Over Floden: Batman at 70!

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These days, the most happening cartoonist’s studio in Copenhagen is Over Floden. It counts amongst its members Simon Bukhave, Cav Bøgelund, Johan F. Krarup, Miwer, Søren Mosdal, Mårdøn Smet & T. Thorhauge. All of them do fine comics (and most of them have contributed to the upcoming Aben Maler/Fantagraphics-published antho From Wonderland with Love), but these days they are taking a breather to celebrate seven decades of Batman. The results are rather fun and pretty irreverent. Go check it out — a new cartoon will be uploaded daily until the big day, April 18th.

So far, cartoons by Bøgelund, Smet and Over Floden guest, the great Peter Kielland, are online. More to come.

Dave Arneson RIP (Worlds of Difference II)

arneson_dave.jpgDave Arneson, creator of Blackmoor and co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, with Gary Gygax, just passed away. Although virtually unknown beyond old school gamer circles, the invention of the table top roleplaying game was a milestone in the development of interactive gaming, of the digital as well as the low tech kind. When Gygax died last year, I wrote an appreciation of their invention and what it has meant to me. What I wrote applies equally to Arneson, so I will refrain from adding anything here, other than warm thoughts to his friends and family. RIP.

Photo: AP.

The Arbiters of Taste 2008

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By Henry Sørensen, T. Thorhauge & Matthias Wivel
Right, so here were are again with our selection of the best comics of last year. It’s taken a while but we hope you find it useful.

Much of what we said about the year in comics 2007 when we did this last year applies equally to 2008. It was another great year in comics in what must be described as an ongoing string of such years. Recession or not, comics are alive and doing well. We’ll have to see how it manages the lean times that are surely ahead. While the industry is already taking hits on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in Japan, where it has seen a slow, but steady decline over the last few years, and while especially comic strips are going through a phase of redefinition through newspaper death and digital translocation, the comics medium as an art form seems like it’s going to do just fine. If nothing else, the comics on our list provide ample grounds for optimism on that count, we should think.

As usual, lots of great comics fell by the wayside in this selection, so please be advised of its fallibility and consult other recommendations of the year in comics 2008. And, well, enjoy!

Hype: Academic Perspectives on Comics, Växjö

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At the end of next week, April 16-18, Växjö University in Sweden is hosting an academic conference on comics, the full title of which is the rather torturous “Academic Perspectives on Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels as Intercultural & Intermedial Phenomena.” Don’t let that dissuade you, though — it looks pretty great and features Thierry Groensteen, Paul Gravett and Helena Magnusson as its keynote speakers. For more information, go here or check out the event’s Facebook page.

Unrelated illustration by François Ayroles.

Picks of the Week

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The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Big Numbers #3, by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz (assisted, infamously, by Al Colombia). (Everyone’s posted this, but what the heck). Bits and pieces of it have been flowing around for years, but finally Pádraig Ó Méalóid has assembled the whole story and put it online. The quality is somewhat dodgy, but it is a thrill — albeit it a somewhat bittersweet one — to be able to read the third chapter in what for a brief moment after Watchmen had made its mark, was the Next Big Thing in comics, until it crashed and burned. A masterwork that never was. Also, read Moore’s original script here, and read Eddie Campbell’s typically insightful and entertaining commentary here. and more here.
  • More Intelligent Life: “The Age of Mass Intelligence”, by John Parker. The Economist‘s rather too-hip-for-its-own-good subsite nevertheless offers some very worthwhile material. This article on the proliferation of high culture in Western society is interesting, as is this trenchant counterpoint, by George Balgobin.
  • Dansk Tegneserieråds Stiftende Generalforsamling — Flix & Dækning


    Efter den stiftende generalforsamling i Dansk Tegneserieråd i torsdags var den nyvalgte formand, Bunkerens egen T. Thorhauge i Deadline på DR2. Her er hans samtale med Kurt Strand — en fin opsummering af rådets tanker og ambitioner.

    Deadlines introduktion til interviewet kan ses nedenfor. De originale links kan findes her og her. Læs i øvrigt også Politikens dækning af begivenheden, med kommentarer fra formand Thorhauge og bestyrelsesmedlemmer Ulf Reese Næsborg & Marianne Eskebæk Larsen her.