Sunday 26 April 2020

Hamlet Work In Progress, continued

Work continues on Prince Of Denmark Street. As of Sunday April 26th, 10 days since I started drawing, I've completed 21 pages and the cover, 97 pages to go.

Drawn: Pages 31 - 47, 62 - 65.

Today I set the style for the songs, which look quite good though I say so myself, and got two pages drawn out in the sun in the back yard, which is most satisfying. I'll continue to log my work here as I go.

A little bit of fun, drawn to appear as an almost imperceptible background detail in one of the pages completed today.

Monday April 27th - 4 pages drawn (48 - 51). Happiness is drawing the "To Be Or Not To Be" sequence (below). Tomorrow I get to do "Get thee to a nunnery". 25 pages drawn, 93 to go.

Tues April 28 - 4 pages (52 - 55), "Get thee to a nunnery".

Weds April 29 - Just 2 pages (56 & 57), but that was Claud's flat (below). Plus I made a new Work In Progress video - Feedback.

Thurs April 30 - 4 pages (58 - 61). Joining up with the first pages I drew, we now have pages 31 to 65 drawn. 35 pages drawn, 83 to go.

Friday May 1st - 3 pages (7 - 9)
Sat May 2nd - 1 page (10)
Sun May 3rd - 1 page (11). 40 pages drawn, 78 to go.
Mon May 4th - 4 pages (12 - 15)
Tues May 5th - 3 pages (16 - 18)
Weds May 6th - 4 pages (19 - 22)
Thurs May 7th - 4 pages (23 - 26)
Friday May 8th - 4 pages (27 - 30)

I now have pages 7 through to 65 drawn. 59 pages drawn - I'm exactly halfway through!!!

Monday May 11th - 3 pages (1 - 3)
Tues May 12th - 6 pages! (4 - 6, 66 - 68)
Weds May 13th - 3 pages (69 - 71)
Thurs May 14th - 3 pages (72 - 74)
Friday May 15th - 5 pages (75 - 79). 79 pages drawn, 39 to go.

I see, from January's diary, that I'm drawing PODS at about half the speed at which I rattled off Findlay Macbeth (4 pages a day to FM's up-to-8 pages a day).

Monday May 18th - 3 pages (80 - 82)
Tues May 19th - 4 pages (83 - 86)
Weds May 20th - 4 pages (87 - 90)
Thurs May 21st - 3 pages (91 - 93)
Friday May 22nd - 4 pages (94 - 97). 97 pages drawn, 21 to go.

Also, on Friday 22nd, the printed Findlay Macbeths arrived. So, once those are posted out, I can start a Kickstarter for PODS.

Monday May 25th - 4 pages (98 - 101)
Tuesday May 26th - 3 pages (102 - 104)
Weds May 27th - 4 pages (105 - 108)
Thurs May 28th - 3 pages (109 - 111)
Fri May 29th - 2 pages (112 & 113) and Kickstarter campaign video shot and page set up

5 pages to go, Kickstarter waiting to be approved, all Findlay Macbeths posted. It's all happening.

Sat May 30th - 2 pages (114 & 115), 3 to go.
Sun May 31st - 1 page (116), 2 to go.
Mon June 1st - 2 pages - FINISHED!!!!!

Previous work in progress, including videos.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available on Amazon now:

Thursday 23 April 2020

Prince of Denmark Street - front cover drawn

It's William Shakespeare's birthday and, totally coincidentally, I spent the whole draw drawing the front cover and designing the logo. I've made a full colour version of the cover, the monochrome version above, and a line art version for inside. And I'm pretty proud of myself, though I say so out loud.

No pages of comic drawn, but this was just as satisfying.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available on Amazon now:

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Who Is Stanton? - Video interview with Steve

Having got a taste for video interviews with the Dean Friedman show, I set up this recording with Steve, done on Monday afternoon. Entitled Who Is Stanton? it gave the pair of us an excuse to talk about Steve's appearances in my comic strips, and our various collaborations, over the years from school, through Fantasy Advertiser, to the Comic Assassins in Doctor Who Magazine, to his most recent appearance in Findlay Macbeth.

