RELEASE EVENT: Piracy is Liberation 012 & Vårdfällan

It’s finally out!

On February 25 at 18-21 (or whenever we’re finished), at Poeten på hörnet (Södra Förstadsgatan 65B, Malmö), CBK, Wormgod and Tusen Serier invite you to a one day release event for Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy & Vårdfällan! A double book release with exhibition and book talks!

You can read about both books here.

There will be a small exhibition of prints from Piracy is Liberation. There will be wine. The books will be presented, with a reading from Vårdfällan. The books will be there, the authors will be signing, it’ll be great!

Both books are available for order now, from Hybriden and other places (Adlibris, Bokus, etc).

ORDER Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy
ORDER Vårdfällan

Piracy 012 is something I’ve been working on for the last year or so. It ended up as a 212 page examination of a City gearing up for war. It’s the 12th book of the series but don’t worry if you haven’t read the first 11. There’s a story so far section, and the entire series is also available from Hybriden.

Vårdfällan was written by Raquel Lozano, with cover and editing by me. Set in Malmö, it’s a scathing depiction of life as a worker in the health care business.

Here are a couple of sample pages from Piracy, which may or may not be part of the exhibition:

It’s getting harder and harder to be visible in social media, so feel free to help us by inviting anyone you know who might be interested! Thanks!


PRE-RELEASE: Piracy is Liberation 012 & Vårdfällan

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.

Language: English
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.

Language: Swedish
Page count: 176
Book type: novel, pocket/softcover
Price: 100:- sek
ORDER (contact Tusen Serier about review copies!)

Also new in the webshop:

CBA vol 58: Modern Glossolalia or the Erosion of Meaning (which I edited) and CBA vol 59: Aloneliness (which I only proofread), the latest issues of our international comics anthology!

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).

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…

SIS 2022 – fan art & competition

I’ve taken a short break from posting about Piracy is Liberation in order to be able to spend more time on actually drawing the new book.

Today I took a break from that as well in order to make some fan art for the upcoming SIS (Stockholms International Seriefestival):


If you are the first to identify which comic pages are surrounding the dog, I’ll give you a gift. Email me with book title and page number or part of the dialogue from the page (since I don’t normally use pagination) for all of them*. And let me know which one of my books you need as reward and I will send it to you.
*I say all of them, but one of these pages is from the upcoming book so it’s enough to identify it as the unpublished one.
Important: contact me by e-mail (see the contact page). No other means of contact counts.

Anyway, maybe I’ll see you in Stockholm, May 20-22? I’ll be there with Hybriden (CBK/Tusen Serier/Wormgod).

And with that, I’m back at the drawing table again (I mean not ALL the time, but as much as I’m able in between everything else I need to do). It’s hard to finish a book when I’m constantly adding pages to it, but I’m at least more than halfway done by now…

Release: Digital Piracy!

I just put up a bundle of Piracy is Liberation books 001-004 for digital download at Hybriden!

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!


PROCESS: Main characters

The two girls whose story will be the main focus of Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy that I mentioned in my latest post aren’t completely new to the series.

You’ve seen them before, for the first time in book 002: Infotrip for a few pages.

They were the ones being given the Basic information for the revolution discs at a café. In that chapter (Communications, subchapter 3: Conversation) they mostly served as a way to show the effects of that book’s events on some random people in the general society.
That scene also turned out to be a bit anachronistic, since it actually took place during book 005: Free Section in the chapter Outside, where we got to see it in the background and from another perspective.

I think I had, even back then, some thought of maybe returning to them at a later point. Which turned out to be correct.
Not going to spoil any of their story in the new book just yet, but here are two of the new pages…

PROCESS: New technique for book 012

I’m working a bit differently on this one.

My normal process for shorter comics used to be to have an idea and then to simply start drawing and see what happened, writing script as I went along. That worked fine and made it more interesting also for myself since I wasn’t sure how each story would end.

Then, when I started making Piracy is Liberation, I fels the need to do it a bit more properly. I started writing scripts with dialogue, voice-over and (still pretty loose) image descriptions. The script would sometimes change as the drawing process went along, because I still needed room for things to be a dynamic during the work.

