I Seriernas Värld

Look at the cute fox! (men en fråga: vem är det som har tecknat den söta franska räven? någon som vet? …)

This is a Swedish festival for comics for and by children and youngsters. There are two competitions, one for kids and one for adults, for creating a story inspired by the theme of the year: France and fables. (Actually, it seems that the kids only have to focus on the fable motif, which implies that France requires a certain maturity to handle… bien sûr)

In the 12th century, stories and verse cycles about the clever fox began to flourish in France. Many writers felt compelled to pick up ancient themes from fables older than Aesop and weave them together into a collective epic tradition that could be called Roman de Renart. Reynard the fox, Reineke Fuchs, Renart le Goupil appeared under many guises but always remained the same trickster at heart – sometimes an amoral villain, sometimes a charming anti-hero. Renart lives on  – although nowadays he is best known as a child-friendly Robin Hood (no coincidence that the Disney producers casted a fox as the mythical English outlaw) or as a romantic swashbuckler (De Cape et De Crocs – another work of French genius). The medieval Renart could be quite nasty and cruel.

My childhood totem animal was the fox. I was simply nuts about them, drew stories about worlds populated with foxes, worshiped our red-furred, pointy-nosed spitz dog (I was thrilled when a British guest in our home commented, “just like a fox!”), wanted to be one, sometimes wore a mock tail (I remember how that tail, probably made out of an old sock, made my day!). Perhaps this competition is something for me, then. (But I said no more commissions! – It’s not a commission, it’s a competition!)