onsdag 26. august 2015


Album-format comics have difficulty cracking the Norwegian comic book market. And comics for kids have difficulty cracking the Norwegian comic book market. So a new, Norwegian album-format comic book aimed at children, created by a debuting cartoonist, is not an everyday occurrence.

"Guliver& Bo" is an educational adventure comic for children, starring protagonists Bo, a young and energetic girl, and her companion Guliver*, a curious little alien who can travel in time and space. A so-called "audience surrogate", then, accompanied by a supernatural being; this is a well-known “odd couple” combination, and it works very well in this comic.

Their first album, “Why does he moon show the same side the whole time?” was published simultaneously in Norwegian and English early this summer.  While it the story starts out with exploring the question in the title, this is primarily the story of Norway’s most famous explorer Thor Heyerdahl (still an iconic figure in the eyes of the Norwegian people) and his Kon Tiki expedition across the Pacific in 1947. Guliver and Bo encounters the explorer when they travel to Raroia in the Pacific - initially to check whether the moon does in fact shows the same side on other side of the world.

This comic easily meets the first important criterion for an educational comic, namely to avoid being boring or preachy. The story is structured in an informal and entertaining way that children can enjoy. Humor is mixed with historical facts in a way that enhances both elements. A more detailed text, for those who want immerse themselves in the topics, can be found in the back of the album, but the comic itself has the right balance between text and artwork.

The artist/writer at her desk

Artist/writer Leah Laahne, formerly a UN employee with international relations as her special field, has already found her own style as a comic artist: Powerful lines, sharp edges, light movements, and eager, inquisitive facial expressions. Her style is distinctive, but easy to get into.

One problem with "Why does the moon…" as a debut is that the comic’s concept does not entirely come into its own in this first album. Due to a sponsor agreement with the Kon Tiki Museum, this particular story focuses on Thor Heyerdahl, and the title characters play a more passive role than they’re usually meant to have. However, Laahne have assured me that they’ll usually play a more active role in their stories, taking full advantage of Guliver’s aforementioned ability to travel in time and space. The connection between Guliver and Bo’s “moon mystery” and Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki story is also a little thin. The two stories could easily have been told separately.

But this should be considered a pragmatic approach. By cooperating with an institution like the Kon Tiki Museum, Laahne has gotten a comic out and a foot inside the market. Hopefully, this will prove to be a good starting point. The adventures about Guliver & Bo have only just begun, and the road ahead, if we are to believe the previews, will be epic and action-packed.

*The name is a play on word, which is unfortunately lost in translation. Guliver is yellow, and “Gul” means yellow in Norwegian. His full name is obviously an allusion to Gulliver’s Travels. He’s named and modeled after Leah Laahne’s favorite childhood plush toy.   

lørdag 30. mai 2015


Swedish comic book writer/artist might be about to get his breakthrough in America. But his first breakthrough was actually in Norway.

- I started drawing series maybe twelve years ago, he recalls when I speak with him during the Stockholm comic con. – Back then, made the same stuff as all other Swedish comic artists, black-and-white series about my teenage years, quite depressing stuff that ran in Galago (an indie Swedish comic book). But in secrecy I made the comics that I really wanted to make, and those were romantic horror stories. Where I got the idea from I do not know, but they were somehow always there: Short comics with a lot of color, and very dark, intense and funny stories. I was in Malmö at the time, and at a party I met the Norwegian editor Sigbjørn Stabursvik. He had a look at these comic pages in my studio, and told me they were awesome. Wouldn’t you like to run them in the Nemi comics magazine, he asked.

The U.S. cover of the first Love Hurts collection

Absolutely, Kim replied, and when Stabursvik asked him if he had more stories like that, he immediately promised to make more. That was the beginning of the series entitled “Love Hurts”. They debuted in Nemi in 2010, and Kim decided to focus entirely on these colorful horror comics. At the time, they were only published in Norway. Later, when he met Nemi creator/artist Lise Myhre, she suggested that he should get them printed in the Swedish Nemi magazine as well. She wanted to have them there.

After creating a series of romantic horror short stories, a longer story seemed like the next logical move.  - After the first Love Hurts collection came out, I wanted make a graphic novel, Kim explains to me. – A longer and more serious story. "Love Hurts" were kinda funny. Besides, I have many readers who are young girls, and I wanted to make something for them. So I made a story with only girls, where everyone from the hero to the villain are girls. And with a cool story! So I created the graphic novel “Alena”, and it ran as a serial in the Swedish Nemi magazine before it was published as a book. I'm very proud of it.

