Yesterday, April 12th, was Cosmonautics Day (in honour of Yury Gagarin’s first manned space flight :3 ). My plum tree is in early bloom.
This year’s garlic looks very happy too! The succulent-looking plants in the upper left make pretty flowers in autumn. Below them I’ve stuck some scallion stubs that are about to grow new leaves.
Cosmonautics Day selfie :3
Silly little piggy comic about brief moments of being impossible together with the impossible man who in various ways was an inspiration for most of my comics 2009-2014, and then fucked off. V^(oo)^V
I made it mostly so I’d have some shorter material for the next Plutonium Comics (it will be published there, in Swedish, in time for SIS14), since all my other brand spanking new comics were ~20-60 pages … V°(oo)°;V
(Not ‘Lepizig’ as I mistyped it at first … not even ‘Lezipig’, although that’s pretty much what I am these days.)
So, this year I had a table in the “artist alley” (MCC-Kreativ) at the Manga-Comic-Convention at the Leipzig book fair. I’d been there once before, way back in 2007, which was a rather disappointing experience, but this year they had allocated a much bigger and more open space for the self-publishers, so I decided to give it another go.
The fair was four days, Thursday to Sunday. Thursday was dead, Friday slightly better, and Saturday and Sunday were pretty good.
For extra awesomepants table decoration purposes I made two big Driftwood posters (with the cover images of Driftwood and Flotsam and Jetsam), and also refurbished a Playmobil ship to look a bit like the Eagle Ray. (You can see Shannon and Samona on board, while Aeron is not visible from this angle: he’s at the wheel and can’t see anything behind the main sail. For the other characters I didn’t really have any Playmobil people that were suitable enough …)
One funny thing about German vs. Nordic comics festival buying culture is that in the North (SPX Stockholm and Helsinki comics festival), the items I place on the corners of the table get most browsing/sales, while I discovered that in Germany (now in Leipzig, anyway) it’s the items in the middle of the table. Above is my initial setup, but after I rearranged my books and put Driftwood and Flotsam and Jetsam in the middle, I sold many more of them.
Also, Germans generally want more of a sales pitch, which is too bad for me. Heh.
I’ll write more about the festival soon, but the most important things first! To pass the time at the Leipzig book fair, I sketched a bunch of piggies:
White piggy of the woods
At first I only happened to have blue and green colours with me, so the palette was limited. I actually just wanted to bring the grey colour since I imagined that maybe I could work on The Slow and the Relentless while I was there. But of course it wasn’t really possible to alternate between drawing in concentration and interacting with people, so I just painted piggies instead.
East German piggy dreaming of Sweden (inspired by someone I met there)
Piggy living a life of privilege (piggilege)
Vegetable gardener piggy
An old friend as a piggy
Kind of self-portrait
Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s Pig-Wig, who I know best from the ballet (which makes me cry)
Later somebody asked me to draw this same piggy picture in her sketchbook. It’s apparently a thing that people pay artists to draw stuff in their sketchbooks at “manga” conventions in Germany. I was extremely confused when the first person who asked me to draw something actually offered money for it. I didn’t know what to ask, but he gave me 5€, so that’s what I charged everybody else who asked.
Private eye piggy
Piggy receiving a love letter
Piggies in Varna, Bulgaria, enjoying the view from the foot of the Soviet-Bulgarian friendship monument
I drew a tiny sketchier version of this on a calling card and it made me cry, so I had to draw a bigger version for myself, so I could cry even more.
From tomorrow until Sunday I’ll be at the Manga-Comic-Convention at the Leipzig book fair and sell my books and zines.
I’ll of course have Driftwood, and also Swedish Comic Sin books as well as zines in German and English.
I made a new German edition of all the Eva stories in their own zines:
Previously the first four stories were in one fat zine, but it’s sold out. Now I discovered that at some point I had translated also the more recent stories into German, so I made new German zines with those. And I updated all the translations, since apparently my German has improved a bit in these seven years since I moved here again.
I have some fun ideas for table decoration, so I hope to make some decent photos … V^(oo)^V
Last time I was in Leipzig was in 2007 for one day, at the claustrophobic manga zine area they had back then. Now the doujinshi area is much larger, more open, and also next to the catering, which is always a plus.
The convention is four full days. I guess some people are staying in Leipzig over the duration of the fair, but the commute from Berlin is just 1,5 hours, which is totally normal commute time for me anyway, so I just got a weekly train ticket and will get to ride awesome ICE fast trains every day.
Fan art based on the official festival art by Nina Hemmingson.
This year the festival will be May 17th-18th!
I was contemplating whether to write any summary of the year at all, since so much crap happened, but then maybe it’s better if I provide the scoop on some things straight from the source instead of letting people speculate wildly behind my back, or having people only know other people’s perspective.
So, some fun things that happened this year, ordered top-to-bottom according to what I believe are the most interesting topics to presumptive readers of this post:
The winter was extremely long and frustrating, so when my winter residence contract ran out, I had to shack up in two temporary apartments in Kreuzberg (right next to Schlesi, above) and Friedrichshain for almost two months until I could move out to my garden.