Cartoonist and visual artist Bo Haglund draws landscapes that portray the chaos surrounding us, and the virtual world we live in. Stylistically Haglund’s drawings and paintings bear a strong resemblance to his cartoons. He pays great attention to detail, which creates a dynamic bustle in his works. The main characters on the other hand are clear cut and easily recognizable.
One of Haglund’s main characters is the tragicomic Stumphead, who lives in the forest. The character started out as a satirical cartoon, but he was soon put into the role of a bystander through whom Haglund deals with questions of emptiness, identity and community. Haglund’s drawings are based on portraying a larger storyline in one single image, as opposed to the sequential tradition of comic strips.
Originally the theme for Stumphead dealt with male shame. Haglund perceives male masculinity in society as limited and stereotypical. The slightly autobiographical Stumphead is not a “superheteromacho,” which is why Haglund questions the dichotomy of hero and victim, and ponders whether there are other options for defining maleness. Stumphead is portrayed as the role model for the victim. Instead of dealing with his issues he flees into the forest and wanders around bearing his trauma alone. Stumphead is thus a personification of an oppressed character.
Bo Haglund has worked with different mediums from graphic design and illustrations to set design, and he is currently working on his fourth comic book.
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