Alagbé amends

Just received an email from Yvan Alagbé, who assures us that the Anke F.-book I mentioned last post will definitely be available at the festival. He writes: “Actually it’s a picture book Stefano Ricci printed with Depot Noir 4… We bought some copies from D406 and printed a new cover.”

That’s good news, Yvan!

Taste Malfunction!

alagbe_portrait.jpgSome might have thought that, the pirates would leave the Angoulême festival alone, now Lewis Trondheim had been elected President and reformed the awards. Not so. Despite the invitation – from Trondheim, not the festival, we understand – to avant-garde cartoonist and -publisher Yvan Alagbé to sit on the jury, he and his colleagues at pioneering publishing house Frémok are not satisfied with the festival’s treatment of anything that does not fit into the conservative mainstream sensibility of the festival organizers.

“Do you really know what (not who) you are dealing with here? In actuality, no. You don’t have the foggiest. Blinded by some diffuse aura, some notion of supposed influence, you really thought you had a means of pretending to be the new friend of these dishevelled rowdies to whom you’ve given the moniker “alternatives” [by having Alagbé on the jury], and that we will therefore stroll happily through your fair city, beholding the true face of the colourful publications you prefer (those of your childhood). You shouldn’t do such things. It’s called putting on a blindfold while playing with fire. It’s extremely dangerous.”

STRIP! ZZZZZzzzzzz pt. 1 (of 2)


Skulle man være i tvivl, skal det straks fastslås: tegneserietidsskriftet STRIP!s bagmænd, Paw Mathiasen, Poul Petersen, Benni Bødker, Lasse Holm og Thomas Berger er alle hædersmænd. Oven i købet nogle overordentligt gemytlige og rare hædersmænd, vi er vilde med dem! Drengene har siden marts 1998 sikret danske tegneseriefans et magasin, som er udkommet 4 gange om året, komplet regelmæssigt : så absolut en prisværdig og respektindgydende indsats.

Men det nys udkomne nummer 36 konsoliderer en tendens, der efterhånden har været læsbar gennem en række numre: gassen er gået af ballonen. STRIP! er blevet et gabende uambitiøst, dybt forudsigeligt og komplet uengageret blad. Og det er synd.

Of Confidence

desiderio_boy.jpgWas lucky enough to catch the show of Quattrocento sculptor Desiderio da Settignano at the Louvre on its last day. You gotta be a bastard not to be taken in by the Florentine stil dolce – sweet style – of which Desiderio (c. 1430-1464) is one of the masters.

He is easy to love, but that does not make him less of an artist. Desiderio finds beauty in sweetness. And while this seems quite the natural thing to do, it is nevertheless a rare thing. Sweetness is usually just sweetness, or – *shudder* – cuteness. Desiderio is none of that. His busts of children, laughing or looking ahead in apt concentration, are tender statements of utter confidence in humanity.

A Salutation to Ganesha

rembrandt_elephant.jpgHere we are. About to embark upon a new project. From what little knowledge we have of Hindu tradition, we understand that it is always prudent to bring along elephants. To salute God in the aspect of good fortune, intellect and wisdom – Ganesha.

Since what we hope to achieve with the Metabunker is a useful and intelligent contribution to discourse on the issues we’ll be addressing, invoking Ganesha seems prudent. Also, we’ve always been fond of the new when it offers a lasting evolutionary contribution to human experience, or however you want to put it. Whether we have anything new to say in this sense is, of course, up to others to judge, but this basic fondness of ours makes a toast to the god of new beginnings doubly appropriate.

And besides, Ganesha has been a favourite of yours truly since childhood. Probably because he’s an elephant god, whose ample belly contains infinity. It doesn’t get anymore awesome than that.

Aum Shri Ganeshaya Namah!

Yes, I know the drawing above is not of Ganesh, but of a perfectly ordinary elephant, resident of the city Amsterdam in 1637 and delightfully captured by Rembrandt. The drawing is at the British Museum in London.