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Hullo boys and girls and boirls. I'm starting a new weekly thing over at my site, so come have a look. I hope you'll like it :)
I've moved back to Denmark. I had a good time in England, but I hated living in the city and I didn't have other opportunities there.
I now live in the outskirts of the suburbs with two friends where I have a little garden in which I can sunbathe, and for the first time in a year I've got a tan. 
A few houses down the road lives a woman with puppies that you can freely pet and play with in her front garden, and a bit further away is a field with some very affectionate sheep and lambs that love to be pet.
Beyond that are wide fields and forests, with tiny old houses and an impressive estate from the 1300's, and well, I'm just so freaking happy to be living here. I'm feeling very inspired to do more folklore art, but I'm so busy exploring the area while the weather is good that I might not get a lot done. Too excited during the day, too tired in the evening. :)
I'll be moving back to Denmark in April. Nothing wrong with England, I just missed home, friends and family too much, and to top it off I live in a big city right now and I'm not a city person at all.

Anyway, the point being that I don't know how long it will take me to get everything set up and I'll be able to draw again. However, I don't want SaTW to just stop for weeks while that happens, so I'd like you guys to ask some questions for the SaTW characters.

It can be about anything from history to the characters themselves.

Or you might want to see their reaction to something "How would Sweden react to finding a clown doll in his kitchen" or whatever.

Every Wednesday the site will then automatically upload the answer comics I prepared so there'll be something to look forward to. :)

So ask away!
Watched Frozen today and it was quite the mess of Scandinavian culture and stereotypes. Don't get defensive if you really love the movie. It was indeed a cultural mess, but in an entertaining way. Also, while watching it, I unintentionally came up with a somewhat sinister theory of what is going on behind the scenes of the main story. (Keep in mind this is just for fun. I can't imagine this was what Disney was thinking. Consider it an alternative interpretation of the Frozen universe)

While it takes place in some Disney fantasy country called Arendelle, it's clearly strongly inspired by Norway, what with all the mentions of fjords and such. But the people in the royal city are wearing clothes that looks like a mix between Swedish and Norwegian dress and they raise a maypole which is mostly a Swedish tradition in Scandinavia (it's still done a few places in Denmark too and even fewer places in Norway, so really, it's seen as a Swedish thing). At one point they meet a shopkeeper who speaks with an accent that sounds a lot like how Swedes sounds when they make fun of Norwegians. And of course there is Hans from The Southern Isles, which sounds like a fancy way of saying Denmark (it's mostly made up of islands and it's the most southern country in Scandinavia).

So what could all this mean? Let me give you a little (very simplified) history lesson. 
For a few years Sweden, Norway and Denmark were joined in a union, but then the Danish upper class went a bit crazy and killed some of the Swedish upperclass. Sweden wouldn't stand for that and left, so for many years it was just Denmark and Norway. Then the Napoleon wars happened. Denmark sided with Napoleon, so Sweden sided with England if England would let Sweden have Norway if they won. England agreed, and as we all know Napoleon lost. The Norwegians had been trying to get Denmark to give them free for a long time so they were not happy when they were suddenly forced into being part of Sweden. They made so much noise that years later the Swedes finally let them go. The Norwegians decided they needed a royal family of their own, and asked a Danish prince who weren't likely to get the Danish throne any time soon if he wanted to be king of Norway (Partly because the original Norwegian kings were in his blood, partly because he had a British wife which would help their relationship with England). He agreed, changed his name to a Norwegian one and ruled Norway through the Second World War.

So Frozen could be taking place during the time Sweden ruled Norway. Obviously that would mean Elsa wasn't the actual queen if she was living in Norway but rather some kind of Swedish official in charge of Norway, but work with me here. That would explain why the shopkeeper is the only one with an accent. He and his/the family in the sauna are the only actual Norwegians in the whole damn movie (An argument could be made for Kristoff, but he's clearly a Sami and they don't always like to refer to themselves as belonging to any nation). The accent is silly because he's a low class Norwegian through the eyes of an upperclass Swede. Everybody else are rich Swedes acting like they own the place, with a power hungry Dane who's still angry Denmark lost Norway plotting to take the country back. So basically, the story is about upperclass invaders of two different nations having a piss fight over Norway while the Norwegians just have to sit and watch them because no one is asking them what they want. And to make it even worse for Hans, this would mean that in a few years Norway would be free and ask one of his brothers if he want to be their king while Hans has to watch from his prison cell.

