Asylkalendern 2023

As usual, Asylgruppen i Malmö are publishing their calendar for the next year, and as usual, I made something for it. The theme this time was dreams.

You can get it from Asylgruppen by sending your
– name
– address
– amount of which calendar
to: asylkalendern [@] gmail [.] com

I made a one-page Arg Kanin story for the week-based calendar. Here’s a panel from it:

Translation:
-You mean where the borders are open and nations dismantled?
-Sure, why not? They’re outdated concepts, anyway.


I also made this image for the month-based calendar. Less political content, but I still liked how it turned out (I actually don’t know yet if this one was included in the actual calendar because I haven’t seen it yet, but still…):

 

Coming soon: Piracy is Liberation 012!

It’s been 10 years in the making, but now it’s finally (soon) here:

Piracy is Liberation book 012: Outer Enemy

Terror strikes the City, and Pirate seems to be the terrorist! Or is this finally the start of the revolution?
As the City is gearing up for war, two girls walk its streets looking for action and trying to figure out what actually happened.
How will our anarchist heroes deal with this situation as the equivalent to nationalist tendencies grip the population?
What happens in a City where war has been an unknown concept, as its billboards are filling up with WANTED posters and military propaganda and the army recruitment centers are opening up for business?
Who is the enemy?


This is also the return to CBK, who published the first 6 books in the series. From book 012, Piracy is Liberation will be published as a cooperation between CBK and Wormgod.

And don’t worry if you haven’t read the first books. Book 012 is a good place to jump into it, with a story so far section that tells you in short what you need to know. And if you want to get into the back story to get the full experience, we have all the back issues and collections at Hybriden for a good price!


The official release will be early in 2023, but we’ll figure out some excuse to offer a sneaky pre-release sale of it already in December of 2022. Both so that all your friends and family won’t have to miss getting it for christmas and because I’m just too excited to have piles of books lying everywhere with no one else being able to get them. We’ve all waited a long time for this, haven’t we? Book 011 came all the way back in 2012.

I’ll write more about this later, just wanted to let you see the cover (by Susanne Johansson) and start preparing for its arrival…

CBA vol 58!

I plan to write something longer about this, like I did with CBA vol 47, but until then, let’s just celebrate the release of CBA vol 58: Modern Glossolalia or the Erosion of Meaning!

Buy it here.

How do we talk when words that used to mean certain things have become so vague that they can be freely appropriated by anyone, for any purpose? And what’s up with the currently so prevalent flirting with war, fascism and the dehumanization of anyone who doesn’t fit into the unspoken and conveniently unspecified national identity?
Objective truth (if there ever was such a thing) and even language itself seems to be sacrificed on the altar of rhetoric and propaganda.
What are the consequences when you can string any random, misspelled words together and people will make their own connections and decide to aggressively either agree or disagree, wholeheartedly even though the sentence actually makes no sense?

Comics by: Tom Mortimer [UK], Daniela Filippin [IT], Jesper Hellvik [DK], Felipe Kolb Bernardes [BR/DE/SE], Radovan Popović [RS], Aleksandar Opačić [RS], Jelle Kindt [BE], Gareth A Hopkins [UK], Mattias Elftorp [SE], Jean Jacques Tachdjian [FR], Helga Gorshe [RU], Miguel Santos [AO/PT], Leviathan [SE], Aiden Kvarnström [SE].
Texts by: Ainur Elmgren [SE/FI], Mattias Elftorp [SE].
Illustrations by:
Mattias Elftorp [SE].
Cover & main editor: Mattias Elftorp [SE].


Until I give you something meatier, here’s a page from my comic for this issue, Interrogation:

For this one, I used pages from my upcoming Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy and changed the dialogue to work as a stand-alone comic.

CBA vol 60 – call for submissions

I’ll be the main editor of CBA vol 60, which is now open for submissions!

Deadline: Feb 1, 2023

For this volume of CBA, we have no theme planned, we just want stories. Maybe we’ll set a theme after the deadline if we can find words to describe the comics we get, maybe we’ll leave it with no title. In any case, send us your comics and we’ll see what happens!

And don’t forget, we also want text articles (with or without illustrations)! If you’ve followed CBA the last few years (which of course you have, why wouldn’t you?), you can probably figure out what kind of material we’re after, even if it’s for an open theme this time.

Go to CBK for more, including submission guidelines.

Good luck, and we look forward to your submissions!

 

Comics competition: Seriefest i Väst

I was one of 12 winners in the Seriefest i Väst (a recent comics festival in Gothenburg) comics competition.

