16 December 2016

Recensioner, recensioner, recensioner....

Detta kommer kanske bli ett lite bittert inlägg, men what-the-heck, nu kör vi!



Så, vi har fått några recensioner på Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology sedan den kom ut i våras. Med vanan inne tänkte jag "recensera" recensionerna, haha...

Vi startar starkt med en ganska gedigen recension av Johannes Genberg på DAST Magazine:

DAST Magazine | Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology

Trots den klichéartade inledningen om "storögd stil" och "finns svensk manga?" (som visserligen är ett långt intro för att sedan framhäva hur svenska våra berättelser är) så är det en rätt okej recension. Kan ju inte säga att jag inte blev ganska nöjd med de fina orden Johannes skriver min egen serie:

"Natalia Batistas (bilden th) When I close my eyes förtjänar ett hedersomnämnande för sitt enormt välgjorda berättarflöde och genomtänkta bildspråk. Efter att ha läst hennes feministiska storverk Sword Princess Amalthea så var det intressant att få betrakta något väldigt annorlunda: en helt opolitisk och jättesorglig kort historia.

Manga i allmänhet är ett känslomässigt uttrycksfullt medium men det har här gett vika för mer realistiska och dova känslouttryck. De tre sista sidorna är så känslostarka utan att ens visa huvudpersonens ansikte. Amalthea kanske fick mig att tänka, men When I close my eyes fick mig att känna."
- Johannes Genberg, DAST Magazine

Tack för de fina orden, Johannes! Riktigt helt opolitisk tror jag inte den var. Jag valde t.ex. inte att köna huvudkaraktären Lo, väldigt medvetet. Tyvärr är det ett politiskt statement i sig, i dagens samhälle, något inte alla klarar av att förstå som ni kan se i de andra recensionerna...

Över till nästa recension, från BTJ. Kort utdrag ur den:

"Nosebleed Studio är ett kollektiv av unga svenska mangatecknare med anknytning till Malmö Serieskola. Nu har de jobbat tillsammans i tio år och firar detta genom en antologi på temat vänskap. Antologin innehåller fem historier, som alla handlar om hur viktig vänskap är och hur grymt det är att bli lämnad utanför gemenskapen. (...) Den näst sista historien behandlar dels en flicka som vaknar upp i nya världar varje morgon, och får hjälp av nyfunna vänner medan den sista är en djurhistoria, där den lilla kattflickan är den enda som inte blir bjuden på klasskamratens födelsedag. Teckningarna är mycket proffsiga med typiska mangakaraktärer och historierna är antingen poetiska och lite mystiska eller lätta att identifiera sig med. All text är på engelska med många talspråksinslag som wanna, gonna och nah. Helhetsbetyg: 3."
– Svante Ors., BTJ-häfte 5 2016
Hngh... Recensenten valde att FELköna min karaktär. Lo är inte en flicka. Lo är inte heller en pojke. Visst, detta var lite ett "test" för att se hur många som skulle tolka Lo som endera, och Svante lyckades tolka in mer än jag gav information till. Men det är fortfarande störigt att alla som läser Svantes recension nu kommer ha bilden av Lo som en tjej. Suck...

Sen förstår jag inte riktigt helhetsbetyget. Det var en intetsägande recension som mest drog fram fakta och inte riktigt förklarar varför den fick ett så mediokert betyg. Hm...

Sedan har vi en väldigt kort video-recension av Bokpotaten:

Bokpotaten | Kvicka recensioner

Jag förstår att Elen får många böcker sända till sig och kanske inte hinner gå igenom alla så noggrant, men jag ifrågasätter lite poängen med en 30-sekunders recension. En recension ska i min mening ha två funktioner:
1) Ett sätt för en köpare/läsare för att få en bild av verket och se om den är värd pengarna/tiden.
2) En chans för skaparen/förlaget att få konstruktiv feedback som gör att de kan skapa bättre böcker i framtiden.

30 sekunder är inte ens tid nog för att säga vad vissa böcker handlar om, speciellt inte en antologi som vår bok. Och det blir som ni kan se väldigt knasigt när Elen dömer ut hela vår bok baserat på en av serierna i boken. Hm... Vi i Nosebleed Studio får fundera på om det ens är lönt att skicka ett exemplar till någon som inte vill göra en ordentlig utvärdering av boken. Vi kräver inte en avhandling om varje serie, men åtminstone ett par meningar.

Sist men inte minst gav en av mina italienska vänner oss en recension på Goodreads:

Goodreads | Booty from Lucca 2016!

Åh, inte kan ni anklaga min vän för att vara partisk precis, haha! Detta var en hård recension. Jag är lite ledsen att min story inte föll i smaken, men jag anser också att inte alla berättelser passar alla personer. Men en 2:a i betyg är hårt att ta...


Jag är i ärlighetens namn lite chockad... Jag tycker personligen att detta var några av våra bästa berättelser hittills! Mer mogna, mångbottnade och varierade... Det kan vara så att alla förväntade sig "MANGA" och när de inte fick storögda skolflickor eller sexiga bishies så blev de besvikna.

Men det ska inte avstyra oss från att producera bra och varierade historier och utmana oss själva, även om vi skulle vara "för tidigt ute" med en del av dem. Våra fansen måste lära sig att vi inte pysslar med klichéer och kopierade stilar. Vi gör vår egen manga!

Bilda dig din egen uppfattning av vår antologi genom att köpa den från vår hemsida, som just nu har julrea på boken fram till och med nyår!

Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology X-mas Sale!

Beställ den senast på måndag så kan den komma till dig innan julhelgen!





25 November 2016

Report fron Lucca Comics & Games

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the long delay... No updates here for a while. Well, it's not because I've been slacking off! Well, ok, maybe just a little. Those four books I was to make... so, it turned out differently. Because of external decisions made beyond my power, two of them are postponed to next year:

Sword Princess, the RPG book in the world of Amaltea, was supposed to be released before X-mas this year, but as I kinda suspected it would not happend. Which is not a bad thing! The co-author I have on this book , Tomas at Swedish RPG games publisher Saga Games, really want this RPG to become as awesome as it can be, so he's taking his time with the writing. I'm so happy for that! The new release is planned for April 2017!