So there you go. Frozen is about fancy upperclass foreigners who think they own the place. ;)

EDIT: Could also be a reason why Elsa doesn't want Anna and Hans to marry. Sweden and Denmark weren't exactly the best of friends, so of course Elsa would think "What on earth are you doing Anna? A Dane? Really? No no no! I am in charge of Norway so my sister can't marry a god damn Dane! What are people back in Sweden going to think!?"

EDIT: Again, I have to make it clear, this is not at all serious. It's just for fun. The country of Arendelle is just something Disney cooked up so they wouldn't have to stick to one culture, so we get a mix of a lot of Norway, some Sweden and Sami, a bit of Danish and even some Finnish and Icelandic thrown in.
Some quick "His Last Vow" thoughts. Spoilers if you haven't seen it yet.

Still love Mary. Shooting Sherlock probably wasn't the best way to get out of the situation, but well, turns out she's a hitman so no wonder her first response to things like this would be shooting someone. She's a lot of things I like in a female character. She's fun, she can kick ass, yet not in a "macho fighting fucktoy" way. She's recognizable as a woman, and not just as a character written as a man then changed into a woman for the screen (a method used rather often because a lot of writers don't know how else to give a female character depth)

Lars Mikkelsen was brilliant as Charles Augustus Magnussen. He played a character whom Holmes despise more than any other person in the world, the closest thing book canon comes to pure evil, and Mikkelsen nailed it. I didn't even want to punch Magnussen in the face because the thought of making any kind of skin to skin contact with him creeped me out.

And finally, I really truly hope that is not the real Moriaty. Please let it be someone using his image. He was a great villain and I like how he is part of Sherlock's mind, but this cheapens his character for me. He had such a great ending. Bringing him back makes this feel like Supernatural to me where death has no consequence and characters seemingly dies left and right and it's just going to turn into one big joke.

Edit: Also, it amuses me that Sherlock has "normal porn interests" because one character was shown to have "no porn interests". He's a character who's sexuality or lack thereof could never truly surprise me, though if he wasn't asexual he was at least in the less sexual end of the spectrum, so everything with his "girlfriend" made me incredibly uncomfortable just because it was a LOT of sexuality he suddenly dumped on us (and John). When it later turned out they never had sex (though some fondling was probably involved if taking showers together was normal) I let out a mental breath I didn't know I had been holding. Supposed that's why I like his "normal porn interests" It seems so mild comparing to what I thought he was getting up to.
Lately it has become a bit of a thing for people to ask me what I think of Doctor Who episodes because I've said I watch the show and I've done some fanart.

First off, I'm not so much a Doctor Who fan as I am an Eleven fan. Years ago I bought the Nine season cheap just because I knew Simon Pegg was in an episode. I watched it from start to finish but it didn't grab me at all.
Later a friend sat me down to watch the Ten seasons and I watched it to the end but it still didn't catch my interest.
Then I started watching the Eleven seasons on my own because I knew Mark Sheppard was in two episodes, and I fell in love.
So yeah, I was certainly not a case of "you always prefer your first Doctor" and it will be interesting to see if I will fall out of love again now that Eleven is gone.

Secondly, I have a very hard time taking the show seriously. Sure, I cry a bit from time to time and sit on the edge of the sofa when it gets existing, but I will never be one of those people who jumps up ready to fight if someone insults the show. I watch it because it is corny and childish and over the top and weird and stupid. I don't expect continuity or serious subjects from it any more than I expect it from a Sunday cartoon.
Sometimes when I watch it with a friend he will say "This part is so embarrassingly stupid. Shame they had to end such a good episode so stupidly" and all I can do is look at him and ask "How is that any more stupid than everything else on the show?"

So asking me what I think of a Doctor Who episode will always get the same answer:
It was stupid and silly and weird, but I had a lot of fun watching it.
Now that the holidays are upon us and the new year is just around the corner, allow me to give you a little positive life advise.

