Showing posts from January, 2016

For the kingdom of a little boy

Valdemar Andersen is constantly encompassed with the verbs could and did: He could do it all and he did it too. It felt as if it just flowed from his hands, his contemporaries tell us.

Yesterday a discussion grew from one corner of his work. On this occasion playthings carved out of wood for his son and yet again we experienced how the one piece opened to all corners of his professional life and in this instance not least to his very first beginnings.

For one thing his own father was a carpenter (or is the right word a joiner? he was a supervisor) and wood was obviously the first material on which the young Valdemar tried his hands. Obviously so, since many years later when he has decorating the small dining room at Christiansborg, Abildgaardsalen they needed something to go at the top of a great grandfather clock.

Valdemar modeled a girl contemplating a butterfly setting off; she seeking to protect its first flutterings from the world with her hands. Such a delicate piece on the vul…

Anatomy of the Zika

Terror (n., from Latin: terrorem)  An object of fear, cause of alarm; terrible news.

Said object (of the Aedes aegypti variant) is seen from its right. It is recognizable from its white markings and the dainty knot securing its dynamite belt.

Before us we have a possible cause, i.e. an explanation or perception of one; the risk, whatever the cause, the prospects and central to it all: the fear. Each component a factor to society. Luc Descheemaeker has laid out the full story before us.

ETA February 11, 2016: Yet again a situation of poisoning? In this instance of the toxic chemical pyriproxifen applied to drinking water, with an attempt to direct the interest away from those actually culpable by pointing the finger in the direction of mosquitos?

Only, what may be to be another hoax, does not diminish the cartoon before us.

On the contrary, the dynamite belt tied to the mosquito exposes the very anatomy of a hoax.

The cartoon showed is courtesy of Luc Descheemaeker and must not be repro…

Shadows Mirrored

The foreign correspondent of the Valdemar-blog is in Paris today. 

Just for the pure architectural strength of street art. That wall captured on a greyish day.

The photo shown is courtesy of Niels Larsen and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Never explain - but

Per Arnoldi sent the open letter below on the sentiments sizzling within us. The need to speak up is strong on the protagonists to our Misery.

It is not advisable to look the Minister of Integration in the eyes for too long. Or maybe it is, the whole story is to be read there:


Dear Friends,

In Lubitsch´ Ninotchka, the agreement between grand duchess Swana and count d´Algout is:
”Never complain, never explain!”
A wise rule… sometimes very hard to follow.
I have to complain and I have to try to explain what is happening here in Denmark in the dark of January 2016.

The Danish government has yesterday, against all decency, adopted a disgusting set of laws for the treatment of the refugees arriving at our borders.
The comments around the world today are very sharp, rightly so.
The right wing government is secretly controlled, behind the closed doors, by the ultra right populist party, wich in spite of many (far too many) votes, does not want to participate, but to operate, …

Anti-national behaviour

Communication. Oh, that thing communication.

Such has been the explanation from everyone trying to minimize the damage done by passing a law restricting the access to the Denmark, when fleeing one's own country.

Explanation, or rather we are in every sense of the word speaking of a counter-attack. The intention of the law was understood all too well internationally. A backlash followed, which the government ought to have seen coming considering the nature of the law - and that obvious intention to be deduced from every word of L87 as it is labeled.

The thing is, the reaction to it was drawn. There was a cartoon by Steve Bell (and thank you for it, Steve Bell!) focusing on prime minister and the export goods not least and with cartoons about there were no more hiding from the realities.

Hence the counter-attack: Speak of anything but the matter at hand. First and foremost: Turn the attention away from the intention exposed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs immediately lashed out ag…

Putinium; an editorial

A drawing is nothing en soi, in itself, according to the historian of political iconography, Annie Duprat. Nor is it polysemic in itself; the questions that we pose to it are.

Her definition of the undefinable cartoons is of course an argument against shooting cartoonists whenever a drawing seems to go against one's likes or wishes. She makes a Sartrean move of setting the cartoons free by underlining that any attempt at fixating an essence for them is a lie. The cartoon is a plaything of the free consciousness.

It is contrary to how we normally speak of cartoons, as she acknowledges.

I cannot wholly buy her premises. The reason not to shoot cartoonists ought not be found by denouncing cartoons, stating their the lack of value. Not even as an easy shortcut to say "end of discussion". We must not lose a precious set of artistry due to pressure from persons, who wish to silence the cartoonists. That pressure has been there all through history due to the fact that it is a…

The Saudi Sword - the next chapter

Oil prices rushing down and with it the power to show muscles, when the world no longer craves what you have got.

Two negatives do a positive make. Which is the mathematical formula for cartooning. Issue1 + issue2 equals a drawing.

The Khartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.

A Celebratory Sex-Paralysappeal

A magnificent room of toasting lines sharp and curved alike to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Sex-Paralysappeal by Wilhelm Freddie.

Sex-Paralysappeal cost its artist 10 days in prison and his sculpture was removed by the police, when it was first exhibited. It was kept in custody until 1963.

A certain declaration keeps popping up in public debate that it is the provocation, which pushes art forward and makes for a history of art.

Which is a piece of tosh and usually made by someone posing as provocateur as his (only possible?) claim to the grand tradition. An artwork living for provocation alone burns out when the first shock wears off.

