö – where I disseminated my comics and met lovely friends, old and new. ♥

Then Ilan and I organized a 24h comics marathon in Berlin, since there hadn’t been any this year at all. This Saturday we will have the opening party for the exhibition with the comics!

As mentioned, because of dayjob overload and other problems, my comics making had been suffering for most of the year, in stark contrast to how it started out. But it seems to have picked up again just before the year ended … :3

* * *
I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do about all the insanity in the world, with the rise of fascism, the disastrous self-destructive capitalism, and the lack of awareness about what we could actually do to make the future better. Just the other day I read a quite thought-provoking text on these issues, written by Malcom Tamale Kyeyune (in Swedish).

I met the new year on a rooftop with fireworks going off all over town around us, and an annoying drunk middle aged fancy sculptor person shouting into Ilan’s ear, “Berlin is the last place on earth!” (he must be new?) and “You aren’t Muslim, are you?” and “It’s just a joke!” …
Bodes well for the new year!

Goodbye, cardigan ;_;

An Elmgren on Elm Street

I wish to announce to the world that I have lost my non-fuzzy wool mix zipper cardigan that has been an extension of my body in the colder parts of the year since 2003 or so. I was wearing it in Freehold, New Jersey, above, and I also wear it in all my hourly comics.

It fell off my bike somewhere between Treptow and Alexanderplatz, and it was nowhere when I went back to look for it. ;_;
Luckily I had not yet washed it or mended all the holes in it as I was planning to do soon. I.e. it was pretty nasty and full of holes. :o/ Maybe someone threw it in the trash. Or maybe some hipster picked it up and is going to use it for some stupid art project, because it’s just so … authentic. Most of all I hope it was adopted by somebody who really needs it. :3

Mein Freund ist Roboter

I got it from the Christian thrift store in Lund, Sweden, in my early university years. At first I thought it was kind of strange and I wasn’t sure how to wear it. But gradually I realised how extremely practical it was, and it became my perhaps most used item of clothing ever.

Now I will have to fill this void with another cardigan that will be equally or even more practical and versatile, because how else am I supposed to wear summer jackets in the winter like I usually do.

2010

At first I felt a bit silly filling out this questionnaire, but then I saw that Mikael Sol had done it, too, so why not me.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Lots of stuff — the nicest being starting to rent a garden outside the city and renovating the construction trailer that is there. That place makes me very happy.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No and no. (Maybe I should remove the boring questions from this questionnaire, but I’m too lazy.)

(Continue reading all the juicy details of my personal life …)

April 19th, my 29th birthday

Rust and charcoal

This is a kind of personal entry, so if you’d rather just look at the pretty photos from Teufelsberg and not read any relationship crap, you can head over to Flickr instead.

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