Piracy is Liberation and Feminism.

Ok, like this:

There were a lot of issues that I had to consider when I began turning Piracy is Liberation into what it is today. Things I thought I’d like to speak about in the series, but I think that some things can be spoken about by not speaking about them. War is one of those things (how does a world where the concept of war doesn’t exist differ from ours?) that I might go into later. Gender issues is another, and that is what I’d like to talk about now.

I was thinking, should I use Piracy to talk about gender issues that we all live with here today by having the Piracy world be similar to ours, or should I take another approach. I’ve never tried to market Piracy as a feminist comic, but I’ve heard from people who think it is, and I can understand why they think so. Of course, it was my intention, but I wasn’t sure people would notice it and I’m glad they did.

From Piracy is Liberation 003: Wires

The thing is that there are a lot of stories, fictional and otherwise, that describe our gendered society and talk about inequalities and all that, but there are very few that show what things could be like without that shit. There are also some that turn the tables and present a world where men behave like women and women behave like men, but I’m not really interested in that either. I also have problems with drag sometimes, when it confirms stereotypes rather than question them. It doesn’t really change anything. Quite the opposite, almost.

So I present a world where men and women work under very similar conditions. They are able to do the same things, think the same thoughts, act on the same level. Because physical sex shouldn’t matter and gender (its mental/social counterpart) shouldn’t exist, and I wanted to see what would happen with my story if that was actually the case.

I still wanted the society in the City where the comic takes place to be hierarchical and conservative, but in other ways. It can be conservative when it comes to how we manage our relationships even if it’s gender equal. After all, relationships tend to be hierarchical in one way or another, no matter if they are heterosexual or homosexual, so I don’t think that heterosexuality or gender differences is a prerequisite for that.

After reading this, some may wonder why the opening phrase of the entire series is:

That’s it, stay still, bitch!

with a woman lying under the heel of a man’s boot, but the point in that scene is that the man is a policeman who could just as easily have been a woman. So it has more to do with power and violence and not so much to do with gender.

One final point I’d like to make is that the way I treat the subject in Piracy is Liberation, even though it’s pretty far from most other ficitonal stories produced in this society, is probably more similar to actual reality. Because the image we have of women as passive and men as the acting subjects throughout history can’t possibly be true. I thinks that’s simply another fictional story…

HackNight, July 11 2009

The description of my part of HackNight at Utkanten on Saturday:

I’ll be talking about the world of Piracy is Liberation, my cyberpunk postapocalypse series of graphic novels, where I got the idea for the original concept and how it progressed from there. By looking at the story and describing the City where it takes place, I hope to paint a picture of how the comic mirrors the reality of sweden in particular and capitalist society in general. I’d also like to talk a bit about how I’ve handled different story elements, like gender, media and collectivity/individuality when I’ve constructed this fictional world.

I may write something about any of these topics here on the blog during the week, if I’m not busy working on the new book.

In the meantime, here’s a color version of the first image made for Piracy is Liberation 007: Spiders pt. 1:


It is also a Wormgod image and will be available as a print at the upcoming Wall 001 exhibition (when and where that will be remains unknown, so check the site in the near future for more info as it comes).

After MoCCA: Comment from Becky Cloonan

Becky Cloonan put in som very nice words for me at her blog after MoCCA. I’ve admired her work since I first saw it in her and Brian Wood’s Jennie One, so I think that’s very cool.

Piracy is Liberation by Mattias Elftorp- Mattias caught me at the end of the day on Sunday, and I felt pretty bad because I didn’t remember him right away from last year- but that changed once he showed me his work! He gave me books 3 through 6 of his series, to match 1 and 2 which I got last year. He’s working on volume 7, so I hope he can make it again next year so we can trade 🙂 Or maybe I’ll just have to hit a convention in Sweden!

 I just wish I’d have time to do some kind of report about my new comics too. Then I’d let you know that I liked her art book (Burn Your Treasures) and Pixu 2 (I just need to find a copy of Pixu 1, because that was a really cool book).

Maybe I can do it after Crack!… Then I’ll probably have some more books to talk about. Now I mostly need to sleep to recuperate from Punk Illegal

Piracy is Liberation 007-011.

So I’ve started writing the next installment of Piracy is Liberation. Book 007: Spiders, as it turns out, will be book 007: Spiders pt. 1 and book 008: Spiders pt 2.

This may change, of course, but it’s the way it looks right now. The interesting thing is, now that I’m dividing the story up into volumes of ca 6 books, that I can no longer plan one book at a time (of course I used to have further plans before, but this time they need to be more detailed). Now I need to have a structure for book 007 that works in itself and also works together with book 008 and also works with the books up until 011. It makes the whole scripting process a lot more interesting.

What was going to be book 012 will now be book 000. Possibly made together with one or more other artists and based on a story I made for the very first issue of C’est Bon back in 2001.