The themes were sustainability, good work conditions and equality, so I submitted this one:

Translation:
ANGRY ANIMAL about SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION

“Sustainable consumption”?
Pha! That doesn’t even exist!
If you have an iPhone, it’s most definitely been built under slavery-like conditions. The same is probably true for any smartphone.

We in the West/North think that we need to have them, and many of us are ready to pay a whole lot of money for it, but that money will first and foremost go to profits for Apple and other corporations, not to whoever actually makes the products.

It’s the same with other electronics, clothes , shoes and whatever else people keep buying all the time. More or less anything we buy has been made for cheap in some other country and been shipped here.
Yes, I know that when people talk about sustainability, it’s not usually about work conditions. But what the hell, us humans are also part of the environment, aren’t we?
And yes, nature will also suffer from the cheap production since the main problem is that companies prioritize profits above any other concerns.

Sure, you can buy ecologic and so on, and that’s good even if it’s more expensive so only those with money can afford to take that responsibility.
And of course none of us should buy more food and stuff than we need, which should be obvious but obviously isn’t.

From all around us we get signals saying that more stuff will make us happy, which takes us back to profit interest as motivation, which is the core of the whole problem.
Individual solutions for sustainability are nice and good, I’m sure, and we can all sit in the shine of our low energy lamps and have a our consciences clean, but it’s far from enough since it’s the overproduction of all kinds of crap which is the real villain.
And that’s all because of profit interest, and the only way we can really achieve sustainability is to get rid of Capitalism!

For fuck’s sake!


The comic will be published in an upcoming issue of Bild & Bubbla.

One exhibition ends, another begins!

Today is the opening for the digital exhibition WAS IT A CAR OR A CAT I SAW at Hybriden.se!

Go see it! I have a piece in it and Kinga Dukaj who is the main editor of the issue and who also made the exhibition did a great job of aligning the exhibition with the dream-like theme of the book. Just try to see it on a computer rather than a phobe or pad or it won’t work properly.


I also have a couple of artworks in the UNCOMICS & [PLACEHOLDER] exhibition at Panora/Fish Tank Gallery, which closes tomorrow with a finissage starting at 18.00!


All these books are of course also available in the shop at Hybriden.se.
Recommended for everyone who prefer readin comics in books rather than on walls/screens:

 

 

Will AI replace human artists?

So, the question some of us are thinking about these days: Will AI replace human artists?

I think most people who make comics and other kinds of art don’t do it with getting rich as the motivation. We don’t even do it to get paid. Don’t get me wrong here: Getting paid for it is a way to be able to do it, it’s a way to make a living doing something you like, to have the time to do it. So it’s important in that way, it’s just not the main motivation. So even IF AI was used instead of human artists/illustrators/cartoonists, humans would still be making art. I know, because I’m doing it and I seldom get paid for the actual art (I get mostly indirect money like grants or by doing art-related projects etc, what I get from the actual comics/illustrations is often a pretty small part of my income).

And I believe that as long as people are making art, there will be an audience for it, because even if the AI can make beautiful images, there is more that goes into art, like individual artists’ experiences, thought processes, emotions, skills, personality. Even if an AI would become sentient and have all that, it’d be one among many. And as long as it doesn’t, it’s a tool to be used in the process of making art.

I just read a comic (Summer Island) written by Steve Coulson, a human, with art ”by” Midjourney, an AI. But the AI didn’t make the comic. The human fed it lines of text and (probably) got a huge number of results to choose from. So there are possibly hundreds of unused images that weren’t selected because they didn’t fit what the human wanted them to express. So it’s not really the artist, just like a pen isn’t a creator, or a brush or even Photoshop.

Sure, some potential employers would rather use an AI than pay someone to make illustrations, but they still need someone to wield it. And they probably would’ve paid as little as possible to a human artist anyway, or do the old ”you’re doing something you love so you don’t need money and besides, you get exposure isn’t that great”. This may sound hypocritical since I’m also working with a publisher that mostly hasn’t been able to pay for comics, but we do when we can, and no one is making money off anyone else’s work. Because it’s all non-profit (and pretty non-commercial), and the editors mostly don’t get paid either, and the artists know what they’re getting into and so on and so on and these days we’re actually paying at least a little.

Making it big in art is about knowing the right people, existing in the right social circles, being the right kind of social chameleon, being either born into the right family or being lucky. I don’t have that, so to me there’s no difference between an AI- or human-generated image being sold for $433K because in both cases it’s someone else making that money. Maybe that’s why I’m not worried about being replaced, because what are they going to take from me, my non-profit work? I’d be happy to be able to focus on my own comics instead. Just like most economic crises haven’t really affected me since I didn’t have a lot of money before or after the crises either…

People still listen to guitar music even though electronica exists. The problems with the music indistry are, as they have always been, not that people don’t listen to music or that no one makes music, but that music companies want to make a profit. Record companies always got more than the actual musicians, just as it is now with Spotify.

