Nina von Rüdiger, who I knew as rama

Just found out that comics creator Nina von Rüdiger passed away.

We hadn’t had much contact now for years, but there were a few years, about fifteen years ago, when we talked a lot. Later she started using her real name, but back then she went by rama as her artist name.

We had lots of exchange about Japanese movies, manga/anime and kung fu movies, but also about our own respective comics.

I got to read a (still unpublished, I believe) translation of her first book, Vesi Oli Mustaa, which later evolved into her and Johanna Koljonen‘s Oblivion High.

She helped me formulate some stuff about Swedish self-rightousness that was quite fundamental for when I was taking my comic Arg Kanin (Angry Animals) to the next level. It’s what I think of to get back on track whenever I lack focus on an Arg Kanin strip.

Her comment that it’s never too late to start learning kung fu has also been a good comfort, though I still haven’t started and probably won’t.

She also made a piece for the gallery section (and almost drew a chapter, if there had been time) for Piracy is Liberation 007: Spiders pt 1.

We only met once or twice irl, and most of our conversations were in the chat function of social media I don’t think even exists anymore. It somehow feels like it should seem a bit shallow to think of a person in terms of what movies and comics we talked about, but that’s what we had and it’s something that stays with me, not only in terms of her influence on my own works. And there are still some movies I can’t think about without connecting them to conversations I had with her, or because she was the one suggesting I should watch them. Right now, I especially think of Yojiro Takita‘s Okuribito (Departures). Probably the best film I’ve seen about saying goodbye.

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