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“The Raft” is Complete

December 14, 2011

After a few months of regularly publishing new page of “The Raft” online, the story is now complete, with all 60 pages available here.

You may notice that underneath each page of my comics, there are a few icons. The first is for downloading the comic you’re reading as a .cbz file, the second gives you a thumbnail view of the comic plus a copy of the manuscript, the third is for sharing the comic with your friends through social media sites (please do), and the last one just sends you to the front page.

If you would rather read it on paper, it’s still avaible in print at a reduced price of only US$9.95 for the remainder of 2011. A big thank you to all you guys who bought my book so far.

David is a Funeral Director, Who Just Happens to be Gay

October 26, 2011

David is a funeral director, who happens to be gay.

Phrases like that are commonly heard when discussing gay characters in fiction, but what do they really mean?

On the surface they simply mean that the characters gayness is not important to the story, but if you dig a little deeper it has a more subtle and darker undertone. Many people, both gay and straight, attach negative connotations to gay themed comics, books and films, and by saying that the main character “just happens to be gay”, they are trying to distance the work from the feared “gay” label that might otherwise brand the story. But is it so bad for a book or film to be called gay, if it in fact is gay?

A straight co-worker of mine argued that the film “I Love You Phillip Morris” wasn’t really a gay movie, because it was entertaining for a straight audience. To me, “I Love You Phillip Morris” is most definitely a gay movie, it has a gay lead character who is out and proud, a coming-out story, a gay romance and gay sex, the only thing that sets it apart from most gay comedies is that it has famous lead actors and a big budget. Maybe “gay themed” has become synonymous with a low budget, low production values and limited talent.

It is understandable that major publishers and film studios avoid the gay label. They like to stick to tried and tested formulas that they know will sell. A gay lead character could easily scare away 90% of the straight audience, which would make them loose money on the project. Smaller specialized publishers, who have lower costs, can afford to cater to a niche audience.

A gay tale that is well told, should be able to find an audience based on it’s own merits. However this does not seem to be the case. The film studios may actually be right on this one. Once a story is labeled gay, most straight people, especially guys, will avoid it. They don’t want to see two guys kissing and they don’t want “the gay agenda” shoved down their throats. I guess it’s partially because people like stories they can easily relate to, and partially it’s good ol’ homophobia.

Maybe we haven’t come as far with gay rights as we think. We still find the need to mention that a character “happens to be gay”, somehow deflating his gayness and making him more acceptable to a straight audience, while you never hear anyone say that someone “just happens to be straight”. In fact a sentence like, “007 is a special agent for the MI5, who just happens to be straight”, sounds palpably absurd.

Video Review of The Raft by the Gay Comics Geek

October 6, 2011

The Gay Comics Geek has just posted a great video review over at his YouTube channel. Check out the review, and many of the fun and interesting posts and videos over at his site.

New Review of The Raft Over at the Gay League

September 25, 2011

Joe Palmer, of the Gay League, has just posted a great review of “The Raft and Other Stories“.

Where to Buy “The Raft and Other Stories”

September 23, 2011

There are now several ways you can buy my book, “The Raft and Other Stories”. The simplest is probably by clicking the shop link above, which takes you to my shop page. Payment and shipping is handled by CreateSpace, and not me directly. If you would rather use Amazon, it’s available there too.

If you don’t like shopping on-line, the book is available through bookstores too. Just ask for the title, and they will most likely be able to order it for you through Ingram. If I’m lucky, they may even buy a few extra copies to stock on their shelves.

Finally, if you happen to live in Oslo, Norway, you can find the book in the comic book store Outland at the train station (Østbanehallen) and in Tronsmo. I also donated a copy to the comics library, Serieteket, which you can borrow if you would rather not spend money on the book or are short on cash. 🙂

Review of The Raft on the Gay Comics List

September 11, 2011

François Peneaud just posted a great review of “The Raft and Other Stories” over at his site, The Gay Comics List. Hop on over to his site and check it out.

Interview with me on Gaysir

September 3, 2011

There is an interview with me on the popular Norwegian website Gaysir.no. If you don’t speak Norwegian, you can always try running it through Google Translate.

Drawing on Open-Source

September 2, 2011

Open-source software is software where both the source code and the software itself is made available for free. It’s developed by a mix of individuals and companies, and anyone is free to extend, modify and generally improve on it, as long as they make their changes available to others. Open-source software is to commercial software, what Wikipedia is to the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Historically open-source software was mainly the domain of computer nerds and university professors, but in the last decade it has really come into it’s own, and now pretty much everyone uses open-source software in some way or another. For instance, this page is running on a Linux server, using WordPress, PHP, Apache, Python, Cheetah, ImageMagick and MySql, all open-source software. Not only that, but most of the graphics on this page were made with open-source software too.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I’m going to give you a quick overview of some of the free open-source tools I use to make comics, software that you can download and try out for yourself.

» Continue reading “Drawing on Open-Source”

I’m in Blikk, LGBT Magazine

August 30, 2011

Today Blikk, a Norwegian LGBT magazine, published an interview with me on their site. If you can read Norwegian, head over to their site and have a look, if not you can always try Google Translate, though the resulting translation is somewhat mangled.

Win a Signed Copy of My Comic Book

August 9, 2011

The Raft and Other Stories cover, by Ragnar Brynjúlfsson

Note! This competition is now over, and three lucky winners have been picked at random. I’ll likely do another competition in the future, so all hope is not lost yet. 🙂

Now is your chance to win a signed copy of my comic book “The Raft and Other Stories“.

All you need to do is:

  1. Post a link to any of my comics that you like on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, MySpace, Blogger, or anywhere else you find appropriate. You can enter as many times as you like, as long as each mention is on a different site (no spamming please).
  2. Send an e-mail to: competition@queertales.com with a link to your mention of my comics.

That’s it!

I’ll be choosing three winners at random on September 1st, the second anniversary of queertales.com.

Note! I won’t be using your e-mail address for other than getting your snail mail address if you win. You can take part from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a postal address. 🙂