) is a Swedish comic series by Charlie Christensen, who started drawing and writing the series under the pseudonym Alexander Barks in 1983.
The series follows the titular character, a bitter and cynical anthropomorphic duck and unsuccessful poet and writer, with an alcohol problemnote
, who spends most of his time hanging out in Zeke's, the local bar, where he discusses politics, the state of both the Swedish and the international society, sex, and high, as well as very low, philosophy with his friend Krille Krokodil (Krille Crocodile), a script writer.
One of the first thing the reader will notice is probably Arne's close resemblance to a certain other anthropomorphic duck
Well, so did Disney
and they threatened Christensen with a lawsuit
. After first fruitlessly trying to reason with Disney, Christensen drew a strip wherein Arne faked his own death
in order to get a plastic operation
which radically changed the shape of his beak, and took a name charge to Arne X
, which also became a temporary name for the series.
After getting complaints from his readers about the changes, Christensen decided to spite Disney by having Arne buy a fake beak in the shape of his old one, which where held up by a rubber band, and simultaneously changing the comic's name back to it's original title. Christensen then kept drawing the rubber band around Arne's head until Disney finally withdrew the lawsuit threat, as the whole event attracted quite a bit of public attention in Sweden, and doubled the comic's popularity tenfold.
Christensen then kept the comic going until 1995, where he felt he had said all he had to say and ended the comic on a high note with Arne finally finding success and getting married. But the story doesn't quite end there.
In 2004, Christensen started out a new series, by the name of Konrad K.
, in which Arne at first appeared in small cameos. Eventually the a full-on Hostile Show Takeover
took place, and Konrad K. was written completely out of the series, while Arne became the main character again, now armed with even more bile against the world, as he in the time between the series had been going through a rough divorce and now had two sons to take care of.Albums in the series so far
- Arne Anka (1989)
- Arne Anka, Part II (1991)
- Arne Anka, Part III (1993)
- Arne Anka, Part IV (1995)
- Arne Anka, Part V: Återuppuppståndelsen (The Rebirth) (2006)
- Arne Anka, Part VI: Manöver i mörkret (Manoeuvres in the dark) (2007)
- Arne Anka, Part VII: Ner med monarkin (Down with the monarchy) (2008)
- Arne Anka: Rapport från kriget (News from the war) (2010)
- Arne Anka: Voodoo vid vatten (Voodoo by the Water) (2011)
This comic provides examples of:
- Alliterative Name: In The Style Of Disney, several of the characters have these.
- Author Avatar: In the 1983-95 comics, Alexander Barks appears every now and then as a man with a sheet over his head giving him a look of permanent depression. Many of Christensen's friends has pointed out that Arne is party based on himself.
- Author Appeal: Arne and Barks both love the music of Bellman.
- The Alcoholic: Damn near every major character in the series, though Arne's drinking habits are shown the most. Partially based on the authors frequent pub crawls in Stockholm in the 80s and early 90s. Many pages either take place during a drinking binge, or is about the characters trying to scrape together cash for one.
- Art Evolution: Very noteable. Compare the early strips from 83-84, to the ones from the early 90s, and then again to the present day ones. His style has changed while still remaining recognizable. The biggest change is that in the beginning Arne looked exactly like Donald Duck (apart from the clothes) he soon grew to look completely different.
- Ass Shove: Happens to Arne when a couple of Hard Gay guys take exception to Arne's insistance on using the word "gay" as a pejorative for things he doesnt like.
- Butt Monkey: Arne for the most part, especially in the original comics run. If he's not getting shot down by women, or has his poetry rejected, he gets his ass handed to him when mouthing off to the wrong person while out drinking.
- The Cameo: Several, as part of Christensens homage to European comic books. Many famous comic book characters will make cameos in the background in street scenes, and in two noteable examples, as part of "Arnes circle of friends". Among these can be mentioned Spirou, The Adventures of Tintin, Astérix, The Phantom, Gyro Gearloose and Goofy. There's also the fantasy sequence with Krazy Kat and Ignatz.
- Children Are Innocent: Krille's nephew Willy, who retains his childlike innocence despite the depravity of his uncle and Arne. Said innocence put Arne in trouble several times, as Willy has the habit of blurting out inappropriate things Arne has taught him.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Arne surprisingly. Despite his near total misanthropy and cynicism, his mother is one of the few people who's feelings Arne actually cares about.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: Arne's fairy tales often includes depression, madness, mass death, and often ends with the total collapse of civilization. He loves telling them to Krille's nephew, Willy. One of these fairy tales is actually set in Cokonino County from Krazy Kat , including cameos from Krazy and Ignatz.
- Funny Animal: Humans exist, especially real-life celebrities and politicians tends to be portrayed this way, but the majority of the characters are either this, or simple, Disney-style dog/bear humanoids.
- In My Language That Sounds Like: Arne and Krille once broke into someone's apartment block when the inhabitant complained about their drunken caterwauling, and began singing through his door. Unfortunately, they were so drunk they picked the wrong apartment. Even more unfortunately, the apartment they picked belonged to the Iraqi consul to Sweden. And to top it off, they were so drunk their slurred Swedish made him confuse it for the national anthem of Kuwait. Hilarity Ensued.
- Identical Grandson: Two longer stories deal with ancestors of Arne, one a poet in post-World War 1 Paris during the bohemic revolution, and the other another poet during the events leading up to the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar. Both stories provide commentary on the popular view of the eras portrayed, and deconstructs them.
- Mistaken for Gay: Exploited by Krille. When asks why he is friends with a maniac like Arne, he explains that thanks to Arne, he once got six weeks paid vacation for stress related illnesses. When asked how, Krille explains that he recorded a short video of Arne being drunk with his phone and showed it to his doctor while telling him that the video depicted his partner.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: One strip has Arne meeting with his friend Kalle Kapun who is looking for moral support after cheating on his wife. Arne quickly makes it clear that he is having none of it, that by cheating Kalle's spat in his wife's face, and that Arne will gladly pay for the bullets if Kalle's wife ever decides to shoot his penis off; in short, he makes it clear that Kalle can take his self-pity and cram it. This also leads to Arne being picked up by a nearby woman who overheard the conversation.
- Shout-Out: In one strip where Arne is looking for a suit for a wedding, he puts on an old sailor suit, making him look even more like Donald Duck, poking fun at the Disney lawsuit.
- Shown Their Work: Christensen has an interest in art and literature history and this REALLY shows. Aside from plots and references based on famous literary works, the comic itself often includes detailed replicas of famous paintings.
- True Art Is Angsty/True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe. Arne seems to belive this, with most of his work being either incredibly confusing, or dark and depressing.