The way from a comic book to a movie tends to be very short in today’s media world, at least if you know the right people. And Kim does. “Alena” the live action movie will premiere in Swedish movie theatres this fall.  - To adapt a comic book into a feature film usually requires some changes. The film is a different medium, Kim says, and one must adjust. He helped writing the screenplay and was present throughout the process. But from the moment they started filming he backed down and let them do their thing. - The book is very much inspired by horror films, he explains, especially Brian De Palmas "Carrie," which I like very much, so it was very cinematic, and therefore perhaps a little easier to adapt. But I never thought it would actually end up on the screen, he admits.

But Kim has big plans beyond the movie premiere. He’s getting into the American market, and into science fiction. "Astrid: Cult of the Volcanic Moon" will debut on Dark Horse Comics next year. – Finally a recurring character of mine, he announces proudly. A few years ago, he came in contact with this important, American publisher, and since then he’s been involved in a couple of their anthologies. Dark Horse is also publishing the collection "The Complete Love Hurts", just in time for Halloween season this year.

Dark Horse's advertisment for the upcoming Astrid

Kim refers to his new heroine Astrid as “Indiana Jones in space”.  Yet he claims not to be moving too far away from the formula. – There will always be romance in my stories, and there will always be horror, he says - So this is more about me taking my comics into space rather than me doing something completely new.

torsdag 7. mai 2015


The first Saturday of May has been made into Free Comic Book Day in the United States. In Norway, this concept has been baptized Tegneseriens Dag – Comic Day. And while free comics are still part of the concept, various attempts have been made to add to the festivities (such as they are) of the day.

In Bergen, this year’s main attraction of the day was the Icelandiccartoonist and standup comedian Hugleikur Dagsson. In Norway, he’s probably best known for his cartoons in the comic magazine Lunch , although he also had two books published. Iceland has produced a disproportionate number of internationally renowned novelists and pop artists compared to its population. However, the comic milieu on Iceland is rather small, according to Dagsson. Possibly it's just him and a couple of others. He notices a growing interest in the medium, but the commercial distribution of comic books in Iceland is dead. Several comic books were published in Iceland when he grew up, but at some point of time that ended rather quickly. He still loves comics, especially superheroes, and remembers the horribly translated Icelandic Marvel comic books from his childhood with delight.

Hugleikur Dagsson (from the right) being interviewed by Kristian Hellesund on Comic Day

Dagsson is best known for his stick figure cartoons and his morbid humor. It’s so dark that it’s gained a certain notoriety. - The drawings are therapy for me, my way of coping with the evils of the world, he explains. - If we could not laugh at the things that scares us and confuses us, we'd gone insane. In his world, there are few taboos, but Dagsson admits that also he is afraid to draw the prophet Muhammad. Besides, he knows too little about Islam.

If the only honest people in the world are children and drunks, then surely Hugeleikur Dagsson is a drunk child? I'm a very, very drunk child, Dagsson responds - A child with a hangover. His books have been published in twenty countries, but often only once per country (in Norway, two of his books were published, back in 2007 and 2009 respectively). Perhaps his humor is regarded as just a little bit too harsh in many countries? But there are exceptions; Finns love him. He was in Helsinki as recently as the weekend before Comic Day. They really seem to appreciate his special humor. - In Finland, my books are maybe not regarded as joke books, but rather as fact books, he laughs.

onsdag 29. april 2015


This spring, Centrala publishes the first English language edition of Norwegian writer/artist Lene Ask’s graphic novel Dear Rikard.

Lene Ask has her family background from the evangelical community in southwest Norway. Her graphic novels are influenced by this, especially her debut Hitler, Jesus og Farfar (Hitler, Jesus and Grandad). And even though she is no longer religious, she still respects her roots. If you know this, it’s not so difficult to understand why she was inspired to make Dear Rikard.

Ask now lives in Oslo, but she found inspiration for this work her native city Stavanger. More specifically in Stavanger’s Mission Archives, where the Norwegian missionary history is preserved life. The story Ask wanted to share, however, is not so really one about the people who went out to preach the gospel in foreign lands – But rather the ones who were left behind. Buried somewhere in these archives she found the correspondence between a father and a son: In 1892, widower David Jakobsen left Norway to work as a missionary at Madagascar, while his son Rikard, in his father’s absence, grew up at an orphanage in Stavanger.

