Centrala, founded in Poland but now based in the UK, has a keen eye for iconoclastic projects like Blacky: Four of Us, previously spotlighted in Andy Oliver’s Small Pressganged. All of their graphic novels are published in English, and their comics library is filled with talented creators from Northern and Central Europe who would otherwise never get a chance to reach so large an audience. Moscow, by Norwegian cartoonists Øystein Runde and Ida Neverdahl, is a hilarious addition to their already impressive catalogue.
Having been invited to KomMissia, Russian’s largest comic festival, Norwegian cartoonists Øystein Runde and Ida Neverdahl capture that strangeness in this memoir of their road trip, which was rather strange in itself, with a philosophical nudist streaker publisher who goes along for the trip.
The OGN is drawn in a mixture of styles, with the work divided between the two artists. Both have a cartoony approach, but Runde is all scratchy lifework with an underground flair while Neverdahl dives straight into an energetic cutie animation approach, even in the storytelling. In particular, the scenes with the Omon (Russian militia squad) are pretty hilarious. The scenes where Neverdahl satirizes Vladimir Putin are also something to behold and are a great laugh.
As on any trip, they are bewildered by the people and the city, by the otherness and how this draws both of them together. The storytelling is all over the place and non-sequitur. The cartoonists jump from scene to scene, and it is up to the reader whether or not he or she enjoys the pace. While Runde tends to philosophize about the people and situations he meets, Neverdahl jumps into the experience and draws whatever brainfarts come to mind (which is a good thing).
Moscow by Øystein Runde and Ida Neverdahl is a hilarious travelogue with a unique approach, combining the talents of two writer/artists. It is also a necessary read (warning?) for anyone who wants to travel to the city of Moscow.
Moscow by Øystein Runde and Ida Neverdahl is published by Centrala in English and was originally published in Norway as “Moskva” by Jippi Forlag. It is a full-color hardcover counting 96 pages and retails for £15.
Showman Killer: Heartless Hero by Jodorowksy
Titan Books is on a roll with publishing quality books from European creators, and one particularly exciting example is Showman Killer: Heartless Hero by Eurolegend Alejandro Jodorowsky. It can best be described as violent exploitation sci-fi with plenty of moralistic philosophizing (but then again, that description covers about 70% of Jodorowsky’s comic output). Here’s the blurb and an excellent trailer featuring a laudable quote from… Kanye West. Yes.
Space is a dangerous place, made more so by the existence of the Showman Killer – a heartless assassin, genetically engineered by an insane scientist to be devoid of any emotion, and trained to kill! The only things that give him anything approaching pleasure are destruction or money. That is, until a fateful mission throws him into the path of the mysterious and fascinating Ibis.
Showman Killer hits stores from November 16, look for a review of the book in Crossing Borders.
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