Mermaid Minna, the watercolor comic I was to make with Swedish publisher Rabén & Sjögren, will be released in Fall of 2017 instead of Spring that year. This lets me have more time to think over the story and perfect it, and not rush the artwork either! So it was a much needed time bonus.

Since September, I have had a lot of other things on my mind instead. Some of them are more personal, and I wish to keep them to my self for a little while longer but hope to make them official in a not so distant future, depending on... erh... things.
But I also had a crazy vacation/work trip (aren't all my vactions work related somehow? Hm...) to Italy in the end of October!

Me and Emil went to Pisa!

Or rather, we went to Lucca Comics & Games in Lucca, right next to Pisa, but stayed at a nice hotel in Pisa, which ment this famous crazy building was on our daily path to the train station to and from Lucca.

Lucca Comics & Games is the biggest comics and games related festival in all of Europe, if you count size and amout of visitors (over 270 000!!). The whole city center, surrounded by a high medievial wall, is turned into a popcultural festival for all ages, like a huge fortress for the nerds! 
The beautiful mix of old historical buildings and cosplayers, elaborate architecture and big rollups with popular characters was like stepping into paradise for someone like me.

In San Michele Square, Fox Entertainment had a huge tent and this magestic tree was a promo for one of the upcoming movies.

Tents filled with comics next to old chapels, churches and impressive towers. The Panini tent contained comics by the most prominent comic publisher in the country, Panini Comics. Italy is actually the fourth biggest comics market in the world, behind Japan, France and the US.
Apparently we got very lucky with the weather, everybody we talked to said it usually rains during Lucca Comics, but this year all days was 20-25°C = ice cream weather! And the Italians sure knows how to make ice cream!! Yum!🍨

Both big and small have their place at Lucca Comics! One of the smaller churches in the city contained the "Self Area", a market for the independent and smaller artist collectives and projects, much like a much fancier Artist Alley.

Inside the church, the jaw-dropping ceiling and walls in combination with the like wise jaw-dropping talent of the artists made me almost faint!!

Thanks to my helpful and amazing friend Davide Della Via, former editor and artist at Doraetos Manga where my Sword Princess Amaltea is published in Italian, I got to meet some really great people. Among others, he introduced me to Jessica Marino, the creator of Antithesis, a selfpublished comic who won prizes in the Italian Indie Comic Award, IICA, this year. Such impressive, much wow!

More super talented artists, and super friendly too! Giulio Macaione, Giulia Adragna and Elena (Ofride) whom all sold their selfpublished comics in the "Self Area". I had to buy one of each!

Beautiful and inspiring watercolor artwork by Ofride.

Other smart and cool self press designs: fanzines in a book box!

In another area close to the "Self Area" was the "Meet the editors"-building. This is something I also wrote about in my report from Angoulême 2015, a thing we don't have in Sweden but that I really think would be beneficial to both the artists and the publishers. In Lucca, they did things a bit different than in Angoulême. Instead of having to queue for hours, the artists could submit their portfolio (a set number of pages depending on which publisher) before a certain time, and was assigned a number each. After the editors had reviewed the submissions, they chose which artists to book a meeting with and posted the list with their numbers on the wall you see next to the door. The big group of people in front of the door is aspiring artists, waiting for the list to be put up and hoping their number will be on that list. Oh, the tension!

This is from inside one of the big comic tents. Booths of publishers or specific famous artist in labyrith-like formations!

Just like in Angoulême, the tents are raised over actual city squares, which means you see statues and street lights inside, haha. And SO much people. Everywhere!

This is inside the Games tent, right outside the city gates. It was too huge to fit in any square inside, lol.

One of the booths in the Games tent was solely dedicated to a live artist studio, where super talented and famous fantasy artists could work on a piece of artwork for hours, in front of the visitors. Such a cool idea, but it must also be stressfull for the poor artists. You got to have nerves of steel!

All over Lucca city center, the shops had rented out their space to merchandise pop-up stores, with anime figurines, action figures, t-shirts and comic related memorabilia. This was truly like stepping into my fantasy dream city, haha!

In the corner of the North-East part of town, inside the city wall, was this cool alternative festival called Borda! Fest. The tables was less expensive and thus gave a chance to artists and collectives who would not normally have a chance to sell at Lucca Comics. Such a nice initiative!

Litteraly the whole city center was affected by the festival. This is the table covers of one of the pizzerias next to the comic tents, a collaboration with one of the publishers.
Oh, and the pizzas~ One of the pleasures with this festival sure is the fantastic food of Italy, I love it!


Cosplayers, re-enacters, alternative fashionistas and steam-punkers all moxed well at the festival, and these unpaid dressed up visitors became part of the attraction, getting stopped and let people photograph them every second meter.


While enjoying another ice cream, we stumbled upon a Steam Punk meet-up at one of the squares.
As part of the festival, several of the buildings was turned into exhibition halls. The main festival exhibition featured some of the invited artists of the festival. One of the artists was Kamimura from Japan. His beautiful brush strokes was so inspiring!

One of the national artists was Zerocalcare, a phenomenon by himself as you can see. Next to his exhibited artwork, mostly from his books but also some from his webcomic that gave him his break-though, hangs this board with statistics on his works. He has made 7 books, which each has sold 70 000 - 90 000 copies (!!) and the longes signing session he has had was over 13 hours (!!!). Phew!

The other Italian artsit is Casty, a immensely popular Mickey Mouse artist. Mickey Mouse, or Topolino as he is called in Italy, is actually home made in Italy, by and for the Italian market, with consent by Disney.

A Frank Cho exhibition, as he was one of the innvited artists.

Also Joan Cornellà from Spain, who's become famous for his morbid humour. His exhibition was behind a black curtain, for several reasons...

Last but not least, Zerocalcare's punky illustration for this year's festival, hung in a grandious golden frame.