"God help me that I must not be disappointed"

The story, then, is authentic. Ask is showing tremendous respect for the original material, something which I also personally, as an employee, of state archives, appreciate very much. With the exception of some basic bibliographic data, the whole comic is told through Rikard and his father's letters to each other. The ornate font from letters are even reproduced exactly, which requires a little more time and concentration for the modern reader to follow. That’s a good thing, however, as this book should be read slowly and with reflection.

The pictures are Ask’s own, but again she strives for authenticity. To her Norwegian audience, Lene Ask is probably best known for drawing in an easy and naivist style, but has previously demonstrated that she fully able of drawing in more photorealistic styles as well. And of course, that’s exactly what she needed to do here: The drawings, which of course are in black and white, are supposed to resemble faded photographs. Even the design of the book follows this pattern; with its tall format and mat, yellow-ish binder, it clearly resembles an old family album.

"Dear dad and mom [stepmother] / Tank you very much for the letters that we received yesterday"

Dear Rikard is a triumph in so many ways. It’s unique, at least in Norway, both in theme and presentation, but is also a notable artistic achievement for Lene Ask. While she stays respectful to the original material, she still adds a lot to the story by her choice of motifs and facial expressions. She says a lot without adding any new words to those she found in the letters. But also through the choice of letters, she adds her personal touch to the story. The further into the story of Rikard’s childhood she gets, the more obvious is Rikard’s sense of loss and unhappiness caused by the absence of his father. Loss, but also the need to live with the loss and deal with it, is central to this tale. Without being melodramatic or sentimental in her imagery, Lene Ask has recreated an obscure but beautiful and melancholy tale and made it fit for a modern audience.

(Images from inside the book are reproduced from the original, Norwegian edition, since I haven't gotten the translated edition)

mandag 20. april 2015


This article is about a comics-based movie, and it might be more about the comics that inspired it. I’m not sure yet. 

Christopher Nielsen

I recently reviewed the latest graphic novel written and drawn by Christopher Nielsen (b. 1963) one of Norway’s most prolific comics artist. Generally he works in a rough and direct style, inspired by the American underground comic tradition. He is especially well known for his subcultural depictions.

Nielsen got his first comics printed in 1980 after entering a competition arranged the Norwegian anarchist magazine, Gateavisa (= the street paper). Only three years later he got his first album published, and since then he’s been delivering anthologies and graphic novels more or less regularly. Nielsen, like so many great storytellers, frequently works within his own self-contained universe, which in his case is not a nice place to be. The “Nielsenverse” is a gloomy, rundown place populated by hooligans, layabouts, petty criminals, drug abusers and the occasional sane man who knows perfectly well what a hellhole he’s living in, and acts accordingly. It used to be centered around Oslo’s east side, but has gradually expanded geographically as well as socially.

Two Wasted Wankers

In later years. Nielsen has taken his universe beyond the comics pages and into theatre, television and cinema. His most famous cartoon, To Trøtte Typer (“Two Wasted Wankers”), depicts the life of the two drug users and petty criminals Odd and Geir living their relatively boring lives on Oslo’s east side. This comic was made into an animated series for television, running for 13 episodes (2000-2003) plus a Christmas special (2006). Some of his characters were also included in the jukebox stage musical Verdiløse Menn (= worthless men), which was based on the songs originally written and performed by his brother, Norwegian rock legend Joachim “Jokke” Nielsen. Jokke died according to rock’n’roll traditions from a heroin overdose at the age of 36, but left behind a huge legacy. Christopher is still building his legacy, and it’s getting bigger all the time. In January 2015, he announced his intention of getting in the Guinness Book of Records for doing work in the most diverse form of arts in one year. His claim to this record lies in the fact that in 2014, he produced a work of art in each of the nine art forms except for dancing.

HudMaSpecs (third from the right) and his crew

Nielsen had one chance of making his characters international household names. In 2006, after some delays, he finally released the animated cinematic movie Free Jimmy (original title Slipp Jimmy Fri) in 2006. This was the movie in which Nielsen’s movie universe was supposed to come together. In addition to Odd & Geir, it also starred another gang of characters that would be very familiar to fans of Christopher Nielsen’s comics exploits. Early in the movie, we run into a gang of hicks on their way to shoot moose during hunting season. The group is led by a bespectacled brute named Hold Brillan in the original and HudMaSpecs in the English dub. In both cases, the nickname comes from the fact that he always tells one of his (usually terrified) mates to hold his glasses when he gets into a fight (which he does very often). In the original, Hold Brillan is Trønder (central Norway); in the English dub he’s Scottish. There are some overlapping. popular stereotypes about both population groups, such as them being street book dumb, drunken, and prone to solve problems with violence. Despite being an exaggerated hick archetype, Hold Brillan has become one of the most complex and significant characters of the “Nielsenverse”, and the title character of Nielsen’s two most recent graphic novels.

