My final Bamse comic

BAMSE BIBLIOTEKET PM-SERIERNA VOLYM 4 is the concluding volume of Rune Andréasson’s “PM stories”, written after he officially quit working on the Bamse comic book. They’ve all been published posthumously, starting in 2001 and continuing until now. As I’ve said before, I’m very happy to have been given the privilege to work with some of these scripts. In this volume I’ve pencilled three, and even inked one of them.

Great cover (as always) by Lars Bällsten, Bernt Hanson and Thomas Holm.

The last Bamse comic I drew was actually the Susanne Adolfsson story Bella på Berget, but Vinden vet sa Brumma is the one to be published last. I drew this one in October 2013. Staying true to tradition I’ll try to illustrate the process of bringing a page to life.


Rune’s scripted page. Getting the panels, balloons and boxes “for free” is a big help for the artist. Note how Rune sometimes doodled the characters, and at other times just wrote their names approximately where he wanted them to be. In this way he leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which is something I appreciate.

The sketched page. My interpretation of Rune’s script.

The “inked” page. This is what I delivered to the editors at Egmont.


The final page as it appears in the book. I haven’t seen this comic in the magazine yet, so it’s also my first Bamse comic to debut in a book.

Skärmavbild 2013-10-24 kl. 09.23.36

My last three Bamse comics were digital, crafted on a Wacom Cintique. I got so used to the technique now that I hardly draw manually anymore. I’ve got an idea book in which I doodle, the rest is done on screen, for good and for bad (but mostly good).

tomtarIn this very last Bamse comic of mine I sneaked in a tribute to two great men I feel indebted to. Without them I would never have become a professional cartoonist. Can you spot them among all the gnomes?


Thank you Kenneth Hamberg for telling me “anything’s possible” when I needed to hear it the most. And thank you Rune Andréasson for Bamse, mostly for all the exciting stories I experienced as a child, but also of course for providing me with the opportunity to work in comics. I hope you think I managed your legacy well. At least I did my best. Today I read Bamse frequently to my two year old son. It feels extra special reading these PM stories for him. He loves them by the way! Thank you also to the Bamse editors for putting up with me through the years, and for entrusting me with these assignments.

Peace and love

Kronobergs Bokmässa, Växjö stadsbibliotek, lördag 22 november

På lördag kommer jag att medverka vid Kronobergs Bokmässa på Växjö Stadsbibliotek. Kl. 12.00 berättar jag om mitt arbete för Bamse – tidningen och långfilmen – samt lite om influenser, skruvad humor och aktuella projekt. Kl. 13.30 ger jag en workshop i hur man tecknar Bamse. Det kommer även finnas möjlighet att få signerade Bamse-tidningar för den som vill. Varmt välkomna på lördag!

pm-biblioteketDen tredje volymen av Bamse-biblioteket PM-serierna kom precis ut (omslag av Lars Bällsten, Bernt Hanson och Thomas Holm). Här finns några av de serier jag är mest stolt över från min tid som Bamse-tecknare. Samtliga berättelser är skrivna av Rune Andréasson.

fule_fritteFrån “Fule Fritte”, tecknad av mig, tuschad av Bernt Hanson.

kärrtrolletFrån “Kärr-trollet”, tecknad av mig, tuschad av Kerstin Hamberg.

Även Bamse och Tjuvstaden-dvd:n kom nyligen!

ba_ee_blogNi som deltar i workshopen kommer att få prova rita Bamse, med och utan “regler”!

Bamse – Världens starkaste björn © Rune Andréason
Bamse och tjuvstaden © Tre Vänner Produktion AB



Bella på berget

Bamse #10 2014 should be out any day now. Great cover as usual by the dynamic duo Lars Bällsten and Bernt Hanson.


The lead story “Bella på berget” was written by the one and only Susanne Adolfsson and drawn by me. It’s special to me since it was my last Bamse commission. Rune Andréasson taught me to never say never, but this is it for now anyway. There’s actually one left not published yet called “Vinden vet sa Brumma”, written by Rune himself. But the Bella pages were actually the very last I drew. As usual I’d like to let you in on the process.


 Design doodles of Bella.


This is basically the one we went for.


