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    Kristian Hellesund / Lecture: New optics on Norwegian comics history

    11:30Main library, main stage (Kaarlenväylä 3)



    Special lecture about history of Norwegian comics and Kristian Hellesund`s soon-to-be published book.

    There has been very little research around comics in Norway. There are few papers written by scholars and researchers, and students of literature, arts and history usually pick other subjects than comics for their master or doctoral theses.

    Most of the work around Norwegian comics history has been done by enthusiasts documenting comic books released by various publishers. The first catalogue of comic book releases in Norway, Norsk Tegneserie Index, was released in 1983. Later there have been seven updated editions of this book. One challenge for researchers is that there are comics published in newspapers and magazines that are not documented in these books.

    In my lecture I will present some finds from my work on a book chronicling the history of comics in Norway. After research in libraries and archives, I have found rare and sometimes undocumented comics by Norwegian artists. In some cases the artists involved are better known for their work in other fields.

    I have also documented that what are believed to be early American comic strips and Sunday pages published in Norway, have actually been redrawn and remediated into picture stories with text under the drawings. In my lecture I will present various examples of original American comics and the redrawn versions from Norwegian newspapers, magazines and comic books. I will show the differences through storytelling and remediating and give my thoughts on why this was done. Perhaps some of the artists involved were Norwegian?

    My hypothesis is that we now need new optics to look at the Norwegian comics history. I will therefore present an updated timeline for Norwegian comics history. This timeline will include works from before World War 2, comics works from the 1950s and 1960s, works by the Norsk MAD and Pyton generation and modern comics strips and graphic novels.

    Among the important names in my lecture are Olaf Gulbransson, Ragnvald Blix, Jens R. Nilssen, Solveig Muren Sanden, Håkon Aasnes, Knut Westad, Arild Midthun, Steffen Kverneland, Tommy Sydsæter, Frode Øverli, Lars Fiske, Lise Myhre, Lene Ask, Øystein Runde, Ida Neverdahl, Anja Dahle Øverbye and the Dongery collective.