Roy Arnie and Jimmy

Getting back to the movie, it had a simple high concept that at the same time was very Christopher Nielsen: Odd and Geir are offered a part-time job as caretakers at a z-grade Russian circus. The offer comes from Roy Arnie, who clearly has ulterior motives. Sure enough, it turns out that the circus elephant Jimmy has a fortune in heroin sown into his body. Before too long, Odd, Geir and Roy Arnie are stuck between an aggressive animal rights group so full of straw you could use them all for scarecrows, Lapland biker gangsters, and HudMaSpec’s hunting team.

Free Jimmy never succeeded outside of Norway, though serious attempts were made to give it an international flavor: Celebrity voice actors Simon Pegg (Odd) and Woody Harrelson (Roy Arnie) were brought in to try and add to the movie’s credibility, and despite having several references to Norway, it’s kept somewhat ambiguous where the movie is supposed to take place at any given 

I managed to get hold of a UK copy of the movie (sadly, the Norwegian DVD didn’t include the English dub as a desired bonus material). And I have to admit that it’s a weird experience to see such specifically Norwegian (even regionally Norwegian) characters anglified. The accents are good, but arguably overdone. Simon Pegg and Woody Harrelson do a decent, but routine job.  James Cosmo as HudMaSpecs does the accent right, but fails to bring out the character’s hammy qualities.  

 The few international critics who could be bothered to review the movie, were mostly unimpressed. It has a 10 % “fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus being that it’s “a weird, misfiring, Norwegian animated mess of a film. Unsure of who its target audience is, it misses every target.” I beg to differ; the movie knew exactly who was its target audience was. Its target audience was fans of Christopher Nielsen, and that was its problem. It needed to appeal to people who were unfamiliar with his storytelling style to begin with, but the movie failed to bring those people in.  And so Nielsen’s core audience remains in Norway.

onsdag 4. mars 2015


Last autumn, I wrote about the Polish release of the Norwegian graphic novel (okay, more like a graphic novella) "Moskva" (Moscow), co-created by Norwegian writer/artist Øystein Runde and up-and-coming cartoonist Ida Neverdahl a.k.a. JellyVampire, the latter of which is already gaining an international audience.

"Moskva" was originally published in Norwegian in December 2013. Runde and Neverdahl were guests at KomMissia in Moscow, Russia’s main comic festival, in May the same year. The comic is based on their fairly subjective impressions of the festival and of Moscow and modern Russia in general.

It makes sense in context (art by Ida Neverdahl)

The book is now getting an English translation, courtesy of international publishing house Centrala. To commemorate this event, I was planning on translating and publishing my own review of the comic from December 2013, only to discover that Centrala had already done the job for me! You can find the translated text here

torsdag 5. februar 2015


Just to add some comic perspective: Big Hero 6 was supposed to debut in an issue of Alpha Flight, but instead they premiered in their own miniseries, Sunfire & Big Hero 6 in 1998. The premise of the series was that Silver Samurai (a character who would be familiar to longtime X-Men / Wolverine fans) had been  given the task of forming a national superhero group for Japan, similar to Alpha Flight of Canada. However, the main characters of the series were the child prodigy Hiro Takachiho and his home-made robot Baymax. These two also happen to be the main characters of the movie. In the next miniseries, Big Hero 6 (2008), Sunfire and Silver Samurai were out, and the group had gotten the same roster that was later used in the movie.

I don’t know exactly how much power Disney has over Marvel as the parent company, but I imagine that they can’t just take any concept they like and do as they please. If Disney was allowed to make a movie out of a Marvel concept, it was probably because Marvel felt that they had no more use for it themselves anyway. Marvel Comics didn’t even bother to print a new edition of the BH6 trade paperback in time for the premiere of the movie.

On the whole, there are few traces of Marvel in the movie, not even their film logo is included. The "Man of Action" studio is credited are the creators of Big Hero 6, and sure enough; Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, who created Big Hero 6, are members of Man of Action. They also created the characters Hiro, Baymax, Honey Lemon and Gogo Tomago. Wasabi No Ginger and Fredzilla, who are also in the movie, were created by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama for the second BH6 series, but they are not credited.

