Gay comic strip Bruce the Angry Bear is celebrating a 6 month anniversary. Comedian Hugleikur Dagsson is a special guest illustrator this week.
“I guess my character in the strip is a bit more grumpy than the real me. But I don’t mind. I like people to think I’m unapproachable. The strip will also include a new stick figure joke from me. That will be in tone with my usual sickery,” says comedian Hugleikur Dagsson, also known as Hulli.
He will be a guest drawer for GayIceland’s comic strip Bruce the Angry Bear, the conception of friends Jonathan Duffy, aka Jono, and Einar Valur Másson.
“I think it was Jono’s idea,” Einar says, when I ask how this collaboration came about.
“The strip will also include a new stick figure joke from me. That will be in tone with my usual sickery.”
“Yeah, Hulli and I had been playing with the idea of getting Einar to animate some of the embarrassments of the week from our Icletralia podcast a little while ago. Einar and I were meeting in a cafe to write the comic strip and Hulli was there. I said to him, hey why don’t you draw a panel,” says Jono and Hulli adds that he said yes instantly.
“I thought: Sure, why the fuck not”. I also love seeing other (i.e. talented) illustrators’ interpretations of myself.”
Happy six months Bruce!
Hulli’s cameo comes forth on the six month anniversary of Bruce the Angry Bear. Coincidence? “Yes, it is pure coincidence – we are not that organized,” says Jono and laughs.
“It is a happy coincidence but it’s spurred us into planning more. We have been looking at the calendar of events here in Iceland to try to tie in events like pride, bears on Ice, and other things.
We’re actually working on a full story – it’s kind of a hardy boys inspired mystery where Bruce and Spencer have to solve a crime,” adds Einar, who says that these sort of cameos used to be quite common in the comic world.
“I’m not sure how common it is today but it used to be very common in the web comic community. I remember in the mid 2000s, web comic creators would often solicit their web comic friends to do guest spots and arcs while they took vacations but they had to take breaks from their regular stories.”
Polyamorous threesome of comics
Hulli and Jono are no strangers to one another and have been working together for more than a year, on various projects. They’ve formed a special bond, a beautiful bromance.
“Our bromance, as with all great love affairs, was not supposed to happen. But I’m glad it did. It’s an important factor within our podcast. I wouldn’t be surprised if we worked on something else together in the future,” says Hulli quite seriously, so I don’t know if he’s kidding or actually being sincere.
Jono nods and adds that Hulli is in fact the reason why he and Einar started working together.
“I don’t think we intended to create a bromance, it just sort of happened on the way as we teamed up to make a bit of cash. Hulli might not remember this but he’s actually the reason Einar and I are working together. I was speaking at TedX Reykjavik last year and Einar was drawing all the speakers. I introduced them and later I was telling Hulli about my idea for the Angry Bear character. He told me he really liked it and said I need to find an illustrator to work with. I took the initiative to ask this talented artist to meet with me and the rest is history.”
But does Einar ever feel left out in this male bonding between two comics?
“Sometimes they let me watch,” says Einar and laughs. “But seriously, I don’t feel left out. Jono and Hulli have been forming their relationship for over a year now, whereas Jono and I have a separate relationship and now the three of us have one through this crossover,” says Einar and Jono interrupts: “It’s very polyamorous.”
Long term dream to make it to TV
Hulli has made quite the name for himself in Iceland as a controversial funny man, and his characters have even made their way unto the TV screen in a Hulli original series for RÚV, the national broadcaster. Are those Einar’s and Jono’s hopes for Bruce the Angry Bear?
“Absolutely yes. I think Bruce would translate very well into a cartoon,” says Einar and Jono agrees.
“Definitely, I even know how most of the characters sound. It’s a long term dream but hey, if there are any cartoon producers out there reading this, we are very approachable.”
“We’re actually working on a full story – it’s kind of a hardy boys inspired mystery where Bruce and Spencer have to solve a crime.”
What about other surprises for fans of Bruce the Angry Bear. Can we expect more of those in the future?
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if they expected it,” Einar says pushing his glasses up on his nose, with a profound look on his face.
“Of course, I’m constantly trying to push the envelope. It’s not a good writing week unless the editors call me and say: “I don’t think we can really say that,” says Jono.