Diving In and Coming Up: Nick Bertozzi Interviewed

It’s been a busy year for Nick Bertozzi. 2007 saw two new graphic novels out from the New York-based cartoonist, both followed by extensive promotional touring including reading sessions, book signings and panel discussions at various conventions and book stores. Endeavours such as these of course reflect the growing interest in the graphic novel, and the continuous climb of the art form as a whole – and it’s a climb that in no small measure can be attributed to the bold experiments of Bertozzi’s generation.

Having largely discarded both the stylistics and the contents of genre-based comics, the avant-garde of today’s comic book artists have embarked on a seemingly boundless foray into the mechanics of what constitutes great storytelling and great art. Judging from his two new books, The Salon and Houdini: The Handcuff King, 37-year-old Nick Bertozzi seems to find at least part of the answer in historical events.

Rootsman Massive!

Bedre sent end aldrig! Danmarks bedste lydsystem vandt, efter et beklageligt uheld i 2005, endelig den titel de hele tiden skulle have haft, da Rootsman Hi-Fi vandt det andet Danske Soundclash-mesterskab d. 3 november. Ville have postet om det tidligere, men har ligget lidt underdrejet (og gør det fortsat). Hele aftenens program, optaget direkte fra lydpulten, ligger nu online, og er endda blevet opdelt i enkelttracks courtesy min mand GB, så download lortet og nyd lyden! Der bliver fame kogt op til kamp!

Reggae fans, go download this recording of the entirety of the Danish Soundclash Championship, which was held in Christiania, Copenhagen on November 3rd. Apart from being ruffness, it’s a great earshot of the hotter-than-ever Danish reggae scene 2007.

Image showing 2/3 of the Rootsman Hi-Fi Sound System, Ras Money and Marni, taken from their MySpace page.

John Romita Jr. Interviewed

Danish Comics collector and power-enthusiast Henrik Andreasen has just posted a short interview with one of the premier American mainstream artists of his generation, John Romita Jr., over at Sequential Tart. This interview originally ran in Danish in Rackham #5, and was the result of a collaboration between Andreasen and myself, with yours truly providing Henrik with a set of written questions that he took to San Diego in 2002 and used as the basis for the interview. Good to see it being given a new lease on life!

Art from the recently published
World War Hulk #5. Romita in full form, with great Janson inks and spectacular colour work by Christina Strain (plus some schlocky lettering in the sound effects). Pity the script by Greg Pak suffers from such poor plotting.

Hype: Maria Skov!

skov_1_t.jpgSadly, there are way too few female artists on the Danish comics scene, which makes it even more awesome to discover up-and-coming Maria Skov’s work. This girl is going places! A relative newcomer to the medium, she delves into it with a joy and ease that promises great things to come!

This is her new blog which features illustration as well as short comics. Enjoy!


Danmark i fladskærmens tidsalder (og den borgerlige anstændigheds svigt)

Hvordan kan det være at Danmark nu for tredje gang i træk går en periode med blokpolitik i møde? Er danskerne ligeglade med at blive ledt af en regering, hvis parlamentariske grundlag er et kulsort, højrepopulistisk parti? Og hvordan går det til, at danske vælgere tilsyneladende uden videre tilgiver statsministerens fatale insisteren på proaktiv udenrigspolitik i Irak? Svaret er: fladskærme.

I Anders Fogh Rasmussens to regeringsperioder har en benhård og effektiv økonomisk politik gjort Danmark og danskerne særdeles velstående. Skattestop, afvikling af udlandsgæld og øget friværdi er blandt de bedrifter, der har givet vælgerkorpset mulighed for at erhverve samtalekøkkener og bil nummer to, for ikke at glemme opsvingets måske mest lysende ikon: fladskærmen. Danskerne er i de seneste 6 år blevet mere materielt fikserede end nogensinde før; vi er vilde med mærkevarer og statussymboler.

Den privatøkonomiske bundlinje blev tilsyneladende det afgørende parameter for flertallet af vælgerkorpset, selvom præmissen for Ny Alliances dagsorden syntes at være dybt reel :- det borgerlige Danmarks voksende irritation over regeringens parløb med Dansk Folkeparti. At mangen en borgerlig vælger stemmer med pengepungen, frem for diverse politiske visioner og projekter, er en kendt sag, som der tilsyneladende ikke kan stilles meget op med :- men hvad så med disse ‘anstændige borgerlige’?

The Real Wants You to Shut Up!

el_jueves.jpgWhile we’re at the depressing news, I just wanted to note that the writer-cartoonist team of Guillermo Torres and Manel Fontdevila, who wrote and drew this cartoon of the Spanish Crown Prince and his wife a few months ago, have now been found guilty of “vilifying the Crown” — basically by depicting them in a completely mundane situation in which people of their age tend to find themselves on a regular basis — and fined €3.000 each. Better get in line folks, the Spanish Royal Family wants you to shut up!

As usual, Con C de Arte has the goods for people who want further information and linkage. Earlier Metabunker posts here and here.

Whither My Country?

The Danish people has just reelected as prime minister a guy who was once fired as minister of taxation for cooking the books and lying to Parliament about it, who went to bed with xenophobic right-wing extremists to attain power and has therefore been responsible for the harshest and most inhumane immigration policy in the EU, who has slowly but surely been eroding the traditions of solidarity the country is built on through short-sighted tax policy, and who has wholeheartedly embraced the lies used to justify the humanitarian disaster in Iraq and sent Denmark to war.

Good night, and good luck.

Comics and Critical Language

Over on Blog@newsarama, Chris Mautner has gathered one of his roundtables, inviting critics to talk about the terminology and general language we use when writing about comics. Yours truly participates for the first time, and I therefore thought I’d hype it here. Go, read — and by all means chime in!

Image by Kevin Huizenga, from Ganges (2006).