(Crossposted to Talk About Comics with minor changes)
My involvement with Geir and Daniel actually dates back about 10 years. Geir’s brother knew me through music fandom, and one day dropped a mention of his older brother being the writer of a comic with a Norwegian painter. He told me it was a bit like the comic I had online at the time, The Stone of Contention. I was a fanzine editor at the time, and thought it might be interesting for the fanzine, so I contacted him, asked him to send me some stuff, and soon enough a big package from Daniel arrived in the mail. Several packages arrived in the mail, with solo comics work from Daniel, brochures showcasing his paintings, sculptures and installations, and, eventually, a CD of his music. But the most striking piece of work was the fantasy comic Geir had written for Daniel, looking totally unlike any other fantasy comics, with intricate, low-contrast page layouts, complex backgrounds and architecture, and characters that looked stiff at first but came to life as the comic progressed. Dobbeltgjengeren was an album-length story that fit right into the mood of the early Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan books but had its internally consistent universe that owed nothing to the traditional sources of fantasy art. Later, I would learn that nearly every character in the book was based, visually, on someone Daniel knew, which was probably why the character art worked so well (Geir, by the way, was the visual inspiration for the Baron von Fieffelfalsfaffel although his personality is totally unlike that of the good Baron. Also he lacks the Baron’s quiff and porn star moustache).
I decided to translate the book into Dutch and publish it. Six months or so after the complete version of the story arrived in my mailbox, De Dubbelganger was done. I would have liked to say it was a small-press success, but alas. I still have half the print run on a shelf in the hall of my apartment.
De Dubbelganger was a flop, but that didn’t stop Daniel, Geir and me from coming up with sequels. In the magazine I edited, Impuls, a Christmas story set in the same universe became a Christmas supplement. Geir sent me a script he thought I might want to do, featuring a character from the first story, and that became The Eye of the Underworld. Characters from the series showed up in my Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan, and vice versa. Finally, that crossover was followed by two Courtly Manners stories featuring characters from both series.
Also, Daniel recorded a musical version of Dobbeltgjengeren, in English, in my home town, with a cast of singers and musicians that I helped put together.
Over the years, I tried to revive the book. When Joey Manley first came up with the idea for Webcomics nation, back when it was still a very different idea from what it turned out as, I immediately thought of making a group website with all the material from the series brought together in the correct chronological order, instead of scattered across different websites as it is now. During the Long Wait, I mostly forgot about the idea, but when the launch approached, I started thinking about it again. Daniel and Geir approved of the concept, so starting today, The Double gets a new lease on life, in English, updating with five large pages a week. New material is also in production. It’s going to kick arse.