City of Crocodiles


By Knut Larsson (Borderline Press)
ISBN: 978-0-99269-725-9 (PB)

Born in 1972, Swedish cartoonist, artist, filmmaker and teacher – at the prestigious Comics Art School of Malmö – Knut Larsson is blessed with a unique vision and talent to spare (just check out his graphic albums Canimus, Lokmannen (Locomotive Man), Biografmaskinisten (The Projectionist), Kolonialsjukhuset – En kolonialläkares anteckningar (Colonial Hospital – A Colonial Doctor’s Notebook) or the tract Triton.

If you’re a keen devotee of Euro-comics you’ll have seen his stories in C’est Bon Anthology, Electrocomics, Galago, Glömp, Rayon Frais, Strapazin, Stripburger, Turkey Comix, or Bild & Bubbla amongst others, and may well have visited his international exhibitions as far afield as Angoulême, Tokyo, Erlangen or St. Petersburg. Typically, he is not a household name in Britain or America…

Sadly, that means a lot of brilliant works – like this book – are also unavailable in digital formats yet…

Back in 2008 Larsson crafted Krokodilstaden: an eerie, post-apocalyptic, horror-tinged love story devoid of all dialogue or sound effects: a neo-symbolist paean to the end times (Gee, I wonder when those are due?) combining brutish, callous survivalism, ghostly mysticism, unchanging human passions, stubborn self-inflicted loneliness and the tenacious capacity of life to adapt to changing situations. Borderline Press released it in an English Edition as the deliciously eerie City of Crocodiles

Rendered in muted greys and brown monotones, one panel per page, the tale focuses on a drowned Earth where the waters have risen, relegating humanity to the top floors of buildings whilst toothy amphibians have proliferated all around and below them. Adamant Mankind is still hanging on, turning crocodiles into the primary natural resource: affording food, clothing, tooled utensils and even objects of cultish worship.

The saurians are everywhere and everybody and everything – humans, birds, surviving mammalian pets – are missing limbs or appendages…

In this world, one particular croc-hunter ekes out his solitary existence, trading reptiles for booze and gasoline, haunted by his memories until the day he captures a strangely enticing woman in his nets. She is young, beautiful, exotic… and has a vestigial reptilian tail.

Avoiding the spooky, crazy crocodile cultists that also proliferate, he takes her back to his place and endeavours to dress her in the garb and form of his dead lover before she seduces him…

Sadly, that’s when his dearly departed darling returns, bristling with malice and ready for some spirited revenge…

Wry, moving, nightmarish yet ethereally lovely, City of Crocodiles is a masterpiece of visual storytelling that will astound and delight all lovers of the weird and macabre. If you love to be disturbed and distressed, this is a treat you must track down…
© 2008, 2014 Knut Larsson.