Aby-a-Day – 29 Januari: Lucky 7’s (Cartoon Tuesday)

A few weeks ago, Iris sent me an email about this year’s NEMO show. She wanted me to do a drawing of Marlin for the flyers and online show postings. Unlike previous years, we’re not having a barbecue, so a variation of Chef Marlin isn’t an option. Actually, it was kind of a relief; I’m not sure I could come up with yet another iteration on that theme. She wrote: It is our 7th show, so we are going with Lucky 7’s and dice and gambling and Las Vegas kinda stuff. This means we need some new art for the flyer (which we hope to have together by the end of this month).
So what do you think? Can you help us out? It wouldn’t be a NEMO show without Marlin!

So, as soon as I read that, I had an idea. Marlin playing craps.

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I came up with an illustration that had three variations. Marlin with the dice and the entire craps table…Marlin with the dice and just the bumper…

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…and just Marlin and the dice. So depending on the need, there’s a graphic with Marlin for any occasion. And, if they want something other than Marlin, they’re always welcome to use my drawing of Lorelai as a Vegas showgirl!

Aby-a-Day – 8 January: Pub quiz doodles (Cartoon Tuesday)

Our favourite pub, The Bishop’s Arms, holds a pub quiz on Wednesday evenings. When Björn works downtown, and I happen to be downtown too, we’ll go play. As a team, we do pretty well; we’ve won everything from 800kr, to hair salon vouchers, to glasses, a package of napkins, and Bishop’s Arms reflectors.

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They supply us with pencils and paper, and the golden rule is NO SMARTPHONES. So…paper, pencil, no phones and downtime..? Yeah, I started sketching on the quiz form.

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I also did a little drawing of Jacoby as the Bishop in the logo. Even with a ballpoint pen, drawing on paper napkins is HARD! I guess Picasso must have done his art on cloth ones.

Aby-a-Day – 25 December: The sole of Christmas (Cartoon Tuesday)

In Sweden, the main Christmas celebrating is done on 24 December. After the ritual of Donald Duck, the presents are opened and then dinner is eaten.

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The traditional Julbord, which Björn’s mother orchestrated every year to perfection, consists of pickled herring, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs with kaviar,

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the Julskinka (ham with mustard), boiled potatoes, Janssons Frestelse (a sort of potato casserole with anchovies), cabbage rolls (which I can totally get behind because they’re also a Russian thing), handmade köttbullar (meatballs – ours were moose, lamb and wild boar),

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Prinskorv (sort of like hot dogs, but better), a ball of cheese and bread, and a cheesecake.

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This was our first year assembling the feast ourselves, and the first we have done at home instead of going to Jönköping. Beer, wine and shots of aquavit are usually drunk before, during, and after the meal, but this year we also added my kickass eggnog with rum, tequila, whiskey and hazelnut liqueur. Because, hey, let’s start our own traditions! (I also introduced the hanging and filling of stockings, which we open on Christmas day, because that was MY tradition. I still have the stocking I was given on my very first Christmas, when I was six months old.

The one Swedish Jul tradition I am not completely onboard with is the Christmas Day dinner of lutfisk served with potatoes and peas. Not that lutfisk is bad…it’s just bland. It’s basically like eating hard-boiled egg whites. Which is great, I love hard-boiled eggs. Just not necessarily for Christmas dinner. And I don’t really like peas all that much, either. We would always eat it at Björn’s mom’s house…but this year, we are having goose and starting our own tradition (which also includes the oranges my mom always used to put in our stockings).

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The first Christmas I spent in Sweden, I drew this silly little drawing of a “lute fisk” as a joke for Björn’s brother…and today I got the idea to update it a bit with Abys. And a Singapura. Just a sketch for now, but…Happy Christmas, everyone!

Aby-a-Day – 18 December: Luciatåg (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Thursday was St Lucia’s Day here in Sweden (Luciatåg), and it is another religious day turned into a secular celebration. December 13, under the old Julian calendar, was the date of the Winter Solstice, an important event in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries because the sun is only up for a few hours, and the nights are extremely long. After the Winter Solstice the sun returns and days get longer. The name Lucia actually derives from the Latin word for “light” (lux), so Swedes took Lucia’s saint’s day and turned it into a non-religious celebration of the lengthening of days and the return of light from the darkness of winter. Luciatåg becomes a part of the larger Jul celebration which officially starts on the first Sunday of December (although decorations start going up after Halloween) and continues through Christmas to Twelfth Night. By “tjugondag Knut” (20 days after Christmas), the decorations are taken down and the Christmas tree thrown out (if it’s a real tree), traditionally with a party but that custom has begun to disappear.

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Lucia is celebrated by girls dressed as St. Lucia (being chosen to portray Lucia is quite an honour) and Lucia’s handmaidens (“tärnor”) and boys dressed as star boys (“stjärngossar”), gnomes (“tomtar”) and gingerbread men (“pepparkaksgubbar”) who sing Natten går tunga fjät (“Night Walks with a Heavy Step”) and other songs celebrating light.

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So, naturally I had to draw Lorelai as Lucia and Izaak as a star boy…

Aby-a-Day – 4 December: Falukorv (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how, when Logan was the same age as Izaak, he was acting more like a tomcat – peeing, yowling, pacing – whereas all Izaak has done is just gotten tomcatly bulk. I also mentioned that I call him “my little sausage”.

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Specifically, a Falukorv, a Swedish sausage made of pork and either beef or veal, with potato starch and spices which originated in Falun, about 330km North-Northeast from Skövde.

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Relax, Zak…It’s kind of like baloney. Different, but…that sort of taste.

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But as he’s been bulking up, I’ve been calling him my Falukorv more and more. And today, I did a little sketch…

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…Which turned a little whimsical. I may need to finish this one up.

Aby-a-Day – 6 November: Sketchy Singapura (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is a work in progress of a Singapura drawing I’m working on…

What do you think?

Aby-a-Day – 30 October: “If you get stuck, draw with a different pen” (Cartoon Tuesday)

The weekend before last, Björn, Kalle and I went to the aby-aSweden Game 2018 here in Skövde. I’m not really much of a gamer, but I went along anyway, figuring there’d be something interesting there. And I was right! The first thing we saw was a huge display of Wacom tablets. I do have one, but I find it very difficult to draw on it as I find the disconnect between drawing on the table and looking at the computer screen difficult. But they also had the Wacom MobileStudio Pro tablets, the type where you draw directly on the screen, available to play with. They were also holding a Spiderman-drawing contest…so the drawing above is what came of that combination. I know it’s not up to my usual standards…but it was drawn in under an hour whilst standing up and using an unfamiliar device, so I can’t beat myself up too much about it.

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But I actually found an intriguing came to play as well: Cateau. Cateau, made by a company based right here in Skövde, is an award-winning choose-your-own-adventure type game that involves walking around in Paris making friends with outdoor cats you meet along the way. Sadly, though, it’s only playable on PCs and I don’t know if they’re going to create a Mac or iOS version. They had a sheet of paper where people who tried out the game could “leave a cat,” so of course I had to sketch a quick Jacoby. There are a lot of other players who are good at drawing cats, though!