Swedish comics now and then


The history of swedish comics is tone of the oldest in Europe. Fritz von Dardel (1817-1901) made his first comics ”Minnen från Stockholm” (Memories from Stockholm) already in 1844. He was very inspired by Rodolph Töpffer. Bruno Liljefors was inspired by Wilhelm Busch and made his comics Karrikatyrer in 1884. Söndags-Nisse and the other satir magazines at that time used works by famous artists like Carl Larsson, jenny Nyström and Oskar Andersson.

Weekly magazines as Allt för Alla (1912) had comic pages and publiced mostly american and swedish stripcomics. Many swedish funnies such as 91:an, 87:an, Kronblom, Hälge, Elvis, Rocky and many others where first publiced at these weekly magazine have became very popular.

The moral panic in 50’s in Sweden follows the same pattern than the panic in USA and made the comics among teachers and librarians very unpopular. On the 60’s and 70’s when american underground and the radical movement pushed the evolution of swedish comics with new kind of satire, adventure and fantasy. Many of comic artist says that Robert Crumb has been the biggest influence for them and made a huge inback for their own creative processes.

Newspapers has of couse always publiced comic strip both american and swedish ones. Dagens Nyheter with their pages for new swedish comics like Assar/Nollaberga or Ensamma Mamman has meant a lot of new audience/readers of comics.

Swedish Comics association ”Seriefrämjandet” is one of the oldest ones in Europe. The Association was founded in 1968 and their magasine Bild & Bubbla started in 1977.

Alternative comic book Galago started around 1979. Most of the big names in Sweden have been publiced by Galago. Kartago, Optimal Press, Kolik, Tegebjer & Co are the other publicing houses for swedish comics.

Since 2005 there is Comic centrum in Malmö where Seriefrämjandet, C’est Bon Kultur and other comic artists have there studios.

Festivals: Small Press expo in Stockholm since 1999 organised by Serieteket. I seriers värld/Alt Com in Malmö and Comics section at Book Fair in Gothenburg.

Comic art schools in Hofors and Malmö have been growing heavily during the last 10-15 years. Swedish goverment is supporting new production of comics both translated ones and original swedish ones.

Serieteket – a special library for comics and graphic literature started 18.11 1996 and is now one of libraries at Kulturhuset in the centre of city Stockholm.

Kristiina Kolehmainen

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