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.

Piracy is Liberation 001-004 digital ed

SIS (Stockholms Internationella Seriefestival) is up and running now, and I sell two digital comics at Seriefrämjandet’s Seriemarknad. The link sets off all my virus alerts here, but it should be safe so if you can’t open it, try another webreader.

This is my first try at selling digital comics. I wanted to sell them as CBR files (a classic format for pirated comics), but that wasn’t allowed so I made them in a more regular format (collections of JPGs).

Piracy is Liberation 001-004 bundle
I met someone once who told me that finding the first two Piracy is Liberation books on thepiratebay when she was young changed her life. I think she exaggerated, but just in case, here are the first FOUR books of the series in a ZIP bundle. Unzip and read as JPEGs.
Political theory, filtered through autobiography, masked as fiction
in the form of cyberpunk postapocalypse.
265 pgs, in English, 50 sek

A Piracy is Liberation short story.
Spyware knows that they’ve implanted surveillance equipment in her teeth, bu no one believes her so she leaves City and wanders into the desert to do something about it, but she finds more than she expected. This short story was a finalist in the 4th Morning International Comics Competition in Japan. Unzip and read as JPEGs.
32 pgs, in English, 15 sek

Order both here.

Algorhythm – first Piracy story in years

It’s been 13 years since I last published anything in the Piracy is Liberation series. I made the two collections of books 1-11 in 2013. Since then, it’s always been my intention to continue the story directly in a third volume rather than conrinue with book 12. The problem is that, as it turns out, making one 400+ page book is much more difficult than making 5 smaller books. So now I’m going back to what I used to do; publish a chapter as a self-contained story, for example in an anthology such as CBA. Fittingly, this will be my contribution to CBA vol 50, a volume dedicated to comics by members of the past and current editorial collective of CBA. Especially since the first two stories connected to Piracy is Liberation were published back in C’est Bon #1 and 2 (in 2001).

It’s a bit like coming home now when I return to this world I haven’t visited for so long. Rumor has it that every cell in my body will have been exchanged by new ones during that time. Does that mean that I’m a copy of myself? And if so, what does that mean, since the structure of my brain or whatever it is that forms my consciousness is more or less the same?

This one will be a story of Purple, set during the fight for copy rights, probably a few chapters into vol 3. It should be no problem to read it as a stand-alone comic, but if you have read the old ones, you’ll have a much greater grasp of the context surrounding the events in this one. I think that’s all I can say about it at this point. The story is called ALGORHYTHM and CBA vol 50 is planned for release by the end of this year.

If you haven’t yet read the old ones, here’s where you’ll find them. Books 001 and 002 should also still be available for download via The Pirate Bay.

Pirate portrait

Been playing around with Procreate again. Couldn’t think of anything new or original so Ijust drew one of my old characters.

I think I’m going to make a series of these things, it’s probably a good practice both for how to work with Procreate and for getting into this whole drawing thing again. Feels like it’s too long since I made any big comics project…

…long live the new flesh!

New year, new plans. Here are a few mentions of future stuff…

En Andra Chans (Tusen Serier) by me and Shko Askari
Sagor från Angered (working title) (Tusen Serier & Blå Stället) by me, Amanda Casanellas & Segal Mohammed
Piracy is Liberation v03 (Wormgod) IF I can only find the time for this, it’d definitely be about time to finally be able to continue this story…

Cool Cykel (Tusen Serier presents Tanja Komadina) in February
I don’t want to dream (CBK presents Spyros Verykios and CBAvol36) in May

Berättelser om Yunnan – minnen från kulturrevolutionen (Tusen Serier) by Emei Burell
CBAvol36: In the pits of madness (CBK) with me as main editor, really excited about this one…
CBAvol37: Fragments (CBK)

I’ll probably be going to the usual ones, maybe something new, we’ll see (preliminary dates)…
Copenhagen Comix (Feb)
SIS (May)
CRACK! (Jun)
Helsinki (Sep)
Novo Doba (Oct)

It’s too early to tell yet, but we have some big plans for Hybriden. More news when we know if they will actually happen…

Death to 2016…

2016 ends and it’s time for a summation. I could comment on the new migration laws, on the ongoing/invigorated persecution of undocumented as well as beggars, the seeming rise of general stupidity, the steady decline of hope as species are going extinct at a rate we haven’t seen since the last ice age, various mad-people in power, abuses perpetrated by various states etc etc (I could also talk about celebrity deaths but why?). But I’m probably going to keep this personal and up-beat(?).

