"Nostalgia" by Johan F. Krarup: 2012 Ping Prisen nominee for Best Danish Comic
Listed by Nick Abadzis in Boing Boing's "Best Damn Comics of the Year" survey
In recent years Scandinavia has become a hotbed of cartooning activity, from the internationally acclaimed funny-animal stylings of Norways Jason to the hilarious slacker romps of Swedens Martin Kellerman and Dane Nikoline Werdelins Eisner-Award-nominated urban slice-of-life stories. This anthology of comics many of them created especially for this book offers an intoxicating and compelling sampling of current works from these countries. Skaal!
Jenni Rope [Finland] tells a minimalist tale of heartbreak in The Island; Peter Kiellands [Denmark] Mr. Pig has an eventful day; Joanna Rubin Drang- er [Sweden] is Always Prepared to Die for My Child; Crumb-esque satirist Christopher Nielsen [Norway] boils down all of life to an eternal journey up the Escalator; Tommi Musturi [Finland] provides two full-color Jim Woodring-esque romps featuring his Samuel character; Johan F. Krarup [Denmark] visits a compulsive comics collector in Nostalgia; plus Bendik Kaltenborns [Norway] The Great Underneath, a dazzling wordless piece from Mardøn Smet [Denmark], the legendary Swedish cartoonist Joakim Pirinens ultra-virtuoso My Life, Drawn & Quarterly-published Amanda Vähämäkis [Finland] pencil-smudged stylings, and much more.
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"Like many regions of the world, Scandinavia has a vibrant alternative-comics scene thats essentially unknown to even the most well-informed American comics fan. This eye-opening collection of recent work from some two dozen artists is a welcome step toward rectifying that ignorance. As with any anthology, the lineup is uneven and the wide range of approaches, from dauntingly experimental to borderline mainstream, makes for an eclectic bunch. But its easy to be impressed by such standouts as 'Relocating Mother,' by Denmarks Gitte Broeng and Mikkel Damsbo, which poignantly depicts the enduring power of a childhood home; wordless, enigmatic strips by Finlands Tommi Musturi that are reminiscent of Jim Woodrings resonant pantomimes; and 'Nostalgia,' a formally adroit autobiographical piece in which Danish cartoonist Johan F. Krarup visits a compulsive comics collector on the verge of a physical and emotional collapse. On the lighter side, 'Always Prepared to Die for My Child,' by Sweden's Joanna Rubin Dranger, is a hilarious but relatable portrait of parental paranoia. The strips contain few Nordic signifiers, making them eloquent testaments to the universal language of comics." Gordon Flagg, Booklist