This spread from Piracy is Liberation 002: Infotrip is two of the very few pages where I actually did a sketch before inking it.

Now, with Piracy is Liberation 012, I’m somewhere in betweeen those tactics.

I’ve been collecting notes for the last 10 years, writing down scenes, bits of dialogue and over-arching ideas for the upcoming books. Or actually for the rest of the series, which is now planned as 11 more books. Which is a number liable to change because, as I said, I like to keep it dynamic. I’m deliberately still keeping the details of last few books vague, even for myself.
After putting all these notes in order and making a rough sketch of what goes into which book, I started to tie them together, but still not writing out all of the dialogue/voice-over. More like a collection of scenes that I flesh out as I go along.

Much of the dialogue, I write more or less one or a few pages at a time as I draw them. Most of the voice-over is still just notes that I will turn into full text later, as I finish the pages in Photoshop.

Another difference, which is probably very much connected to this new strategy, is that I’m drawing digitally, in Procreate. That means that it’s much easier both to erase and modify things while drawing and that I actually often do sketches, which is pretty new for me. I still keep them very vague and loose, because I want to keep the feeling of the linework. I always thought my lines got more interesting and personal when they’re spontaneous. So I want to keep that while still getting the advantage of sketching.

Here’s an examples from book 012 where I didn’t sketch but drew directly, old-school style. Step by step (panel structure/dialogue/line art/halftone & other effects/black fields/detail fixes):

Go to my Instagram to see more video capture like this one in the near future:

And here’s one where I did sketch. You can see how loose it is, and how closely(?) I ended up following it:

So far, it feels like this process suits me well. At also gives the story space to evolve as it goes. For example, book 012 will have a main storyline focusing on two girls who were at first only meant to be there for a scene or two, to give the over-all events a bit more flavor. Now their story goes on to fill about 50 of the book’s maybe 150 pages (both of these numbers may very well go up before it’s all done).

More on these two characters in the next post, coming up on Tuseday…

PROCESS: The Anarchists of Piracy is Liberation

First drawings of the gang. Maybe not the first appearances in the book, but I started the process by drawing a group picture spread out over a couple pages to make sure the group of main characters were present, and for myself to get reacquainted with them again.

I present to you: the anarchists of Piracy is Liberation:

It hasn’t been 10 years between the events of books 011 and 012, but some time has passed and especially the kids have had a chance to grow a bit. And get named, in Tomorrow’s case, while the oldest guy still sems to go by his kind of derogatory nickname. That happens sometimes, nicknames just stick, but they change meaning and become more synonymous with the person they’re stuck to rather than their original meaning. Or it’s just lazy writing because I couldn’t think of a better name for him? Probably a bit of both…

PROCESS: Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy

A few months ago, I finally started working on Piracy is Liberation 012: Outer Enemy, about 10 years after book 011 came out. I collected all my notes for the rest of the story and decided what to use in which book. I have a pretty good idea about what at least the next few books will be about. I’ve been drawing whenever I got some free time (in between Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, trying to make a living and just the other stuff that need doing in general), so at the moment I have maybe 80 pages more or less drawn and I felt it was time to start showing some stuff.

As I go along, I’ll be writing a bit about my process and about what the story will be about, but I’ll start with this promo pic I made for an ad recently, kind of like a still-image trailer:

I’ll be posting some samples now and then on Instagram (@elftorp) and here in the blog. Probably not as regularly as I should, but I’ll at least try to keep it up. So follow me if you want to stay updated.

CBA vol 50 in the Supertoon selection + samples

CBA vol 50 was included in the official selection for the Supertoon animation & comics festival of 2021 (July 19-23).

We’re accompanied by some other CBK-related friends/artists, like Komikaze and Stripburger in the magazine selection and Radovan Popović and Igor Kordej in the book selection.

And of course the festival poster was made by Danijel Žeželj.

We won’t be at the festival, but a copy the book will be there!

CBA vol 50 is available at Hybriden, as is CBA subscriptions.

The above was reposted from the CBK website, so as an extra, here’s a bonus sample of my comic from the issue (Algorhythm, a new Piracy is Liberation story):

This one is also available as a separate zine.