Talk about a lot of flying– getting from Los Angeles to Norway took me about 24 hours of travel or so. My body had absolutely no idea what day or time it was! Stay up until 4:30 AM, you say? Sure! It’s only midnight somewhere!
The convention invited me to be a Guest Speaker, and I was honored that they’d choose me for the job. Stribefeber (sorta translates to Comic Strip Fever) is a small show located in the city of Kristiansand, which is on the southern coast of Norway …which means that I wasn’t completely freezing, so hooray for that!
The show lasted Friday-Sunday, and during that time I got to meet a lot of talented European artists and exchange work with them: Chris Stonehill from the UK, Silje Camilla Pilla from Norway, Mathias Dønnestad, and so many, many more. I took part in an interview with the fantastic Michael Prince which was quite challenging and fun, helped Nicolas Villareal out with his weekend-long Visual Development workshop, and also talked a bit about role models for girls/women to introduce the documentary WONDERWOMEN! The untold story of American Superheroines.
Outside of the convention, I got to do a bit of sightseeing, and visited the fantastic Artist Island just off the coast called Odderøya. It used to be a military defense island, but in recent times it’s been given by the government to local artists to house their studios and art projects. Street artists’ work can be seen absolutely everywhere. The island also features some old WWII bunkers (which were REALLY cool), one of which has been transformed into a secret library.
We also visited a district of Kristiansand called Posebyen, which houses the only remaining wooden buildings in the city from before a big fire many decades ago. I think it was 1920 something? Jetlag Brain could not remember the date. Whoops. Anyway, they are considered a treasure so there are many restrictions on painting and remodeling. All of their backyards are butted up to one another too, which creates a lovely interior garden!
Norwegians are an extremely friendly bunch, and I felt completely welcome and comfortable during my entire stay. The country itself is beautiful, and I was quite shocked at how much they support and foster culture and arts.
I had a wonderful time at the convention, and made tons of friends. I look forward to going back to that beautiful country again someday soon!
THANK YOU, NORWAY! (And a special thanks to my friends Ingunn and Charlotte for housing and caring for me all weekend. They are delightful hosts!) <3