söndag 20 december 2009


Recension på Sekventiellt.se!

Ev samma som kommer vara i bild & bubbla; och förmodligen sista:

Eller läs recensionen av urklippet nedan, skrivet av Fredrik Strömberg (and hey, it's in English!):

"Sometimes its hard to review Swedish comics and remain neutral, as I know almost everyone in the business. And then there's books like this... Åsa Ekström is not just a former student of The Comic Art School of Malmö (of which I am one of the headmasters), but has also, as the years have passed since she graduated, become a friend. Add to that, that her debut solo book takes place in a comic art school and is loosely based on her own experience, and trying to be neutral is just plain silly.

So, let's skip that and be very personal instead. Reading this book and knowing not only Åsa but of course all  the students from the years when she attended the school, as well as the teachers, the school itself etc., it is evident that she has used quite a lot. Still, a lot has also been changed. Thankfully there is no teacher that looks just like I did at the time. Here's a drawing Åsa made of me for the cover to a pamhplet about manga, ages ago, for comparison.

Anyway, this is, as Åsa says in the extra material, a comic that she has been creating on and off for four years, all the while illustrating more than one other book a year, travelling back and forth to Japan and generally working so hard that she almost destroyed her drawing hand. Åsa has had the blessing/curse of learning how to draw in the public eye, as she landed her first professional job at the age of 19 and has worked furiously ever since. Looking through the first (of three) volume of Sayonara September, this development is evident, both in the drawings and in the storytelling, as she has grown tremendously as an artist in both areas.

Reading this book just days after I read A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, was quite interesting. Both are in "manga style" and both deal, more or less auto-biographically, with working hard to become a cartoonist.The differences are greater than the similarities. This is partly due to Åsa leaning on the shouju, girl's, manga style, whereas Tatsumi draws in a shonen, boy's, manga style, and partly due to the fact that Åsa is spicing up her story with, among other things, supernatural elements, and not at all staying true to what actually happened.

Oh, and this is a very good book! I can't wait for the next volume, which I know will be even better. And this I say unabashedly, admitting to knowing Åsa, but also after having read tons of manga, "Swedish manga", Swedish autobiographical comics and so on. Åsa has managed to make a beautiful combination, both of different genres and different comics cultures, and the results are really interesting. This is another Swedish comics just waiting to be translated."


creative advisor: lauren baily Image copyrights: åsa ekström

all text and images: åsa ekström

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