Archive for the ‘My western gals’ Category

RF8arrives

Here we go then – RETROFUTURE 8 has arrived from the printers. Copies will be mailed this week. On the local side, the fun will begin soon, but more on this later. Busy days right now, both at work and on my spare time. Crazy really. But time off is coming and that will give me a chance to concentrate on this.

This is a strong issue. It had to be.

(My image)

RF8_printers

We had the final session for RETROFUTURE 8 this morning, and it has now been sent to the printers. It will usually take about three or four weeks for it to arrive here at headquarters.

Feels good – I´m going out with all guns blazing here.

TB_15a

This is a preview from RETROFUTURE 8, the interview with Ellinor was made about a week ago to go with the final issue. Enjoy!

* * * * *

I guess it all started in the Spring of 2012. I don´t recall the exact date but I do remember that I found you on Internet. But you lived in Stockholm, not here in Jämtland. I thought that I had found a local gal, but you had moved…

– Yes that is correct but I have been living in Jämtland for 20 years before I decided to move so I still see myself as a local girl because it is still “home”.

Is it fair to say that RETROFUTURE was an unknown publication to you at this time?

– Yes, it was.

What was your initial reaction to my suggestion, I guess a Wild West job is quite unusual to say the least in this day and age?

– I got really surprised but I found it very interesting. So, I thought… let´s go for it!

Are you into Western films or books or anything like that? Riding?

– I remember watching many old western movies with my dad and a big bowl of popcorn when I was a little girl, I only got to see him at the weekends so it brings back a lot of happy memories. I have also watched some new western movies lately but the old ones is definitely better.

From my end, I recall that you seemed to be a very positive kind of person, and I knew that you were a rocker. And indeed, it turned out to be an easy going kind of affair. You did some shopping for the character in Stockholm.

– Yeah… Rock is my kind of music and always has been. I guess that also have something to do with my father, I was raised to be a rocker to make it short. And when I discovered your magazines I realized we had something in common. I got really excited to work with you and it was something I have never done before. And of course it was so much fun to go to the stores and collect the things that we needed to make it work.

We also agreed on the name of the heroine together – I thought that Tornado Blaze was a great name.

– Yes, Me too… It was spot on. It sounds cool and it is a funny coincidence that I am kind of a tornado in private as well.

What did your friends think about it at the time?

– My friends thought it was cool and they were really excited to see the result. They all got a copy each. My colleagues called me “cowgirl” for a long time… but of course they got a copy as well. It was very appreciated!

We had the photo session in Östersund on July 30 2012, and I guess we spent about three hours all in all, including the main session at Jamtli and the shorter trip down by the lake. What do you recall from the day?

– It was so much fun. I thought it was amazing… the weather that day was perfect and the places we we were shooting at was gorgeous and really appropriate for that time in the story. I enjoyed every second of it. It was funny to go in to the character and to improvise. I really appreciate all the help we got from my mother Lise Nordbakk and Johan Ängeflo as well, they did a great job indeed! Thank you my dear ones!

I recall that the sun was going down but that we actually got some really nice shots because of the angle of the sun, like the ones of your shadow against the side of a house – the Lucky Luke type shots – I loved those. And the colors were stronger, it looked great.

– Yes, It was a wonderful day. It was a great idea! By the way… I love Lucky Luke… Icing on the cake!

Trinkelbonker

I still had to write the novel at the time but when I did it turned out to be a spin-off to the Montana Blue thing, and I think that was exciting.

– Me too… The fact that Tornado Blaze got trained by Montana Blue at a young age and they have fought together and they meet again under other circumstances to battle. Smart move!

The 28 page Tornado Blaze edition with the first part of the novel was printed in March 2013 and was handed out for free in and around Östersund around that time, 1.000 copies. What was your take on it? Did you get any kind of feedback?

– I don´t remember but it was a lot… I still have some copies at home and every now and then people has been asking for them. It is a strange feeling to think about so many people having the magazines in their homes. And also to see yourself in a magazine like that, but it is a nice memory to keep. They say that I looked really good, cute and sexy and that the character suited me well. And lots of other nice things… I feel really flattered!

The novel was completed when the main edition of RETROFUTURE 6 came out in the Fall, and this issue sported yet another Tornado Blaze cover. I think this was a great cover, you were really cool on that magazine.

– Thank you! I am happy about it. It is a good thing being a make-up artist in these occasions. And the outfit turned out great. We did a really good job to put it together I must say…

I heard people talk about you, they often asked me how I could find such beautiful models. It was obvious to me that RETROFUTURE has gained notoriety because of the novels and these covers (including the Dakota Jane & Montana Blue projects). In any case, these two magazines went out in about 1.900 copies around Jämtland. The long wait was over, Tornado Blaze was all over the place now.

