Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

The kings of the village of Drabant

After 24 years, the freaks Odd and Geir thank for Norway's most expensive film. Letting Jimmy loose is the final part of a broadly constructed generational saga.


[drabantrealism] The childhood friends Odd and Geir were born in Gateavisa in 1982, in the two-page cartoon "Two tired types fire a bull". 24 years later, the simple hash humor of Christopher Nielsen has not only grown into the full-length animated movie Release Jimmy Free, which premiered Friday 21. April. Odd and Geir also play the lead roles in a generational saga about the drab city generation that ravaged the Oslo subway lines 20-30 years ago.

- In my eyes, Christopher Nielsen's comics are the most realistic portrait made so far of the 1970s and 80s slums, says Nikolaj Frobenius.

- Fortunately, he has not tried to make a cross-section of the population, but has taken hold of a feature of the youth environments in the slums that is very recognizable, and basically not very caricatured. I can not think of anyone who has written better drabantby dialogue. He is unsurpassed, says Frobenius.

But now it's over. After several comics, the short film Narverfredag ​​and the TV series Two tired types of TV special, Nielsen sets punctuation for Odd and Geir with Release Jimmy.

- Their life cycle has come to an end. I may make a little cartoon about them later, but they have exhausted their narrative potential, Nielsen thinks.

Though, the movie is actually not the end of the story of the petty criminal drug addicts. The answered finale can be found in the cartoon Uflaks, which due to the time pressure around the film was released last year – even though it takes place chronologically after the film. It fits well, because the special thing about the saga about Odd and Geir is not only that it has unfolded in parallel in three media, but that it has also grown over time, fragmentarily and sporadically.

The scars

In the debut in Gateavisa, Odd and Geir were two types that fired up a reef, but the universe has since expanded into time and space. Nielsen has embraced the youth era, and placed the duo as part of the "Narves" who gathered at the Oslo subway stations in the 1970 and 80 century. The Narrows got their name from the Narvesen kiosks they hung around, and "their only ideology was a general hatred of the cop and everything that tasted of authority," Nielsen has told Dagbladet.

There is no shortage of fictional descriptions of life in Norwegian slums, but after Jan Kjærstad, Tove Nilsen, Roy Jacobsen and Per Petterson had had their say about life in the 1950s and 60s, the genre shrank. Nielsen's narcissistic saga stands almost alone in his depiction of his youth at Stovner and Tveita after the spirit of hard work evaporated and the youth groups exploded – with beer, drugs, crime and gangs as a result.

- Christopher Nielsen depicts an important upbringing environment that is almost absent in Norwegian literature in general; drabantbyene in the 1970s, when the great setback hit both social democratic Norway and the great ideologies. The emptiness and the accompanying violence, intoxication and partying that followed in the wake of this downturn, he depicts with an incomparable insight and large doses of answered humor, says Fredrik Wandrup, literary-

responsible in Dagbladet.

Translated by researchers

After Nielsen's Uflaks won the Sproing Prize for best Norwegian comic earlier this year, Wandrup wrote that Christopher Nielsen would have had a separate chapter in recent, Norwegian literary history – if the researchers followed.

- Among literary scholars, he is probably largely overlooked, and thus not considered at all. Among people who are interested in comics and underground culture, he has been a big name from the very beginning. I know no one who has read Nielsen who does not think he is an unusually strong narrator, says Wandrup.

Wandrup is supported by Martin Bjørnersen, journalist in Natt & Dag, drabantbyunge and

musician from Årvoll in Groruddalen.

- One of the few things I absolutely agree with Thomas Hylland Eriksen on, is that Nielsen's series may be the most important that has been written about life in Norway towards the end of the last century. Besides, he is practically the only one who has dealt with the modern slum.

existence in any form. Maybe with the exception of Trond Granlund.

Bjørnersen has seen Slipp Jimmy free, but doubts that it will be Nielsen's entrance ticket to the parnassus.

- His position among the "cultural fiff" will

possibly rather get smaller after Release Jimmy, because I suspect it has become a little too "popular" for them.

What about Nielsen himself? Will there be movies or comics in the future?

- Comics are my medium, and I will concentrate on that in the future. The cartoon has a fantastic strength in that it needs an idea, a pencil, an eraser, a pen, a sheet and a bottle of felt-tip pen, and voila – then you have a cartoon after a few hours. The film's biggest weakness is that you have to have so much more than what is described above. The film's strengths are music, sound and live images in combination, but basically this is about two sides of the same coin – telling stories with images.

You may also like