Recently I finished this sketchbook, with its slightly questionable cover:
Here are some previously unpublished sketches from that book! V^(oo)^V
The Islamic congregation of Helsinki and some old villa behind the trees
Doggie paparazzi photos
Essential artist’s supplies: loads of sketchbooks, Russian and Chinese watercolours, and also Aspirin. :3
Piggy window painting
At Sarjakuvakeskus (the comics centre) in Helsinki they had a table on which you could try out the pens they sell at their cafe. So I drew some proletarian piggies …
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Stef Gaines was our super special guest and made lots of photos:
* Ainur and I being cool at our table, as always (with Nicola in the background, doing something indeterminable)
* Me at Sarjakuvakeskus, wearing extremely Finnish, Mymlan-style clothes that Ainur gave me after having grown out of them (the pattern persists even in adulthood!), yet drinking German lemonade
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… Anyway, back in Berlin I saw this fluffy white doggie at Frankfurter Tor:
The highlight of the festival was probably when a slightly inebriated Russian showed up, distraught that he had lost his tour bus and had to figure out how to get home to Vyborg somehow, in this hostile city where nobody spoke Russian and police officers gave him the finger when he tried to ask them for help. Luckily I actually did speak Russian, so I showed him the way to the central train station, from where he was hopefully able to catch a taxi to the port. :-/
On Saturday I sold 34 piggy postcards and some books and zines, and I painted some watercolour piggies (and some kind of disproportional/non-euclidic shiba):
On Sunday my comics business was totally dead, so I painted “desolate piggies in melancholy landscapes”, as Ainur dubbed them:
Winter 1998/1999. For years we thought Ainur had lost this photo, but this summer one of the paper copies turned up!
There are very few photos from when Sergei was little, because at the time I thought I had film in my camera, but actually didn’t, and somehow mum barely made any photos of him with her camera. But luckily Ainur made a few when she came to visit. This is one of them, and it’s the one photo where you can clearly see Sergei’s eyes! As he got bigger, his face got fatter so you couldn’t really see his eyes anymore. :3
Serienördens kokbok är en samling med svenska serietecknares bästa recept som kommer ut i höst hos Natt Förlag. Jag bidrar med pärämäts. Dock avslöjar jag inte vårt hemliga familjerecept, utan min veganska perversion, med varken kött, ägg eller kefir! Här är lite smakprov:
Gurkorna ser kanske lite osmakliga ut. Hur som helst, själva receptet får man läsa om man köper boken sen. V^(oo)^V
Last year when I was in Bulgaria, my old camera bag finally fell completely apart (luckily it happened on the final train trip from Varna back to Sofia). Since then I’ve been meaning to make another one, and why not a bag that can also be used as a smallish shoulder bag, as I didn’t have one and often found myself in need of one.
Yesterday I finally finished the project!
For the interior and main zipper I actually recycled the intestines of another shoulder bag (which had the wrong colour and shape for my purposes). So it has a wallet pocket and a phone pocket inside. Inside the bag I added my own label, and supplemented the recycled lining with some non-dusting/non-fuzzing fabric, and for accents on the outside I used an amazing Japanese piggy fabric, with the three little piggies and the little naughty wolf. V^(oo)^V
The bag is lined with fleece to protect the camera, and the top cover has waterproof lining. The shoulder strap goes all the way around the bottom of the bag.
This project involved a lot of thick piles of fabric that had to be sewn together, but my trusty Soviet sewing machine soldiered through most of it without complaint. I only growled and swore in many different languages during the tricky part where the outside, the lining and the main zipper all had to be sewn together.
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Bonus photo: Little ladybug and ladybug larvae munching on aphids :3
I have no running water and barely any electricity in the construction trailer where I live half of the year. I do have a wood stove and a well. Here are my best household items for everyday use.
5. The Piggy Lid
My trailer was furnished and had a lot of household stuff inside it already when I moved in. There were three different pots and casseroles … but none of them had any lid! Luckily I had asked Ainur many years ago, when she went to Japan, to get me one of these piggy silicone cooking lids. I had no actual use for it back then, but maybe I had a premonition … Because since I moved into my trailer four years ago I use the piggy lid all the time!