– That is so cool… I am amazed about this project. It is pure passion. I feel honored to be a part of it.

Then we had the Purple edition of RETROFUTURE 6 (the 100th publication) in June 2013, which sported a story about these novels with a very cool image of Tornado Blaze. Again, another 1.000 copies went out – including 100 to Sioux City for the Deep Purple & Tommy Bolin festivities there in August – I got a lot of good feedback around this time for sure.

– Well… That is just awesome!

Hundreds of copies went out around the time of the Deep Purple party at Jane Doe in November 2013 and to me that period symbolized the beginning of the end. The time had come to wrap things up eventually. In the end, was it a positive thing for you?

– Yes and no… I mean, it must feel good to have completed it all but at the same time I would like to see more of it. And I would love to work with you again. It was such a blast.

TB_15b

When I look back on Tornado Blaze, I think it was totally worth it. It cost me an arm and a leg to do it, but it was a great thing to have done and I am very pleased with this being part of the RETROFUTURE saga. You were the perfect Tornado Blaze, nobody could have done it better.

– Yeah… Good thing it was worth it…. I am glad you survived! Thank you for your kind words. Makes me really happy to hear!

As for the shots we took down by the lake, I still might use one of these for a one-off publication called Swedish Preppers later on (possibly in 2016). You have seen a suggestion for a cover. Do you have an interest in those kind of things?

– Absolutely… I thought it looked great. Bring it on!

We have to wait and see. This interview will be added to my blog Trinkelbonker. Do you have anything to add to this interview?

– This was such an amazing experience. I am so glad I took the job. And I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. So if you ever need me in the future, just give me a call. I really must say I admire your passion for all the things you do, it is so brave to follow your dreams and make it happen, I really hope that people understand and appreciate the effort you put into it. I am definitely looking forward to the next magazine, should you do it. And to all the readers out there; thank you so much for all the kind words and support, I hope you all enjoyed it! Me and Tornado Blaze surely did!

Text & images by Mike Eriksson (2014) – RETROFUTURE (c).

*****

RF8_cover

I decided to quit my hobby – creating magazines – last week. This means that RETROFUTURE 8 will be the last publication and that I´m now in the process of putting the final details for this issue together. This means taking ideas that existed for later issues and bringing them into this one, and it also means axing the remaining pages of the Montana Blue comic in print. The rest of that will be published later on by other means. Or rather, the complete project will be released elsewhere some day. The cover I had prepared for RETROFUTURE 8 has been dropped as well, but used in an experimental kind of way alongside a shot of my model Nina posing as Montana Blue (as seen above, I really like this image). This issue will be out in 2015, details will be available on January 1 on this blog. All good things eventually comes to an end and this will be it. 102 magazines is not that bad.

I have added a category for this issue on this blog today.

(My western image)

TB_moreismore

Got some lovely feedback from a gentleman that used to be a member of the old DEEP PURPLE FOREVER club the other day. He had checked out what I am up to these days and read some recent RETROFUTURE stuff. I was happy to see that he thought that the Tornado Blaze novel (published in two magazines last year) was “astounding!” and that the variety of the stuff I create these days is so big. “More is more” he said, quoting a famous Yngwie Malmsteen interview.

I really appreciate feedback, especially from people that has connected with my output long ago. I would say that RETROFUTURE is largely unknown to the old Purple crowd, which is a bit sad. Especially since I never stopped supporting Purple.

Thank you Erik.

(Archive photo of model Ellinor Nordbakk as Tornado Blaze, July 2012)

Nina_1 

I photographed local model Nina for my Montana Blue novel twice in 2010, a project that has reached quite a reputation since then. I have just published a 4 page interview with Nina in RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition), and thought that it might be fun to translate it for this blog as well. Good fun.

* * * * *

The Montana Blue novel is basically a Western adventure, although it has some Asgard mythology and Fantasy bits in it as well. Did you have an interest in this genre before this job came up? I guess the Western thing can be a little out of fashion these days.

– I had some interest, mostly since I love horses. I guess it would come naturally to enjoy a good Western and what kid did not love Lucky Luke growing up?

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What hobbies do you have?

– My main hobby is my horse Laida, but it feels wrong to call that a hobby when she feels more like a member of the family. It is more of a lifestyle thing to own a horse. I also enjoy dancing, cheerleading, outdoors life, taking care of all my animals and hang out with friends and family.