Take a chance.

I know, it's such a lame advise you hear all the time, but it's only recently I realized that's what happened to me. I used to have such a shitty lonely life because I always said no to everything because I was afraid of people. The few times I said yes and went to parties I was uncomfortable and always ended up leaving early.
Then I was offered to be a guest at a convention and I was very close to turning that down too. Just the thought of either sitting at a table and nobody caring or too many people caring and flooding me was terrifying. 

I ended up saying yes, and when I got there it turned out to be the second scenario. I was sitting in a ridiculously hot room over an indoor swimming pool and a wall of faces and arms around me asking for autographs, wanting hugs, taking photos, and all talking to me at once. Any of those people can confirm that I was terrified. I was shaking so hard I couldn't write my own signature, even my voice was shaking, and I had a lump in my throat like I was about to cry. The next day I was so frightened by the first experience I showed up very late. This meant things were a lot quieter and I actually had a chance to talk properly with a few people. 

That was when things turned around for me. I was afraid and didn't expect to click with the sort of people who went to conventions just like I had never clicked with the people who went to parties when I was younger. But I did and I went to a lot of conventions after that.
Things got weird and crazy for some time after that because I was suddenly known by a lot of people who were very different from me and expected something from me I couldn't deliver because I was only just coming out of lonely shell and didn't know shit and said shit as a result. But that also put me in contact with people who told me what's what and not only did I become more informed I also gained some friends.
Today I am at a level I am comfortable with. I have few close friends but that's all I need, and more people I can just meet up with a few times a year and have a good time with, not to mention a more moderate following on the Internet who stayed with me through my meltdowns and (continued) development who I feel less overwhelmed by.

So if you feel lonely or like life is going nowhere, next time you get the chance to go bird watching or someone suggest you come visit their knitting club even though you don't knit, give it a go. You might not like it and then you can just go home, but you might also like it. Or you might like it but get on a crazy roller coaster ride and suddenly find yourself living in a different country. ;)
This is just going to be a rant about something that has been on my mind for a while.

I keep hearing people, religious or atheists, say "You have to pick a side. Picking a side is important. Are you religious or atheist? Picking a middle way like agnostic is cowardly"

You want to know what side I'm on? I'm on the side of I want state and religion to be separate and for it to otherwise not matter.

It's usually people who come from countries where religion still has a big hand in law who feel strongly about this, and I can understand why. Where they come from it is important, but the entire world isn't like that. In the part of the world I come from it doesn't matter if you're religious or not. 

You don't want the abortion because of your religion? Fine, no one is going to force you, but if you do, you can have it. You don't want to get married in a church or have your child baptized? Fine, we'll take care of that at the City Hall. You're gay and want to get married in a church, but the local priest doesn't want to wed you? Fine, the priest in the next town does.

It just doesn't matter. 

Of course, human rights comes first and you will be judged for shitty behavior no matter if you do it for religious reasons or just because you're an asshole.
Your religion tells you to have five wives? You might not all be married in the eyes of the law, but if you have some sort of ceremony that makes it more official to you and everybody's happy, then go on your marry way. You're forcing someone to marry you and keeping them against their will? In the slammer you go.

I'm what we call a culture Christian. I'm not religious but I like Christmas and I had my confirmation because I wanted the party and presents, and the church was happy to confirm me. They got something out of it, I got something out of it. Happy times all around. An non of it meant I or the priest who confirmed me are going to go out and burn down a Muslim family's house or bash the head of a gay baby in.

Which brings me to another point. If people are assholes they will use any excuse they have. 
If you hate gay people and you're religious? It's against the bible! 
If you hate gay people and is atheist? It's just plain disgusting!
Religion has started wars because someone just really wanted to fight someone and used their religion as an excuse, and it has helped millions because someone just really wanted to be nice.
Parents might tell their children that a group of people are horrible because the bible says so, but the children might still grow up to think that group of people are actually pretty awesome anyway and still be religious.
Religion doesn't make someone a better or worse person. It makes them exactly who they already are. Same goes for atheists.