That said,, the movie Big Hero 6 only loosely based on comics. The names are the same, and the character designs have at least a little resemblance, but besides that, Disney stood very freely. The story has been moved to the fictional town of San Fransokyo, an obvious fusion of San Francisco and Tokyo. The superheroes have become engineering students, and Baymax has become a doctoring robot that Hiro took over from his brother. And while the heroes were all Japanese in the comics, they have become multi-ethnical in the movie

I won’t go into detail on how each character has changed, since most of them aren’t that well developed anyway. They all get some funny and charming moments (except Gogo Tomago, who comes across as rather uninteresting), but once again Hiro and Baymax are the real stars. Hiro’s an orphan - Not that it’s important to the story, in fact it’s almost as if he was made an orphan just because it’s a Disney tradition. Baymax has become more family friendly and iconic. He looks like a cross between the Michelin Man and a teddy bear, and has a classic "good-natured and naive robot" personality. Even after Hiro has given him battle experience and armor, he looks kind of cute and cuddly. It seems inevitanle that Baymax will be the most memorable thing about this movie.

BH6 is Disney Studios’ first own superhero movie; you might remember Brad Bird’s The Incredibles (2004), but that was made by Pixar. Compared with the latter, BH6 is definitely more kid friendly: the violence is less brutal, and the whole atmosphere is brighter and lighter. For many superhero fans who liked The Incredibles, BH6 will probably seem a little unsophisticated; the story is simpler, the details are fewer and the surprises are few. Disney needs to realize that it's difficult to conceal who’s the villain, and that the longer you keep them waiting, the easier they will see through the it. Furthermore, the villain of this movie gets too little time and space to become interesting, and his motivations are also shaky.

The film's strength, apart from Hiro and Baymax’ charms, lies primarily in visuals; San Fransokyo is a radiant, multifaceted, and exciting city. I cannot imagine any fictional Disney location I've ever wanted to visit more. Although the city has its share of destruction during the movie, BH6 is something as original as a superhero movie where the setting does not look like a permanent war zone or a coherent, criminal slum. It’s a movie that celebrates progress, and it does so in a far more convincing and heartful way than one of Disney Studios’ earliest experiments with digital animation, Meet the Robinsons (2007)

I mentioned that there are few traces of Marvel in this movie, but there are two. First, a cameo by Stan Lee. Even when the rest of Marvel have packed their bags and left a movie project, Stan still sticks to it with teeth and claw, it seems. Secondly, the film does have a stinger scene, something which has become the hallmark of Marvel's own movies. Is this worth to stay behind in the theater for? If you’re a stressed parent or grandparent who went to this movie just because you needed entertainment for the kids, no. But if you have any interest in comics in general and Marvel in particular, then yes.

mandag 19. januar 2015


In 1977, when George Lucas was told that Star Wars did great in its first week, he replied “Science fiction moves always do well in their first week. Let’s talk again next week.” While breakout successes still happens from time to time, this is not how the entertainment industry is working anymore. The probability of a new franchise being a success can, and will be, calculated well in advance, often with surprising accuracy.

Star vs. the Forces of Evil was deemed a success more than six months prior to the debut of its first episode.

Based on almost no official information, and a small handful of unofficial information (a cam copy of the title sequence, filmed at San Diego Comic Con and a few leaked storyboards), it rapidly gained a fandom.  A very enthusiastic and devoted fandom even, despite not having as much as a single episode to back up their devotion yet.

What it did have pretty early on, was a high concept:  Star Butterfly, the crown princess of an extradimensional kingdom, receives a powerful, magic wand on her 14th birthday. After failing to use it responsibly, she is shipped off to Earth to live with a suburban family in California. However, rather than living a normal life, Star continues to battle villains throughout the universe and in her high school, with the family’s teenage son Marco Diaz as her sidekick.

Comparisons have already been done left and right.  Comparing it to Sailor Moon seemed inevitable, but so far Cartoon Network’s StevenUniverse is mentioned the most. Both shows deals with a kid superhero of alien origin living in our world, and both shows are also created by women. Many animation fans think it was greenlighted because Disney wanted a rival to the popularity of Steven Universe (though creator Daron Nefcy had had the concept in her head since elementary school). Marvel’s Thor has also been brought up: Both Star and Thor are heirs to the throne of a magical, otherworldly kingdom, both possess a very powerful, magical handweapon, and both end up on Earth with a human sidekick. It’s even been accused of ripping off Fresh Prince of Bel Air because both shows are about a teen who gets shipped off to California after getting into a fight at home. If you ask me, the similarities to Thor are a little more obvious.