The full 25 minute interview is here, or click the image above, and here are some of the pictures we threw into the conversation as we went.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available on Amazon now:

Socks and Dean Friedman Live + Two Metres Apart videos

On Sunday night the Scottish Falsetto Socks came out of hibernation to perform as guests on Dean Friedman's live show DeanZine, streamed live. You can see the whole 90 minute show here. We played a couple of live numbers, including the debut of this, written for the show, "What Kind Of..?" The Pandemic song...

We also duetted with Dean on Lucky Stars, danced to something from his brother Aram's record collection, and Dean played our videos for I'm A Sock and Ariel, the song we did last year, to Dean's tune, about the Little Mermaid story of the time.

A great evening's entertainment, that so inspired me to creativity, that I even wrote and recorded a new video for the Socks, the first for which I managed to use green screen in the back room. Here's Stay Two Metres Apart...

All in all a very creative time, Sunday. I recorded, shot and uploaded this video, did a rehearsal with Steve for a video we'll shoot tomorrow, then did 90 minutes of Dean show. Unsurprisingly, this was not a big comic-strip drawing day.

We may do more of this, we've got a taste for it. Stay tuned.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Journal Of The Plague Year - March 19 - April 19

March 28th: You don't need to go far down the available cabinet ministers before they wheel out Indian James Corden and you suddenly realise how few cabinet ministers you'd actually even heard of.

Looking back over the strangest month in most peoples' lives, from here on April 19th, I'm revisiting posts on my Facebook timeline and seeing how much our world, and how we see it, has changed in that short time. For example on March 19th I wrote...

Well there's a turnup for the books: an email from a school that's not cancelling! In fact they're even talking of adding more dates in July.

Subject to impending apocalypse, obviously. But nice that some people are thinking in terms of light at the end of the tunnel, eh?

NB: The school has subsequently cancelled, but that's how optimistic some of us were a month ago. The Edinburgh Fringe hadn't cancelled yet, though on March 19th Cannes was canned (bringing to mind a Suzi Quatro song, a reference for the kids there).

March 20th: I post a story about a plague of locusts and find it hilarious.

March 20th: Ha ha. You know in Tangled, Rapunzel is in Quarantine up a tower? Guess what the name of the Kingdom is? You can google it, we've got all lockdown.

March 20th: Edinburgh Fringe announces its deadlines are "put back by a month". To which I comment "yeah, that'll do it".

March 21st: I get nostalgic about the 1970s power cuts, realising I've become my own parents again, remembering how they used to tell us it was worse in the war. I also discover the stories of dolphins in the waters of locked-down Venice were untrue, and echo a story from Denmark:

Would this work to prevent hoarding and panic buying?
One bottle = normal price
Two bottles = a hundred quid

NB: A month later, panic buying is a distant memory. For the moment. Ask me again in May.

Wow, Talking Pictures TV. Maybe time for on-screen warnings? I just turned over to this early role by Justin Trudeau!

March 23rd: I discover "Samuel Pepys" tweets we've been sharing about the 1665 plague were in fact spoofs, and I write a song to the tune of Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Stand Two Metres Apart. It doesn't get recorded.

March 24th: Today's motto, again, is Judge Not lest ye be judged yourself. So far I've read threads insulting WH Smith for keeping branches open, by people who don't know many WH Smiths contain Post Offices; dog owners and walkers condemning other people for being dog owners and walkers; and people who don't seem to appreciate how many people don't have gardens, or live on streets so densely packed with flats that, if only a fraction of them steps out onto the street, they are street, they are automatically on a crowded street. Let us not demonise others, but try and think of others before ourselves. I'll try and stay off social media.

I mention the death of Albert Uderzo on Twitter and it becomes my most retweeted tweet ever. Timing.

