Hype: Majors

Majors is a new Danish supergroup delivering traditional, well-crafted boom-bap hip hop in spades. In consists of former DMC Champion DJ Noize, DJ and producer extraordinaire Static, as well as the MCs NatILL, J-Spliff and the hottest new talent on the block, Negash Ali. Their album is out, you can check out their first video here and, if you’re in Denmark, be sure to make one of these upcoming shows:

Copenhagen, Rust
Wednesday May 7
Doors 21.00 (free beer)
Show 23.00

Ã…rhus, Train
Friday May 9
Doors 23.00
Show 01.30

Majors.dk MySpace

The Arbiters of Taste 2007

By Matthias Wivel, Henry Sørensen & T. Thorhauge
As per our Modus Operandi, we hereby bring you the Bunker’s selections of the best comics of 2007, more than four months into the new year, after everyone else has moved on. But we wouldn’t bother if we didn’t think our recommendations might be useful to comics readers out there. So here we go!

2007 was another great year for comics, although one could perhaps argue that the publication of new, truly groundbreaking or just plain amazing comics has been slightly on the wane the past couple of years, after the consummation of the work of so many great talents, both in North America and the Francophone countries, in the years around the turn of the new century. This may just be the way the chips have fallen, but could also be a symptom of the generational shift taking place within comics. The great works published by now established, middle-age cartoonists in previous years are a hard act to follow to say the least, but a generation of younger artists are increasingly delivering the goods and we can only hope they will continue to grow.

Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The New York Times: Frank Rich turns in a brilliant column on the perceived constituency and chances of election of John McCain in this autumn’s presidential election. As usual, a thought-provoking corrective to the steady media drone about the Democratic primaries.
  • More on the 50’s comics clampdown and its figurehead psychiatrist Frederic Wertham from cartoonist Steve Bisette and writer Bob Levin. Both serve up interesting counterarguments to Bart Beaty’s defense of Wertham (as linked to last week).
  • The monotypes of Gustave Verbeek. Check out this 1916 article on the prints of the Japan-born Dutch fine artist and cartoonist. Oh, and here are some comic strips.
  • Hype: OCX 08 & Tegneseriens Dramaturgi

    Lest you’d missed it, it is festival season. So here’s another round of hype. This time for the newly initiated Oslo Comix Expo, which was held for the first time last year. It was a considerable success — a really pleasant and unpretentious, but still ambitious and well-organised little festival (read more here and here). This year it will be held on May 23-24 and only promises to get better. Amongst the announced guests we find Warren Ellis, Killoffer, Igort, Johnny Ryan, Martin Kellerman and the Stripburger collective.

    The official programme hasn’t been announced, but an ancillary special arrangement has: on May 21-23, a workshop on the dramaturgy of comics, with special focus on the exchange between writing for film and comics, will be held at the Oslo Cinemateque (Filmens hus) in Oslo. Amongst the instructors will be a number of the above-mentioned comics luminaries: Killoffer, Igort and Warren Ellis.

    To join, send an email with a CV and a short synopsis to a story (max. 3 pages) to kurs@nfl.no, marked “TEGNESERIE-VÆRKSTED.” More information (in Norwegian) here and here. And keep an eye on the OCX site for updates! Artwork by Igort.

    Hype: Stripdagen Haarlem

    Stripdagen in Haarlem has long been known as one of the best small comics festivals in Europe, consistently offering quality programming and notable international guests. This year’s festival, which runs from June 6-8, looks to be no different, with a group exhibition of artists from the collectives FRMK, La Cinquiène couche and La Mycose being the central attraction announced so far.

    Full disclosure: I’m in the nominating jury for the so-called VPRO Grand Prize, for which Chris Ware, Naoki Urasawa and Dominique Goblet have been singled out. The winner will be selected by an independent committee of some hundred Dutch and Belgian comics experts.

    Additionally, it has been announced that the nominees for the national prize, the so-called Hoogste Prijs, are Hanco Kolk, Peter de Wit and Marcel Ruijters. The winner will be chosen by the same committee. Also, the VPRO debut prize will be given to Randall C.

    Go, if you can!

    Images from Goblet’s Faire semblant c’est mentir, Ware’s 2007 Thanksgiving covers for the New Yorker and Urasawa’s Monster.

    Re: Danmark hægtet af III: Komiks.dk

    Matthias Wivels og overtegnedes indlæg i Strip!, Danmark hægtet af, har afstedkommet endnu en reaktion (som efterfølgende besvares behørigt af yours truly) – denne gang fra Komiks.dk’s formand Mads Bluhm, der skriver:

    Vi har fra Komiks.dks side fulgt den omfattende debat, som er opblomstret på henholdsvis metabunker.dk og Seriejournalen.dk som følge af en række artikler i magasinet Strip!

    Vi synes langt hen ad vejen, at det har været en god og konstruktiv debat, men vi kan ikke sige os fri for at være lidt forundrede over påstanden om, at Komiks.dk ikke skulle have nogen klar vision.

    Komiks.dks vision er at vise alle facetter af tegneseriekulturen, både det kommercielle og vidtfavnende samt avantgarden og det mere nicheprægede. Vi ønsker at afspejle alle aspekter af kunstformen og vise, at tegneserier spænder lige fra underholdende striber og hæfter til tankevækkende fortællinger, grafiske romaner og skæve kunstneriske rammebrydere. Men hvis man forstår “vision” som en målsætning om at presse tegneserien i en bestemt retning, så er det ikke vores bord.

    Hype: Komiks.dk

    teddy_plakat_lille.jpgBetween May 31st and June 1st, the third installment of the International Danish Comics Festival, Komiks.dk, will take place in Copenhagen. Its programme is broad and truly international in scope, with guests ranging from the French veterans Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières (Valerian) and a couple of the more interesting names in American mainstream comics, Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy) and Sean Phillips (Criminal), to such modern masters as David B. (Epileptic) and Martin tom Dieck (Hundert Ansichten der Speicherstadt). And just announced: two mangaka, Kouhei Nishino and Tsugumi Nishino (Cybermanga) — the first time Japanese cartoonists visit Denmark in an official context.

    After the successful first festival, in 2004, this event quickly became THE comics event in Denmark, and the second time around only served to consolidate that position, despite a certain amount of criticism for lack of focus and critical attention to contemporary comics from certain parts of the comics community, including ourselves (ie. Rackham). This time around, the organisers have attempted to address the problems of the earlier festivals as best they could and the result is an impressive programme, remarkably inclusive, while still generally maintaining a high level of quality.

    Full disclosure: yours truly is on the festival jury and will be participating in the programming. Still, don’t let that hinder you from going. It’s going to be a great time, and — I’m sure — proof that Danish comics culture is still alive, despite what one might otherwise think. I’m psyched already!

    Komiks.dk 2008: Full guest list. Rackham‘s reports from the 2004 and 2006 festivals (in Danish), pictures from 2004 and 2006. Poster by Teddy Kristiansen.