And this is some of the books I managed to carry back home with me:

Anima by Chiara Zuliani
Lumina by Emanuele Tenderini and Linda Cavallini
Samurai 2.0 (artbook anthology) 
Hadez by Ilaria Catalani and Silvia Tidei
Antithesis by Jessica Marino
Grimoire (anthology)
Nilihue by Ofride

Agenzia Alfa by Massimo Dall'Oglio
Miss Hall 1 by Giulia Adragna
La Fine Dell'Estate by Giulio Macaione
Rock 'n' Punch Riders by Daniele Rudioni
Rogheneach 1 by Myriam Savini
Ale & Cucca 1 by Elisabetta Cifone
Somnia 3 by Liza E. Anzen and Federica Di Meo
Martin Mystère
Il Rompicapo Del Contadino by Sam Alden
Romabot by Fabrizio De Fabritiis and Daniele Rudoni
The Story Of Naja by Davide Della Via
Nine Stones by Iayafly

I was so impressed by what the italian comic market has to offer. This marked is seriously underestimated in Sweden, in my opinion, and especially when it comes to the younger newer artists. I would love to have some of them in Swedish one day, and will happily show the copies I have to editors in Sweden if any of them are reading this.

After the trip to Lucca, Emil and I went to Novara and Milan with Daniele Rudioni, who is one of the teachers in comic art at the school ACME di Novara and Milan. I held two lectures, one in each city, about my comics, my tools (inking) and the Swedish comic marked in general. They where both well attended with about 20-60 at each event. So fun!

All in all, this trip was just like my previous trips to NY, Angoulême, Tokyo (etc.) very inspiring and helpful for me in my career and creativity. I totally recommend all you artists out there to regularly go to a big International event outside of your own market, because it makes you understand the global comic market so much better. It's also a wonderful opportunity to network with people that do what you do but in another country. I'm so glad I got to meet and hang out with so many nice, helpful, inviting and friendly people. HUGE thank you to Daniele Rudioni, Davide Della Via, Salvatore Pascarella, Federica Di Meo, Dilly and everyone else that I got to meet and hang out with at Lucca and in Novara. Thank YOU!!

✿ Thank you for reading! ✿

21 September 2016

Dags för Bokmässan i Göteborg!

Inlägg på svenska denna gången, eftersom detta nog främst berör er som bor i Sverige.

Årets stora event, Bok- & biblioteksmässan i Göteborg, går av stapeln denna helgen, med start redan imorgon för er som har inträde då.
Jag kommer närvara på mässan i flera olika sammanhang. Först och främst signerar jag Sword Princess Amaltea i Kolik förlags monter (A01:33).

Jag kommer även vara uppe på Seriescenen (A02:40) vid två tillfällen:

Torsdag 13.00-13.20
Är med och presenterar Serieskolan.

Lördag 11.00-11.45
Intervjuar den brasilianska serieskaparen Bianca Pinheiro.

Sedan är jag även uppe på Ung Scen (A03:22) på lördag 17.00-17.40 och håller en mangaworkshop, så om du vill få lite smarta tips och lära dig rita en egen seriefigur så kom dit!

Här kan du se hela mitt schema:


Hoppas vi ses på Bokmässan!

09 September 2016

I'm making 4 books... At the same time!?

Hey everyone!
Wow, I need to make time to write blog entries more often...
So much has happened since April! The three biggest events of the year, Stockholm International Comics Festival (SIS) and Confusion in May and NärCon Summer in July, came and went like two tornados in my life. It was super fun and Nosebleed Studio sold our new book Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology.

Ett foto publicerat av Nosebleed Studio (@nosebleedstudio)

At NärCon Summer we also held our popular event "Free Chibi Portrait", and drew some really nice ones!


Ett foto publicerat av Natalia Batista, mangaka (@nataliasmanga)

We also held a manga panel at SIS and a manga workshop at NärCon, and we taped/filmed both of them. Hopefully I can post links to them as soon as I have some time to edit them.


Now on to what I'm up to right now:
I'm making not one new book, not two new books but FOUR new books!
Two of them are with Nosebleed Studio and two of them with the publishers Rabén & Sjögren and Saga Games. Here they are:

1. Sjöjungfrun Minna
(Mermaid Minna, preliinary title)
I'll get to revisit one of my all time favorite characters and settings of my shorter comics; the characters and settings of Hooked On You, my mermaid manga from Nosebleed Studio's Anthology - Seaside Stories. This is a collaboration with the childrens book publisher Rabén & Sjögren, and my former editor for the Amaltea books, Fabian Göransson, who now works at this big publisher. I will make a full color manga, about 70 pages long, and my plan is to make it all in watercolors (!!). Hahaha, first time I make such a long story all in color, and not a simple technique to boot. I'll update you about the process as it comes along. To be released in Fall 2017.
Here's a color test I did:


2. Sword Princess - Rollspelet i Amalteas värld
(Role playing game in the world of Amaltea)
This will be so fun! Me and the RPG publisher Saga Games is making an RPG (pen and paper style) book to take place in the world of my manga Sword Princess Amaltea. I've been writing down everything I know about the lore and the skilled and experienced RPG-maker Tomas Arfert is writing the gameplay and tables. I'm also making the illustrations for the book. To be released in December 2016! (In Swedish)
Here's the preliminary cover design:


3. Nosebleed Studio lär dig teckna manga
(Nosebleed Studio teach you how to draw manga)
We're making a "how to draw manga"-book!! After 10 years of working as manga artists, we feel ready to give the world a piece of our knowledge and learned experience. We also see a demand of these kinds of books in Swedish, as the old ones are breaking apart and most of them are at least 10 years old. Time for some fresh new input in this field! We're right now in the production process, drawing step-by-steps. To be released in Spring 2017.


4. Nosebleed Studio's Anthology - Swedish History 
As always, we also plan on making a manga anthology for nex year, and our theme for this one is Swedish history! This is so exciting!! We have so many interesting periods and characters from our history to make comics about, it's even hard for me to chose... Well, lyckily I have until December to come up with a story with about 40 pages (bl/w), that's when we start making the book. More about this project later... To be released in Spring 2017.

Woah, this coming year will be jam-packed with work! But also so fun!