March 24th: After yesterday's moan, the DVLA & DVSA have realised how stupid it was to keep MOT tests going through the crisis and have changed the rules. Sorry we punters spotted the problem before their bosses did.

March 26th: Hospitals announce free parking for staff, it's the 15th anniversary of the start of Doctor Who, and we give our first Clap To The NHS.

March 27th: I put the whole one hour show of the Socks' Superheroes up on Youtube. A month later it's had 568 views, so not setting the world alight.

March 28th: I share an article about the 8 strains of coronavirus circling the globe and learn (and forget) the term phylogenetic trees.

March 29th: I share another article about Covid 19, "And, as usual, I'm learning new terms that I'll have forgotten by lunchtime. Hands up who knew what IGb is? A PCR test? Cytokines?" Also a letter from Italy about what we can expect, they being a month ahead of us, and a youtube video about the Covid 19 curve, all very quaint now.

March 30th:Good morning Facebook. Who else just brought the milk in, remembering to wash the bottle and their hands with hot soapy water. 2020 eh? Also Alan Merrill of The Arrows dies, and a book festival and an arts centre are able to pay me half fees for cancelled events (they're the only two who've been able to do this, sadly).

March 31st: My #JudgeNotLestYeBeJudgedYourself dictum is being tested by watching scaffolders working outside. Who we'll call, for the sake of argument, Nobby Nosepick, Freddie Fag-On, and Peter Pass-Me-The-Phone.

April 1st: Edinburgh Fringe cancels, at last.

April 2: Today's fun figures to cheer us all up, and keep things in perspective. In the USA every year, an average of 30 million people get flu, half a million get hospitalised, and 45,000 die. In 2017/18, 61,000 Americans died from seasonal flu.

Now, I'm not one of those people who says "covid's no worse than flu" because I know the differences. But we can say the totals have not reached the totals for regular, annual flu yet. And they still might not, as long as we take sensible p… See More

April 3: Who else watched the National Theatre's live stream of One Man Two Guvnors last night? It was brilliant fun and we were laughing out loud, even though it's the second time we've seen it (first time was with a James Corden-alike lead in Bristol).

The NHS clapalong was well-timed, it came during one of the scenes without Corden in. (But I fear we didn't last the whole 5 minutes, and our street was a lot less enthusiastic now that we could all see each other, it being daytime now.) Also Bill Withers dies.

April 4: So does this make it conclusive: there is no actual money in digital comics? If Marvel & DC think the inability to distribute physical comics is the end of the business, that must mean that they can get no-one to pay for digital editions, or they generate too little revenue to make it worthwhile. Or, worst case scenario, comics were only being bought by people who thought the bits of paper were an 'investment' that they could sell for a profit in years to come.

"I hope it's not a dead horse" - Alan Partridge at the #VirtualGrandNational today

"In 2020 no horses died..."

Today we’ve been trying to recreate our weekend art gallery fix by taking a virtual tour of The Louvre. We lasted about 10 minutes. It’s not the same.

April 4:That game the kids are playing: six famous people you've met, but ONE is a lie. In my case Doctors Who (and 'met' counts as 'was in close proximity to'). Which is untrue?
Tom Baker - walked past on Regent Street
 Peter Davison - was up the Empire State Building at the same time as him
Colin Baker - saw in Dr Who stage play in Brighton and he was in the bar afterwards
Sylvester McCoy - saw at Our Dynamic Earth exhibition in Edinburgh where he was doing a show
Paul McGann - in Renato's in Bristol
Matt Smith - in TV production company reception when we were both up for the same voice over
I'll reveal the answer tomorrow.....

