The Swedish serial landscape is a forum of constant development, change and diversity. From feminist series trials, supernatural adventures in Stockholm to love stories in outer space, there are plenty of material that readers can choose from. Sweden has a long tradition of publishing comics drawn by our own compatriots and some of the newspapers that have been available in the newspapers magazine are today classics whose names are well-known in the homes. Serials such as 91st Karlsson, 87th Blom and Kronblom are something that many enthusiasts have grown up with since the sober childhood. Newspapers like the Fantasyhas published without interruption for decades and is still popular and relevant today. There is also a wide underground and indie market that has grown in the last 15 years and it is becoming more and more common for new characters to break through publishing their works in so-called fanzines. The rise of the comic book’s convention has also made more names visible and graphic short stories are being highlighted.
Series festivals such as ComicCon Stockholm , Stockholm International Series Festival and Uppsala Comixare three popular events and just series festivals and the convention are something that is becoming increasingly popular. Since then, many cartoonists also visit the book fairs in Gothenburg and Malmö, which have thousands of visitors each year. Series festivals, conventions and fairs are a great way for readers, writers and series creators to gather, meet and exchange experiences. Many times there are also workshops, lectures and sales. A popular activity is that different subscribers make a table to sit and sign live for those who are interested, others draw easier pictures for payment or sign their books and newspapers for fans and other interested. Many publishers also show up on these events, both to advertise for themselves and to investigate and see what is going home and is popular right now. What their readers are interested in and considered relevant. Just like in the movie and tv game industry, it’s changing what genres are popular and current right now.
When it comes to cartoon styles, there is such an incredible variety. Unlike, for example, French series, where icons like Tintin, Spirou and Asterix set a standard for just what the French style looks like, Sweden is a much more varied country. In Japan, for example, it’s hard for subscribers who do not draw just the manga to break through or even become aware. Such a barrier is not found here in the north, as the market here remains varied and internationally influenced. There are many who subscribe in the manga style or inspire from French series. Others are more American models when it comes to superheroes or why not children’s books? If you scroll through an old number ofUtopia Magazine gives you a wealth of varied styles, methods and stories. It’s like entering a treasure chest filled with riches with series, creators and writers.
Many people also today use the internet to spread their series, either on websites that collect subscribers or on their own websites. Creating your own websites, using blog pages such as blogspot, tumblr and reddit are becoming more common. Many also post pictures, thumbnails and work in progress, including Facebook , SnapChat and Instagram , to reach other artists, artists, and find new fans. Websites like WebtoonAllows its users to publish their works, subscribe to different series and help creators to get donors on the patreon. Web series has grown explosively in recent years and the sale of digital comics has recently been about the sale of physical copies. Perhaps it is now more a rule than an exception to own a smartphone, which means that you have access to the internet most of its awake time. Google Play and App Storehas lots of e-books and entire departments dedicated to digital comics. A smartphone or reading board is even more convenient to carry than most newspapers and series albums when you get a bit of reading, and surfing on your favorite webserie page is usually faster than rotating in the bookshelf after the newspaper you want to read and read. It is also cheaper for indie-makers and underground subscribers to be seen without having to spend thousands of dollars on printing costs, mailing and advertising.
Fanzines and Web Series
Something that can not be hymned is that it is difficult for new series makers to look forward to today’s dense market, both at home and internationally. Only in our own elongated country, the market is packed with already established cartoonists, and arguing among other enthusiastic newcomers can get the thoughts of the Thunderdome gladiator game in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)where only the strongest survives. Many publishers and publishers are also careful about entering new names and very few illustrators can live up to their series, but usually also have a day job. Publishing a graphic novel, regular series or adventure series in established newspapers is always a chance for everyone and many times it may cost more than it tastes. Finding their audience is a pure strategy game just that and it’s hard not to disappear in the crowd.
Many smaller comics usually go together and create fanzines, magazines and magazines created by and for enthusiasts and fans of different cultural phenomena. It’s most common about non-professional and unofficial publications where many work ideally. Such a fanzine is C’est Bon Culture (CBK), which has released underground and indie shows since 2001, where hundreds of both unknown and well-established creators have been involved over the years. Their vision is to blow the boundaries of what series as an art form and medium are and may be in relation to themselves and other art forms. They also want to reach out both nationally and internationally to readers and spread the culture of culture from just-rooted fans to a broader market.
CBK also shares local with Tusen Serier, a group that works hard to establish and publish series made by series makers with mainly immigrant background. Thousand Serie struggles to pay attention to and counter segregation, class differences and want to increase multicultural diversity and break the “Swedish standard” which is found in Swedish culture. This is mainly by publishing immigrant background chapters, stories that take place in countries such as the Balkans, the Middle East or South America instead of just Sweden or the United States, which are the two most common places to put their stories in.
An alternative to fanzines is web series, to publish their works on their own or combined website. This is very common among foreign series captains and there are thousands, not to mention millions of web series to choose from. There are regular competitions where newcomers, already established series and different formats are highlighted. Series such as Ctrl + Alt + Del (CAD), an American web series that mainly concerns the television and computer gaming industry, board games and movies as well as television shows have been very successful by publishing their stripes regularly over the years. Creator Tim Buckley has won numerous awards for his series in the period 2004 to 2006. The popularity of the series, despite some criticism from other web series owners and reviewers, has made Buckley fully live on his website for a few years.
Another popular American web series is Penny Arcade , which, like Buckley’s CAD, is largely about the television and computer gaming industry. Author Jerry Holkins and illustrator Mike Krahulik have over the years slowly but surely built up a whole business around their series. Nowadays there is a podcast, a 3-episode video game and a Penny Arcade: The Series (2010-ongoing) documentary series about the company. A card game has also been released, collaborated with the US organization Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which usually reviews and puts out age recommendations on television and computer games. The company also holds an annual event in the event of Child’s Play, an event to raise money for children’s hospitals for the purchase of new toys for their patients, and sponsors the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) . PAX is a festival for board players, arcade gamers and video games in general. Penny Arcade is considered one of the largest online series available today.
Webtoon, for its part, is a gathering place for readers and series creators where hundreds of creators publish their works regularly. With a easy-navigated website and free application for both smartphone and reading plates, readers can enjoy many different titles for free. Anyone can also publish their works free of charge to thousands of readers. As a new series captain, they first come to their discover department, but if the series is considered to be good enough or popular, then move on to the featureddepartment and looks easier in all competition. However, nothing is paid for publishing their comics on Webtoan’s website unless you are both featured and totally exclusive, which in itself is extremely difficult, but on the other hand, you get help to make readers donate via patreon, get help with merchandising, adaptations to movies and the like. Some of the more popular creators have been able to move on and take full advantage of sales around their series.