So anyway. This next story arc will deal with the Information Upgrade that has been hinted at in the recent books. It will also deal with the religious/political system of the City as well as the apocalypse. How the world turned out the way it did. And, of course, the relationships and dealings of the characters we’ve met so far in the series.

So that’s it for now. More planning will be done and anything I just said may turn out to be a lie in the next few days/weeks as work progresses.

Piracy is Liberation 006: Violence release|NOISEKVÄLL|utställning

Welcome to
The Piracy is Liberation 006: Violence release party @ Utkanten (Industrigatan 20, Malmö)
July 4 2009
Music: Harsh noise and industrial live performances and a DJ-set with a selection of violent music.
Art: Two exhibitions on the theme of violence will be shown.

CONCRETE THREAT will present a one-man performance this time, but promises an experience at least as harsh as last time.
returns, this time in person and not just projected on the walls.
R.W.F. will do their first live performance in this constellation with their intense death-rave.
NIMAM SPREGLEDA will deliver hard old-school industrial.
More bands may be added…

WORMGOD presents an expansion of the exhibition konSEKVENS that was shown in Växjö earlier this year. Wormgod is the combined forces of Susanne Johansson and Mattias Elftorp.
MATTIAS ELFTORP will also make a rerun of parts of the Violence exhibition with a sequence from the book of the same name. : VÅLD


All back-issues of Piracy is Liberation will be available at good prices.

The entrance fee is 40 SEK, but you get in for free if you buy one or more copies of Piracy is Liberation. Please note that you need to be a member to get in. Send an email with name, first 6 digits and address to mattias@elftorp.com.
Membership costs 75 SEK/year.

This event is arranged by Wormgod with the support by C’est Bon Kultur.

If you’re on Facebook, here’s the event.

And here’s a video from the Concrete Threat gig at the Piracy005 release party:


Piracy007 in the works…

There will be a book 007 before the end of 2009 after all! I wasn’t sure, but events are falling into place that will allow me to do it. I’ll start working on it after the June World Tour (MoCCA in New York City, Punk Illegal in Munkedal and Crack! in Rome) is over… The theme for this book will be religion. I will explore the religious structures of the City’s society and we may get to witness the birth of a new semi-divine entity. Also, I suspect, the first appearance of Ming (who was mentioned in book 005).

We will also see the effects of the last pages of book 006. The rules have changed in a very fundamental way for the inhabitants of the City. So what’s the next step? How will the authorities/rebels react to this development?

As soon as Suss has some time I’ll ask her for a cover, and I’ll get to work on the insides of the book.

World tour 2009.

Tour dates and locations.

January 29 – February 1: Festival international de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême, Angoulême, France
February 20: Piracy005 Releasefest/Noisekväll, Stapelbädden Malmö, Sweden
April 16-18: Wormgod: konSEKVENS, Växjö Universitet, Sweden
April 23-26: SPX 09, Stockholm, Sweden
June 6-7: MoCCA Artfest, New York City, USA
June 17-21: Crack! Comics festival, Rome, Italy
July 4: Piracy006 Releasefest/Noisekväll/Wormgod: Våld, Utkanten Malmö, Sweden
July 11: Hacknight, Utkanten Malmö, Sweden
August 19: Malmöfestivalen (guest at CBK’s event), Malmö, Sweden
August 22-September 13: Wormgod: konSEKVENS 2.0, Panora, Malmö, Sweden
September 4: Wormgod: WALL 001, at harsh noise concert at Skånes Konstförening, Malmö, Sweden (also inofficial Piracy007 release)
September 12-13: Helsingin Sarjakuvafestivaali, Helsinki, Suomi
September 19: Wormgod: Zombies @ Malmö Queer Art & Film Festival, Panora, Malmö, Sweden
September 24-27: Bok- och Biblioteksmässan, Göteborg, Sweden
October 24: Anarchist Bookfair, London, England
October 30-November 1: I Seriernas Värld, Malmö, Sweden
October ?: C’est Bon Panorama II, Panora Malmö, Sweden
November ?: ComICA(?)

Review of Piracy005

Still listening to Sanctification, trying to conjure money by writing mundane spells, casting them via the internet.

And while I’m doing that, stumbling upon a review of Piracy is Liberation 005: Free Section in Tidningen Kulturen by Gustaf Andersson.

Att det finns bra och dåliga punklåtar råder det inga tvivel om. De dåliga brukar oftast kännas igen på att de snarare vill vara punklåtar än att de är, att klichéerna stapplas på varandra. De bra däremot känns igen på att de bara är punklåtar, helt skoningslöst. På samma sätt är det med Mattias Elftorps tidskriftsprojekt Piracy is liberation. Den bara är punk. Dystopin är oursäktande. (more…)

Allright, back to work…

Oh, by the way, I updated my website today. Added some Wormgod info and one or more (I can’t keep such things as numbers or memories in my head right now) new images. Go check it out!