April 5: That 6 famous people thing, one of them is false. But which one? This time it's politicians I've 'met' (ie walked past)...
Michael Portillo (by Wellington Arch, London)
Ed Balls (Paddington Station)
Donald Dewar (Scottish First Minister, on George St Edinburgh)
Alec Douglas Home (former PM, on a London underground platform)
Jack Straw (in the audience for the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre at Edinburgh)
Alex Salmond (at a TV studio where I was filming Battle Of The Books for BBC 4)

April 6: Today's lesson is on MOI (Multiplicity Of Infection), from a blog written by a virology student 6 years ago.

It explains, possibly, why people like nurses, bus drivers, and Prime Ministers (who lives in a flat above a crowded workplace) would be likely to get the virus worse. Reduce the number of chances of exposure and you reduce the MOI.

Has nobody made a poster that says "Steer Calmer With Kier Starmer" yet? What are you all playing at?

Here are six jobs I've worked at but ONE is a lie. Guess which one.
Warm up for Deal Or No Deal
Double glazing salesman
Wool stapler
HGV driver (fully qualified)
Wrote & drew a strip in the Daily Sport

April 7: What the hell is Kirstie Allsopp doing on the masthead of today's The Guardian? She did the same but worse than the Scottish Health Minister, taking her INFECTED family from London to their second home in Devon, and boasting about it on TV!

So a Health Minister gets canned for it, and a TV estate agent gets promoted to the front cover, and a big cheque for 700 words? Very poor Guardian, very poor.

April 7: Genuine question: If you can smell the perfume of the jogger that just went past panting, could you get coronavirus particles from their breath? Just happened on our walk this morning. Is it just us who envisage great dirty vapour trails emanating from every jogger and cyclist?

Happiness is: remembering to cancel your airport parking for the next two flights and getting £80 quid back instantly (thanks Bristol Airport parking).

Less good news: realising you'd forgotten to cancel the parking for your flight last week!

April 8: Artrix arts centre closes. This is dreadful news. Having performed a number of times at Artrix, with the Scottish Falsetto Socks and with The Sitcom Trials, I know that this is an art centre that has a pivotal role in its community and will leave a terrible hole.

We can only hope that, after the pandemic, arts institutions (many of which are being affected) will get a proper review and an overhaul of their funding and that places will be brought back into existence.

April 8: Ironically I’ve never met a smug New Zealander. The one country that can claim smug rights on their Covid-19 clampdown. (Acted immediately, only one death, only three people in intensive care!)

April 9: And today’s lesson in Virology 101 is The Cluster Effect. One cluster that’s not mentioned here, and that I’d like to see mapped, is the Cheltenham (racing) Festival last month. Because, oddly, Gloucestershire itself has relatively low figures for Covid 19. Suggesting that the 250,000 Cheltenham race-goers went home to somewhere further flung. Was it to London? To Ireland? Or, as my personal theory goes, did so many return to isolated farms and remo…
See More

April 9: "You do not survive the illness through fortitude and strength of character, whatever the Prime Minister’s colleagues will tell us... And the disease is not a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone - rich or poor - suffers the same.”

Nice one Emily Maitlis. Sensible talk from her opening to last night's Newsnight, challenging some of the nonsense spoken by politicians and others about "fighting" Covid by being "strong willed" or whatever.

April 9: 660 parties broken up in Manchester! Wow! This puts things a little into perspective, don't you think? Given that my Facebook is dotted with people social-shaming the odd couple getting too close in the park, I think we could spare that bile for the sort of partying crowds who are deliberately, wilfully, and dangerously disobeying the guidelines. Less of the "I saw a family half a mile away sit down on the grass, the serial-killing bastards" eh?

April 10: This morning's informative and helpful read is this brief history of WHO - The World Health Organisation. How much about it did you know? Today's lesson is brought to you by the term Phaic (pronounced 'fake', unfortunately), the name Gro Harlem Brundtland, and (in order of appearance) Smallpox, Sars, Swine Flu, Ebola, and Covid-19.

April 10: Torchwood: Children Of Earth. Wow!

