GREAT DANES INVADE NEW YORK!

Sussi Bech,Thomas, Frank Madsen of the Danish Cartoonists Guild.
Sussi Bech, son Thomas, and Frank Madsen of the Danish Cartoonists Guild.

Cartoonists from Denmark came to New York City for MoCCA Fest. Sussi Bech and Frank Marsden were stationed at the table of the Danske Tegneserieskabere (Danish Guild of Professional Comics Writers and Artists). Frank has a studio in Birkerød and has been doing comics, kids’ books, storyboarding, animation, and general illustration since the 1970’s.

panels from Nofret © Sussi Bech
Nofret, a comic set in ancient Egypt © Sussi Bech

Nofretcover

Frank draws a popular book series starring Kurt Dunder.  Sussi Bech, his partner, is also an amazing cartoonist. Their adventure comics reminded me of the clear line style of Herge’s Tintin. Frank agreed and noted that the Belgian artist Hergé is a lasting influence on comics throughout Europe. Frank and Sussi also draw a weekly cartoon, Eks Libris, about the literary world of Denmark.

panel from Eks Libris  by Sussi Bech and Frank Madsen
from Eks Libris by Frank Madsen & Sussi Bech

I was surprised to learn the Danish artists coming to MoCCA are officially sponsored by the Danish Government. Frank said France is the European champion at promotion of comic artists overseas. As a result of this cultural effort France remains the comic hub of the continent.

From The Mysterious Manuscript © Lars Jakobsen
From The Mysterious Manuscript © Lars Jakobsen

I also met Lars Jakobson. Lars has had success in Europe with his Mortensen series about a globetrotting time-traveling detective. Sort of a fusion of Dr. Who and Tintin, the Mortensen books are being published in the US by Graphic Universe. I bought The Mysterious Manuscript. It is a good yarn with added educational value. The back matter gives readers a brief history of various plot elements including “witch hunts” and “the invention of bicycles.” The Mortensen series is being translated into English with the aid of cartoonist Robyn Chapman, a faculty member at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

Lars Jakobson and his Mortensen series.
Lars Jakobson and his Mortensen series.

I did not meet Ina Korneliussen, but I picked up her quirky little minicomic, Fortællingen om dengang jeg fik en bamse. I have no idea what that means, but her drawings are charming. Based on the pictures the story seems to be about a young mother-to-be who has serious attachment issues with her teddy bear.

InaBook

© Ina Korneliussen
© Ina Korneliussen

The caliber and the variety of comic styles coming from Denmark is quite remarkable. Tusind tak (Thanks) to the Danish government for sponsoring such a creative invasion force.

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