mostly about comments

mostly about comments

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This is the comments section for the (food) comic website Mostly About Food.

Here you can read my notes on the comics (as well as other subjects) and write your own comments.

Events of the End of the Week

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 22:13:36

(Posted originally on January 15th, 2007)

I just can’t seem to get any faster in drawing these comics. And this one was just a “remastered” version of an old comic! Well, enough about that. I can see that I haven’t written anything here in almost two months. It’s about time for some bloglog updates...

So, this one is a rather accurate description of what may or may not have happened (hope you’ll never read this, mom) during three days in August, 1997. The guy on the front page actually looks quite a lot like me. Although at the time I didn’t actually own a Stratocaster, I just couldn’t draw myself playing the guitar that I had, a cheap Charvel-copy by Westone, my first electric guitar.

A lot of you people might not know what macaroni mush is. It’s something my sister calls “mohno” in Finnish and I find it hard to translate. It’s macaroni, mixed with pan-fried ground beef and onion, plus a bag of frozen vegetables (peas, red pepper and corn; the standard mix in Finland). Mohno is served with kethcup. Simple, cheap and reasonably good, especially when you’re a poor student. I will get back to mohno / macaroni mush and its variants when I start drawing stories about student cuisine.

In order to protect the guilty parts, I will not give any further information about the first scene in the story. All I can tell you is that it wasn’t something I / we did frequently, which sort of made the whole pot-food-and-music evenings very special. Joanna told me to change at least Anssi’s name to something else, so that he – a man of irreproachable reputation – wouldn’t be associated with no-good drug abusers. I figured he wouldn’t mind.

Staying in bad habits, even if I didn’t smoke that much weed, I did go to the gun range quite often in 1995-1998. There was this gun dealer with an indoor range, where you could rent pretty much any kind of hand guns and shoot to your hearts content. We would always rent some large-caliber pistols and revolvers and blast away. The .44 magnum made the whole room tremble, which irritated the olympic pistol (.22 LR caliber = small) shooters to the point that we practiced in shifts. The gun range kept a record of their customers and if you went there often enough, you would be eligible to buy your own gun (the police wanted to see your record, of course). The place was closed after an incident in a similar shooting club in Helsinki, where a woman killed three others for no particular reason. I’ve heard that they are trying to open a shooting club again; it wasn’t illegal or anything after the incident, either, but their landlord, a large bank, terminated the lease contract in fear of new shootings, or something.

The event going on at the river bank is “The Night of the Arts”, which started out as a civilized one-night city festival with all kinds of cultural activities, but in a few years it turned into a boring street party with not very many people paying attention to anything else than beer in plastic cups. I guess they don’t arrange the night of the arts anymore in Turku: too little art, too much pissing in street corners.

In all honesty, the meatballs in the last chapter weren’t all that great. I remember them, because they were so large and therefore very hard to cook so that they wouldn’t be black on the outside and red inside. That evening taught me to roll smaller meat balls.

A number of people, none of whom are shown in the comic, are named in the sequence, where I’m trying to call for dinner company. At the time we were good friends with Joanna, but weren’t dating yet. We used to do things together, but she had a summer job in Helsinki, which was a bit of a drag. Then there was Hanna, on whom I once had a serious crush and we had a short relationship. We sort of remained friends for a while even after she dumped me in favour of her old boyfriend, whom she then soon left and found a new, serious (as in marriage-material) boyfriend. Maybe I have to draw a comic about her someday, because the whole thing felt a bit movie-like at the time. I really liked her, but I also knew that she wouldn’t hang out with me for too long. Which was exactly what happened. Tiina was my first real girlfriend. We were together for three years. As a matter of fact, we even got engaged, which now seems unbelieveably immature and stupid, but we were young, romantic and... immature and stupid. We broke up pretty quickly after we moved to the city of Turku to study. Lots of interesting, new people, and so on. It all went rather peacefully and so we kept contact even after she moved in with her new boyfriend – now her husband. And Danne, or Dan, was a friend of mine but we’ve lost contact. We were quite close, but then we weren’t in the same class anymore and both started to find new friends and then he did the classic stunt: find a girl and completely vanish off the face of the Earth. Why am I telling you all this? Don’t know, I just think it’s sort of part of the story. It’s a rather personal story, so some parts might need a bit more explanation (and isn’t that what this blog is for?).

The funny thing is that this is already the second (or actually, the first) comic with James Hetfield of Metallica singing in the last picture. Odd thing, considering that Metallica isn’t really my favourite band, maybe not even top three favourite, but very good anyway. Will the appearance of Mr. Hetfield in the end become a trademark of mine? THAT would be weird...

