Einar V. Másson. Photos/Laufey Elíasdóttir, courtesy of Fréttablaðið

Bruce the Angry Bear gets his own T-shirt

The creators of the comic strip figure Bruce the Angry Bear, Jonathan Duffy (Jono) and Einar Valur Másson, have teamed up with GayIceland to launch a T-shirt with a drawing of the well loved, or hated, bear. The T-shirt will be sold this week during Reykjavik Pride. The bear Bruce has thereby made a leap from the being a comic figure on GayIceland into the real world.

The men behind Bruce the Angry Bear: Jonathan Duffy and Einar V. Másson, in the brand new Bruce T-shirt. Photos/Laufey Elíasdóttir, courtesy of Fréttablaðið.

To get to know what this is all about we got Jonathan and Einar Valur to answer a few questions about this new project. And the obvious first question was, of course, what made you decide to launch the T-shirt?

JONO: “A little while ago we were sent some fan art. A reader of the comic sent a little sketch to us as a thank you. It was sort of a keep up the good work message. It was cool that someone had taken the time to match the likeness of Bruce and Spencer which left us thinking about the possibility of creating merchandise so that people who really enjoy it can take it with them in their daily lives. Einar knows all about this stuff coming from the comic world and I’ve certainly seen lots of it because I perform with Hugleikur Dagsson a lot. Einar and I spoke with the guys at Gayiceland about finding a way to make this happen so now we’re here. We’re also going to do a little competition on Facebook to test the knowledge of some of our readers and the winner will get a free shirt.”

EINAR: “We’ve been looking into ways to get something physical to offer our fans. A T-shirt seemed like a good place to start.”

Is this the beginning of something bigger and more? A product line maybe?
J: “It could be, you never know. It’s still early days with the whole comic so I’m not going to give away too much, just know that there are dreams and plans for the future.”

“We’ve been looking into ways to get something physical to offer our fans. A T-shirt seemed like a good place to start.”

E: “You could say this is our canary in the coal-mine. If this shirt is well-received, we’ll definitely look into making more stuff for our fans.”

The comic strip pokes fun at all kinds of things, including tourism in Iceland.

Now the comic strip has been published on GayIceland for over a half a year. At that time, it has been widely discussed in the media. In addition, it’s now also published on the biggest Danish queer website, Out  & About. How do you feel like about the good receptions, did you expect them when you started?

J: “I had no idea what to expect. For me this was just about finally making something happen that I had held on to for years. I just was so excited to finally see it as a tangible thing in the real world instead of these characters in the back of my mind, and the most fun part has always been working with Einar, coming up with jokes and seeing if it’s too far then of course seeing him work his magic. I had no idea that it would have taken off as fast as it has.”

E: “It’s very humbling to be so well-received. I have a pretty bad case of Impostor Syndrome, so I try not to think about it too much.”

The idea behind of Bruce the Angry Bear didn’t get this far in one night, of course, or what?

J: “I’ve been a comedian for 13 years and I can tell you that absolutely nothing ever happens over night. This began as an idea I had way back in 2011 and it’s taken this long for me to find a way to make it happen and an artist to collaborate with.

The new Bruce T-shirt comes in color and in black and white.

Bruce was born from me watching a group of actual bears angrily speaking to a festival manager because the movie they wanted to watch was late to start. They wanted to see Bear City and the film I was promoting at the festival (The Doctor’s Wife) was running longer than they anticipated and they were very angry. This sparked an idea for a character in my then twinky head that stayed there until I met Einar. Bruce has been a project a long time in the making.”

E: “Bruce was one of maybe a dozen ideas that Jono and I kicked around between us. I did a quick doodle as Jono described him to me, and Bruce just… appeared, fully formed. The ideas came to us pretty rapidly that day, but several weeks had to pass after that before I could put together what is now the first strip in the Angry Bear Saga.

So no, even if the initial meeting went very well, producing the actual strips takes a lot of work for both of us.”

Is it not good, but maybe a little strange too, to see your brainchild become a reality? And then go in all sorts of directions, with the The new T shirt.

J: “It’s an incredible gift to be able to see it come to life and go in all sorts of directions. Also as a comedian and a podcaster I find it fascinating when you are only known for one of the things you do. I met someone recently who recognised my name at an event I was performing standup. They said,

“Yes, a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Pride fund. Bruce the Angry Bear is after all set in a parallel universe version of Reykjavik (Gaykjavik) so it only makes sense that we give back to the community who have helped inspire so much of this project.”

“you do that comic, oh I didn’t know you’re also a comedian, I wondered what you looked like.”
For me to see something you create take off and sort of have a life of it’s own is incredible.”

E: “I’m just glad people seem to like Bruce. As a straight dude, I’ve been very nervous about working on a story that sometimes pokes fun at the LGBTQ community. I don’t think I have the right. But people seem to respond positively to Bruce and Spencer’s adventures and for that I’m grateful.”

Bruce the Angry Bear has been published on GayIceland for over a half a year. At that time, it has been widely discussed in the media. In addition, it’s now also published on the biggest Danish queer website, Out & About.

The T shirt will be sold around the Reykjavík Pride. Is there any particular reason for that?

J: “Yes, a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the Pride fund. Bruce the Angry Bear is after all set in a parallel universe version of Reykjavik (Gaykjavik) so it only makes sense that we give back to the community who have helped inspire so much of this project.”

E: “Bruce the Angry Bear is a gay comic. Well, half-gay maybe since I’m straight and Jono’s gay. Bi-curious?

Working on Bruce has been an opportunity for me to be an ally to the LGBTQ community in a small way by lending my talents to Jono’s voice. I still feel like I could be doing more, and selling shirts and donating part of the proceeds to the Pride fund seems like a logical next step.

Oh! And I should mention: The shirt will be available for sale at Samtökin ’78 headquarters at Suðurgata 3, downtown Reykjavík, between August 8th-13th. You can also order a T-shirt, by sending a message via GayIceland’s Facebook site.

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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        Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.