The problem, as always, is Capitalism, not the tools we use to make art.


The images in this post were made using Craiyon. Not to complain, but very few of these images are even close to what I would have done…

Galagodebut

[Sorry for the language, English wil be back soon]

I posten igår:

SD skryter om att de minsann var först med att vara rasister och de andra partierna bara apar efter (som jag sagt tidigare: det är värdelöst att försöka ta röster från dem genom att haka på samma tåg, inte bara för att rasism är värdelöst utan också för att SD alltid kommer uppfattas som bättre på det) och skickar med ett kuvert med någon slags listor över olika rövhål (på kommunal, regional och riksnivå).

V skickar det mest utförliga valmaterialet av alla partier hittills. De ser ut att behålla positionen som det minst dåliga alternativet (iofs ingen stor bedrift). Det är bara synd att V har såna extrema åsikter, som att vården ska vara tillgänglig för alla, så inte ens sossarna kan samarbeta med dem utan hellre går till L som har gjort klart och tydligt att de hatar (bruna) 2-åringar och älskar (bruna) SD.

Eller den senaste grejen, att flera i V har synts med PKK-flaggor så S är alldeles till sig, för det är ju Turkiet som är de goda nu (förutom att de väl nästan är på väg att slängas ut ur NATO så vi borde inte ens behöva lyda allt Erdogan säger längre, om vi inte jättegärna vill. Vi har ju redan visat tydligt att vi inte tycker oss behöva hålla internationella löften). Det är som att S har glömt att vi terrorstämplade PKK för att vi var “tvungna”, inte för att vi ville.

Och ett paket med min Galagodebut (en sida Arg Kanin i Tecknaruppropet mot kärnvapen och Nato). Mycket fin! Det blir också en utställning med material ur boken på Galleri Mint i ABF-huset i Stockholm 1-4 sep så gå dit och kolla, ni som kan! Och köp boken! All vinst går till Svenska Freds.

Outside (the uncomic)

Hey there!

Been a while. I’ve mostly spent this summer working on Outer Enemy, the new Piracy is Liberation book. And playing Cyberpunk 2077 and Horizon Forbidden West.

So I thought I’d show a little something from the comic I made for CBA vol 56|57.

It’s called OUTSIDE and is an uncomic made from one normal comic (a chapter from Piracy is Liberation 005) and three paintings (H8 from Alkom’X #8, the tape cover for the Noise Against Fascism/Legion of Swine split and Her Fiery Eyes from After the Ends of the World), piled on top of each other and cut up to create a non-narrative structure, something that can’t be read other than through vague feelings and instinct.

My first though when Allan Haverhom announced his theme (UNCOMICS) as guest editor for this issue of CBA was something like: “I should make something for this, how hard can it be?”

It turned out to be about as hard as I thought it would be, except the first idea I had didn’t work at all. That one was more of a deconstruction, literally, with the elements of a comic (panels, bubbles, texts, drawings, gutters etc) falling apart and off the page as the comics progressed, with an attempt at making some kind of point in the end.

Then I realized that I should view this project as visual noise rather than anything else. And when I listen to noise, I’m not very intellectual about it, and the noise I’m listening to is also generally made by musicians who go more by feeling than intellectual theory when they put together their music. Or at least that’s how it comes across, I’m far from an expert. The best noise to me is harsh noise walls that go for your intestines rather than your brain.

So I tried using that kind of approach instead. I took the chapter Outside from Piracy 005, put all the pages in top of each other for the first page, then added and subtracted more elements as it progressed through its 10 pages until I had a visual flow I felt was right.

Maybe I should note that basically none of what I’ve just said was done consciously at the time. But hey, after-the-fact constructions are also constructions.

Allan has a text going throughout the issue about how comics is (or could be) a visual medium rather than a narrative one. I’m not sure I agree with his points, because to me it has always been mostly about the narrative and the visuals are definitely a part of the narration and it doesn’t make sense to separate them. But it was an interesting theme to work with and see what I could do with it.
If you think the uncomics concept is interesting and want to explore it further, check out Allan’s site: uncomics.org

So what you’ve seen in this post are two pages from the comic (pg 2-3).

And here are some noise (and some non-noise) tips from my tape collection (I was going to link to some video or something but I’ve only slept 3,5 hours so fuck it, I’m doing it this way instead):

Books mentioned in this post that you can buy at Hybriden:
Piracy is Liberation 005: Free Section
CBA vol 56|57
After the Ends of the World (which also comes with a noise soundtrack, btw)