Archive for the ‘The Great Lake Monster’ Category

The Christmas Edition of the Great Lake Monster Beer from Jämtlands Bryggeri (a brewery here in Jämtland County) is out and I just love the art on the bottles. It has been made since 1996, as you can see on this picture.

(My shot of said beer)


Spotted this towel in Östersund (Jämtland County) today, and picked up a few (nice gift I think). The motif is the city of Östersund, with S/S Thomée, Storsie (The Great Lake Monster) and some key buildings. Produced by Ekelund (Master Weavers, established in 1692). The art is by renowned Swedish artist Nils-Erik Nilsson.

(My shot of said towel)

Swedish company Sibylla (best burgers in the country, by far) launched a campaign for the rather spicy Peppar Monster Meal (or Pepper Monster Meal if you will) in February. I did not spot the posters at my favourite place (11:an) in Östersund until last week and I made a point a couple of days ago to bring the phone to take a few snapshots of them only to find that the campaign had ended (found them online though, which you can see here). They were nice enough to whip one of these meals up for me anyway and it was delightful. The reason that I bring this up on the blog is that Sibylla has used an image of Storsie (The Great Lake Monster) that can be seen on these posters. It is a well known work of art that I have seen before outside the local Jamtli Museum in Östersund. Obviously, Storsie is a big thing in these parts (Jämtland County), so it was nice to spot it as part of a national campaign for a Sibylla product.

(Posters from official platforms, my image of said meal)

And so we have reached the end of the journey, the final months that spawned the last two issues of Retrofuture (7 & 8). I had planned to end it with 10 issues of Retrofuture but when I worked on issue 8 I changed my mind and aborted the project.

Retrofuture 7 was published in May 2014 (1,000 copies). Swedish Blues Maestro Michael Mojo Nilsson on the cover. I was glad to give him this cover and a proper interview in this issue. He is one of the all time greats in these parts (Jämtland County). The Tommy Bolin/Deep Purple parties in Sioux City & Östersund is covered in detail with loads of images from both nights. Also Michael Schenker, Alien, Stawka, The Great Lake Monster, and Montana Blue. I presented the first part of the comic book version of Montana Blue in this issue. In the end I never got it delivered in full and this had me rethink the future as I worked on Retrofuture 8. Kind of sad too, because the first part that saw print here is really good. When yet another project for a future issue collapsed, I decided to pull the plug with Retrofuture 8.

Originally, I had planned a Xena cover for Retrofuture 8, but when I decided to end it all with this issue, I remade it and showed the aborted cover around one of my Montana Blue shots. Retrofuture 8 was published in March 2015 (1,000 copies) and we launched the issue with a Kiss/Deep Purple night at Jane Doe (in Östersund) with friends acting as DJs (see the “Retrofuture 8 – final issue” tag on this blog). Well, at least I ended it with a Bang! Lots of good stuff in this issue. Big interview with legendary Swedish publisher Hans Hatwig, huge story on Lucy Lawless. Interview with Tornado Blaze model Ellinor Nordbakk. Final word (and exclusive reports) on The Great Lake Monster. Some Purple Family stuff of course. Huge article on Prepping (got a lot of feedback for that one too) and some local history that also made waves in these parts. But most important of all, the massacre at Charlie Hebdo had happened and a good chunk of this issue was dedicated to the importance of free speech. My friend Jens Ganman joined in with a piece too. I am glad I did that. It had to be done.

People ask me now if there will ever be another issue of Retrofuture, or any kind of fanzine at all from me. I think the answer is no, but it bugs me that I never got around to cover Babymetal. I guess the old James Bond title “Never Say Never Again” is wise to observe. Time will tell, and if I am still here a couple of years from now (and if this world is still OK, which I kind of doubt), then who knows. For now, this is it.

(My cover shots, except for Xena, which is promo stuff)

And so we have arrived at the period that produced the 100th publication (Retrofuture 6), and the hobby also moved towards the final chapters in 2014-2015. At first glance, 2013 belonged to the third Western heroine (Tornado Blaze), but there was more. Much more. Tornado Blaze was a pretty interesting project though.

