Raptus Comics Festival 2016 – Saturday

The Raptus International Comics Festival 2016 is currently taking place in Bergen, Norway. The festival, which this year is held from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of September, is an annual highlight for comic readers, anime fans and creative people like artists and cosplayers… Just to mention a few. I’ve written about Raptus a few times before on this blog, and you can check out my previous posts here: 201120122013 part 12013 part 22014 part 12014 part 2 and 2015.

This time around, Raptus is being held at Scandic Bergen City hotel in the city centre. I went to two panels today (Saturday). One was an interesting talk about drawing with nib pens and ink, held by Norwegian comic artist Tore S. Olsen (Instagram, website). The other was more of an artist interview with Agnes Garbowska (Instagram), focusing on making comics, how she loves telling stories and how she got hired to make My Little Pony comics.

raptus2016-01

In past years, the festival itself would suffer from lack of space, particularly at the artist tables. The new venue seems to offer slightly more space for people to move about. On the downside, the exceptionally hot weather and lacking air circulation makes being inside a tad unpleasant. In turn, this makes the visitors hang out in the streets and open spaces outside of the venue. It’s worth mentioning that the three rooms reserved for talks and panel discussions are very nice, with nice chairs and lots of fresh air and light. Also, the staff and volunteers (and there are a lot of them) are very visible, cheerful and helpful, even bringing coffee and fresh drinking water to artists during panels.

Some artists and visitors are posting updates from the festival on their social media accounts (check out Agnes Garbowska’s account on Instagram). I’ve borrowed this gem from the couple behind strekinstinkt.com (Instagram).

Come see our booth and stare at our happy faces at #raptus2016 this weekend!? #strekinstinkt #comics

Et bilde publisert av Strekinstinkt (@strekinstinkt)


PS: Can you tell that my favorite social media platform at the time is Instagram? I mean, I haven’t updated this blog in a year. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been meaning to get back to it… In the meantime, you can follow my Instagram. You can also send me a tweet @InvPaperclip.

Raptus 2014 – Sunday

My «report» from Raptus – Bergen International Comics Festival 2014. (read part 1 here).

Sunday 21st
Another day, another stack of comics. The haul I brought home today was a bit heavier than yesterday’s, and I don’t dare to think about the amount of money I spent. I can’t complain though, as I got to meet and get books signed by both Lene Ask and Thierry Capezzone. Here’s the latter, pictured together with yours truly.

Capezzone and me

As a side note, Capezzone was very friendly and interesting to chat with. He asked me about what I do for a living, and he even gave me some drawing tips when I told him that I dabble in comics. What a great guy! (Also, thank you to the Outland employee who took the photo).

I also completed my set of «Dadaph Serraph» comic books made by Bård Lilleøien, and I bought an anthology from Überpress called «Überwestern». I look forward to reading them all soon.

One of the things I attended today was Lene Ask’s presentation about her new book called «Kjære Richard». The story takes place in the late 19th century, as a young boy is left to live in Norway while his father leaves to work as a missionary in Madagascar .

Lene Ask 3

Ask tells the story through a real correspondence of letters between father and son. The collection of old letters she has used exists today in an archive in Stavanger, a city which Ask during her presentation called «the missionary capital of Norway». She also read excerpts from the book with great feeling.

Lene Ask

Later in the afternoon, I went to a panel discussion about comics as documentaries. I had been looking forward to hearing about the topic, and I was hoping for a large turn up. Sadly, there were only 7-8 people in the audience. However, I don’t think the low attendance affected the quality of the discussion.

Documentary Comics panel

Expert moderator Kristian Hellesund (right) had (from left) Ingebjørg Jensen, Lene Ask and Øystein Vågnes on stage, and they talked at length about autobiographical comics and the journalistic quality of documentary comics.

Last, but not least, was the big show, which also marked the end of the festival. The remaining audience could witness drawing battles between some of the guests.

Drawing battle - Potato man

They drew live on stage, using suggestions from the audience for superhero/sidekick combos. I think the people in the audience must’ve been kind of hungry, because there were suggestions like «Potato Man», «French Fries» and «Banana Woman». There was also «Apple Woman», which Mike Collins redubbed «Apple-Lass» and drew a spoof of the infamous Spiderwoman cover by Milos Manara.

That’s it for this year. Next year will be the festival’s 20th anniversary. The dates are already set; Raptus 2015 will be held on September 18th to 20th. Raptus.no should also update soon, so be sure to check it out.

Raptus 2013 – Saturday (Sept. 14th 2013)

(The writing of this post started on Saturday 14th of September 2013, the second day of the Raptus International Comics Festival in Bergen. I’ve taken the liberty to finish this post in the same way I started writing it, even though I post this on Sunday the 15th. Click here to read the write-up from day one)

The second day of the Raptus International Comics Festival is over. It has been a gray and rainy day in Bergen. In contrast, the Raptus venue has been bubbling with brightly colored costumes, creative energy, and happy comic fans all day. For me, it has been a great day as I’ve attended a handful of inspirational and informative talks and met skilled artists.

Carroll_interview

First talk of the day was on the topic of webcomics, and the guest of honor was Emily Carroll (on the left in the photo above), known for her horror comics. One of the many interesting things she talked about was how she had utilized the “infinite canvas” (scrolling through the comic, instead of clicking a button to get to the next page). All without being aware of the concept as described by comics guru Scott McCloud.

four-female-cartoonists

The second event I went to was a discussion panel with four female cartoonists. From the second person to the right (going left), Lene Ask (Norway), Sara Oleksyk (USA), Terhi Ekebom (Finland) and Nina Bunjevac (Yugoslavia/Canada). This was also a truly honest and inspirational panel, and the panelists worked great together.

Kvaerneland

Comic artist and illustrator Steffen Kverneland recently published an extremely detailed and thorough graphic biography of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. During his presentation, he made jokes about how his process on the biography included reading huge stacks of books as research, and even bringing them with him on his honeymoon.

kvaerneland-selfie

He also included a few “embarrassing” photographs that he or his wife had to shoot for drawing reference.

Here are a few more photos from the festival…

As you may have noticed from the photos above, I had the chance to meet the “Donald Duck trio” consisting of artist Arild Midthun, editor/writer Tormod Løkling, and script writer and TV personality Knut Nærum. I was bold enough to ask for their autographs in my little black Moleskine notebook, and they were happy to comply. I also bought a signed copy of the fourth Hall of Fame collection of Midthun’s Donald Duck comics.

All in all, it has been a great day. I’ve got even more comics to read, which is awesome, and I feel inspired by all the talk about writing, creating and publishing comics. It doesn’t hurt to be around a lot of comic artists and comic fans once in a while, which is why I’m thankful that Raptus makes this happen. Year after year.