The great artworks in history have provoked qua their form and/or content. The provocation comes from breaking new ground qua artwork to create new ideas and form new, much needed concepts of life as in the case of Sex-Paralysappeal, its artist and his fellow Surrealists.

Their works are hardly provocations today, yet they continue to be of inspirat…

Opinion vs. quality of art

Last week Steve Brodner called to an important recognition:

"I think it's time to separate the issues of opinion vs. quality of art. I am more pissed at the form than the content. And that's because with muddled form you have no idea what the content is".
Steve was referring to last week's issue of Charlie Hebdo and with it the drawing by Riss combining the drowned Aylan Kurdi and the mass-attack on women in Köln on New Year's Eve. The drawing is obviously directed at an audience ready to coo over a child, while equally ready to swear at the grown up and the cartoon was thus addressing our double standards in Europe. Who is sweet now?

We must discuss Riss' drawing like any other cartoon, Steve was stressing, seeing cartooning is his art, his own constant battle at "fine-tuning the communication of the cartoon".

To say it as it was, it was not a good drawing and at face value it seemed directed at the corruption of the child growing up rather th…

"I am the state!!!"

Misunderstanding as tactics.

Bonil... no, let us rephrase this since any problem in this matter has nothing to do with him nor does it stem from him. So: President Correa by way of the Supercom (the Superintendent of Information and Communication, which has had a highly questionable existence since 2013 of "correcting" opinions in the public) has filed a complaint against a cartoon by Bonil.

It is not the first time Supercom is on the loose nor is the complaint the first of its kind. It is an obvious piece of tactics to wear down the cartoonist and his employer alike, the daily El Universo and altogether place an exclamation mark above Bonil's head before he even puts pen to paper that his cartoons and with him cartooning per se are reprehensible.

In the present case the cartoon above is stated to exercise "discrimination, sexism and transphobia" against the Ecuadorean LGBTQ-community.

Said community is but three months old in Ecuador, established with presiden…

On the Fifth Anniversary

The Trinity of Mother, Child and Padlock.

Today marks the fifth year of the Arab Spring and thus the countdown to the fifth year of Assad slaughtering his own countrymen. The padlock denotes action taken by way of securing that nothing has been done. Madaya is but one instance.

The screaming sickness of the yellow and the silence of the sharp angle to her chin evince the desperation.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Juan Zero and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Many Happy Returns, Willis!

Tonight Willis of WillisFromTunis celebrates his first five years of existence. Not on the anniversary of the Arab Spring. Willis set out on the eve of it.

Such five years it has been and to an extent that Nadia Khiari collected a stack of Willis' poignant utterances on leadership, elections, ambition, stupidity, and violence along with a multitude of egotism and published them headed by one-liners from statesmen of dictatorial kinship from Napoleon, Gaddafi and Margaret Thatcher providing insight for future aspirants.

Dictatorial behaviour is a instrument to be finely tuned in order to be obnoxiously at hand when lying in the face of facts and the manual proves Willis at his verbal heights. He takes on all opinions, stating them with a fortitude, which makes most dictators pale in comparison.

As a verbal being, his visual appearance is all the more unified. He is thickly contoured, proving by his figure alone the epitome of democratic, pluralistic dialogue. He began his life as Ben…

The Canvas of International Politics


11:30 AM, January 7, 2015

One line covers the full story. The sudden devastating silence and the noise that ensued. The impossible symbiosis of documentation and emotion was proven possible by Ida Felicia Noack.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Ida Felicia Noack and must not be reproduced without her permission.

Blood Relations

In Nordic mythology Midgård i.e. Middle Earth is the home of mankind. 
It immediately came to mind seeing Khalid Wad Albaih's analysis of two main culprits in international politics these days. Not only is nothing left alive in the wake of their wobbly bulldozing stride. Between them they make clear what is human, what we value, what is life. 
They may fight each other as intensely as they desire; Saudi-Arabia and Iran are the extremes of the same roots. 

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Comics that Hurt So Good

Last year opened with a surprise of the best kind. 

Craig Yoe decided to take up his pen and begin drawing again and to this end he had placed our names in a fish bowl, taking out one name at a time to do our portrait in a sketchbook of new beginnings. 
It somehow happened that my name came out first and since I had of course not grasped what his choice of subject would be beyond that of drawing, the surprise was complete. To receive such a gift just as the year was taking its first steps. It was all the more sweeter as it transformed each one of us into a character of the comics world in which anything may happen to you. We were chimeras growing out of and into life forms beyond description spreading all over the picture plane, being greeted with happy exclamation marks while doing so. 
We were presented with the gift of becoming a frame of a comic album not quite seen before and yet so familiar all through half a century till now.   Craig Yoe is an author, editor, publisher and hist…

Addicted to the Line

Of course there is a rhinoceros present. At once possibility and fulfillment, this is a drawing on taking in, what its protagonist takes in, he himself made up by lines, agreeing on paper as in real time on the need for the drawn matter.

Note the tiny waves in the line, indicating the continuation of the pen. It is not just a line; it is a created one. An elephant can walk it.

We follow suit in the true meaning of "addiction": We surrender.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Víctor Vélez and must not be reproduced without his permission. This one and so many more of his art works are to be seen at Chubasco.toons.

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