Thank you for reading, I'll keep you posted on these projects.

28 April 2016

When I Close My Eyes...

Yet another month has passed, and I didn't have time to write anything here... But now I'm back, I hope!
You know, sometimes you just have too much to do, too many commitments, and then you just need to prioritize. I'm sad that I havn't been able to prioritize my blog, and also my Youtube-channel (which actually has quite a following, 4000+! One of my videos actually have over 100K views! O.o ). I wish I could be more active doing inking videos and tutorials...

You know what? I think I need to be more selfish now. I need to prioritize my own stuff – my blog and my Youtube-channel – to get my own self asteem back. I have been moping around doing routine stuff ever since I finished working on my latest comic When I Close My Eyes, a "short" manga with "only" 42 pages. (Haha, 10 years ago I would have called that a long manga, I guess!) 
I finished it about 2 months ago, and after that I mostly worked with organizing stuff, like Nosebleed Studio, Malmö Seriefest and other organisations I've been part of. And during that time, I have more and more felt lousy, worthless and untalented...
I don't know why!? I mean, my mangas have fans, and a  couple of weeks ago I even got to be on Swedish television, on one of the most popular childrens shows on Barnkanalen, called Superlördag (Super Saturday):



After that appearance on the show, I went to some schools and libraries to do manga workshops (unrelated, I had booked them months before) and suddently I was famous! All the little kids had watched the show and wanted my autograph! Haha, of course I enjoyedthe attention (even from a room full of 9-14 y.o. kids) but also felt a bit taken aback by the difference in attitudes people have towards you when you've been on TV. It's crazy...


But even though this all happened, I still can't help but feeling like I'm losing a race... I have been sending Sword Princess Amaltea to International publishers and still no positive reply. Only a few so far, so I guess I should try harder, but not getting any response at all from some of them is what makes me confused. Should I wait? Or should I look for others? Or is it a pointless game since my name is unknown in those countries? Do I need to go there personally, maybe even travel to some cons or make myself a name first? So many questions...
Still, maybe I just need to put more effort into my Youtube-ing, and they migth notice me... Or does that even matter to them?? Gaaaah!! *confused*


Anyway, this blog entry really should be about the latest manga I have made, When I Close My Eyes. I haven't posted anything here about it, but that's because I now use Instagram alot for quick updates about my everyday life and especially my manga drawing.

I updated throughout the process of making this manga. Here are some posts I made:

 






With this manga, I decided I wanted to do something else than what I have made previously for Nosebleed Studio's anthologies. The previous three anthologies all had storys made by me for sending to Shueisha Ribon Magazine in Japan, for their monthly manga competitions (which I blogged about here and here). But after my third entry did not place, probably because it was too mature for their audience, I felt I did not thrive anymore in doing mangas for a competition like theirs. It felt too constricting and I wanted more freedom.

So the story for When I Close My Eyes was a story I truly felt I wanted to tell. Without rules and restrictions. It's about a your person, Lo, who a lone traveller in our world. And no, I'm not going to tell you anymore, because then I might spoil it for you!
I also tried a new inking technique with fineliners instead of my beloved steel nibs. It was a nice change, and I like the rough and experimental look it gives to the drawings. Less mainstream, which worked better for the story.

Here's the cover illustration and the beginning pages, as sneak peek:





The manga was printed in Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology, which will be released at Stockholm International Comic Festival on the 7-8th of May! But... we are right now taking preorders via our webshop, and then you also get a discount:

Nosebleed Studio's 10 Years Jubilee Anthology

The books arrived this morning, and this is how awesome they look:



☆☆☆ Thank you for reading! ☆☆☆ 

31 March 2016

Malmö Seriefest, party party!!

Ursäkta det långa uppehållet. Ibland är jag så upptagen med coola projekt och grejer, att jag inte hinner med bloggen.
En av de coola grejerna är:

http://seriefest.blogspot.se/


Yes, en ny omgång! Och detta året är jag inte ensam arrangör, haha.
Vi är ett litet mysigt team på 5 pers som har utformat denna supercoola seriefestival som går av stapeln i helgen på Malmö stadsbibliotek!

Förutom den fullsmockade marknaden med över 100 serieskapare representerade, har vi dessutom hjälpt till att arrangera två kändis-föredrag under helgen på biblan!
Sara Granér berättar om sina satirserier och nya bok på lördagen kl. 13.00, och Tony Cronstam håller ett inspirerande framträdande för stora och små på söndagen kl. 12.00. Båda två sker i Slottet, en annan del av stadsbiblioteket. Fansinmarknaden sker i det s.k. Röda rummet.

Hoppas ni kan komma i helgen! Jag kommer såklart ha ett bord med Nosebleed Studio, och sälja mina och Nosebleed Studios böcker. Kom förbi och säg hej, om ni är där!

Bl.a. kommer jag ha Sword Princess Amaltea 1-3 (hela serien!) som ett paket för bara 295 kr!
Signering ingår! ☺



På kvällen på lördagen kl. 18.00 är det dessutom seriemingel på nyöppnade seriebutiken/galleriet Hybriden på Claesgatan 8 i Malmö, i samarbete med C'est Bon Kultur och Tusen Serier!
Här kan ni hitta facebook-eventet:

Seriefestfesten!!

Hoppas vi ses i helgen!

19 February 2016

Rapport från NärCon Vinter + Radiomedverkan!

Nytt år, nya event!
Årets första är redan avklarat:
NärCon Vinter 2016!

Kallt, snöigt men ändå kul.
Nosebleed Studio hade såklart ett bord, där jag även sålde mina böcker och speciellt Sword Princess Amaltea 1-3!
Jag ser verkligen fram emot detta året, att kunna åka runt på festivaler och sälja hela serien som en paketlösning. Det är mycket mer lockande för en läsare att investera tid och pengar i en serie som är avslutad. Så det känns så skönt att kunna leverera en avslutad mangabokserie på svensk marknad. Tyvärr är det allt för många svenska mangabokserier som blivit avbrutna mitt i av diverse anledningar (oftast faktiskt för att förlaget inte valde att fortsätta serien).

