This weekend (Sep 2-3) it’s Seriefest in Malmö (in Ridhuset, Folkts Park).
We’ll be there with a selection of books, along with Tusen Serier/Wormgod/Hybriden (the policy is to only sell things made by creators who is present. Luckily, Mattias Elftorp will be there and he’s been involved in lots of books)…
There will also be 2 Hybriden-related items in the program:
Tusen Serier: Jorge Varas Varilla
Jorge Varas Varilla from Tusen Serier talks about his career as a satire illustrator and how graphic humor was used as a tool for wishing for social change in the 1960s Chile. He tells about Allende’s government, about the military coup and also about his own arrest and exile. www.varilla.se
CBK/Wormgod: Mattias Elftorp
Talk with Mattias Elftorp about the international comics anthology CBA and about the cyberpunk postapocalypse of his Piracy is Liberation. War mania in a future where Capitalism is the only religion. www.elftorp.com
Sometime within a year I plan to also make book 009-011 available like this, and a year after that books 012-013. In other updates, I’ve finished the first few pages of Piracy is Liberation 013: War and Pieces, which will hopefully be out by the end of this year, possibly beginning of 2024. But more on that later…
What happens when the rules have suddenly changed and the police can do nothing but watch as people party in the streets? What happens when even the rules of reality can be broken? One section of the City where Capitalism is the only religion has been freed from the influence of landlords and indoctrinating television, but when the authorities come back with a vengeance to evict the Free Section, expect violence.
Meanwhile, something is moving on the net. Some kind of entities seem to be interfering with its users. What are these Spiders and how will they affect the plans for the Information Upgrade that the anarchists are planning?
Also in this collection:
Can Technograph change the past through timetravel?
And introducing Ming, the open source web-based sentient being.
Political theory, filtered through autobiography masked as fiction, in the form of cyberpunk postapocalypse. 320 pgs Name your price (minimum 72 sek)
This is a collection of four more books of the Piracy is Liberation series, in digital versions based on the original publications. They are downloadable as a CBR file, a classic format for filesharing comics. You can open it in various comics reader apps, or just a regular unZIP or unRAR app.
Digital comics should be much cheaper than paper books, so it’s a “name your price” deal, with a minimum price based on page count.
Digital download bundle of books 001-004 is of course also still available:
Cyberpunk stories in a future where Capitalism is the only religion, where only sinners disobey and nobody loves a sinner. Pirate is one of those sinners, downloading illegal information straight into his mind to get high. When he gets caught while trying to free Information, he has to use all his skills as a 4-dimensional hacker to break them out of digital prison.
One year later, he’s part of a group trying to free sections of the City from the clutches of brainwashing television, riot cops and the Priests and Masters who control everything.
Meanwhile, Erica toils away as a Slave in the factory. But what’s the dark secret behind the cogs and wheels and levers of her machine? What hides in the desert that no one knows exists? And what of the Drivers and their upcoming strike?
Political theory, filtered through autobiography masked as fiction, in the form of cyberpunk postapocalypse. 266 pgs
Name your price (minimum 60 sek)
PRE-RELEASE of 2 new books from Tusen Serier and CBK/Wormgod! These books are only available at Hybriden until Jan 1, 2023. After that they will be taken down from the site until the official release in early 2023 (Jan/Feb)!!!
So take this chance to be among the first to get Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy and Vårdfällan (Raquel Lozano)!
Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy by Mattias Elftorp
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?
10 year in the making, this 12th book in the Piracy is Liberation series finally takes us back to the City for 212 pages of a brand new story about a society on the brink of war.
Page count: 212
Book type: graphic novel, softcover
Price: 150:- sek ORDER (contact CBK about review copies!)
Vårdfällan by Raquel Lozano
Alejandra vill egentligen wallraffa, men efter en tids uppehåll är hon nu tillbaka som vårdbiträde inom hemtjänsten. För att klara av sin vardag med duschar, blöjbyten och läggningar varvar hon jobbet med en ny hobby, även om den kanske inte är helt laglig.
Vårdfällan is Raquel Lozano’s debut novel. With Malmö as backdrop, she depicts the life of a young worker, and her struggle to survive an increasingly cold work climate.
Page count: 176
Book type: novel, pocket/softcover
Price: 100:- sek ORDER (contact Tusen Serier about review copies!)
Mapuche by Jorge Varas Varilla is now available in a new, quadrilingual edition (Mapudungun/Spanish, with subtitles in English/Swedish) (which I translated).
Five Stories About Undocumented Women by Amalia Alvarez has been hard to find for a while, but is now here in a 3rd edition, with new paper stock and still in 3 languages (Spanish/Swedish/English) (which I translated).
