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mostly about comments

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This is the comments section for the (food) comic website Mostly About Food.

Here you can read my notes on the comics (as well as other subjects) and write your own comments.

AutoReply: Kalle Räihä has been out of office for quite a while

Personal Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 22:40:12

(Posted originally on August 27th, 2007)

As one may have noticed, there has been absolutely nothing going on at Mostly About Food for two months now. It is a little embarrassing, but I just haven’t had the energy to draw anything in a while. July was vacation and I’ve been on paternity leave with Axel in August, and let me assure you, it’s a lot of work. He wants his porridge at 0700 hrs and finally agrees to fall asleep around 1930 hrs, at which point I am completely exhausted. We can barely stay awake long enough to watch a movie after the boy goes to sleep, so I haven’t even given much thought to doing any drawing in the evenings.

But now I’m slowly trying to catch up with the comics again. A few more panels to the one that I started in June. I really should have finished it back then, because the story takes place in May (it doesn’t matter yet, but springtime will have a small role in it later on). I will try to finish this story as quickly as possible, so that I can get started with a really cool, album-lenght story some time in September. You’ll see, if you just can stand to wait for an indefinite while.


Personal Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 22:35:20

(Posted originally on March 17th, 2007)

I have had all kinds of reasons for not updating the site with new comics, but never before this one: work. I am currently buried in work. For the next couple of months I am teaching some 30 hours a week in seven different courses, many of which are new to me. So there is plenty of preparation work to do. Plus, there are all kinds of reports, exams and assignments to read, correct and evaluate. This means that I do work related stuff every evening and all weekends. I don’t mean to complain, even though having to work that much is a bit new to me and it is annoying. (Deep inside I feel it’s only fair that I sometimes have to make an effort to earn my pay – if only the load was a bit more evenly distributed) As much as I’d like to, there just doesn’t seem to be time to draw right now.

But it’s not only comics that suffer because of my job. It also affects my cooking to such an extent that, at times, I no longer think of cooking as a hobby or a passion, but – gasp! – as a chore. Cooking has turned into a necessary evil that takes up time from everything else and thus merely increases my level of stress. Joanna needs proper food – especially since she is breast-feeding Axel – so I just can’t stop cooking for a month and let us live on take-away pizza and such. Planning and making the day’s dinner used to be the highlight of the day; my moment of creativity and accomplishment… (sob)

I really hope things get back to normal around May. Latest. I’m sorry for the slow pace (again!), but believe me, I haven’t forgotten about these comics, so there will be an update reasonably soon. In the meanwhile, you are urged to keep on truckin’!

Mostly About Axel

Personal Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 22:27:02

(Posted originally on February 3rd, 2007)

It’s now 9 pm in the evening, and I don’t have anything ready for tomorrow’s celebration of the first anniversary in the life of Mostly About Food. I had a ton of things planned, but half of them didn’t work out and the rest of it just hasn’t been done. Instead of drawing a birthday comic today, I wrote a rant, which I even myself can’t quite understand, what it really is about. I’ll probably manage to put up some half-assed semi-comic up tomorrow. It really bothers me that my head is literally bulging with ideas, but my inspiration to draw anything is close to zero.

My complaining about my laziness and lack of drive must be pretty tiring to read. It seems to be the main theme of every other article on this page. I extend my sincerest apologies for my lack of spine and for constantly writing about it. It just helps dealing with the problem.

But that is not to say that I would be on a bad mood. Quite the contrary, I am a very happy man. The first time, I wrote about our son, Axel, I may have seemed less than thrilled about him: he used to scream all the time and we didn’t get any sleep. Things have changed a lot since then. Well, to be honest, he still wakes up quite often at night, which means very little sleep to his mother. But as for the rest of it, he is simply adorable. I want to eat him – by the way, isn’t it strange, how at times, when you get really excited about your child, you think about eating him? Not like spit-roasted, but… you know what I mean, don’t you? There must be some psychological explanation to that reaction, for pretty much everyone I know says so to their (grand)children: mommy will eat you!

