Hogarth’s Chicken Fat


Last week, I finally got the time to check the Hogarth show at the Tate. A very egalitarian and attractive retrospective of his career and oeuvre with equal attention paid to the bourgeois and the burlesque, the benevolent and the biting. Almost all of his most important work is assembled there, and it is a unique treat. One of the things I most enjoyed was observing and enjoying the richness of his visual ideas : the enormous amounts of ‘chicken fat,’ to use that maddest of Mad-artists Will Elder’s apt term, lining his pictures.

Re: Memento Mori

Lest we forget, tragedy is nigh universal, and today a bomb exploded in Sadriya, Baghdad, killing at least 140 people, while other bombs around the city brought the day’s total up to over 170. A nasty reminder that our thoughts tend to stray from there.

Hype: OCX 07

ocx_logo.gifThe weekend of May 4-5 will see inaugural edition of Oslo Comics Expo in, well, Oslo. In contrast to its older, distinguished cousin, the Raptus festival, which has been held yearly in Bergen for a good number of years now and this year unfortunately presents what may be its most anachronistic programme, OCX will focus on the new trends in Western comics for adults. Among the guests we find the Norwegians Jason, Lene Ask, Lars Fiske, Mads Erisken and Steffen Kverneland, who will be joined by Andreas Gefe and Kati Ritenbach from Switzerland and Leonardo Manco from Argentina. Looks promising!

I will be there, participating in the panel ‘Tegneserieakademiet,’ on our common understanding and contextualization of comics, on Saturday afternoon. Looking forward to it.

Open Season?

vos_papiers.jpgAs you may be aware, French cartoonist Placid was fined €500 on January 18 for having insulted the French police with his cover (pictured) to a self-help book, Vos Papiers! Que faire face à la police? – on the, in France, ubiquitous control of identity carried out by the police – published back in 2001. The writer, a magistrate in Versailles, Clément Schouler was fined €800 for having called the practice “facially selective identity control” (ie. suggesting that the practice is racially biased), which the court found defamatory, and the publisher Michel Sitbon was fined €1.000 for his part. While having garnered considerably less attention from the press than the recently ended Charlie Hebdo trial, the present case touches upon similar issues of free press and free speech. A large number of cartoonists, writers and journalists have voiced their support for the people behind Vos papiers! and a number of their efforts – cartoons, images and written pieces are now being collected in a benefit book, Tous Coupables! published by a conglomerate of smaller publishers including L’Association, Cornélius, Vertige Graphic, L’Ésprit frappeur, Les Requins marteaux, Thé-Roc, and Éditions nautilus.

Hype: Rytz & Ehlers

arme_vaeg.jpgIf you’re in Copenhagen on Monday, stop by the opening of the latest gallery show by Rytz & Ehlers, or, as they call their individual projects, Inkforest and Duudle. The opening is, at the same time, the grand opening of Gallery Doodletown.

Rytz was, by the way, featured in our grand anthology BLÆK last year and is one helluva talent. Ehlers also rocks, so don’t front!

The address is Valdemarsgade 36, opening times are Wednesday-Friday 12.00-5.00 PM, Saturday 12.00-3.00 PM. The exhibition is open from 13 April to 10 May. Here’s the flyer.


The Metabunker now has a logo! It’s taken a while, but there it is. Hope you like it. It was designed by Loka?, the best kept secret of Danish design, and it was conjured unto the page by our long-suffering techhead, Tue (good lookin’ out pal!).

Re: A Certain Tendency in French Comics IV

isaac_pirate_gun.jpgThe discussion on French nigh-mainstream comics continues! (scroll to the bottom for full linkage). Alex Holden, who chimed in earlier, returns with more comments:

Hi Again Matthias-
I have still been thinking about this discussion a bit.

I can’t agree with your statements that Blutch (in particular) is not interested in exploration, since he has been pretty restless in the way he’s been drawing comics the last 10 years. Since Peplum and Mitchum, I guess after Vitesse Moderne (a pretty book, but not a great read to prove your point…), he seemed to drift away from the brushy “ink orgy” style he had become influential for. C’était Le Bonheur is 95% super thin pen lines and the new Petit Christian stories in “Ferraille Illustré” have capitalized on what I have always thought he should do: comics in the style of his dédicaces (pen, brush and ink, but with a colored pencil for more depth).

Since then, La Volupté has taken this idea even further by eliminating the ink completely and moving completely to charcoal and pencils. I guess these are all still visual components, and could be described as surface elements, but I just don’t think that is the case. I don’t think the mysterious fogginess of the art in La Volupté would work for Le Petit Christian and the thin art of C’était Le Bonheur would fail to produce enough mystery or darkness for La Volupté.

Fucking the Ground

sacco_harpers.jpgJust read Joe Sacco’s “Down! Up!” from the latest Harper’s. A new strip from Sacco is a relatively rare thing, and 16 new pages is certainly a welcome event, especially when they’re this good. Reporting from Iraq, Sacco has sat in on a couple of American officers training a group of Iraqis to be soldiers in the country’s new army. You know, the ones that are getting killed faster than pretty much everyone else there.

Hype: Benni Bødker

Jeg har før reklameret for Bennis website – www.benniboedker – her i Bunkeren, men nu har han lagt en række af sine artikler om børnelitteratur og tegneserier op i PDF. Blandt artiklerne om tegneserier, skrevet til Information, finder man hans kritik af en række af de nye tegneserier, Rackham har slået på tromme for de seneste år – Det store onde, By af Glas, Persepolis, osv., og sågar hans anmeldelse af vor egen BLÆK. Klik ind og check det ud, Benni er stadig en af de bedste tegneserieskribenter i Danmark.