Sähär såg vårt bord ut:

Jag, Joakim Waller och Elise Rosberg.
Emil var också med och hjälpte till att bära och sälja,
även om han inte är med i studion.
Han är en sån klippa! ❤

Bordet låg sist i raden av Artist Alley bord, men det gjorde inte så mycket för det var mycket genomströmning och rörelse i närheten av vårt bord. Bland annat låg det en föreläsningsscen strax intill, så det lockade en del.
Det var på den scenen som jag höll mitt föredrag... kl. 10 på morgonen på söndagen...
Jo, jag vet vad ni tänker: "Men är inte det lite tidigt, på ett konvent? Sista dagen?"
Precis så tänkte jag också. Och med tanke på att jag var ute 2 månader i förväg med planerandet av föreläsningen med den ansvariga (eller ja, den jag trodde var ansvarig) så förväntade jag mig en lite bättre tid än så. Men det visade sig att flera scheman hade gjorts, att den jag hade kontakt med inte hade rapporterat in sina tider i tid, och då fick de arrangemang hen hade bokat in de sämsta tiderna.

Suck. Ok, såhär: NärCon är ett arrangemang som liksom alla andra mangakonvent bygger på volontärsarbete. Det innebär att ibland sköts inte saker på bästa sätt, för det beror helt på om personen som fick uppgiften kunde sin uppgift, eller för den delen inte fick för mycket strul under arbetets gång. Och jag kan respektera att inte alla kan få bästa tiden eller att allt klaffar alltid.

Så jag dök upp en kvart innan mitt föredrag. Min kontaktperson var inte där. Ingen scenansvarig var där heller. Trots att mitt föredrag stod med i det officiella schemat, på hemsidan etc.
Jag väntade till fem i. Fortfarande ingen. När klockan var prick 10 började några besökare sätta sig på stolarna (som f.ö. stod huller om buller efter föregående natts partaj). Men jag kunde inte sätta igång mitt föredrag för all teknik var instuvad i ett låst skåp (mitt föredrag hade en presentation som var på min dator).

Fem över dök en snubbe upp och frågade mig barskt om det fanns ett mixerbord här för han hade i uppgift att filma föredraget efter mig, som Samuel Anlér (med i NärCon Eventbyrå AB's styrelse) skulle hålla. Jag skakade på huvudet och sa att jag har ingen aning, för jag var inte ansvarig. Han verkade lite förnärmad och gick iväg.

Tio över tio (jag har nu stått och ursäktat mig för min pyttelilla publik över att jag inte kan sätta igång utan tekniken) kommer tillslut den scenansvariga, som först ber om ursäkt och sedan beklagar sig över att jag inte stod med i hens schema (för att min kontaktperson inte hade kommunicerat med hen). Detta var dock inte riktigt sant, eftersom jag fått mail från denna scenansvarig med schemat där mitt namn stod med på denna tiden, denna scenen och allt. I samma mail stod det att det var en VGA-sladd som fanns, vilket var toppen för min dator har inte HDMI-ingång, bara VGA. På plats visade det sig dock att VGA-sladden var trasig!
Suck....

Som tur hade jag lekt spådam dagarna innan och införskaffat mig en HDMI-VGA-adapter! Dock var den helt ny, så ytterligare 10 min gick åt att läsa instruktionsmanual och trixa med tekniken (japp, framför min lilla publik).
Äntligen runt 10.20 kunde jag sätta igång mitt föredrag. Scenansvarig sa att jag kunde köra igång, så jag gjorde det.
Mitt föredrag handlade om hur man kan bli professionell tecknare och leva på att rita. Ett föredrag jag hade hoppats att fler i Artist Alley skulle deltagit i, men på grund av den dåliga tiden blev det en liten men intresserad skara som deltog.

Fem i 11 kom en panda (arbetare) förbi och viftade med två fingrar. Jag förstod inte så jag frågade vad hen menade, och fick svaret att jag skulle avsluta på 2 minuter. Då hade jag ca 10-15 min kvar på mitt föredrag (eftersom jag förlorat 20 min i början ju). Jag sa att jag helst fortsätter tills nästa föreläsare är på plats och kan lämna scenen snabbt då, men pandan svarade snäsigt att Samuel redan var på plats. Vilket han inte var. Jag har träffat Samuel. Jag vet hur han ser ut. Jag svarade att jag inte ser honom, och pandan pekade på en snubbe som INTE var Samuel. Visste pandan ens hur Samuel ser ut? Hm...
Jag fortsatte i rask takt och snabbspolade slutet på 3-5 minuter, tackade för mig (fick en liten applåd för nu var min publik ca 3 ggr större för att folk hade stigit upp - klockan var ju 11!) och gick av scenen.

Lite sur och sårad smet jag tillbaka till Nosebleed Studios bord som ju stod granne med scenen. Därifrån kunde jag se hur de började rigga upp kamera och mixerbord för Samuels föreläsning. Ingen Samuel. Han dök först upp en kvart senare. Så bråttom var det att få av mig från scenen.

Förstå mig rätt. Jag klagar inte på folk som jobbar gratis. Jag gör det också, jag vet att man inte kan ha så höga krav på ideella arbetare. Jag klagar inte på att Samuel var sen eller att VGA-sladden var trasig eller att jag fick en dålig tid. Sånt kan hända, det är ingen fara.
Det jag tycker är sårande är behandlingen av en person som jag som tagit mig tid att göra ett föredrag som tog mig flera timmar att bygga och hålla, som får så illa bemötande. Jag har hittills inte ens fått chansen att träffa den person jag hade kontakt med, hen dök inte ens upp och bad om ursäkt.

Det värsta är att hur mycket jag än gillar NärCon och peppen (jag har ju faktiskt t.o.m. arbetat för dem, var ansvarig för Artist Alley på NärCon Sommar 2015), så är det just NärCon som vi i Nosebleed Studio brukar ha mest strul med. De är de enda som brukar bolla runt oss och glömma bort oss eller behandla mina föredrag såhär. Alla är inte onda såklart, det är många som känner till oss och det vi tillför på konventen i form av inspiration, föredrag, workshops etc.
Som NärCon är uppbyggt saknas det tyvärr viss kontinuitet (vissa personer väljs för en arbetsuppgift för ett år, och sedan inte mer). Detta leder till en del rörighet och okunskap. Jag hade verkligen hoppats att det skulle kunna fixas, så att det inte behöver gå ut över folk som mig som vill bidra och lyfta konventet med den kunskap jag kan tillstå med.