I recall that I showed you some old magazines of mine when I approached you for this job. Dakota Jane had been done at that time so you could have a look at that. Do you recall your thoughts when this came up?

– Yes, I thought “This is exciting, of course I want to do this!”. It seemed like a lot of fun.

I recall that we thought about names for the heroine before settling with Montana Blue, and that we took the name into consideration for the outfits we created buying blue shoes etc. We landed in two outfits, the blue one and the other one. Looking back, what do you think about the outfits we created?

– Well, I do actually have a favourite, although I think both were very successful. I do prefer the first one, with the white shirt and the Mocca jacket. That worked very well with the Montana Blue jewellery, I thought.

We had the first session on June 16 (2010), with the Mocca jacket and the hat etc. The blue necklace were there and we used the blue shoes for maybe half the session. We worked at Frösö Island and down by the shore of Lake Storsjön, The Great Lake. How do you recall this today?

– I remember that I was very nervous! I really wanted to live up to your expectations of how you wanted Montana Blue to be. As the day went on I felt that I got it right and it really was a lot of fun then! That whole day is a good memory to have. My favourite spot was down by the lake, we got some really good photographs down there.

Personally, I was very happy with the results of that day and it was obvious that the camera loved you. The second session that we did took place on September 26 at Frösön Island, around composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger´s residence and down by the lake. Now you wore the blue outfit. What do you recall from that day now?

– I was not nervous anymore, I just had a blast! I had seen the pictures from the first session and I knew what it was all about this time around. It was another good day! My favourite spot that day was that field, I think those shots turned out well. I could get into the part of Montana Blue and really act it out.

The character was introduced with a Making of Montana Blue article in RETROFUTURE 3 in November 2010. 800 copies of this was handed out locally, on a pub called Bishop´s Arms etc, and 200 students in a school at Frösön Island got copies. Could you tell that this was going on at the time?

– Yes, and rather quickly. Friends and relatives got in touch and wanted to know more about this, how it had happened etc. Most of them thought that it was good fun and they wanted to read the novel.

The novel was printed in February 2011 in 400 copies (we signed 50) with a cover that was taken outside the Peterson-Berger place. I got feedback from women who thought the shoes were beautiful, what did you hear on your end?

– I heard a lot of comments from people I know that had seen the magazine. They were all very positive and they really liked the pictures and thought that the novel was very exciting! I even met people that I didn´t know that came up to me and said that they recognised me from the Montana Blue thing. The outfits, and particularly the necklace, was very popular among both women and men that had seen it.

Nina_2

How did it feel to be a heroine in a Western novel?

– Good fun! This is not the sort of thing that happens to you every day. I think it is good to have some fun and to try new things out and I was glad to have done it. And I am looking forward to the comic book version that is in progress, that will be fun to show to the grandchildren some day! How many can say that a comic book heroine was based on them?

At this point, about 1000 magazines that featured Montana Blue was out among the general public. In September 2010 we had RETROFUTURE 4 on which you had the cover (with the blue outfit) and another 800 copies was handed out in different ways to the public. This magazine also sported a preview of the novel. What do you recall from this period?

– Oh, this was an exciting period! It was fun to see these magazines, and to hear feedback from people.

I did enjoy the faked pocket book covers that were made to look like they could have been published around 1970. I showcased a number of such covers in these first two publications. What is your take on these?

– They were very nice and appropriately retro, which they were sopposed to be! I liked some of them very much. It was fun to see the titles and to try to figure out why you had chosen them for the specific covers.

One detail in the novel that I thought was fun is the heroines horse, and her name, Fyrhov (roughly translates to Four Hooves). I though the name was good and I liked that they had such a strong bond to each other.

– Yes, and this is something that I can relate to in real life. The bond that you get with your horse is very special. My horse and I have this bond, we trust each other completely. Like Fyrhov and Montana Blue.

In the summer of 2012, the novel was seen by many as it was re-printed twice. First, it was included in my publication “Storsjöodjuret” (“The Great Lake Monster”), then it went out in GUNSLINGER back to back with the old Dakota Jane novel. So within a few months, another 1800 copies of this novel reached the general public. I recall not telling you about the novel being re-printed in the Great Lake Monster publication as well, so this must have been quite a surprise?

– Yes, it was! But it was good fun to see the novel in print in that magazine as well! I have a good feeling seeing it.

And GUNSLINGER used a shot with the Mocca jacket from the first session. One can wonder what people are thinking when they suddenly get a free Western publication delivered in the mail box? I seem to recall that you got your copies on your birthday?