4. Shared place: Wash Basin, Camp Shower, Washboard and Suction Cup
All I need to wash my laundry and myself. The basin I got off eBay for 1 €. It’s blue. Awesome. The camp shower can heat my shower water in the sun when it’s warm and sunny, and if it’s cold and cloudy I can just fill it with pre-heated water. The washboard is an amazing human invention. With it and the suction cup – for “stomping” the laundry: it presses air through the laundry and makes washing so much faster and easier – I wash and hang a normal load in less than an hour. I need to do laundry maybe once every three weeks, so it’s a perfectly acceptable work load …
3. This Candlestick
My mum won it in a skating competition as a teenager. Some years ago she washed it in the dishwashing machine, and the metal reacted in that horrible way that gives me spasms if I have to touch it. So she gave it to me. I soaked it in vinegar and it was back to its nice, smooth surface. And now it’s my main light source! Three candles is a perfect amount of light for drawing or reading after dark.
(Of course, with live candles you have to be extremely careful of the fire hazard, and watch that there’s nothing anywhere near the candles above, and that you can’t knock them over or that nothing can get knocked over onto them. Never leave live candles unattended. :< I of course have a fire alarm and a fire extinguisher.)
2. The Storm Cooker
It originally belonged to my parents, but for some reason I took it with me, or my mum gave it to me, when I moved away from home. It hadn’t been used for decades, but I sure am using it now … When it’s warm and I don’t need to heat up the wood stove, I cook with five tealights in the storm cooker (or seven for potatoes). I don’t use the actual alcohol cooker, because its flame is much too strong, and the alcohol smells disgusting and it’s a pain in the ass. I also heat washing water on the storm cooker – with the two pots on top of each other I can get 3 l of hot water. Yay!
I have a stash of tealights without aluminium cups, so I’m reusing those old aluminium cups over and over.
1. This Fucking Bucket
I got it from OBI. It’s not actually food grade but whatever. I carry all my drinking and washing water in it from the well. Without it, there would be absolutely nothing going on here. Best. Thing. Ever.
Yay, it’s already been a couple of weeks since I got back from Stockholm International Comics Festival. It went really quickly and smoothly and I sold crazy amounts of comics and of course piggy postcards, and I met crazy amounts of fun people, and managed to spend a little quality time with my awesome Swedish comics friends. Best SPX Stockholm ever (but I say that every year …).
I shared a table in the big hall with Ainur. It was a bit cramped so I displayed the back issues of my zine Tunguska in a really classy cardboard box, as you can see below … But I actually sold a few of them too. Maybe if this becomes a recurring theme I should bring a nice-looking cardboard box next time.
The biggest hit was of course The Slow and the Relentless. Yay! I’m glad I printed so many. (There’s even a little review already, here.)
Busy signing comics … photo by Thomas Karlsson!
Lucky for us we got a table here by the benches, where there was a little bit of draft. Others complained about how bad the air was in the big hall, but we were okay.
I always try not to ruin myself buying comics there, although the temptation is heavy. But I have self-control of steel. This year’s loot:
Postcards from Mangapatriarkatet (podcast about comics by the awesomepants Lisa Medin and Stef Gaines), porcine poster (“Love Swine, Hate Cops”), Fridas resor by Frida Ulvegren, Dagarna i mars by Stef Gaines, Mitt ex som gjorde slut är sur på min flickvän by Tomas Antila, Aomanjuskogen part 2 by Hisae Iwaoka, Plutonium 11 (I have a piggy comic in it), Rysk afton på de övergivna männens poesiklubb by Andreas Rosengren, C’est Bon Anthology 24 – “Hair” (I have a hairy comic in it :3 ), Människomaskinen by Lisa Medin, weird flyer by Daniel Ahlgren, and a free PDF download of Åtta ben från underjorden #4 by Jenny Hannula!
I also got to meet some newborn chicks and their extended family:
And Lady Oscar:
It was atypically hot and sunny in Stockholm (except on Monday – clearly the whole city was crying because SIS was over ;_;).
But it was still very nice to walk the last bit home through the lush dirt roads of Brandenburg. :3