Johnossi Comics

Posted by on December 26th, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Johnossi Comics is a strange hybrid, and even stranger seeing as it was made in Sweden. Johnossi is a successful Swedish band, an energetic live-playing rock duo that has also had some success abroad. They have teamed up with the comics publisher Kolik, and more specifically with three of their artists, Kim W. Andersson, Fabian Göranson and Loka Kanarp, to produce Johnossi Comics, a comic book in the traditional, American format. That there are more inspirations from across the Atlantic is made obvious by the cover, which sports Kim W. Andersson’s modern version of a classical EC cover.

The comic book contains three comics, one each by the three artists.

Kim has written and drawn a story based on the song Dead End from the new Johnossi album Mavericks. Andersson had already drawn comics for the booklet in said album, and Johnossi Comics can be said to have grown out of the productive artistic meeting of musicians and comics artist. Dead End is a fast-paced story, set in a dystopian near future, drawn in Andersson’s slick, American-inspired style. Listening to the album Mavericks, I can see why Johnossi chose to contact Andersson, as his graphic style and the band’s sound seem to be a perfect match.

The comic Mavericks, by Fabian Göranson, is directly inspired by a song with the same title from the album (with the same title…). Göranson has a radically different style from Andersson (no, not everyone in Sweden has a family name ending in -son, meaning “son of”, but many of us do), with a cultural “heritage” that could be said rather to be from Europe and the French-Belgian tradition. Göranson has taken the story of the actual Mavericks, a famous surfers beach in California, and deliberately told a dark horror story in the otherwise sunny and happy setting of sun, beach and surf.
Here’s the official video for the song, by the way. Quite different from Göranson’s interpretation.

Johnossi – Mavericks

Finally, the last comic is actually an older comic by Loka Kanarp, which has had some lyrics from Johnossi added. A “remix” if a pun may be allowed… Contrary to how this sounds, Kanarp’s comic does not feel contrived at all in this setting, and the overall feeling I get is that these three comics work well to form a surprisingly coherent whole.

Johnossi Comics may be anomaly in the publishing of Swedish comics, but seeing that it showcases the art of three of the brightest shining stars of the younger generation of Swedish comics artists, and being in English, I wholeheartedly recommend it as a sampler for those of you interested in what’s going on right now on the Swedish comics scene.

As an after-thought, this being the ever-moving Internet, I couldn’t help but include another strange hybrid, a video combining the comic book and the music of Johnossi. Enjoy!

Johnossi Comic is Here!

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