I realise this is so last month, everyone is doing it now. But I've just recently borrowed a copy of the comic strip compilation This Is Stockholm, which gathers comics from the comic strips Stockholmsnatt and Disco Sucks, both by Stefan Thungren and Pelle Forshed, and it shows flashes of absolute brilliance.
The strips of a group of twenty-something fashionistas (or "fashionists" as the book's internal scheme of ideologies would have it) as they navigate the treacherous world of trend cycles, indie kids, art school Christmas markets, neo-mods, goths and sarcasm. There's a family of relentless wiggers, a trustafarian anticipating Ras Trent, two friends born on different sides of 1980 (and thus self-consciously having different mentalities), sixteen-year old video bloggers with Kanye West electro shades, and a whole lot more.
One by one the strips can often be very funny indeed, peppered with self-depreciation and obscure hipster references, but taken together they leave a bit of a sour taste in your mouth from the relentless progression of changing styles, the uncool slowly being written out, the same empty posturing year after year. There's also a notable weakening around the beginning of 2008, but whether it's because the writer has lost touch with the notoriously fickle winds of hipster fashion or whether we're just not ready to joke about our own time yet is a bit unclear.
A couple of the less Stockholm-specific examples which I've taken the liberty of translating into English. This first strip should hit home with a lot of readers in this blog. I know it did for me.
The second one is rather more typical. I swear I used to live next to this office last year, although the one next to me had cult Japanese plush toys and a projector-screen X-Box instead.
I don't know whether I should laugh and thus join into the hipster self-depreciation (since I get all the references) or whether I should just feel a bit sick and dismiss it. I think, perhaps, that was the cartoonists' intention.
2017 with feeling
1 week ago