If you’re new to the world of Piracy is Liberation, here’s a short description of what you get in these four books:
Cyberpunk stories in a future where Capitalism is the only religion, where only sinners disobey and nobody loves a sinner. Pirate is one of those sinners, downloading illegal information straight into his mind to get high. When he gets caught while trying to free Information, he has to use all his skills as a 4-dimensional hacker to break them out of digital prison. One year later, he’s part of a group trying to free sections of the City from the clutches of brainwashing television, riot cops and the Priests and Masters who control everything. Meanwhile, Erica toils away as a Slave in the factory. But what’s the dark secret behind the cogs and wheels and levers of her machine? What hides in the desert that no one knows exists? And what of the Drivers and their upcoming strike? Political theory, filtered through autobiography masked as fiction, in the form of cyberpunk postapocalypse.
It’s a great way to get a substantial sample (266 pages) if you want to try it out before buying the books, or if you just want to read it for its own sake. Or if you prefer to read on a tablet (if this proves popular enough I’ll probably do digital versions of the rest of the books as well).
Digital comics often cost much more than I think is reasonable, so I set the price for this at 60 sek (about 6€/$6.35), which is what one and a half book would cost on paper, and now you get four! There’s also the option to pay more if you think my price is too low.
If you want it for free, books 001 and 002 are still available at ThePirateBay, so that’s also an option. Just don’t forget to share!
Yesterday, an exhibition opened that features a bunch of local comics creators in order to highlight Malmö as a comics city. Including me and Kinga Dukaj, as representing Hybriden and Fanzineverkstaden. You can find the exhibition at Norra Parkgatan, along Folkets Park in Malmö.
The description I got for my entry was that it should both represent me as a comics creator and the part of the comics culture that I’m part of, in this case CBK and Tusen Serier. So I made a collage creature out of cut-up cover images from CBA and various Tusen Serier books, and gave it a dialogue with my recurring character, the Angry Animal, called Arg Kanin (Angry Rabbit) in Swedish.
The theme of my comic was provoked by some of the latest outbursts of stupid neonationalism from the politically brown part of Swedish politics, where they thought that busdrivers should only be allowed to play purely Swedish music. Not because they normally play music on buses but because it was an opportunity to make a point designed to appeal to anyone who feels uneasy when they see a busdriver that is anything other than super White, or when they happen to hear music that was made in another country than Sweden (or USA, UK, Denmark or whatever else they count as Swedish/familiar/safe).
And also the general tendency nowadays for politicians and people to want to illegalize anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow tastes. Nationalism really doesn’t promote any kind of intellectual growth. It’s truly a culture of inbreeding.
Here’s my contribution to the exhibition:
Don’t forget to visit Hybriden, check out the exhibitions, webshop etc!
The project that this exhibition is part of is called Seriestaden Malmö (Malmö, the comics city). Seriestaden is a concept that’s been around since the late 90s, just before the comic school was started, and we who are active in the Malmö comics scene have used it now and then as a way to highlight the great variety of comics, cretors and comics-related projects, collectives, associations, publishers and activities that are around. So this is the latest in that line, this time organized by BID. BID is an association of landlords in the area and is a concept borrowed from other countries. Their purpose is to make our streets ”safer”. In many cases that has meant a combination of repression, gentrification and cultural work. So let’s hope the Malmö variant focuses more on the cultural projects rather than the repressive gentrification stuff and that they understand that making an area more expensive doesn’t help the people living there, only the owners of the buildings. This exhibition is a good start by supporting the local comics culture.
I’m soon going on vacation, this weird concept that you get when you have employment, where you spend some time not working at all. Employment is rare for me, so it still feels like some kind of novelty. And it won’t be completely without work since we have a CBA release/exhibition on July19 (work being defined as when you do things with a purpose other than pleasure/relaxation, not to be confused with employment where you also get paid).
So I thought I should make some small summation of what I’ve beem doing lately. I should say ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ since most of what I do is done in the context of one or more of the collectives I’m part of within the Hybriden constellation…
Let’s start at the chronological end, with this year’s CRACK! festival (June 20-23) where I was with Kinga Dukaj and Luddvig Melin to represent AltCom/Hybriden/Wormgod/CBK/Tusen Serier and ourselves as artists. If you don’t know, this is one that I’ve been going to every year for the last decade or so, except last year. Which was probably good, because this time it felt better than it has for a while. Less people than usual, but I got some of that magic back, where you meet new people who do interesting stuff, old friends that you only see once or a few times a year (depending on which festivals you go to) who also do interesting stuff, you see lots of cool art, you make some yourself, you’re in this small piece of a possible future/squat paradise on earth called Forte Prenestino to share in the evolution of the comics/printed art underground. It’s a source of inspiration for AltCom and for a lot of what I do and how I do it.
The theme for this year was APERTO (OPEN), similar to the NO BORDERS theme of AltCom 2012, so that fit us well considering what we’re usually publishing.
On June 22 there was also a huge demonstration against evictions of squats as well as against raised rents in general. CRACK! has a natural connection to this since Forte Prenestino is a squat since 1986. I didn’t go to the demo myself because I can’t handle being out in the Italian heat for that long, but rumor says it was a manifestation of around 100 000 people.
