Swedish Maria Smedstad has recently published her third book about Em, a young woman and her friends living in London. In fact, the Swedish columnist and illustrator has turned her life into a cartoon.
Witty Smedstad provides her take on the UK’s quirks, as well as the trials and triumphs of living as an expat Swede in Britain. The cartoon strip was first published in thelondonpaper on 30 October 2006, and appeared daily until the paper’s demise on 18 September 2009. It was published in The Sun (newspaper) until January 2010.
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Em – Volume III
Now, Em is back with a third volume of cartoons. This time Em tackles the London rental market, fights recession and visits a naked spa. EM gives a refreshing insight into everyday life, inviting the reader to sympathize and identify with what’s it’s like being young, broke and horny in the city.
The strip has continued to be published online through Maria Smedstad’s website and in Nemi‘s Norwegian and Swedish comic book, and since January 2012 it has been published daily in Scandinavian paper, Aftonbladet.
Swedish Columnist and Illustrator Turned Her Life Into a Cartoon
“What makes EM stand out is her character and how she shares her personal life with others. Em is my story, and I’ve never been worried about divulging my personal life, but I have to be careful not to upset other people by divulging too much about them,” explains Maria. Expect blocked showers, tube disasters, lost underwear and a lot of cheap booze.
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The same cartoon style has been used by Maria in her illustrations for Reb William’s book, website and blog Grow Your Own Cows, and also on a website supporting green initiatives in London.
A record of a life in drawings
“I’ve been recording my life in drawings since my early years and started by documenting the eccentricities of my family members at the dinner table,” remarks Maria. EM has changed over the years and has been growing up in a way. Friends around her have started becoming parents. “Who knows what’s around the corner for her?” asks Maria.
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“I still have a second job, which means that things take a bit longer than usual and also that I’m not always able to get back to you as quickly as I’d like to. While the actual making of the book gets easier with practice, the raising of the money remains my biggest challenge. I really hope that you are interested in supporting this project and look forward to having you along for the ride,” writes Maria Smedstad on Kickstarter.
Swedish Columnist and Illustrator Turned Her Life Into a Cartoon, written by Tor Kjolberg