Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rene Engstrom Returns with a Long-Distance Diary

Some of my favorite diary comics are the ones that read like letters to friends. I adore travelogues like Lucy Knisley's French Milk that have that small narrative component, but also suss out those little details you really want to share with the people you love best.

And if you're a cartoonist whose most favorite person lives far away? If you're Rene Engstrom, of the recently completed Anders Loves Maria, you make a diary comic of the things you want him to see -- including the time you spent missing him. If you're Rasmus Gran, Swedish illustrator and comic artist, you do the same (just with different gender pronouns).

That's the idea behind So Far Away, Engstrom and Gran's weekly joint endeavor. Gran lives in Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden, which sits at the Southern tip of the country. Engstrom lives in Östersund, the "Winter City" far to the North. Each Tuesday, Gran and Engstrom each plan to post a diary comic. We'll get a peek at Gran's week and a peek at Engstrom's, with the comics sitting side-by-side.

The first comic is set on a day when Gran travels to visit Engstrom (highlighting the long journey to Östersund by train), and I assume next week's will focus their time together. But a project like this has the potential to become something profound, an Internet Age love letter where the rest of us are invited to watch.

[So Far Away]

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