Swedish cartoonist Martin Kellerman’s ROCKY strip appeared a couple of weeks ago in the NYC and Boston editions of the free daily Metro. The press release doesn’t make it clear if this was a one off or not, but we interviewed Kellerman a while ago and ROCKY is a very funny and perceptive strip, so running it regularly wouldn’t be a bad idea. According to the PR, a second Rocky collection is due next spring from Fantagraphics.
UPDATE: According to Eric Reynolds, this is indeed a regular gig for now.
On Monday July, 17 the New York and Boston editions of daily free newspaper Metro presented a different kind of daily comic stripÃ¢â¬â?Martin Kellerman’s Rocky.
Kellerman’s Rocky is one of the most acclaimed new comic strips to emerge in the last decade. Being autobiographical, the themes and humor of Kellerman’s comic strip are closer to TV series like “Seinfeld” and or comic books like Peter Bagge’s “Hate” than the more traditional comic strips running in most American newspapers.
Kellerman has also used his character to do unique comics interviews with some of the biggest names in the music industry, like 50 Cent, The Game, and Pharell, and some of Kellerman’s personal favorites like Slick Rick, M.I.A, and Arctic Monkeys. A number of these interviews have been published in American/international magazines like YRB and Vice.
Rocky has been running daily in Europe since 1998. Today the daily strips, and the weekly and monthly full pages of Rocky run in some 40 newspapers and magazines in 8 countries. In Sweden and Norway, Rocky also has its own monthly magazine.
The first English-language Rocky book “The Big Payback” was published by the well-respected Fantagraphics Books in the USA in November 2005, with the second volume scheduled for Spring 2007. The Rocky books are also published in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Italy; plus France and Spain later this year.
This autumn work on a 3-D animated Rocky TV series begins, with a full length animated film to follow. Kellerman is both writer and director of these projects.
What will probably be amazing to American readers is how similar the day-to-day experiences of these Seinfeld-watching, Big Mac-eating, hip-hop-listening Swedes is to theirs. Rocky is a reminder as to how utterly global our culture has become – and a reminder that laughter is truly universal.