Kartago förlag, 2013.
Reviewed by Željka Černok in SBR 2014:1
Review Section: Fiction, Light-Hearted and More Serious
Rocky has been the biggest comic success in Sweden for the past 10 years. Published in the leading Swedish daily papers and in 15 languages around the world, Rocky’s humorous, ironic approach to modern-day life has granted the stories about him huge popularity. The comics show us a group of friends, depicted as animals, but whose world very much reflects life as it is lived in today’s Stockholm.
They party, fall in and out of love, travel, talk and pass hilarious comments on global events as well as pop culture icons and wannabes. Rocky’s tongue-incheek takes on First World problems and the absurdities of modern life make the reading worthwhile. For example, he starts off a Christmas dinner with his friends by saying that ‘… it is important to send a thought to the children in the Third World who have made all this possible.’
As Kellerman’s creation is largely autobiographical, with the passing of time we also see how the characters change, as the satisfaction they get out of endless partying is waning and dating becomes a chore when they have put up with the kind of woman ‘…whose personality is like a Myspace page that no one has logged into since 2007.’
What makes Rocky comic books stand out among their many competitors is the honest admission of their author that he is as much part of contemporary life as anyone. Kellerman’s self-awareness makes the writing both hysterically funny and sharply intelligent, creating a true picture of life as it is lived now that much of literature is attempting to show but often misses by being tediously detailed or desperately trying to be profound.
Rocky has been doing it the right way all along.