I posted this on the Team Weird Comics tumblr some days ago, but I thought I’d bring it home, so to speak. The Team doesn’t just moan on Twitter about how bad mainstream comics are, we also do it in private email correspondence. Eventually, a voice of some constructive spirit suggested that we actually try and do it better ourselves. And, as some incentive to actually get it done, we should do it as a joint project, each interpreting a spread (or consecutive page pair) from some really shitty superhero comic. Say, Daredevil #275.
And so it was agreed. I hung a sheet of paper on my studio wall and threw some paint and scrap paper on it when I felt frustrated or annoyed with the other unpaid work I do. A couple of moths later, here we are. To be honest, I have no idea how the others (Derik, Warren Craghead, Simon Moreton, and Oliver East) have fared with their pieces, but I’ll link to them here when I find out. They’ll likely be better (but less hateful) than mine. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the sorry piece of shizzle I had to work from:
With the latest issue, #95, Swedish anthology Galago has reverted to its previous, large format. Although I was introduced to the magazine in the paperback incarnation, the return to form appears to me as a celebration of the many gifted artists appearing inside. And outside: The gorgeous cover by Sara Granér (whose work is more oppressively haunting than actually pretty) as well as the straightforward little six-panel gag by Johan Jergnér Ekervik on the back cover, opposites in expression and tone, serve as bookends delineating the editorial width of the book. Highlights in this issue: A sarcastically environmental fable by Ruben Vargas Dahlstrand in Richard Sala mode. Liv Strömquist explaining how children are really Right Wing Christians. Rikke Bakman reminiscing on a school visit to a pig farm (followed by a healthy serving of sausage) More Granér, and I could go on about her qualities so long I’d better save it for a separate post. Marcus Nyblom does one fullpage, wordless illustration in his characteristic, garish flat colours that make me want to go out and buy Poska pens RIGHT NOW! And Lars Sjunnesson returns with a somehow mellowed version of his anarchic staple character Åke Jävel, which is always cause for celebration. And Henrik Bromander shines with a gut-wrenching, slice-of-life story of the downtrodden and lost. Oh yeah, and there’s some Jeffrey Brown material, too, but for some reason his recreation of a Marvel Comics cover speaks more to me than the story of how Cat Power “saved his life”. I’m skipping the text pieces in the first reading, but the great Joakim Pirinen had an essay entitled “Infracolonialism” which sounded bizarre enough to catch my interest. Turns out it is a contrafactic short story written in appropriated archaic Swedish, describing the conquest of Sweden by an African tribe. Thought-provoking, I’m sure, but I’d personally rather read Pirinen’s comics than his writings. Instead three vignettes in African primitive style will have to sate my appetite for his visuals. But that is a minor objection to an overall stellar issue of “Sweden’s only radical comic magazine”, a praise that could easily be ascribed to the near-100 issues as a whole!