There’s something I'd like to tell you...

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 22:12:24

(Posted originally on November 17th, 2006)

So, now we are a little family. I just couldn’t let it go without some advertising. Funny, the day our boy was born, I didn’t feel too ecstatic, you know, like in films where the father runs out from the hospital, dealing cigars to everybody while screaming “IT’S A BOY!”. (for some reason, a lot of men seem to congratulate more sincerely if you get a boy) It all felt kind of overwhelmingly natural – apart from the child coming out by a c-section, but... Anyways, during these first four weeks of our acquaintance I have grown all the more excited about him and as clichéed as it may sound, I feel blessed.

And tired. He normally wakes up at 4 am and remains loud and angry up until six or seven. So sometimes, when people tell us to “enjoy this time when your baby is so cute and tiny” I want to bite their heads off. My wife even more so. She gets half of the sleep that I do, so she is going a bit mad at times.

Oh, yeah. He does have a name, too. For quite a long time I tried to sell the idea of naming him Jimmy Page, but she didn’t buy it. I found it very odd, that Robert Plant didn’t go any better. A lot of people in Denmark (and Finland, as well) are named Robert, so where’s the problem? But she did settle on Axel. Although she insisted on writing it with an “e”. (I knew she wouldn’t accept Slash anyway)

Did I already mention that I am tired? And I have apparently caught a cold. Which is probably why I forgot to go teach to my class today (very embarrassing, I can tell you). I’m sure I had some more thoughts on this baby-thing, but they’ve gone, so I’ll stop for now. Having children doesn’t apparently improve concentration.



The Lovely Woman at the Grocery Store

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 22:09:25

(Posted originally on November 2nd, 2006)

Later on I will draw and write an epilogue to this story, so I won’t tell you how it all worked out here and now. Like I said in “Digging the Archives”, I consider this comic my personal best so far, probably because it was very exciting to draw and give to the Lovely Woman. I can still remember, how my sister and a couple of colleagues were constantly asking for updates on whether she had contacted me and how she liked the comic.

But, nine years later, I have to say that the comic is not very well drawn. That’s what you get for leaving things to the last minute (my standard operating procedure). I still didn’t want to polish it up too much, just add some grey to make the characters stand out and to give it a little colour here and there.

Next one will be one called “Events of the end of the week”, which could be regarded as my first food comic, since there is pretty much cooking, eating and drinking going on. Yes, I am working on new comics, too, but it’s taking some time (of which – as stated quite a few times now - I am currently running a bit short).


Freddy Three Times

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 22:06:54

(Posted originally on September 29th, 2006)

Yes, a month per comic is a bit slow, but still (almost) keeping up with the original goal of one page a week. The relatively slow pace is still due to the new job and the time and effort it requires on my part. More on the implications of that later.

Like I wrote in the notes for “Winter Chops”, I wanted to add some sexy spice to the character of Ingela and now I feel she is going to the right direction. With the general society’s current obsession of healthy diets I often feel like a sinner, when I decide to use cream in my cooking (for the third time in the week). And creamy food is sinfully good, so therefore I find it best to have a person with questionable morality and discipline to present creamy cooking.

It seems somehow more rewarding to create and develop suitable characters around certain kinds of food or styles of cooking, than just trying to connect every food experience I’ve had to my own person. Therefore, the readers of MAF can expect to see more fictional characters in the future.

Although there is a slight dilemma with one of the people I’ve already created: namely the Licorice Hunter. I’m a bit puzzled about whether it is appropriate and in good taste to make (even an ever so benevolent and light) parody of the recently deceased Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. You see, the Licorice Hunter is supposed to go to wilder and more dangerous licorice-related adventures and he’ll wind up in all kinds of hazardous situations. The fact that Mr. Irwin was killed by a sting-ray while “on duty” might give a bit eerie background to the licorice adventures. I really don’t know what to do about it. Perhaps I could turn him into a more generic jungle adventurer, but then the story would lose its contrast: a lot of people don’t care much about crocodiles, but there’s this guy who jumps out of his boat into black water to catch one and show how nice and fun they are, versus a lot of people find (salt) licorice unappealing and/or obscure but here we have a man with a mission to prove their prejudices wrong, all the while maintaining that licorice is “harder to handle” than, say, M&Ms. The way things went for the real Crocodile Hunter, one’s expectations for the Licorice Hunter might be less positive. Meaning, the joke might not be funny anymore (if it ever was, but prior to the very regrettable death of Mr. Irwin, that was just a matter of script development). Maybe I just have to wait ten years before proceeding with the licorice stories...?


Ja må jag leva, ja må jag leva...

PersonalPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 22:04:40

(Posted originally on September 13th, 2006)

On September 13th, 1974 at 16:20 EET I came to this world and here have I stayed ever since. Today, 32 years later that event was celebrated first by my wife handing me a nice and heavy Le Creuset cast-iron frying pan and then by us enjoying a crispy duck dinner at my second-favourite restaurant, Yan’s Wok (which will be reviewed sometime later). In addition, I didn’t have any lessons today, which felt like a birthday present after the 12-hour lecturing shift yesterday. The sky was clear, the air was warm, but there was the crisp element of autumn in it. Definitely not the worst day of the year. Special thanks to mom and dad!

What I have been eating lately

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 21:57:12

(Posted originally on August 30th, 2006)

Here’s one that doesn’t need much explanation (but I’ll give some anyway). It has the sloppiest writing so far, but then again, the whole idea was to quickly get a hang of the drawing tablet and skip the manuscript. I did get some new ideas about how to utilize the tablet and how to make the drawings a bit “cleaner”. These ones turned out very, very sketchy, probably because I didn’t do any sketching first. That could be fixed by drawing some quick lines in grey and then the final picture in black, on a new layer and then just delete the first layer, pretty much like with pencil and ink, but just faster (hopefully).

Unfortunately, lately I haven’t had much time to get used to the tablet or to draw anything with pens, either. The new job is taking quite a share of my time and energy and now I feel a bit guilty for neglecting the blog. I’m quite sure there will be some new stuff by Sunday, at least. Just bear with me, okay?

Pasta Pronto Pronto

ComicsPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 21:54:42

(Posted originally on August 13th, 2006)

If the pasta wasn’t all that quick to make, neither was the comic about it. This one took me three weeks to produce! Apparently the production dept. is experiencing some difficulties in picking up the pace after the vacation...

This one is based on true events, from some three-four years ago, when I had just started to make my own pasta. It was a Wednesday and I had a strange idea about home-made pasta being just as quick to make as cooking dry spaghetti. I was probably under the influence of Jamie Oliver, to whom everything is “dead simple and quick”. I don’t remember the sauce that was made that evening, but we had our dinner pretty late. So late, in fact, that Joanna told me never to make my own pasta again on a weekday, after work. I could see her point, so I have been obedient on that one ever since.

The origins of the sauce are a bit more obscure. I don’t remember how I have come up with that, so it might be a result of deliberate product development for comics, or it can be that I have come to think something like it on a day when I have searched through the frigdge and freezer for something to eat. Although I seem to be quite dismissive to the sauce in the comic, I’d say it is a pretty good one. It’s just not awfully creative; mixing shellfish, dill, white wine and butter can’t be considered too revolutionary. But it’s good, so go ahead and make it yourself! (do people try a lot of recipes from food blogs? I am not very good in that, but constantly improving)

About the name

Making ofPosted by Kalle Tue, June 14, 2011 21:51:25

(Posted originally on August 2nd, 2006)

I suddenly remembered the other day, when I was checking my work computer for personal files to be taken home, how I came up with the describing, if a bit dull and uninspiring name for this blog. Namely, at first I was planning to draw comics about sex. Those comics were going to be named "The Man Who Thinks Mostly About Sex", which also would have been the name of the main character, loosely based on someone I know quite closely. The website was going to be named "mostlyaboutsex.com". The reason for me not starting to draw those comics were that they might have been a bit too personal and revealing, and that since I am not Gene Simmons, I don't have an endless amount of different and funny sex stories. Of course, some fifty per-cent of the stories would have been based on the experiences of my friends anyway, but still, in the end I didn't feel that I could keep the thing alive all that long. But since it was MOSTLY about sex, I wrote down all kinds of other thoughts that had nothing to do with sex and then it would have been a permanent gimmick, how The Man Who Thinks... wasn't really thinking about sex today, either, but something completely different. Like politics, traffic, terrorism, oranges and such.

Anyways, the name stayed on for some reason. I sort of like the laconic aftertaste of it. Maybe the Marketing Dept. would have preferred something like "The Food Comic Orgasmatron: Strip-sized deliciousness!" but that's not my style. It could also be that I wanted to have a bit more serious-sounding name for the site in order to take distance from the often presumed childishness of comics as a medium. I am very much for the establishment of comics as another, common, accepted and useful means of self-expression and distribution of information, along with writing, tv, theatre, radio, etc. That is why I like to steer clear of the most cartoony elements so abundant in a lot of mainstream comics.

But now you don't at least have to lie awake at night, wondering what's behind the name of your favourite food comic website. It's taken from an unborn sex comic website. Don't you think that makes MAF a bit more sexy? (or would you rather have read the sex comics? :D)

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