Friday, February 14, 2014


Name? Janne Karlsson

Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely) born 1973

Location? Linköping, Sweden        

How long have you been drawing? I can´t remember when I wasn´t drawing. I probably made my first comic strip at the age of four or five.

Do you have a specific style? I guess so, but I´m not very good in describing it myself.

Do you draw full time as a career? Well, I try. Occasionally my art pays the bills alone. I´m lucky enough to be able to teach drawing too, and those jobs are fairly lucrative ones.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as an artist? Tough question. I really don´t know…

What is your ultimate goal as an artist? To live entirely off my ink and paper. I don´t need riches, just enough money to survive and not having to prostitute myself by going back to my previous career in the psychiatry/addictive health care.

What is your greatest challenge as an artist? Illustrating poetry. It´s a fantastic feeling when you nail someone else´s words and emotions in ink. And most enjoyable too…

What projects of yours have been recently published? Hearts for Brains by Rob Plath (illustrations), Alchemy by John Yamrus (illustrations) and Factory Reject by Wolfgang Carstens (illustrations). And there´s a bunch of different poetry/art magazines coming out this spring with my work in them. The Stray Branch, just to mention one.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? I´m always involved in many different projects. I´m making one comic project with genius poet Wolfgang Carstens, and another with brontosaur maniac Catfish McDaris. I´m also constantly hunting for publishers for older scripts and projects yet to be published, one of which is “Vägsjäl” with the Swedish horror novelist/poet Stewe Sundin.

Where can we find your work? Anywhere. Where there´s filth and fury, you´ll find my musky artwork covering the panic. My website or the Epic Rites Press website are two good spots for smelling my dirt.

       How often do you draw? Constantly. I only pause to eat, shit, fuck, sleep and sip red wine.

       How do you react to rejections? I react with an archaic smile. I´m used to it. Hell, I was born rejected. The first 20 years of my active and ambitious drawing career has been an uphill mountain walk with anchors chained to my feet. The last four or five years the rocks have finally begun moving.

       How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? With happiness. And if I also get paid, I react with more happiness.

       What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as an artist? Don´t. Madness and tunnel vision are the keys to success.

       What is your favorite book? Crudely mistaken For Life by Wolfgang Carstens. And I´m not saying that because he and I are friends. The poems in that book are breathtaking.

       Who is your favorite author? Swedish novel author Torgny Lindgren.

       Who is your favorite artist?   You mean drawing artist? Don´t have any really. I do like Picasso and Munch though. Medieval artists. And I love European caricature artists of the 1800:s.    

        If you could have dinner with one living or dead person, who would it be and why? I´d love having dinner with my father. Living company? Doubtless Seth McFarland, the creator of Family Guy. Now there´s another genius.

        What is the greatest occupational hazard for an artist? Except for being ripped off by false people, I´d say lack of focus. You can´t stay at the factory when your heart is crying to create. Again, madness and tunnel vision.

        What makes you laugh? Family Guy on tv.

        What makes you cry? anything. As a matter of fact, today as I walked home from the gym I met the husband (and sons) of a former colleague, who told me she´d died yesterday. Seeing this old man shaking with tears and desperation, clutching my arms, crying “I don´t know if I´ll make it on my own”  really did the trick. Briefly I cry for the living, not for the dead.

What is your preferred drink while you draw? Red wine or coffee.

Beach or Mountains? Both.

Cats or Dogs? I´m not a pet person really. Bulldogs are cool though.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? TRS

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra? Easy one. Jimi Fucking Hendrix, of course.

Shakespeare or Bukowski? Easy one again. Mr B

     Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.

Personal website/blog:

Facebook profile or page: search svensk apache

Twitter profile:

      Books for sale and/or press Several on epic rites. Soon to come: The Human Unkind, a collection of comic strips. Dark and dirty. Preorder it on Epic Rites, motherfuckers!

      Please share something about your country, its people, & native animals? Good things about Sweden: The nature, the space, the general welfare (in terms of health and social care), beautiful women and great food.
Shitty things here: Increasing poverty, racism and exclusion. Swedish comic industry. Made by morons for morons.

Native animals: crab lice, anal worms, mooses, bears, wolves and me.

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