Might I recommend the best TV show we've watched so far this lockdown season? If you want a show about an international lockdown, including viruses and aliens, chiming so much with the present crisis you won't believe it, you must watch Torchwood Children Of Earth. (A 5 part sci fi mini series from 2009, now on iPlayer)

You'll never see children being allowed to return to school in the same way again! And as for Frobisher's final scene, it… See More

April 10: Feeling sorry for the couple who just emailed me about a caricaturing gig I was booked for. They've had to reschedule their wedding BY A YEAR! On the plus side, I've got a caricaturing gig in June 2021.

April 11: What? Who knew that 14 London transport workers have died after contracting the virus, nine of them bus workers? This is the first time I've seen that figure. Dreadful dreadful news. Oh and Matt Hancock can do one!

April 12: Who else got a Dalek and Tardis choccy easter treat made by their darling? Yes, you may be rightly jealous. Thankyou Heather Tweed

NB: They're solid, so that Tardis took some eating! I am now bigger on the inside.

April 12: Wow! I have just watched the most inexplicably awful movie! Never Too Young To Rock starring Mud, The Glitter Band and The Rubettes. Worth watching, and yes I sat through the whole thing, to experience your jaw dropping at the incompetence of the whole escapade. Also to see a very young and spotty Jim Ure (before he changed his name to Midge) with very very long hair singing The Boogiest Band In Town. It's on Amazon Prime now, god help us all.

April 14: This brilliant strip by Tom Gauld reminds me of the phrase dad used to use about me as a teenager: "He'd get fresh air poisoning if he went outside" (bemoaning the fact I'd rather stay in and read & draw than go out and do anything physical). We can conclude teenage me would have been loving the lockdown.

April 16: Good morning Facebook. And today's thought is the spread after the loosening. No, not what happens when I undo my trouser belt (dad joke klaxon), but what happens when UK Covid-19 restrictions start to be lifted. Because there are some areas - mine in North Somerset for example - that have next to no cases. We have 124 confirmed Covid cases as of April 15th, which in a population of 214,000 is next to none. (We had one death, which happened so early on he made the cover of … See More

At the age of 20 I lived in a photo booth.

Which brings us to today, April 19th, when the Scottish Falsetto Socks are due to do their first online gig, in Dean Friedman's DeanZine tonight. Also I'll be practising with Steve to see if we can master the online interview. It's all go.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available on Amazon now:

Thursday 16 April 2020

Hamlet (The New Book) - work in progress pt 5: Art and Video

Thurs April 16th: The first four pages of artwork for the new book, Prince Of Denmark Street, are complete, pages 62 - 65. (Page 63 above)

I've begun in the middle of the book, as I did with Findlay Macbeth, so I can warm up and find my style without it being too noticeable. I may draw the whole book in order, as I did with most of Findlay, let's see how I feel. I'm happy with how the first four have turned out.

And there's method in the madness of it taking so long to do four pages: I've been a bit busy with video. Firstly I had to prepare for, and do a run through with, Dean Friedman, ready for the Socks do appear on his live show on Sunday night. I know, very exciting. The Socks are getting out for the first time in over a month, and I'm dipping my toe in the water of online gigging.

And having warmed up my various cameras, I sat in front of one and waffled for 15 minutes form this, a Work In Progress video...

I'd thought of doing this for Findlay and didn't. And, to be honest, if filming it, editing it and uploading it distracts me from the task in hand as much as I managed to make the first one do, I might go off the idea. Whatever, let's see if anyone watches it. And if they ask any questions that I might answer in subsequent videos, all the better.

4 pages drawn, only 113 to go. Here, have another.

Friday 17 - Only one new page drawn (p31), largely because of making another work in progress video. The choice seems to be: draw and get lots drawn, or make a video of me drawing and get next to nothing drawn. Anyhoo, here's that video, enjoy. (The versions on Facebook have subtitles, by the way).