 I’ve really come to like digital sketching. Being able to resize and move stuff around is liberating. More energy left to focus on things like composition and getting the poses and expressions right. But beware of Cmd+z! It’s a double-edged sword…

5_tuschThe third Bamse comic I ever inked. Also done on the Cintiq. Getting there?


My scanner isn’t working at the moment, sorry for the smartphone photos.

Skärmavbild 2013-11-15 kl. 09.21.43

Screen shot from my digital workspace. Photoshop and Bridge.

© Rune Andréasson

Bamse #17/18

There’s plenty of snow-stories in the latest issue of Bamse. Among them the Raymond Briggs inspired “Brumma och Snögubben” (Brumma and The Snowman), written by Bamse’s creator Rune Andréasson. It was pencilled by me and inked by Kerstin Hamberg. It’s about Bamse’s youngest daughter Brumma, talking snowmen and a mythomaniac squirrel. This was the last Bamse comic I drew before starting work on the Bamse feature film last year in May.

The best part of drawing Rune’s stories is getting these beautiful character design sheets of his to work from.

In Rune’s scripts, the panels, boxes and balloons are already in place. Makes the cartoonist’s work a lot easier. Rune also takes page layout and spreads into consideration, which is nice. 

My interpretation of Rune’s script.

Clean up for inker, a step I’ve skipped since I started inking myself, which I guess is a good thing.

The printed page. Neat ink work, as always, by Kerstin Hamberg. The colorist is unknown to me.

All images in this post are © Rune Andréasson


Bamse #15 just hit the shelves. Lead story “13” was written by Joakim Gunnarsson and Jens Hansegård, and illustrated by me. It’s not only the first Bamse story I inked myself, it’s my first digital comic. Ever.

After an intense year working for the Bamse feature film (opens January 2014), I needed new challenges to be motivated continuing drawing for the comic. Also, the analogue work of the film (pen and paper) left me romanticizing about the wonders of the digital world. All the tricks and shortcuts you can cut corners with digitally, especially when it comes to editing. So I got myself a Wacom Cintiq, you know the drawing tablet with a screen you can draw directly on.

I set myself the task of both pencilling and inking digitally. The first few weeks sketching were like trying to learn to walk again. Spent a lot of time fiddling around with brushes and pencils and settings and layers. Very frustrating as it didn’t save me any time. Not at all. One sketched page took forever to finish.

However, some kind of method evolved gradually that eventually seemed to do the job. And so in the end I finished the sketches and remarkably they were approved by the editors.

Then came the next challenge, which was twofold: 1) ink a full Bamse story for the very first time, and 2) do it digitally. Inking 16 pages is not a small task if you’re not used to inking. Again I spent a lot of time fiddling around with settings and got frustrated. Very frustrated. But you know what the say, if at first you don’t succeed…

In the end 16 pages were inked, signed, sealed and delivered, and everybody lived happily ever after. Don’t know if I saved any time in the end. Not through inking, that’s for certain. The main challenge of all this was to make it look non-digital. I think it worked pretty well. What do you think?

Aside from beginner’s slowness, the freedom to edit – move things around, scale heads and characters, copy and paste things for reuse – is something quite nice when making a comic. This is what my work space looked like. I used Photoshop CS4. Bridge is open in the background to compare with previous pages. The resolution needed for print is 600 dpi. For sketching I sometimes used a brush resembling a pencil, sometimes a pencil with ca. 50% opacity. For inking I used the pencil. Confusing? It was for me at least. For ink lines to look crisp and sharp in print you want only black pixels, no anti-aliasing. The only important setting to remember? Pressure sensitivity (thick and thin lines).

According to me, cmd z (ctrl z on PC) is the greatest thing about the digital revolution. You’re allowed to fail, fail and fail again, before you succeed. However, cmd z is a double edged sword. If you have a knack for perfectionism (you know you can zoom in a bit more, fixing those ugly looking lines), there’s the risk of NEVER settling for the first try. You’re free to redo things infinitely. With pen and paper, at some point you need to stop erasing, and stop repairing mistakes in the inking, and just accept that it is what it is. Still I think I prefer the editing possibilities of digital drawing. If you learn to master the technique you can make your work look MORE you rather than less, allowing for your own idiosyncrasies, not trying to get rid of them. Can’t see myself going back to pen and paper anytime soon, not for Bamse anyway.

All drawings in this post is © Rune Andréasson.