Denna kritik är i all välmening, och jag hoppas fortfarande på en ursäkt från min kontaktperson.


Nu över till något roligare!!

Jag var med i radio igår!
PP3 på P3 har temavecka "Sailor Moon 20 år i Sverige" och jag fick chansen att prata om svensk mangahistoria med dem!
Här kan ni lyssna på inslaget (ca 1 timme in):

Så blev mangan stor i Sverige - PP3 i P3
Det var så superhedrande att få prata om Sailor Moon (ååh, min barndom!) och svensk mangamarknad, och jag hoppas att jag representerade den väl! ☺

Nu ska jag ta tag i tråkiga saker som deklaration etc.

☆☆☆ Tack för att du läste! ☆☆☆

05 February 2016

2016 - Time to evolve!

Prepare for some planning. Lot's of planning!

Also: New Years Resolutions.
(Oh boy, this will crash and burn...)
First, the resolutions of 2015:

I will get myself a drivers license!
This was actually my resolution for 2014 too. Um.. yeah. I havn't even tried, I'm so sorry (mostly embarrassed towards my parents who gave me a gift card for some of the lessons at a driving school that I have so far not used... 2 years ago). I get extremely embarrassed by talking about this. I hate feeling like I've lost or failed in something, and this is such a thing. To be honest, I'm just too scared to drive. I am so scared for traffic, high ways, driving, myself behind the wheel... I just feel in my gut I will die in the roads some day!
That's why I think I'll have to deal with this in my own time.
So, if I should grade myself, then a E- perhaps? (Not so sure about this alphabetical grading system, haha)

But I also had another resolution!
I will make an animation!
And this I did! Or at least started doing... Did I fail this too?! Bu hu hu hu...
Well, at least I did make about 50 seconds of my animation. Time is not in abundance and too many other projects and work is taking my time (not in a bad way, I like most of it).
I'll give myself a C+ for this. I didn't animate much, but what I did was good!

And that's why the first of the resolutions for 2016 is:
I will make an animation!
(I give myself a lot of second chanses, haha)
I hope to be able to finish episode 1 (5 min animation) of Mjau! this year. Wish me good luck!


And the second is:
I will go to Japan again!
This is a bit tricky. I want to go, mostly because I want to bring my boyfriend and do it together, but I also wish I had more time to go to London and Paris, and the two main comic events there.
We'll have to see how this year pans out...

Now over to some planning of the year!
I have already planned for some events me/Nosebleed Studio will have a table at.

Events of 2016 (so far):
12-14 of February: NärCon Vinter in Linköping
18-20 of March: J-popCon in Copenhagen, Denmark
25-27 of March: GothCon in Gothenburg
2-3 of April: Malmö Seriefest in Malmö
13-15 of May: Confusion in Gothenburg
28-31 of July: NärCon in Linköping 
September: Comic Con Malmö in Malmö
September: Göteborg Book Fair in Gothenburg
November: Comic Con Gamex in Stockholm

As I mentioned, I would also love to go to one or both or Japan Expo in Paris and MCM London ComicCon, but mostly as a visitor so I can get a chance to talk to publishers about Sword Princess Amaltea.
We'll have to see...

Apart from this, my year will be filled with working at Serieskolan in Malmö, making 2 books together with Nosebleed Studio (more about that in upcoming blog entries), and animating.

This will be a year I need to focus on what I want to make. So I'll use my time wisely.
Hope you have time to focus on your own passions too!

✪ Thank you for reading! ✪

27 January 2016

2015 - in retrospect

I usually do (as my long time readers of this blog knows) a summary of the past year. This blog has been my open diary for 8 years now and I like doing these yearly summaries to show for myself that I did a lot of amazing thing in a year. Sometimes you get discouraged by all the work and need some perspective, and I find this a good way to get that and pat myself on the shoulder.

This year has been shaped by one focus: finishing my biggest manga project so far. And also some international trips opening my eyes. A good change from the routine work of 2014.

Milestones of 2015:

January
When the year started, I was already working hard on the third and last volume of Sword Princess Amaltea. Since the publisher had some company changes in the end of the 2014 and my editor left for other adventurous jobs, the deal with book 3 was hanging loose for a while, but luckily the Editor in Chief Josefin Svenske decided to continue the series and publish the last book as well!
This decision came in the end of December 2014, and really made my holiday complete!


In the end of January I also got the amazing opportunity to be invited to  42nd Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême in France, courtesy of the Swedish Institute in Paris. It's the biggest comic festival in the world when it comes to size, since the whole town is involved. I made a blog entry about this inspirational and eye opening trip, and the new contacts I got there at the French publisher Kazé Manga.

February
I took a short break a couple of days from the work on Sword Princess Amaltea 3 to make a 10 page short story for the anthology Freya – Sequential Love Stories, which I also was part of the organizers for. I tried a new technique on that one, and learnt some stuff. Even though I have my prefered materials and techniques, I believe it's important to never stop experimenting and try new things to elevate your creativity.
I also kept on drawing and inking Sword Princess Amaltea 3 and my plan was still to have it printed before the Swedish event NärCon Summer in July... Yeah, spoiler alert; that will not happen.



The event of this month was J-popCon (Copenhagen, Denmark) the 21-22th of February, where me and my sister Catarina, both members of the Swedish manga collective Nosebleed Studio had a table in the Artist Alley and sold our latest book Nosebleed Studios Stora Mangasamling (in Swedish). The book is also selling amazingly well to Swedish libraries, who in the end of February had bought about 200 copies already!