So here are some things I made/was involved in during the year. Mostly unpaid work as usual, which I’m getting increasingly tired of, but what are you going to do? Up-beat, was it? Right. Ok. This is me when I’m unemployed:

The Troll actually came out in the end of 2015, but it was still new when this year started, and it was also my only solo book, so I still feel that it counts.
I had some other plans for upcoming solo books, but none of them have turned into reality. Yet…


Publication-wise when it comes to my own comics, this has been more of an anthology year, with some comics being published in several places:
Viral was drawn in 2015 but published this year in CBAvol30.
Medication, published in CBAvol35: BLEED, Komikaze #42 (web) and #15 (paper) and possibly Alkom’x #9
Idle hands & recreation in CBAvol34: Re: Creation and idleness  and possibly Alkom’x #9
Fragments will be in CBAvol37 and possibly Alkom’x #9
Arg Kanin om Samma gamla visa in Asylkalendern 2017.

viralv2-2 medication-1xrpt idlehands01smpl vasta-aine-2

I sent some of these stories to some other places as well so they may turn up in more places in the future…

Some big steps forward were taken for both Tusen Serier and CBK. Both associations broke some ties with the Swedish Comics Association this year, which feels nice for various reasons that shall remain untold for now. It meant that CBK left the Comics Centre in the Mazetti building where we had been since 2005. Tusen Serier also finished the last project period that was run through the Comics Association. Both of these things lead up to both groups moving together and starting our new exhibition/store/studio/library/storage space Hybriden. We officially opened in March but it definitely feels like we’ve been there for more than a year… The new space also brought a brand-new webshop with it into existence.

cbk_logo 1000logo hybriden-logo

CBK also started to get its shit together with the release of CBAvol30: A new hope, which was the first volume made/compiled completely by the new editorial crew. We also published our last graphic novel issue, CBAvol33: Repeat Offenders by Julia Scott, and 3 more anthologies.

cbavol30covercbavol32cvr cbavol33cvr cbavol34cvrcbavol35cvr

There was of course the AltCom 2016 festival, themed WORK. In many ways it felt like it was the best AltCom so far. We managed to create our own pocket universe during those few days in the end of July.


Also visited some other festivals/events (not as many as planned, but enough):
SIS, CRACK!, Oulu art night, Novo Doba, Örebro.

Vasta-Aine was an exhibition at the Oulu Comics Centre, featuring 3 of my recent comics, Medication, Fragments and Happiness.
-I had an exhibition at the CUK Imago in Belgrade during Novo Doba, with some of my old Wormgod prints and some original paintings.
-And, also during Novo Doba, I painted a mural at the Zemun-based cultural centre Matrijaršija.
-The BLEED group exhibition at Hybriden, organized by CBK and Kinga Dukaj, was the coolest exhibition I’ve been a part of for a long while. I made three paintings for this exhibition that took place in the midst of a seriel killer’s murder scene, walls and ceiling covered with plastic sheets, blood (most of it fake) spattered everywhere, special music by Feberdröm

vasta-aine-posterfb_img_1478720950157 nuskull


Tusen Serier released a batch of new books this year:
Fem historier om prostituerande by Amalia Alvarez
Myling by Amanda Casanellas & Yossra El Said
Mapuche by Jorge Varas Varilla
Void by Susanne Johansson (published in cooperation with Wormgod)
Cool Cykel by Tanja Komadina

prostituerande-1 mapuchecvr voidcover myling-1coolcykelcvr

In November I took over from Amanda Casanellas who was there in October as the Tusen Serier residence artist at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg, a special residency that they had in cooperation with Blå Stället in Angered. During one month I could (mostly) concentrate on one thing instead of a hundred, which was probably quite healthy. I took some breaks to be at the BLEED exhibition and the Örebro festival, but still managed to draw 55 pages based on Amanda’s ideas, which were based on stories from Angered. Urban legends, folk tales, local mythology which we will work into a story to be published at some point during 2017…


There were probably some more things that might be worth mentioning, some short comics, illustrations, book covers, maybe some project or other, but I simply can’t remember everything and I’m too lazy to look it up.

hdjul201601 crackland_fulbaileys strejkomslag

So I’m going to leave you with a (surprisingly long) list of stuff I’ve watched/played/read in the sessions of downtime squeezed in between all the rest. It’s not all from this year, because only idiots think that there’s no past. And yes, these are just from the top of my head, things I recommend that happened to not slip my mind:

DMC | Beyond: Two Souls | Enslaved | Alice 2 | The Last Guardian (finally!) | Shadow of the Beast (worthy remake of childhood nostalgia) | Life is strange (just started but seems promising)

TV SERIES (the most noteworthy new discoveries / steady classics):
South ParkRick & MortyWestworld | Crazy Head | The OA | Orphan Black | Preacher | Daredevil | Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | Doctor Who (even if there was only one new episodes)

Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen (Kitano is back!) | Sausage Party(!) | Maps to the stars | Lamerica | He never died | Extracted | Mr Six | Batman v Superman (Martha?!) | May Allah bless France | M. Butterfly | Borgman | The Lobster | High-Rise | Schizopolis | Kontroll | The Witch | Urge | Upstream Color | GhostbustersVanishing Waves (ok, I saw this in 2015, but still worth mentioning) | + of course the MCU stuff…

Low | The Wicked + the Divine | Supreme Blue Rose | Starve | Punk Rock Jesus | Empty Zone | Monstress | (all of) Hellblazer | Deadenders | Bitch Planet | Velvet | New Lone Wolf & Cub | Lazarus | Saga | Nameless | Injection | Caliban | Blackgas | Stormwatch (Ellis) | Animal Man (finally caught up on Morrison’s run)| Trees | Deadly Class | Miracleman | Annihilator | + caught up on the X-books up until Secret Wars

Woman on the edge of time by Marge Piercy | The Dispossessed by Ursula K LeGuin

Yeah, regular books take me a long time, so 2 in one year is unusually good.

Hope you found something interesting that you might have otherwise missed in these lists, and enjoy the last few hours of the year…