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 numberor 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 *I say all of them, but one of these pages is from the upcoming book so it’s enough to identify it as the unpublished one.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…
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!
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…
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…
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…
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.
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
Spyware 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
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.