The Tornado Blaze novel saw print in March 2013, 1,000 copies. I was able to expand the Dakota Jane and Montana Blue universes into this tale, and now we had not only Northern Gods and Valkyries, but extraterrestials as well. The Tornado Blaze novel begun in this edition and ended with a second part in Retrofuture 6 (Tornado Blaze edition). I had a great time photographing the model (Ellinor Nordbakk) and creating what was to be the final novel character of them all. This is pretty eccentric stuff. Glad I did it.

The 100th publication then consisted of a double issue of Retrofuture (104 pages in all) and this is the main 60 page magazine (that I refer to as the “Tornado Blaze edition” because of what you see on the cover). Retrofuture 6 was produced between June and October 2013. 1,000 copies printed of each part of this double issue. Most of them given away for free around the lake as usual. The Tornado Blaze edition had a lot of good stuff in it. First of all, loads of history from the fanzine journey. Big feature on Audrey Hepburn (biggest ever in Swedish media). The Polish tv-show Stawka (a WWII drama from the late 1960s) is highlighted by guest writer Maciek Szatko (with exclusive images from the 2009 opening of Stawka exhibition “Café Ingrid” in Katowice with stars of the show). The Great Lake Monster is featured (as usual) with more exclusive reports. Montana Blue model Nina is interviewed as she looks back on her work with Retrofuture. Also, the Batmobile in Östersund and a close look at the Arvesund Museum (Jämtland County). There is more.

The 44 page half of Retrofuture 6 has a Deep Purple MK4 cover and is therefore called the “Purple edition”. And there is a lot of Deep Purple in it, it is almost a Deep Purple magazine. First of all, this edition sports a huge Fanzine Index that goes back to the early days, with every fanzine showcased and detailed (in fact, this has helped me out a lot lately). This issue also sports interviews in English with David Coverdale and Johnnie Bolin (brother of late Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin). 100 copies of the Purple edition was sent to Sioux City to be handed out at the annual Tommy Bolin festivities over there, and copies of Retrofuture 6 (and backissues) was also handed out at my Deep Purple Party in Östersund at Jane Doe on November 23. I later covered all this in detail in Retrofuture 7 in 2014. But more about that later. There is a “Retrofuture 6” tag on this blog, and a “Deep Purple Party 2013” tag. So there is more to check out.

Seen here is a couple of shots that was sent to me by Trace Keane in the States. He took the Johnnie Bolin shot at his home as the Retrofuture 6 magazines arrived for the Tommy Bolin Party and a friend captured Trace and Black Oak Arkansas singer Jim Dandy posing with a copy on the night in question. Johnnie plays drums with Black Oak Arkansas. These magazines (like all the Retrofuture mags), has never been for sale. The Purple edition is almost gone.

(Tornado Blaze shots by me, the Ian Gillan shot of him holding Deep Purple Forever! magazines was taken by Michael Johansson)

I published this 60 page magazine about The Great Lake Monster (the Swedish equivalent to The Loch Ness Monster) in May 2012. There has been a number of publications about this mystery in the last 120+ years in these parts and this is still the latest. Some of the contents is lifted from earlier issues of Retrofuture, some was created for this magazine. The Montana Blue novel was added as a bonus at the end, which makes it a bit special (and it did get some attention at the time). One of the big newspapers in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter, wrote a very enthusiastic review about this creation. Printed in 1,000 copies, over 900 was handed out for free around the lake (and to libraries etc).

In June I published a title called Gunslinger that featured reprints of the Dakota Jane and Montana Blue novels back to back. Just flip the magazine around and you have another cover. So half the magazine is printed “upside down”, if you like. I just had a bit of fun with this hobby at the time. Printed in 1,000 copies, handed out for free. This one gave me an opportunity to go for previously unseen images as well.