March
All this time I had also started using instagram and uploading images from my everyday work. I realized I mostly used Facebook and this blog to comunicate with my fans, but since my fans are so young and can't have a Facebook account I was not reaching the kids. Most of them are haning out on "new" stuff like those apps and such. (Oh, I'm so old!) So I got myself an Instagram account.
And now I hear talks about Snapchat and all that... plz ppl staaap!!
I used instagram for showing my drawing and promote events I was visiting, but also to show some images from Serieskolan (the Comic Art School) in Malmö where I work twice a week, like here where the students held a mini-fanzine-event for practice (for the students only):

Ett filmklipp publicerat av Natalia Batista, mangaka (@nataliasmanga)

March was also the peak of the work on the fanzine market event Malmö Seriefest at the Malmö City Library that I was organizing on my own at this point. Blogging and facebooking and marketing with flyers and posters! This project was in collaboration with Seriefrämjandet (Swedish Comics Association), Malmö City Library and ABF (Workers' Educational Association). It all came to fruition in the last weekend of March, a huge success with over 500 visitors, and I made a blog entry about it all (in Swedish).
My goal with the event was to show it was possible and to create a new market space for fanzine and self press comic creators, with free table space at a central spot in town. A great collaboration and everyone seemed satisfied!
Sadly, the sound and light in the room made the videos we made hard to make something good of, and some videos also got lost... This was a way too big of a project for one person to handle on their own, so 2016's edition is organized by a fantastic team, more about that in a coming blog entry.



April
The month started off with both me and my boyfriend being sick and miserable, and missing out on the nerdy board game convention GothCon which is a tradition of ours. ☹
But I kept drawing and when I was finally up at my feet again it was off to PicaCon (11-12th of April) in Kristinehamn, a bit of a trip from Lund where I live. It was the first time I got invited to a manga convention and actually was payed for the presentation I did there, as an official guest!
I have been a guest before, but since Swedish manga artists are not as visually interesting to look at as cosplayers we are not usually on the VIP-guest list at the bigger cons here in Sweden. So I was glad to finally get some recognition~

At this point I was also trying to get the fifth edition of Swedish Comic Sin together for print, the indie-erotica-comic-anthology-project that I have been organizing since 2010. This edition had similar interest as previous books, with a couple of them dropping off through the project because of lack of time and inspiration. We did finish a 180-page book (and made a crowdfunding campaign for it too!) but since the drop off rate is still quite high, I have decided to take yet a years break and start the next one this Fall for a release Spring 2017. That one will probably be the last of the Swedish Comic Sin books. If you or someone you know wants to participate, I recomment reading about the project on the blog and read the project desctiption (in Swedish).


The other anthology I participated in was Freya – Sequential Love Stories, which we also did a crowdfunding campaign for and got international attention even! (Thanks to Anette Bengtsson who was in charge of it, good job!!)
The book came out nicely, but the crowdfunding success also ment we had to pack a lot of books and stuff to backers a couple of days, haha! Phew!
You can see more previews of my comic in Freya here.


May
This month was a crazy stressy funny time! SIS (Stockholms International Comics Festival) in 9-10th of May, the biggest comics-only-event of the year, started it off with a bang and we in Nosebleed Studio had booked three tables this time.
 

Sadly, they had done some rearrangement of the market tables and we got some shitty places in a sweaty and airless part of the locales. We could see how people didn't cope with is and turned away before getting to our tables, and even our fans told us later they didn't find us. And this showed in our sales, which was less than the year before even though we had our new Swedish book. Not satisfied, I sent a feedback email to the organizers, but only got a dismissive reply.
I hope they think about it to this year's event...

At this point I had realized that Sword Princess Amaltea 3 would not be finished before July, since it was 30 pages longer than the previous two books. I spoke to my editor at Kolik Förlag and we decided to release it in September instead, so I made a preview fanzine with the first chapter in the third book to sell at SIS for the fans that couldn't wait, haha.


The weekend right after we attended KodachiCon in Lund, my hometown. It was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed on an event, for once, haha. And the week end after that, me and my sister went to Düsseldorf, Germany, for the manga convention Dokomi! It was truly an eye opening experience to see how the manga self press scene has developed, and truly inspirational for us artists trying to grow the fanzine and self press market here. I made a happy blog report about it all (in English!).


June
This month was mostly spent on drawing and drawing to finish Sword Princess Amaltea 3 on time, but I also got some breaks doing an exhibition in Malmö with the team behind Freya.


July
Drawing, drawing, drawing! So close to the end of the book I could SMELL IT!

I also spent some time this Spring on the planning and organizing of the Artist Alley at NärCon Sommar, the biggest manga/nerd/cosplay-convention in Sweden with over 8000 attendees. Nosebleed Studio have attended their Artist Alley several years, but most of the times it has seemed a bit unorganized and a little sloppy. So when I contacted the previous organizer and they told me that the spot actually was vacant, I took the chance! I was determined to make the best Artist Alley in the history of NärCon and I think I succeded. I knew what info the artists needded and also made sure they ended up on the website with names and links and all. I had invited guests with signing sessions, Q&A's and presentations. Later I made a survey for the artists who had tables and the response was overall positive and thankful.
The chiefs of NärCon also took notice of my efforts and appreciated it! Sadly, this year they made a rearrangement of the whole area, which ended up making the role I had get a bit chopped up. After some back and forth I decided it's best they try their new organization of the area this year, and if they want me back next year I'll ask for the same postition I had 2015. I hope they want me back, because I truly have grand visions for the Artist Alley at NärCon!

Oh, and:
Alexandra cosplaying Amaltea!!!!

August
This month started off with me FINISHING SWORD PRINCESS AMALTEA 3!!
I could finally get back to the blog and my life, and made a long blog entry about my summer.
At the beginning of August my boyfriend and I took a short vacation by train (mostly) to Oslo and Bergen in Norway. It was a nice and well deserved time off, we had both worked almost all Summer. He's been working hard, as a level designer on the game The Division at the game studio Massive Entertainment (a UbiSoft studio) which will be released on the 8th of March this year!! Stoked!!