Sat 18 - Two pages drawn (32 & 33) plus I made my panorama of Denmark Street in Photoshop for reference.
Monday 20 - Two pages drawn (34 & 35), and a new video made with Steve, and the Socks with Dean Friedman.
Tuesday 21 - Four pages (36 - 39). 13 pages drawn, 105 to go.
Weds 22 - 3 pages (40 - 42)
Thurs 23 - Front cover drawn and logo designed.
Friday 24 - 3 pages (43 - 45)
Sunday 26 - 2 pages (46 & 47) drawn, plus all pages to date lettered and saved as jpgs.

So, after 10 days I've completed 21 pages and the cover, 97 pages to go.

Progress continues to be logged in the next blog. Previous stages can be found here...

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available to order now:
Schools and libraries can order it via Askews and Holt or direct from Kev F.
ISBN 978-1-5272-5853-2 

Saturday 11 April 2020

Hamlet (The New Book) - work in progress Part 4: Art

Having scripted and laid out 110 pages on the new book - Prince Of Denmark Street -  as pencil roughs, the next stage is the rewrites, of which a lot are needed. After which I'll get onto the art. For which I will need more Bristol Board. I ordered a new pad from the London Graphic Centre on March 28th and haven't received it yet, so I'd better up my online art supplies shopping game pronto. Good job it's only Easter Weekend, so everything will be working even more reliably than it is at the moment. (For future reference, this is all taking place during the Covid 19 lockdown).

Sunday April 12th: Hev and Steve both give me great script notes (Steve notes I've had characters refer to Hamlet as Macbeth at least 3 times, for starters!) and I do extensive rewrites, bumping the total number of pages up from 110 to 118. Here's what extensive rewrites look like in my world:

Art supplies wise, Amazon are winning, with two A4 Bristol Board pads delivered on Easter Sunday, the day after order. Meanwhile Stationery World, on Park Street in Bristol, which we can't visit obviously because of the lockdown, have been contactable by email, so three A3 Bristol Board pads are on their way from them. London Graphic Centre has yet to deliver or respond to emails.

Monday 13th: Got the 8 new pages written and the panels re-ordered and relaid, lettered as tifs, saved as jpgs, then I have to paste them into the double page spreads and renumber all 118 pages before I can pencil layout the new pages and... this bit is really boring, and it took all day. But tomorrow, hopefully, I might actually start drawing something as actual proper artwork.

Tuesday 14th: After a day of relaying and renumbering scribbled layout pages - FIRST PAGE PENCILLED! I began, slightly randomly, with a scene from the middle of the book (pages 62 - 65 laid out, page 63 pencilled, below). Only another 117 to do and we've got us a book.

Continued in the next blog....

Previous stages are in these previous blogs...

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available to order now:
Schools and libraries can order it via Askews and Holt or direct from Kev F.
ISBN 978-1-5272-5853-2 

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Journal Of The Plague Year - Tracking Sweden

As the lockdown for the Covid-19 / coronavirus pandemic continues (while nobody seem quite to agree what to call it, disappointingly nobody has followed my lead and taken to calling it Miley), I have probably never spent so much time looking at graphs and statistics. No, not even when I'm looking at my Edinburgh ticket sales.

But one graph that has been slightly obsessing me is the one above. Sweden vs the rest of Scandinavia.

You see Sweden has made a big deal of lagom, their cool-headed and measured approach to the crisis. To which end, they've not shut down pubs, restaurants, venues and schools, or kept people from moving around or restricted public transport. Which, if it sees them weather the storm without panicking people and collapsing their economy, is wholly admirable.

My graph-obsession began on the weekend of March 30th when Sweden's lead epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said: “The incline (in infection & death rates) in Sweden is less steep than in many countries and that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve". And I had a bit of a "hold my beer" moment. Cos I'd already noticed that Sweden's rate of covid-related deaths was going up faster than Denmark and Norway's, both of which countries were on full lockdown. And I'd seen a graph that demonstrated it. So I took a screen grab of the graph and, having immediately lost the source, took to updating it myself every day when the new figures came in.

