Ok, before we get down to business, the first thing that we want to say about Mats Jonsson is that he should be made the patron-saint of bloggers everywhere. For those not paying attention, this week, Team Avoid the Future have been hard-at-work, interviewing the creators behind the upcoming titles in Top Shelf's Swedish Invasion line. Being a busy guy (he's the editor of Galago as well as a comic creator in his own right), we agreed to conduct our interview with Mats via email. The result being that, pretty much, he did all the work for us.
Mats has provided us with a great in-depth interview, in which he details (amongst other things) his upcoming English-language book Hey Princess, his thoughts on the Autobiographical genre of comics, the method behind his own writing, his development as a cartoonist, the role of music in his work and his thoughts on the future of comic books in the digital era. Enjoy!
You can say that I've given up on finding some sort of "absolute truth", and now treat my stories as adaptations of my own experiences into another medium. It's a lot like adapting a novel to a movie - you have to concentrate on a main storyline, scrap some sidestories, leave out, or merge, a few characters and perhaps create a new one. But of course I always try to stay true to what actually happened. By the way, a funny thing happened when I wrote the screenplay for a movie version of Hey Princess - it was an adaptation of an adaptation, so to say, and when finished I suddenly realized that in many ways the screenplay was closer to what really happened than the original graphic novel! I don't know if I have evolved as a writer, or perhaps it's the distance in years to the subject matter that made it possible for me to see things more clearly.
Can you us more about your screenplay for a movie adaptation of Hey Princess?
If you wonder: A major Swedish film company bought the movie rights for Hey Princess a couple of years ago, I wrote the screenplay but the project was canned before going into production when the company got a new president who prefered to focus on sequels to family oriented blockbusters from the 80s. I'm now negotiating with another production company.
Music plays a significant role throughout Hey Princess. Bands, concerts, festivals and songs feature in almost every story. Do you consider it to be a theme of your work?
What are your thoughts on Top Shelf’s “Swedish Invasion” event?
- Here, I had to take a three hour break to take my daughter to the hospital, she put a small piece of amber inside her nose, she panicked and I couldn't get it out. -
Well, anyway, I read quite a few terrible, deeply disturbing books written by media hipsters about becoming a parent during Victoria's pregnancy, so I think it's about time that someone steps in and tells the truth.
Next week, we'll be posting a detailed preview of Hey Princess, as well as the other two upcoming Swedish Invasion graphic novels. Stay tuned for those!