That is how religion is looked at in my part of the world. It doesn't matter. How you act matters. You can take part in religious acts just because they're fun and the religious people will usually welcome you knowing you won't join the religion afterwards.

So that's the side I'm on. I want it to not matter.
So I'm finally able to watch anything involving Marvel Thor and just tell myself "It's just a movie. No reason to get hung up on the details"

But I still come by some people who only know the myths through the movies and make comments that just make me go nnnnggggg.

"I think some Norwegian myths or something said Loki was Odin's son" 
No, I will repeat this forever, Loki was Odin's blood-brother (they cut themselves and mixed blood, making them official "real" brothers by Viking tradition). Loki was Thor's "uncle". Again, you can enjoy the movies/comics as much as you like, but it's silly to try and change the myths to fit them.

"According to some myths Frigga taught Loki his magic" 
Again no. Jotuns (ice giants) were by default able to preform magic, and the myths very clearly say that Loki learned it from other jotuns.

If you want a plot bunny for your next Thor fanfiction however, this should do. The Vikings considered women to be magic, men not so much. It was seen as unmanly to even try, and it would seem like it was fairly common to believe men couldn't even do it properly. The only other god who does magic is Odin who was taught in secret by Freya, and he mixed blood with Loki...
So the fact that Loki could so easily do magic could have caused some serious suspicion by everybody who wasn't in on the adoption secret in the movies, not to mention Loki feeling like a weird effeminate "freak". Basically, to Vikings a boy who showed signs at being good at magic would be like a boy menstruating (showing signs that he could get pregnant, which Loki of course also did plenty of times)

So yeah, I suppose my point is that if you feel like taking from the myths by making Tom Hiddleston Loki a gender fluid pansexual, go nuts. Just please don't do it the other way around by getting into fights with people over if Loki was Odin's adopted son in the myths or not. That will just give poor Scandinavians headaches and that is, like, super cruel.
...Well, the same parts of Europe for the last few years at least.

I'm being fairly inactive on here, but as it turns out my body would prefer to be active in the real world. My back starts to hurt if I sit at a desk for several days in a row, so I've made a deal with it to only draw every other day which is slowing me down considerably, and I was never fast with pen and paper to begin with. 

So to the people who worried about me, that's all there is to it. No big problems at the moment. Just leaving the desk more.

Besides that not much is going on. Recently came back from two weeks in Denmark immediately followed by a week in Wales which was highly exiting and fun. If you are in need of an old castle, Wales got plenty to go around (apparently they have more castles than any other country in the world)

December will be filled with more traveling, but November shall be nothing but relaxing and lazy, so hopefully I can get some proper work done. :)
I've seen it joked about a few times by Swedes and Norwegians that Danish is so difficult to understand that not even Danes understand it and occasionally have to switch to other Nordic languages to have a conversation.

I thought it was just a joke, but after traveling a lot to Norway and Sweden I've realized that surprisingly many Norwegians and Swedes honestly believe Danes can understand Swedish/Norwegian even when they (the Swedes and Norwegians) don't understand Danish.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but the trouble of understanding goes both ways. Of course it can be done depending on where you're from, how slow you speak, and how willing you are to listen, but I know a few people who work in tourist areas and they all say they understand the Germans better than people from other Nordic countries, even if they didn't have German in school.

So for the joke to be more correct it should be that Danes understand no one. Not Swedes, not Norwegians, not Danes, but a bit German.
Moving to another country (England) as been quite the eye opener when it comes to culture clashes. I was prepared for the big things like driving on the other side of the road, but overall the English culture is so like the Danish that a lot of small differences sneak up on me. Like how a lot of stores have only one big queue, or that people will offer you tea when you visit but not even think to ask what kind you want because they all drink the same thing (In Denmark if people have tea they will offer you at least five different kinds).

A favorite of mine so far has been the word spastic. In Denmark it's completely neutral if you call someone who actually is a spastic a spastic. That's the name of the muscle disease.

