DANISH LITERARY MAGAZINE
LIFE-WI For thirty years Nikoline Werdelin has sounded the depths of the Danish psyche in her cartoon strips for magazines and newspapers. When the cartoon industry recently issued its Ping Awards, she won both the Honorary Award and the year’s best cartoon series prize for Homo Metropolis 20102012.
‘I have this marked ability to float out of myself and into other people. To feel and think just like they do. It’s what you might call a very well developed multiple personality disorder.’ – Nikoline Werdelin in her own words, and they highlight a special aspect of her talent: her enormous range of characters. This means we’re all bound to see ourselves somewhere in her work, which balances satire, irony and humour with her rare gift for dialogue. In her essay-like cartoons for Homo Metropolis (which she started as early 1994) she pens a skewed and fraught portrait of Family Denmark with joint custody and second relationship kids, au pair girls and slightly paedo grandparents. The main characters touch on matters of sex, identity and loss with a tendency for narcissism and self-destruction. From the
lonely psychologist who has fun planning his suicide in Prague, or the pubertal schoolgirl hoping to save her dysfunctional family by winning a fortune in a crime novel competition, then the stressed middle-aged guy with a pot belly and bald patch who is hassled both at work, with the threat of the sack and thrusting young colleagues breathing down his neck , and at home where his storm-trooper wife insists on rousing him for morning jogs, Ashtanga Yoga and sex on Sundays. Nikoline Werdelin, born in 1960, won Politiken’s best cartoon series award in 1984 with Café. This strip, in sparse lines and dialogue, gave a portrait of the searching, funny, superficial, lascivious, sweet toothed and all too human big-citycitizen in the cynical eighties. The strip ran daily up to 1988 leaving Homo Metropolis to come the fore
Published on Oct 1, 2014
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