Retrofuture 5 was printed in September 2012. Nice promo shot of Summer Glau from the tv show Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles on the cover. I handed out copies on DVD to some lucky winners at the time. Another novel saw print in this issue, Dracula Black. A succubus/Vampire Hunter gone Rock Star. Michael Johansson photographed (photographer/model) Tallee Savage for it. We had plans to expand this project but it only survived for one issue. Fake album cover, fake tour ad, we had a lot of fun with this, and the novel is fucking brilliant if you ask me. I kind of kick myself now for not taking this further back in the day. Music: Dio 2001 interview (reprint from Top Secret 2009), Hughes Norum 1988 interview, big 220 Volt special with classic articles in reprint (Swedish & international press), Glenn Hughes & Tony Iommi book reviews, Judas Priest and the censorship hysteria etc. Also, Maureen O´Hara (book review, full page), James Bond, The Great Lake Monster, Ingrid Pitt 2001 interview (reprint). This is a top notch magazine. I can just say that. Printed in 1,000 copies, about 900 handed out for free around the lake and in record shops, Östersunds library etc.

(Background shots by me – Retrofuture 5 shows first spread of Dracula Black with Johanssons images)

The Montana Blue novel was published in February 2011. 24 pages in all, including some very nice shots of Montana Blue model Nina (whom is interviewed on this blog, October 2013). This is a wild tale of Scandinavian settlers in the West that includes our heroine, indians, villains, a Scandinavian God (Oden), a Valkyrie (Svava) and a final battle at the shore of Lake Flathead in Montana that will make the main bad guy pay in a way that he could not have foreseen in a million years. Needless to say, I had a blast creating this publication. The novel would see reprint in two publications that I was to put out later.

Retrofuture 4 saw print in September 2011. Printed in 1,000 copies. Again, my model Nina (Montana Blue) on the cover. Loads of great stuff in this issue. The Great Lake Monster (the Swedish equivalent to The Loch Ness Monster) is heavily featured, old and new tales, plus an actual theory on what kind of an animal that it might be. Music: Ian Gillan/Black Sabbath 1983 interview, Toto/Steve Lukather interviews, Deep Purple has released “Phoenix Rising”, Ronnie James Dio has passed away, Tarja etc. Comics: Commando interview with editor in chief Calum Laird, Thor, Classics Illustrated, The Phantom. Big story on old school Swedish movie star Sickan Carlsson etc etc. 60 pages.

(My shots of said magazines, and Nina)

We have a local phenomenon in these parts as hundreds of witnesses has seen The Great Lake Monster in Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) over the years. You can find hundreds of reports in the vaults of the local museum Jamtli in Östersund. As I was working on Retrofuture 2 I was told by my good friend Thomas Drugg that I could find many scanned reports from (very) old newspapers within the Royal Museum´s Digital archive in Stockholm. They had been ordered by the government to scan all newspapers and to put them online. This opened up a treasure trove of old articles (going back to the late 1800s) that dealt with the mystery and I realized that it would be great fun to scan and republish a large number of these in this issue in order to save it for posterity and to present a hugely entertaining piece of journalism to the locals. So I included 17 pages of scanned material as well as current talk about the mystery and printed this magazine in 2,000 copies and handed out 1,700 for free in different ways locally. People could pick the magazine up in stores, at the library, and I also made an effort to give copies away to people that actually lived at the shore of the lake. The interest exploded and the phone started to ring off the hook. People wanted to talk about it, share their personal experiences and so on. The reaction was far greater that anything I could have imagined. This issue also sported the usual assortment of articles. 1990 interview with Yngwie Malmsteen, Two and a half men story (they got the cover too), the second part of the Dakota Jane western novel, book reviews, Xena & Lucy Lawless (Spartacus), Mother´s Finest etc. And two articles by Hanz F. Lindström (one about a famous train robbery that took place in 1907 and one about actress Rita Hayworth). All in all, a pretty good publication.

I was interviewed for a couple of big publications in this neck of the woods (that everybody gets for free), and the first was a story by Ann-Charlotte Eisfeldt in 100% Östersund. This probably meant that even more people made sure that they could pick up a copy. Retrofuture 2 had been published in April 2010 and the campaign lasted right through that summer.

