Kom hjem — First look

Yeah, it’s him again. Thomas Thorhauge has been working on this thing for almost as long as we can remember, so we’re cutting him some slack here. It’s fresh off the press and it looks spectacular. Thorhauge himself evidently also thinks so, because he’s done this Flickr-stream showcasing his baby. Enjoy, and let’s hope for an English-language edition of Kom hjem (‘Come Home’) soon!

Do you see a prototype? Addendum

A few days ago, I posted an image of a painting by the Danish artist J. F. Willumsen, hoping you might be able to help trace any source of inspiration he might have drawn upon while painting it, and especially while revising the central figures in 1948 when he painted out the originals from 1888 that had been covered by a star-shaped piece of cardboard for all those decades. Now, for completeness’ sake, the Willumsen museum has sent us an image of the painting before it was reworked.

And again: do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any ideas about its sources. Thanks for reading!

The Danish Comics Council

Our international readers may remember a lot of activity, all conducted in the gibberish tongue that is Danish, about a month ago here at the Bunker. The reason was that a new Danish comics organisation, the Danish Comics Council, was founded. On the board serves yours truly serves, along with the Bunker’s own Thomas Thorhauge, who was elected chairman, Steffen P. Maarup co-publisher with Fantagraphics of the forthcoming Danish comics anthology From Wonderland with Love, as well as several other good people from the Danish comics scene.

Here’s the central mission statement:

The Danish Comics Council wishes to assist in:

  • heightening both the general and the specialised knowledge about comics, and
    thus strengthening both communication of and research into comics
  • contributing actively to the creation of, the conditions for and the versatility of
    Danish comics and publications of comics in Denmark, as well as the availability of
    foreign comics in Denmark through publications and exhibitions
  • establishing contact between and functioning as a shared forum for everyone with
    a personal as well as a professional interest in comics
  • collaborating both nationally and internationally with organisations and institutions
    with an interest in comics and related media/artforms
  • This is a go-to organisation for queries, national and international, as well as possible collaborative projects having to do with the above-mentioned areas of interest, having to with comics and cartooning in Denmark. The full press release in English, which includes details on our areas of concentration, a full list of board members, and much more can be downloaded in PDF form here.

    Additional information (in Danish) on www.dansktegneserieraad.dk

    Photo from the foundational meeting: Christian Sand

    Going Home Again

    Just watched the three-parter that marked the return of British SF-comedy sitcom Red Dwarf after ten years in the movie development wilderness, which ran on the digital network Dave TV over Easter. I had absolutely no expectations for this — the last two seasons of the show, VII (1997) and VIII (1999), had been rather mediocre and it just seemed highly unlikely that this was going to be any kind of return to form, after all these years.

    Suprisingly, it was rather good, and — most importantly — funny.

    Do you see a prototype? Updated!

    We’ve been asked whether we recognise any comics/cartooning prototypes, or sources of inspiration, for the above-posted picture. We are somewhat at a loss. Can you help us? Please let us know what you think might have inspired the painter, or merely what the image makes you think of.

    (I shall refrain from giving more information on the image for a few days, in order to let your associations wander more freely. Thanks for your help!)

    UPDATE: Here’s what Anne Gregersen from J. F. Willumsens Museum in Denmark writes:

    “The painting is called The Prince’s Wedding and was created by the Danish artist J.F. Willumsen (1863-1958). There’s a sixty-year span between different parts of the painting: It was first painted in 1888. After a severe criticism by the establishment and by a leading art critic, Willumsen chose to cover the central figures of the painting with a star-shaped piece of black paper. In 1948 he began a radical modification of the work. He cut out the part of the canvas covered by the star-shaped piece of paper and inserted new canvas there, as well as on the left side of the painting. And he then repainted the central figures in a completely different style, which may have been inspired by contemporary comics like Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, Superman and Batman. Or movies like The Wizard of Oz or Robin Hood. On May 13th, the J.F. Willumsen Museum is opening an exhibition about this work, and we are very interested in hearing what kind of associations the painting brings to your mind.”


    Jean Giraud, one of the major figures in comics history, is still alive and kicking. Neither he nor his alias Moebius seem particularly marked by age. As a matter of fact, it seems his output has never been bigger. Most notable, probably, is his series of self-indulgent improvisations, Inside Moebius, of which five volumes have been published so far, and then there is his virtuosic — and energetic — return to Major Grubert in Chasseur Déprime (selected by Matthias Wivel, Henry Sørensen and myself amongst the comics of the year 2008).

    But while Moebius after an extended period of creative insolvency (who would not rather forget the exploitation piece Le Nouveau rêve of 2001?) has only recently caught his second — or third, or fourth? — wind, Jean Giraud has never experienced this kind of crisis.

    Sacrebleu! Thorhauge Live on the Web!

    The Bunker’s own Thomas Thorhauge has finally — after all these years — gotten his act together and created a web page for himself. He has decided upon the old school Web 2.0 format of a blog, which he — inexplicably — calls Sacre Bleu! Unfortunately, it’s all in Danish, but go there and check out some of his fine work.

    (This all happens just in time for the now imminent release of his second graphic novel, Kom Hjem (‘Come Home’). A magnum opus nine years in the making, one supposes this has been in emulation of his idol, the by now notoriously dilatory David Mazzucchelli, and whaddayaknow, he also has a graphic novel out! Stay tuned for much more on all this…)

    Picks of the Week

    “The White House knew he’d been tortured. I didn’t, though I was supposed to be evaluating that intelligence… It seems to me they were using torture to achieve a political objective. I cannot believe that the president and vice president did not know who was being waterboarded, and what was being given up.”

    Former Pentagon Analyst

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Torture. The declassification of four torture memos from the US Justice Department the week before last is a good occasion to revisit the Red Cross Torture Report, which initially brought most of this information to light. And the recent New York Review of Books article on it is essential reading. Also, read this gripping article from last year detailing and assessing the information the CIA and its allies acquired from torturing a number of the high-profile terrorism suspects. This week, former FBI supervisory special agent Ali Zoufan weighed in succinctly in this op-ed piece for the New York Times, and Frank Rich wrote a scathing and impassioned editorial on Sunday that sums up the situation as well as anything.
  • Politiken: Peter Greenaway on cinema today. On a lighter side, check out this broadside aimed at contemporary cinema from one of its most uncompromising (if also unwatchable) directors. Although somewhat self-contradictory, it’s smart, caustically funny stuff.