Raptus Comics Festival 2012 write-up

This year’s Raptus International Comics Festival in Bergen (Norway) happened on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th of September. In short, the Raptus festival is a very fun event to attend, and you get the chance to meet a lot of creators and fellow fans of comics. I attended specifically with the panels in mind, but just being around artistic people and seeing what they can create made it a fully rewarding and interesting weekend.

Fredrik Rysjedal and Eirik A. Vik, two handsome comic artists.

One of my main goals this year was to get the infamous comic book “When we met Lucy Knisley”. The 60 pages long, locally made comic is a retelling of certain events that happened before and during last year’s festival, when Lucy Knisley was one of the esteemed guests.

The story is, according to creators Fredrik Rysjedal and Eirik A. Vik, a truthful (though exaggerated) documentary about how they wanted to meet and talk to Lucy Knisley, but never got the chance. By the way, you might want check out the post I wrote about Raptus 2011.

At one of the panels I got a chance to see Jill Thompson (the artist behind “Beasts of Burden”) creating her own interpretation of “Madonna” by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. It was very interesting to watch how she worked projected on the big screen as she expertly controlled the watercolors.

Bergen resident comic artist Kim Holm was also among the several cartoonists who interpreted classic paintings by Munch. In the photo above, he’s working on “The Scream”. All the while, the chieftain of the Raptus festival, Arild Wærness (wearing the colorful suit jacket), interacts with the artists on stage and the audience.

This photo shows Thierry Capezzone, maker of children’s comics, and Italian Disney cartoonist, Giorgio Cavazzano at another panel specifically aimed at a younger audience. There were a lot of eager kids and their parents in the auditorium’s seats. Cavazzano answered various questions from the audience with impromptu drawings, and several Disney characters, including Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Fethry Duck appeared live on the big screen. For example, he illustrated several of his impressions of Bergen city, the only bad one being an annoyed Donald clutching a broken umbrella in rainy weather (it’s not for nothing that Bergen is called the rainiest city in Norway).

On Sunday afternoon, the end of a weekend filled with comics was celebrated with a final panel. The festival leaders gave their thanks to everyone who showed up and made Raptus 2012 a great event, and a lot of the artists at the festival participated in funny live drawing sessions. In the photo above, Julia Thompson and Thierry Capezzone have just drawn each other’s caricature, to which they harvested a cheery applause from the audience.

It was all in all a great weekend. I got the book I came for, learned a few artsy tips and saw quite a few skilled artists doing what they’re good at. I can definitely recommend a visit to the festival to anyone who’s got the chance and is interested in creativity, cosplay and comics. Also, if you’re a Norwegian reader and have written about Raptus on your blog, I would love to read it! Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, or give me a shout on Twitter.

Study and travel blog illustration

A while ago (longer than I dare to admit), I promised a friend I would draw an illustration for her study and travelblog. It wasn’t supposed to be anything more specific than an eye-catching representation of what her blog was about.

I picked a few themes from Anette’s blog that were easy to illustrate, namely food, culture, modeling and travel. Now, these are not the only things you can read about should you wish to visit her blog. Anette has written a lot about her experiences as an exchange student in Japan, going to a lot of events and festivals, done a lot of sightseeing and she has also posted tons of great pictures!

In fact, I wish now that I had managed to make a more elaborate illustration that could tell a coherent story. But, since I’ve procrastinated this little project for so long already, I should just show what I’ve made. You can also get a glimpse of the process behind the illustration below.

Hint: You can click the image to visit Anette’s blog! Also, you can get a closer look of the image by clicking here.

Below is one of the first sketches I drew. I originally had a bigger portrait of Anette on the left side of these “icons”, but decided not to include it because it turned out to not look like her… Uh, yeah, perhaps I should practice my portraiture skills. Also, it looked too different style-wise.

I scanned the first sketch, made it bigger in Photoshop and the printed it out with pale blue lines. Then I inked the lineart based on the print-out. The result can be seen below.

I had planned to make the circles for the icons in PS, so they’re not inked here. I cleaned up the above image and used the lineart when coloring in PS. On the topic of color choices, I have to admit that I just figured out the palette as I went along. I ultimately went with a bright and simple color palette, avoiding bold shadows and heavy contrasts. Maybe that’s just my style?

Anyway, I’ll finish this process post with a closer look on one of the icons. This was actually one thing that Anette suggested I should include. She was chosen through a competition to be a Fuku Musume at a famous festival called Toka Ebisu. There are several posts on her blog about different events she attended, so it’s worth checking out!

Requests #4 – Textbook

I’ve finished the last sketch suggestion! The series is now complete with six very different, finished illustrations. If you missed the last few updates, these are the posts and drawings I’m referring to:

Requests #1 – Ninja coffee, goats and moose in the sunset
Requests #2 – Mutant juice 

Requests #3 – Hawaiian theme

6. Textbook illustration

This is my interpretation of the following request, submitted by Brian:

Illustrate an abstract idea, more specifically a question like the kind you would find in language learning books. Examples are “Where do you live?”, “What’s your favorite color?” and “How old are you?”.

I went with “What’s your favorite color?”. I can also imagine a fitting follow-up question will be “Can you name a flower or a fruit that has your favorite color?”. I don’t know much about pedagogy, but it feels kind of natural to make the student think of something for him/herself. In that way, it’s a good thing I went with colorful plants to illustrate the question, right?

Drawn on thick marker paper, “inked” with Sakura Micron fine liners and colored with Letraset Promarkers. I wrote the text with my Wacom tablet, picking up a dark green color from the leaves on the sunflower plant. I think the drawing style looks a little bit childish, so perhaps this illustration would work best in a textbook for kids…What do you think?

Anyway, I’m aiming to post another illustration/graphic later this week, so don’t forget to check back in a few days!


I’ve been neglecting journal comics for a while. It’s too bad, because short, everyday stories like this one is something I should be able to make on a regular basis. I should also get an appointment for a haircut.

If you want to check out my previous journal updates, you can check out How to catch a crane fly, Meet the baby and Once every 2.5 years. My penchant for organization says that I should make some kind of system to keep track of these… Anyone got some tips for a wannabe webcartoonist? I guess one way is to use/link to the Journal Comics category

Sketchbook Sunday #29 – Yotsuba fan art with watercolors

Hey, it’s Yotsuba with a balloon! I’m posting this because it’s been so long without an update. Do not worry though, I’ve got other drawings in the works, and still have one request left to do…

By the way, I scanned this drawing/painting with my new scanner! It captures all of the details like nobody’s business! I’ve left the image mostly untouched, so you can still see the texture of the watercolor paper I used.

Also, I hope this counts as fan art, even though it’s copied directly from one of the Yotsuba books (to be awfully precise, it’s from the splash page of chapter 61 in book no. 9). I sometimes copy the work of artists that I like for practice, but I’m hesitant to post it like this. Strictly speaking, It’s not something that I made myself and may therefore be frowned upon… But at least I got to mess around and play with watercolors, so I hope it’s okay. It’s all part of the learning process, and it’ll be nice to look back on this to see if my watercoloring skills have improved at all.