The second story was published by Fredrik Alverland in the publication Stan Idag that fall. I recall that I gave him a bag of back issues. Fredrik would later go on to publish a fantastic book about local cinematic history (that would earn him great respect) and he actually mentioned me and Retrofuture in the book and thanked me for the inspiration to do anything you like (got it signed too). How cool is that?

At this point I had decided to continue for a while even though there was no money in it any more. Retrofuture 3 saw print in November 2010. Printed in 1,000 copies (which would become the new norm), and I gave away 800 for free around the lake. The reports were still coming. I was really enjoying myself with this hobby and I had a tremendous freedom as always. In this issue you had (apart from The Great Lake Monster bit) Legend Of The Seeker (nice cover shot too, I enjoyed that show), Tommy Bolin, David Coverdale & Whitesnake, a report from the 2010 Rock Weekend Festival (Over The Rainbow, Purple, Tarja, Kamelot, Martina Edoff and the Cougars etc), a WWII comic, a complete guide to the Swedish book series Victory, Raquel Welch etc. Loads of cool stuff. I had also photographed the wonderful model Nina for an upcoming western novel, Montana Blue, and a Making of Montana Blue story was included in this issue as well. And a few pages of images from the grand opening of Teknikland, a museum covering local military history (air, artillery and infantry) through the ages. It was fun to include more stories that would mean something in these parts. Looking back, it still looks good. I was having fun and 2011 was just around the corner.

(My shots of said publications)

Top Secret was published in April 2009 and it was to be the last of the one-off titles before Retrofuture came into being. This is a very unique magazine, it has some really exclusive stuff in it. Interviews with Martina Edoff (photographed with Xena chakram by Michael Johansson), Ronnie James Dio, author Martin Popoff, rock photographer Rich Galbraith (the back shot of David Coverdale from the Purple days is his and there is more Purple inside) and also crime author Christa Faust. Nice Ghost Whisperer cover (more inside). Huge UFO special with opinions from 30 rock stars (collected over the years by yours truly). Yep, nobody else had ever done anything like that before! Loads of spooky stuff, The Great Lake Monster of Sweden, a ghost comic from these parts (Jämtland County) by myself and artist Isa Olofsson, Tarja Turunen, Blue Öyster Cult, book reviews, Natassia Malthe, Night Huntress, a story on Vampires by Hanz F. Lindström etc etc. Pretty darned happy about this one.

I knew I had to come up with a new name and make it a more stable thing again and I went with the title Retrofuture. I thought it captured the spirit of what I was doing with these publications. Retrofuture 1 then was published in December 2009. I used this logotype only for the first issue, although I do like it. At this point I wanted to write western novels and the first one, Dakota Jane, saw print in issues 1 & 2 of Retrofuture. Had a lot of fun photographing the model (Lina) for this. Interview with Anni De Vil from Hysterica (again, with shots by Michael Johansson with her posing with a Xena chakram). Story on the tv-show Bones and author Kathy Reichs. Bon Jovi, 220 Volt, The Great Lake Monster (I started to publish news and historic stuff from the archives in this issue, thinking it would generate interest). Legendary writer Ulf Nilson piece on the classic Swedish magazine Se. And Hanz F. Lindström contributed with two articles in this issue, covering the careers of Claudia Cardinale and Brigitte Bardot. Very happy about this magazine but in reality, the fanzine scene had collapsed at this point. What to do next then?

(My shots of said publications)

A good friend of mine just posted an image of this menue from 1970 on facebook, originally used at a diners called Grillen in an establishment called Domus (a big store with this restaurant within the building) in the city of Östersund. If you understand Swedish, you will have a good time checking out the menue, not to mention the prices. But anybody out there will be able to enjoy what you see at the top of the menue, a drawing of Storsie (The Great Lake Monster). Well, this is Jämtland County after all and Storsie is part of the general fabric of our local history. A much beloved legend which, to this day, is making waves. I thought it was a good idea to add this to the blog since I have touched on this subject many times and I am a sucker for local history.

(Many thanks Per Orvegård for allowing me to use the image on this blog)