Thursday, June 27, 2013

Billy Wilder

Top 5 Billy Wilder films:
1. The Apartment
2. Some Like It Hot
3. Double Indemnity
4. Sabrina
5. Sunset Boulevard

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adèle Palm Beach

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

What happened to Luc Besson? He made a couple of good films back in the days. I was hoping for something in the line of Judex or Irma Vep, but the film is more like a stupid comedy a clueless American Hollywood director would make. And Besson is French, goddammit! It has almost nothing to do with the Tardi comics, it's more like Indiana Jones meets The Mummy 3. Adèle is given a backstory, about a dead sister, to give her motivation. She's Adèle Blanc-Sec! She's supposed to be kind of a mystery! She doesn't need no stinkin' motivation! So, first Adéle, then Tintin, what's next?

The Palm Beach Story

Okay, it's a classic, it's screwball comedy, Preston Sturges, Claudette Colbert and everything, but I found it a bit hard to get into this film. It's far from It Happened One Night. What do we learn in the film?
Rich people sure are silly.
Foreigners sure are funny.
Black people (servants and porters) sure are stupid.
Maybe I was in the wrong mood... The film almost redeems itself in the ending, that actually is pretty funny, referring back to the crazy, unexplained opening credits.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Corto Maltese

drawn by Charles Berberian

The Hit

John Hurt and Tim Roth are sent to kill Terence Stamp, hiding in Spain. Also starring Fernando Rey, directed by Stephen Frears.

A good film, part road movie, part philosophical drama. Frears is more of a meat and potatoes director, less stylish than other Brits, like Ridley Scott and Alan Parker, but he gets the job done, the images never getting in the way of the story. A story that is quite hard to guess where it will end up. Only at the end does it stumble a bit. It reminded me of In Bruges; I wonder if it was an inspiration for Martin McDonagh.

If someone should send a hitman after me one day, I would like for it to be someone like John Hurt in this film, glum looking, with sunglasses and a cigarette dangling in the side of his mouth. I think that would be okay, a proper way to go. I'd put up less of a fight than if it was some prettyboy a la Clive Owen or someone. When Hurt takes off his glasses, there are worse things that will be the final thing you see. Looking into his haunted, tired eyes, it will, somehow, make sense.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RIP, Kim Thompson

Kim Thompson, my publisher and translator at Fantagraphics, has passed away. I owe the man my career as a cartoonist. If he hadn't taken a chance on publishing Hey, Wait... back in 2001, I'm not sure where I would be today. The English and French editions of my books have made it possible for me to make a living drawing comics, a dream I was uncertain of ever achieving only fifteen years ago. Even the books he and Gary Groth published made a difference in my life. Love & Rockets, Eightball, Hate, Frank... I discovered these comics when I had grown tired of a lot of the French - Belgian albums I read in the eighties. They were well drawn, but there was also a distance to my own life. The Fantagraphics comics, together with the Drawn & Quarterly ones, spoke to me in a totally different way. So what do you do, when you start doing your own comics, in a small country of four million people? You hope maybe to reach a wider audience, in the rest of the world, translated into English, maybe even at... Fantagraphics?! And for some reason, it happened. I'm still not sure how. But I still remember the e-mail from Kim, saying they wanted to publish my book. And my life as a cartoonist began.

Thanks for doing a great job with the translation of my stories, for inviting me to Seattle, for meeting you and Lynn, for driving me out to Roslyn where they filmed Northern Exposure, for e-mail exchanges about Brian De Palma, and most of all for a dream come true. I will miss you, Kim. Hvil i fred...

Van Gogh

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hey, look!

by Mike Loveland,
by Jim Rugg,



Sunday, June 16, 2013


When I was in my hometown Molde I walked by foot up to the Varden viewpoint. It must be at least 35 years since the last time I was there. Molde can actually be quite the idyllic city when the weather is nice. I had forgotten.
(The photo is taken from google.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Books bought in Oslo

Herr Merz by Lars Fiske
Munch by  Steffen Kverneland

and got them signed by the artists during Oslo Comics Expo!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stuff bought in Paris

Used dvds:
The Hit and My Beautiful Laundrette by Stephen Frears
The Chase by Arthur Penn
Valmont by Milos Forman
Palm Beach Story by Preston Sturges

Last Night by James Salter
The Moving Target by Ross Macdonald

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Signings, Oslo

The Norwegian edition of Lost Cat has been published. I will have signings in Oslo Thurday June 6, 7PM at Sound of Mu and then Saturday June 8 at Oslo Comics Expo.