And so I took a couple of months relaxing celibacy from drawing... NOT!!
Haha, nope, I started a new project instead: Mjau! - the Anime!
I first did some research, tanking to people that I met at events and online. But since I have been thinking of this for a while now, I already knew I wanted to do this and also how. I had been looking forward to this all through the months of working with Sword Princess Amaltea 3. Like a tasty carrot dangling in front of me...
I uploaded some videos of the process at my instagram, and when I had the time to animate I could make 2 seconds a day. Sadly, I had a new book to promote too (such a luxury problem, right?) and did only finish about 50 seconds during the Fall. But I have not given up on the project, oh no!
There will be more updates here and on instagram as soon as I have time to work on it again.

Here's a small part of it:



September
This is the other crazy stressy funny time this year. While working at Serieskolan again (with a new class of aspiring creators, ready to get their dreams crushed and get molded into strong warriors!) I went to a bunch of events. First off: Comic Con Malmö 12-13th of September.
This was the first time for this event, and it went very well from our (Nosebleed Studio's) perspective. The team behind the comics area did a good job and was very inviting and accomodating. I highly recommend it!
Sadly the third book hadn't arrived from the printers yet!

Elise Rosberg is our latest member, together with my sister Catarina and I.
The Saturday after I went on my own to Östergötlands Bokmässa (the Book Fair of Östergötland County). It's a pretty small event if you compare it to other book fairs I've had the chance to visit, but it was still an honor to be invited to hold a manga course there and do some signing.

And so, the week end after that, the biggest book event in Sweden, Gothenburg Book Fair, marked the release of Sword Princess Amaltea 3, the final book in my longest series ever! I was sooo proud! Many signing sessions and together with Henri Gylander who also released a book with Kolik förlag at the book fair, we held an awesome release party at a Kulturhuset Oceanen, with live music and live drawing and all! It was really fun and the best way to celebrate the completion of this 5 year project of mine!
Here's my blog report about the events this month.

Oh, and Nosebleed Studio's book was selected to the prestigious children's books catalogue that was released at the Gothenburg Book Fair! This is probably one of the biggest achievements of our 10 year together!

Glömde uppdatera om detta, men kolla in!! Barnbokskatalogen presenterar ett urval av barninriktad litteratur utkommen under året. Bibliotekarier och läsare (stora som små) kikar i den efter bra lästips. Kommer man med i den ökar dessutom chanserna att vinna en plats i tävlingen Bokjuryn där barn röstar fram sina favoriter. I mitten av katalogen finns en poster som hängs upp på biblioteken med de böcker som finns med i katalogen, och det ökar chanserna avsevärt! 2010 vann min manga Mjau! 1 andraplats (efter den internationella succén Lou) och 2014 fick Sword Princess Amaltea 2 en tredjeplats den med (ettan var Amulett 5 och Mulleboken 2014 som båda är kända storfavoriter). Hoppas Nosebleed Studios Stora Mangasamling eller Sword Princess Amaltea 3 landar på topp-3 i år!! Om du är i skolåldern eller känner någon som är, så se till att de röstar i sitt skolbibliotek i februari 2016! #bokjuryn #nosebleedstudio #swordprincessamaltea #barnbokskatalogen #braserier
Ett foto publicerat av Natalia Batista, mangaka (@nataliasmanga)



October
In October I took the chance to try the Inktober challange: to make one inked picture every day for a month. It felt like a good thing to do to fill my Instagram with illustrations... but I thought I could make it even more interesting! I decided I would make it into a give-away thing, and donated the image to the first person who commented on it on Instagram. I didn't know what I just started... but it became a monster! People where haning around my feed for hours just to get a chance, and even though I gave away 30 illustrations, there was still a bunch of awesome fans who didn't get any. Sorry about that. I'll make a post soon with all the pics so you can see them, but here's one:


This month also ended up getting quite event-heavy in the end:
17th of October: HBTQ Book Fair at the Malmö City Library
24th-25th of October: I Seriernas Värld, a childrens comic festival in Malmö
29th of October: Manga workshop at TioTretton in Stockholm
30th-1st of November: Comic Con Gamex in Stockholm
The HBTQ Book Fair was small but fun since we had Freya to promote. I Seriernas Värld ("In The World Of Comics") used to be bigger but they have changes the location again and that probably made them lose some visitors. A lot of them. The manga workshop in Stockholm was a huge sucess with 50 participants! And last but not least Comic Con Gamex, which was so fun, lot's of people and a good mix of different nerdy interests. Nosebleed Studio had a booth!


November
Since mid October, I have been working more hours at Serieskolan, because one of my colleagues was on parental leave. This went on until mid December, and even though it was super fun, it made me have less time to create stuff. But I still made time for drawing, and I had something I needed to make: my contribution to the next Nosebleed Studio anthology, our 10 years jubilee anthology none the less! We decided upon the theme of friendship. My short story (42 pages long) is called When I Close My Eyes. I'll make a blog entry about it soon...

December
I drew my short story manga, uploaded sneak peeks on instagram (like the one below) and worked at Serieskolan. Most of the days.



A proof of Amaltea becoming popular is the fact that the library in Ängelholm asked me to make a painting to decorate their new comics section. I felt so honored! After some sketches we decided upon a 1:1 scale Amaltea with her sword so the visitors can take pictures with her!
The painting is digital and printed on canvas, which makes it less fragile compared to a painted... painting.





This was my 2015. A year of conclusion. A year of closing the door and opening a new. Of turning a page, starting a new chapter.
I also got some eye opening experiences and meetings. Trips to places, new friendships and old that came back. I also think that I now, the year before 30, feel I am finally quite satisfied with where I have arrived. And this is not the finish line, by far!

Oh, and the sales of Sword Princess Amaltea is hitting the roof! Till today the first and second book have gone into reprints again, and sold together over 5000 copies! The third book was therefore printed at a first edition of 3000! I'm looking forward to the coming year and being able to sell them all together as a full package, a proof of what you can accomplish with hard work, determination and a dream of creating manga.

I already know from the several fan letters I have received that I am inspiring the new generation of manga artists right now. And that feels soooooo goooood. ♥ 



✰ Aiming for a prosperous 2016! ✰