But as I learned after far too long, if is very much an insult in England. When people asked me about my convention experiences I would often mention a spastic girl who came up to my table at most cons in Denmark, and how we got to know each other well enough that once on her birthday she demanded a gift from my table. We joked around and I told her to get lost, at which point she acted up her handicap, flailing her arms about and making stupid voices saying "But I'm haaaandiiiicaaaapped!" and it became a battle of will before I finally gave her a small gift and she returned to normal "Aww, you shouldn't have. Thanks"

I told that story for years in England until someone finally said "You shouldn't call her that if you like her. That's really insulting"
"Stop saying that"
"...But she is a spastic"

So yeah, culture clashes. You learn something new every day. :XD:

What is this Swedish construction? I've seen it in quite a few Danish music videos, such as…

A short list of things that will help you better understand Scandinavian folklore creatures. Some I've talked about before, others are new.

1) They are people. While they could turn invisible to humans they weren't considered spiritual creatures, but people with their own cultures. The troll culture, the elf culture, the gnome culture, and so on. They were believed to live normal everyday lives with their own conflicts and struggles, much like fantasy races in modern fiction.

2) They will treat you like you treat them. While some creatures are more dangerous than others, they always respond to respect with respect, kindness with kindness, and rudeness will be severely punished. This goes for ALL of them, even those popular media has taught you are either nice or evil.

3) They are connected with sex. Some like the huldra are inherently sexual, but even those that are not sexual in nature like gnomes still hold a stronger power over people who think a lot about sex, such as young people and those about to get married.

4) They don't care about gender. Don't think that just because you're a woman the elf girl won't ask you to dance with her, and the huldrekarl will be happy to take you to his home even if you are a man.

5) While most are magic users, it seems to drain them. Trolls and elves are very good with magic, while most others can only use it for a few minutes. Gnomes are so bad at it that a lot of stories involve them turning into calf or foal and suddenly changing back in front of humans because they couldn't keep it up.

6) While most of the creatures can be found in Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish folklore, they don't act exactly the same. A rule of thumb seem to be that the creatures are nicest in the south and becomes meaner the further up north you get.

Hope that helped those of you who have asked a lot about the nature of Scandinavian folklore. :)
Got any stories from the news that could be explained but are still somewhat mysterious? Stories like:

A few years ago I was watching the news when they said a man had been driving on a dark lonely road out in the country when he suddenly ran over a person on the road. He called the hospital, but when the ambulance got there it turned out the man had been dead for a while. The car's wheels hadn't hit anything vital and nothing on the man's body suggested he had been murdered. 

Another time the news told of a Danish man who had disappeared. The police had been looking for him for only a few days when they got a call from Canada. Some Canadian hikers had found the man in the mountains, dead. He was wearing normal everyday clothes, his house keys and wallet in his pockets. He even had his car key despite the car still being back in Denmark.

Both stories could be explained. Maybe the man on the road had a heart attack. Maybe the guy in the mountains wanted to die and chose the Canadian mountains as his final place. But they still have an air of mystery to them and it wouldn't take much to create a supernatural story around them.

So got any stories like that from your local news?
So, all the people saying "No I don't want to know their names because it would take away from the mystery" has actually convinced me to tell you guys their names some day.

Because trust me, there is no awesome mystery and you will still call them 300 and 250 afterwards because oh my god are their names boring and a bit of a pun.

Also because they are going to be interacting a lot with people who know their real names (family) and it's getting harder and harder to not use them.
I'm working on a Niels comic today. It involves Wendy drawing her new family (Thomas, Irene, Britney, 250, and 300).

Question is, do you want to know 250 and 300's real names in this?
Sadly I've become critically ill, so I won't be going to London Expo this time. :(

It is sad times indeed, but there'll be a table selling my stuff in the dealers area, so stop by for a print, book, or beer ghost pin. :)
So, I've uploaded a ton of very sketchy pictures lately and very few digital pictures. That's because, as it turns out, Photoshop works shit with Windows 8. Screen keeps flashing and going black when I try to do something even semi advanced such as *gasp!* using the lasso tool.

Oh well, I like the sketchy look with minimal work done to it. Makes it feel more raw and less set in stone.
So, something about the new frontpage being different for everybody? It's meant to know what you like?

Why am I getting so much My Little Pony, sparkly anime eyes, and weirdest of all, flowers? A lot more flowers than usual. I never click on flowers.