– Yes, I think that is true. Some present! I remember having dressed up and I was ready to go out and celebrate and then I just wanted to hand out magazines instead.

The Montana Blue novel was mentioned in a review about the Great Lake Monster publication in a major newspaper, DN, did you see that?

– Yes, I saw that! Great fun to be noticed in such a big paper.

Another 900 copies of RETROFUTURE 5 was handed out to the public in September and October 2012, this time with the news that a comic book version is in the works. Could you ever have imagined that such a thing would happen some day when you took this on?

– (Laughs) No, how could one see such a thing coming? Nor could I have thought that it would have become so popular, with so many people having seen it. It just kept growing! I am happy about the comic book version, this is very exciting!

When this interview is being made, the Tornado Blaze novel still have to see the light of day. But you have read it and you do know that this is going to be a spin-off from Montana Blue, and that Montana Blue has died and is now a Valkyrie at the side of Oden in Valhalla. What is your take on this?

– I think it suits Montana Blue just fine to be a Valkyrie. I think she has deserved the honor!

Looking back on all of this, do you feel that it was OK?

– I think it was more than OK! You have been very kind to me right through all of this and it was nice to have been part of this creation. I would do it again.

I am thinking about writing a novel in which we find out how Montana Blue died and became a Valkyrie, in that battle she had alongside Tornado Blaze. Maybe for the last publication in 2015? Any thoughts on that?

– Sounds exciting! Does this mean that I have to dust my old Western boots again? I would love to work with the woman that modelled for Tornado Blaze, she looks like a terriffic gal!

Would you like to add something to this interview?

– Only that I am glad to have done this. I never would have thought that this would have become what it is now back when we started to talk about it. Everything that has happened has been an inspiration and very exciting. I hope that people will continue to have an interest in Montana Blue and the other heroines. Thank you for the ride, it has been a lot of fun.

* * * * *

Michael Eriksson (c).

(No part of this interview may be quoted without permission)

* * * * *

RF6w_arrives

The 60 page RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) has arrived from the printers. So this is it – the 100th anniversary double issue is finally out. The 44 page Purple edition arrived earlier this summer and it is nice to finally have it all. This one took a lot of work, but seeing it now it was all worth it. Just look at that western image on the cover, with model Ellinor Nordbakk posing as Tornado Blaze. You never see that kind of thing anymore. I am proud of this issue.

Busy days ahead then.

(My image of said magazine)

20130910

Well, it took me precisely one month to head out with the remaining RETROFUTURE flyers (see earlier posts for details), but I managed to complete the task today. I chose the location for maximum effect, a university called Mittenuniversitetet. Plenty of students around, and they can pick up the free magazines at a library quite close by.

The Fall season has begun.

(My image)

RF6toprint

I just mailed RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) to the printers, so I can finally just relax and wait for them to do their bit. The magazine should be out in late September or early October. Took a snapshot of the moment, thinking about the blog. Another good excuse to dig up a Tornado Blaze shot from the archive as well! When I finally have this publication in my hands it will be 100 issues printed in 35 years – it has been a lot of fun.

I am proud of this one, it will add just a little more to the legacy.

(My images)

ScottKing

Here is another exclusive preview from the RETROFUTURE 6 (Western edition) issue – my western heroine Montana Blue in the eyes of artist Scott King. A wonderful guest appearance from an artist that was part of my operations between 2000 and 2004. I asked Scott last year if he wanted to be part of my 100th publication, and he was interested in having a go at my Montana Blue creation, giving it his own personal touch. As you can see, the result is breathtaking – Scott really is in a class of his own. This page will be published with the interview I present with Montana Blue model Nina in this issue, adding yet another twist to the project.

I originally contacted Scott King for my LUCY IN THE SKY magazine in 2000, after spotting his wonderful art online. He became a part of this publication and had  pages in the five issues that came out between 2000 and 2003, with an interview about his work in the final issue as well. As I moved into the SLICE operation in 2003 Scott continued to be part of this publication as well for the first couple of issues – SLICE 2003 and SLICE 2004. But not only with the Xena art, but with additional X-Files art to boot. It was a wonderful addition to what was a very exciting part of my publishing career.

ScottKing_2

The “Adventures of the Warrior Princess” and “A Message from the Bureau” pages are classics now, in my humble opinion. I would like to think that they are remembered fondly by the people that collected my magazines at the time. When I browse these publications now myself, I just love these pages – this really is some of the best stuff of its kind. The satire reminds me of classic MAD.

I am so happy that Scott King is part of the celebrations this year.

(Images courtesy of Scott King)