I’ve always liked children, but I have to say that my own little boy is so beautiful that it hurts. It sometimes feels very odd to look at something so precious – like I would turn into Gollum… Sure, relationships between grown-ups can be very deep and meaningful, but never before has someone elses well-being been such a crucial part of my own existence. As often as I am glad for his smiles and the funny noises, he makes, I feel this crushing weight on my shoulders, caused by the constant worry: “I just wish everything goes well, I just hope nothing bad happens.” I know that all this worrying is mostly unnecessary: Axel is a healthy boy, he has two loving parents and he lives in one of the wealthiest and safest corners of the world. But he’s just so small. At the moment he is just realizing that he has hands, which he can use to grab stuff. Thinking about that doesn’t make me very convinced that he will ever be able to manage on his own. And those thoughts make me understand my parents a bit better. Now I can sort of understand, how my mom sees me and my older siblings.

Naturally, all of this is self-evident to any parent and uninteresting to anyone who doesn’t have a child. I just find it a bit interesting – crossing the border from the point where a parent proclaiming the same old “I’d do anything for my kid” would bore me to tears, to where I am today, having all these feelings that weren’t there before. I just wish everything goes well, I just hope nothing bad happens.

Here’s a picture of Axel, from his christening some six weeks ago.

Ja må jag leva, ja må jag leva…

Personal Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 22:04:40

(Posted originally on September 13th, 2006)

On September 13th, 1974 at 16:20 EET I came to this world and here have I stayed ever since. Today, 32 years later that event was celebrated first by my wife handing me a nice and heavy Le Creuset cast-iron frying pan and then by us enjoying a crispy duck dinner at my second-favourite restaurant, Yan’s Wok (which will be reviewed sometime later). In addition, I didn’t have any lessons today, which felt like a birthday present after the 12-hour lecturing shift yesterday. The sky was clear, the air was warm, but there was the crisp element of autumn in it. Definitely not the worst day of the year. Special thanks to mom and dad!

Leaving on a jet plane

Personal Posted on Tue, June 14, 2011 21:45:01

(Posted originally on July 13th, 2006)

We are leaving tomorrow for a two weeks’ vacation in Finland. The food comic hungry population of the world should not expect to see too many updates on this site during that period. It’s not that I don’t want to publish comics on my holiday, but our location in the Finnish archipelago is so remote that there is no internet connection. It was only fifteen years ago that we got electricity there, so one can’t expect too much progress all that fast.

Anyways, wish me a sunny vacation and we’ll meet again in August!

Bruxelles: Pommes Frites et Bandes Dessinees

Personal Posted on Wed, April 06, 2011 21:55:33

(Posted originally on May 15th, 2006)

Just back from visiting friends in Brussels. It was a very pleasant trip. Of course, we had some waffles and French fries with mayonnaise and, yes, Vincent Vega is right: they drown them in that shit. Though I like it. We also went to a fun Japanese restaurant in Leuven, but that I might need to turn into a comic.

But now I want to talk about the experience I had at the comic museum in Brussels. As many of you might know, much of the comics we regard as French are actually Belgian (just like the fries), most notably Tintin. And Lucky Luke. And many others, of which I’m still not quite sure. So there was a lot for a comic enthusiast to see. One of the first things that hit me was the same feeling that I got watching the Led Zeppelin DVD. Namely, envy and defeat. I will never reach that level in my work. Not in fifty years, i.e. in this life. Many of the artists are/were just that good. But it doesn’t bother me that much, I just keep on drawing and writing in my own style and try to develop it.

But the funniest thing was the revelation I had while looking at the various French and other European comics. I knew most of them from before, but had not seen pages from all of them on display in the same place and that lead me to figure out the formula for a classic, French-European comic album: A) the story takes place between 1900 and 1970, preferably in the 50’s B) the artwork is either very detailed or very stylish or both C) there are some supernatural or mystical features or dream sequences D) there are always some sexual themes present and they are obvious, but it’s seldom really porn as such E) most women are elegant, their breasts are perfectly shaped and sooner or later, you will see them. I left the exhibition inspired and horny. I stared at a blowjob scene (where they really don’t show anything explicit – for all you know, she might be taking a bite from a sandwich) from Biloxi Blues for at least five minutes. I really like it, when I see some naughty stuff, but it’s not as mechanical and in-your-face as in an average porn film. That’s probably why I also like the rock lyrics of sixties and seventies: “I don’t care what the neighbours say, I wanna love you each and every day”.

Talking about staring at comics, I remember lying on my parents’ sofa, gazing at the cover of Will Eisner’s Spirit album no. 1 (a Finnish edition) with Spirit and the gorgeous Sand Saref on a desert island. I had never seen a real woman as desirable as Sand. Was I not married, I might have replaced the “had” with “have” in the previous sentence…