söndag 6 juni 2010

Autobiographical autodidact

I thought I'd write a blog post in English, just to practice my language skills. I read a fair share in English, but I rarely get the chance to talk or write, and as a result thereof I'm not very good at it. Really I like Swedish and German better, but English sure is more widely useful. (I've been thinking of studying English at the university, but that will probably never happen if I know myself right, I've had about enough of studying as it is.) Well, let's cut to the chase: Diaries and autobiographies. Ive been keeping a diary since I was ten years old, and stopped writing every day when I was 20. That is, I wrote in the diary every day from I was 10 until I was 20. By now it's more about every third day. But I've got quite a few diaries by now.

I've sometimes made diary comics. I shared some of them with you here. The American cartoonist James Kochalka, whose style is characterized by cuteness and characters with elf ears, is the one who initialized and popularized the term diary comics.

American Elf by James Kochalka

When talking about diary comics the leap isn't far to autobiographical comics in general. I've been into autobiographical comics ever since I started moving my focus from the art and more to the script when reading, and some of my Swedish favourites in the genre have been Daniel Ahlgren, Åsa Grennvall and Gunnar Krantz.

Daniel Ahlgren

Sjunde våningen by Åsa Grennvall

Vin och vatten by Gunnar Krantz

When I studied at Serietecknarskolan i Malmö I made a comic about when I was enrolled for military service at Pliktverket in Östersund, and was quite upset about the sex discriminating procedure. The title, För pung och fosterland, is an hommage to Daniel Ahlgren, whose comic För kung och fosterland is about when he, like me, managed to get an exemption warrant. Here is a page from the 14 page comic. (Which I actually sent to Galago, but it got rejected. I got some positive feedback though.)

It can't have eluded those of you who know me that my favourite autobiographical comic - which also happens to be my all time favourite comic - is Craig Thompsons Blankets.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Among other autobiographical major graphic novels can be mentioned "Epileptic" by David B, 100 demons by Lynda Barry and American Splendor by Harvey Pekar. Each of them warmly recommended.

American Splendor by Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb

100 demons by Lynda Barry

Epileptic by David B

To end this post I present to you an autobiographical comic I recently did for Västerbottens-Kuriren, which will be published as a part in the summer series on the culture page. Earlier years I have written a chronicle, but this year I came up with the idea to do a comic instead, and it was approved. This year's theme is "Sommaren i staden". (And don't worry, I won't continue to abuse the English language. The next post will be in Swedish.)

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