Every nationality has an image of their nation as a person in their collective mind or in their propaganda, and we certainly have a stereotyped personification about other countries, particularly our nearest neighbors. Frequently, other country’s stereotypes clash with our own, and one creative author, who was a reader of Axis Powers Hetalia decided to put her own native spin on Denmark and its closest compatriots Sweden and Norway. After several strips poking fun at the dysfunctional Scandinavian “family” their neighbors and rivals came on the scene, giving birth to the long-running comic parodying national identity, Scandinavia and the World.
The countries interact with each other as discreet individuals, and are portrayals and parodies of international stereotypes from the Scandinavian point of view. All of their relationships are portrayed in their fully dysfunctional and very intimate glory, with some countries that are lovers and some that are bitter rivals. There are also personifications of the different country’s women portrayed as the “Sisters.” The artist uses her own Danish bias to point out every country’s tendency to have itself at the the center of the world. Be prepared for adult humor, cartoon violence, and your beloved country of origin to be viciously skewered. The art style varies on the author’s whim and the comic’s tone, ranging from deformed and cartoonish to more realistic and romantic. Each comic is standalone, with a varying range of lengths. The update schedule is “when the author has a good idea” so it’s good to use a service like Comic Rocket to follow her. She can be inspired by current events, a cultural misunderstanding on a bus, or the Eurovision song contest. The author is also aware of her multicultural audience, and frequently has a comedic blurb under the comic explaining the things her global audience might not be aware of.
Apparently Iceland is the gateway to Hell, or “Hekla.”
The Author and her Other Works
*humon is a Danish cartoonist who recently relocated to the United Kingdom. She has a number of other strips written in a similar format to Scandinavia, all of them originally published on Deviant Art, but which are now also being published on a new, central website. Her other comics have more sexuality, gender roles, and other adult themes, so I wouldn’t read them at work. Her semi-regular posting schedule unfortunately took a hit as she has received a lot of unpleasant backdraft from people misinterpreting her comics, but supportive friends and fans have successfully lured her back into publishing. Her recent move to the UK seems to have provided a lot of inspiration. Be sure to really dig through her Deviant Art archive as well, because she has some truly beautiful paintings of Norse myths and Scandinavian folklore!
The noble Finnish sport of Wife-Carrying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wife_carrying