One week later, by April 8th, Sweden is reporting 96 deaths a day (114 yesterday) bringing their current total to 687 deaths. Whereas Denmark is only on 218 total deaths, rising at 15 a day, and Norway is on 93 deaths, just 4 a day. Which suggests Sweden has a situation where deaths are rising at a much higher rate per head of population than its neighbours, and likely to get worse. And the graph looks like Sweden's figures are positively sky rocketing in comparison.

However Sweden is still way way lower in total than the UK, and indeed most of Europe. It's number 20 in the list of countries for total cases of coronavirus. So quite possibly it is doing exactly the right thing and will manage fine. In which case they will have total gloating rights over the rest of Europe, whose economies they'll justifiably be able to buy and sell when the dust settles. I shall continue to keep track of their progress.

In the meantime, Coronavirus smugness rights go to New Zealand who, by dint of cracking down almost immediately, currently have recorded a total of only one death in the whole country related to Covid 19. Preeettty good.

April 9 - Sweden's death toll is up 106 to 793, Denmark up 19 to 237, Norway up 0 so still at 101.

April 10: Sweden 870, Denmark 247, Norway 108.
April 11: They can get cocky today. Sweden only up 17 to 887, Denmark up 13 to 260, Norway up 4 to 117 (hmm, that doesn't tally with yesterday, oh well)
April 12: Second day of boasting rights for Sweden. They only went up by 12, and Denmark went up by 13! Sweden 899, Denmark 23, Norway 128.
April 13th Sweden's death toll is only up by 20 (to 919), Denmark up 12, Norway up 3.

April 14: And they're back. After a quiet Easter, today Sweden's death toll goes up 114 to 1033, while Denmark goes up 14 to 299, Norway goes up 5 to 139.

April 15: Sweden's Covid death toll up 170 to 1203, Denmark up 10 to 309, Norway up 3 to 142.
April 16: Sweden up 130 to 1333, Denmark up 12 to 321, Norway up 7 to 150.
April 17: Sweden up 67 to 1400, Denmark up 15 to 336, Norway up 6 to 158
April 18: Sweden up 111 to 1511, Denmark up 10 to 346, Norway up 5 to 163

April 19 (Sunday): You may have noticed a novel twist in the Swedish numbers, ie that people don't die at weekends. True to form today's figures are lower than usual. Sweden up only 29 to 1540, Denmark up 9 to 355, Norway up 1 to 165.
April 20: Sweden 1580, Denmark 364, Norway 171.
April 21: Sweden up 185 to 1765, Denmark up 6 to 370, Norway up 11 to 182.
April 22: Sweden up 172 to 1937, Denmark up 14 to 384, Norway up 4 to 186
April 23: Sweden up 84 to 2021, Denmark up 10 to 394, Norway up 3 to 189
April 24: Sweden up 131 to 2152, Denmark up 9 to 403, Norway up 6 to 195

Monday April 27: I have decided to stop tracking Sweden. I'm busy, and bored of it, and any conclusions that could possibly be drawn won't be able to be made for months yet. So, with Sweden on a total of 2194 Covid deaths to Denmark's 422 and Norway's 201, I am officially stopping counting.

My figures all come from Worldometers, which seems to be the authoritative and regularly updated source for this information.

I also recommend these excellent graphs on Our World In Data.

April 9 The Commentator: Mother of all shitstorms of Sweden pull it off
April 14 Time: Sweden's Lax Approach Could Be Backfiring
April 14 Forbes: Scientists say Sweden's Strategy Has Failed
April 15 Guardian: Critics question Swedish approach
April 16 NY Times: Sweden Grapples With High Death Toll
April 21 The Spectator: Swedish Experiment Looks Like It's Paying Off

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. His debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth is out now. Follow Kev on Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

My debut graphic novel Findlay Macbeth, available to order now:

ISBN 978-1-5272-5853-2 

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