SVTFOE fans have already had their share of disappointments; the premiere was postponed from September 2014 to 2015. The pilot preview was then postponed from December 2014 to January 2015. Now everyone are so psyched for the pilot that for the moment they chose not to be disappointed by the possibility that the show will not be up and running for real for a couple of months yet. What’s a few months more between friends?  It feels like we know Star already.

But do we, really?     

Yes, I think we do. There’s been some complaints that the show, and Star in particular, is too loud, too in your face. But that was exactly the personality she displayed in all of the preview material, so it shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. Star is bubbly, enthusiastic and hammy. It’s a personality we know very well from dozens of cartoons, one that works very well in the media, and one that I myself am weak for. Not surprisingly, her attitude rubs off on the show as a whole. It’s colorful, fast-paced and joke-heavy. The humor balances nicely between wild slapstick and the more clever moments. “Fish out of water” jokes, which is inevitable in any setting featuring an alien of sorts coming to earth, can be tricky, but this show handles them successfully. I was particularly pleased with Star commenting that she would never have guessed that Marco is related to her host family Mr. and Mrs. Diaz – She just figured that all earthlings were named “Diaz”.     

So yes, I did enjoy it, and I did laugh several times. But to be honest, it’s still easy to see a few faults, most importantly the pacing. It uses the 2x11 minutes format, which in itself doesn’t have to be an obstacle for smart writing and epic storytelling. Adventure Time and the aforementioned Steven Universe mostly use the 2x11 minutes format, and those shows can be both smart and epic. But Star vs. the Forces of Evil could use a little more time.

To be fair, this is mostly a problem in the first of the two 11 minute episodes, “Star comes to Earth”. As you can probably guess from the title, this is the episode that sets up the premise, but it feels like it’s cutting way too many corners to do so. We hardly get time to learn anything about Star’s native kingdom. We don’t get to see how she ended up living with the Diazes. We get to know very little about neither Marco nor Star’s social life before they me each other, or about Marco’s relationship with his parents. We don’t get to see him having any conflict with his parents about Star staying with them, and the conflict between Marco and Star feels forced and hurried.  There’s potential for a good story here, but it would’ve needed twice the running time.

That said, the second episode “Party with a pony” is much better paced. It’s pretty random, and just like the first episode it’s based on a sitcom cliché (in this case the ”jealous best friend” motive) but it works better because it’s not getting too ambitious, and still has a sense of continuity.  So it would appear that already now, the writers are learning how to structure and pace the episodes better. I don’t see how “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” could ever become an epic on the level of Gravity Falls based on a starting point like this. Even comparing it to Gravity Falls (which a lot of people has already done) doesn’t make much sense to me. Both in comedy and pacing, it has much more in common with, say, Wander Over Yonder. It has potential to become its own thing, but it only remains to see if it will be used. We’ll see in the spring, when the Star saga starts for real, if it can turn into a real saga.   

torsdag 8. januar 2015

2015, NOW WHAT?

The website www.serienett.no had a good year. We increased the number of festival visits, field stories and interviews, and I established an English language blog for Serienett, after having wanted to make something like that for a few good years now.

After leaving this blog to wither for roughly for a month, it’s time to get back into action, and I start by making a few New Year’s resolutions.

As I was writing these, cartoons suddenly became major world news in a most tragic way. So I put this text and began writing a piece on Charlie Hebdo for Serienett’s main site instead. I considered translating it into English and post it here, but decided it would be redundant. There is nothing I can tell an international audience about Charlie Hebdo magazine and the killing of the four comic creators that haven’t already been covered in every possible way by world media already. Until I can find an entirely new angle – like Charlie Hebdo’s Mohammed cartoons being translated into Norwegian, for instance – I will leave the matter be.  

That leaves me then, with my plans for this site in 2015:

1.      This blog will continue to post information about comic news from Norway, especially when I think it might be relevant and interesting to an international audience.

2.     However, I also want to see the bigger picture, and think of comics in a worldwide perspective. The record-high numbers from Diamond Comics distributors suggest that comics is far from dead in the market, maybe not even dying.

Star vs the Forces of Evil

3.      The blog won’t be exclusively and purely about comics, but also about related media. In fact, I have specific plans for that, including a review of the Star vs the Forces of Evil pilot episode and Big Hero 6 this month. American readers might wonder, if I wanted to review Big Hero 6, why didn’t I do it sooner?  Because it doesn’t actually premiere in Norway until late January.

4.      I will try and update this site at least once a week. I’m not going to lie, this resolution will be difficult to keep, but it’s a goal I really want to work towards.