I also have to say, without going into details, that the crisis management from the festival organizers is very commendable. They managed to turn an incident into an assembly of around a hundred artists to discuss what had happened. In the end some people disrupted the meeting and I’m not sure where they will go from where it ended, but I fully trust them to handle it in an intelligent way that is respectful to many different aspects of the whole situation.
A while ago, we opened a new permanent exhibition at Hybriden, with works that have been produced at Fanzineverkstaden by its members and/or workshop participants. It was also, finally, the official release event for Fosfor, our zine distribution system.
The Lore exhibition is still up, with material related to the theme of the latest issue of CBA. The best bet if you still haven’t seen it is to go this week (Wed-Fri 11-15 + Sun 12-15). After that, Hybriden will close for the summer except for the opening of the Qtopia exhibition on July 19 (at Hybriden). As I write this, we’re actually in the final stages of finishing to files for CBA vol 45: Qtopia to send off to the printer.
We’ll be back in August at Fanzineverkstaden, open weekdays between 15-21, with lots of new workshops coming up during the fall, so keep an eye open for that. And do use the place, because it’s a great opportunity to print stuff and try some new ways for self-publishing, and you never know how long it’ll last (except we know we’ll be here for at least another year). We also brought home some examples from CRACK! to use for inspiration.
And speaking of things that are being printed as we speak… My contributions to the upcoming Wormgod book, After the ends of the world 2 by me and Susanne Johansson, have largely been produced at Fanzineverkstaden in between my regular working hours. More on that later, but here are a few of the pages from the book that I also showed as prints at CRACK!
To begin with, I tried Detroit: Become Human (PS4) last night and it feels new and exciting. So far, it’s more about storytelling than gameplay, but that’s fine and the story is interesting, and storytelling is usually my main interest in games anyway. So yeah, give it a try!
I also look forward to trying out the newly released Coolpaintr VR…
Right now, I’m at Fanzineverkstaden, making plans for when we open to the public, which will hapen soon…
The upcoming CBA vol 40|41: Worst Case Scenario is being prepared for the printer as I write this, and it’s going to be a great volume. Black/white to fit the theme, which it really does. I made a comic for it, called Why you (maybe) shouldn’t kill Hitler, a time travel story about a worst case scenario and about misconceptions about historical events.Here’s the cover by Kinga Dukaj:
Today (starting an hour ago), there’s an exhibition at Hybriden, featuring the comics students from Fridhems folkhögskola.
Next weekend (June 2), we’ll open the second part of the Best of CBK exhibition (also at Hybriden). So see you there, maybe, one of these days.
Speaking of exhibitions, right now I’m part of the exhibition Pow – Historier i kvadrat at Det gamla tryckeriet in Eskilstuna. My contribution is the artist book I made a while ago: A Subtle Fuck You 2: Antidote.
I would have liked to make something new for the next volume of CBA as well: CBA vol 42: Subversive Superhero Stories, but I doubt I’ll have the time for it, so I’ll probably just write a text I’ve been wanting to do, and if I participate with a comic, it’ll be something old but relevant.
In general, the political climate in Sweden is rapidly deteriorating it seems, since it’s an election year and all the big parties compete in who can be the best at copying the neonationalists to prevent them from getting too strong. With the result, obviously, that the neonationalist part gets stronger and can push their politics even further. Now they’re even talking about throwing out people who are already Swedish citizens on the grounds that they or their parents weren’t born here (most of my closest friends) or that they don’t have the “correct” Swedish values (me and most of the people I know, I assume). No one will be safe unless something turns around soon.
I’m calling them neonationalists now because it seems that they’re in the forefront of a new(ish) nationalist movement. They could also be called “neofascists” or “racist” or “islamophobic rightwing” or “kind of normal party but with lots of nazis in their not-so-distant past”. But those words seem to make people uncomfortable, so I’ll stick with “neonationalist”, at least for this blogpost..
Retrospective exhibition of 15 years with CBK
Place: Hybriden (Mitt Möllan, Bangatan 5, Malmö)
Opening: April 13, 17-22
Lasts until: August 16
C’est Bon Kultur (CBK) became an official association in 2003, with the formal purpose of creating and promoting comics that are visually interesting and that approach comics storytelling in experimental ways. It is now 15 years later and with approximately 60 publications and about as many exhibitions behind us, we have a big selection of comics and artworks in storage that we’d like to share with the world.
Nostalgia for some, news to others, we promise an interesting art experience. Big names in experimental and art comics will share the space with local talents and several generations of the CBA editorial crew. Over the years, we’ve strived to add something special in the translation from the comics page to the exhibition wall space. From acetone prints to apocalyptic scrap metal installations with DIY polaroids, blown-up postcards and blood-splattered plastic covers. One motto that runs through it all is: COMICS AS ART, ART AS COMICS.