Fnorfs, a grey people but what they lack in colour the gain in agressivity. Wild by nature and prefer to live in the Ushirian mountainside. Most famous locations with Fnorfs are in the Hardnorth hills ( Hallandsåsen) in Fnorfendorf and at the coastline in Fnorfbürg that are both controlled by the last Jandort king ” Kung Jan”. Recently his Legatus Önkhel ( Named by Moa) has taken control over the former village of Winslow(Vinslöv) and renamed it to Önkheljunga (Örkelljunga) where he is collecting Fnaggles to build up a heavy cavalry force. Read more it in upcoming posts.
( I drew the first Fnorfs in 1994 but then they where solely called Norfs, which also makes sense since they where first found in the North of Malmhaugar and the north of the known world of Ushiria )
Below:Mamfnors, the bigger versions of regular fnors and much more fearsome and aggressive
Below: Fnorfs overseeing the drilling of Gortmass by Fnaggels ( the small lizards) in Hardnorthhills close to Fnorfendorf
Comparison chart of the size of fnorfs ( Art & creatures is all copyright Ushiri Stenberg 2021)
Frightened fnorfs when meeting the wraith from Jan the last king of the Jandorts
These pages are a part of the carrotbased RPG world Ushiria set in fantasy fictive dark ages Scandinavia created by Ushiria and co-created with Henrik Berntsson 2021. All art & character design & text is copyright Ushiri Stenberg 2021
We have incoming reports of gangs of carrots loafing about threatening turnips with potato pealers. The incidents seem to be racially motivated and the police are looking into a possible connection to the growing orange power movement.
A spokesperson asks the public to remain vigilant, but not to cater to the agenda of extremists by giving into unfounded suspiscion and hatred: “It is important that we stay united and work together to counteract any divising effect that these senseless actions may have”.
An historian at the university of C.A.R.R.O.T. emphasises the long tradition of peaceful cohabitation between carrots and turnips, which has always stood out in the Scandinavian cuisine: “We have always married well in casseroles. Our different flavors and cultures have reached a mutual height unattainable on their own”.
Our reporter tried to get a comment among membrrs of the chestnut community, but the ones he spoke to said they preferred to remain taste neutral…
Naturally however, occurrances like the ones we’ve seen these last month, raise issues about our current gun regulations. Is it too easy nowadays for anyone to accquire a potato pealer? Do we need tougher restrictions?
The spokesperson for one of the largest suppliers of potato pealers in the country disagrees: “It’s absurd”, he says, “the problem is’nt the pealer, it’s the person. A potato pealer is a tool, and like any tool it can be used without proper discretion. We as a company cannot be held responsible for the misguided actions of a few troublemakers”.
It is obvious that the matter spawns many different views and emotions. Here we believe journalism has a vital role to play as a neutral platform for rational discourse.
Swedish version – Hatbrott mot morötter Nya rapporter har inkommit om ungdomsgäng som driver omkring och hotar rovor med potatisskalare. Brotten tycks vara rasmotiverade och polisen undersöker gängens möjliga anknytning till den växande orange power-rörelsen. Polisens representant ber allmänheten att hålla potatisögonen öppna, men att inte spela extremisterna i händerna genom att ge vika för misstänksamhet och hat. “Det är viktigt att vi står enade och samarbetar för att motverka de polariserande effekterna av dessa vettlösa handlingar”.
En historiker vi har talat med pekar på den långa tradition av fredlig samlevnad mellan rovor och morötter som alltid härskat i det skånska köket. “Vi har alltid gått bra tillsammans i grytor. Våra respektive smaker och kulturer har lyft fram varandra”. Vår reporter har sökt en kastanj för en kommentar, men de hon talat med säger att de vill fortsätta att förhålla sig smakneutrala och avstår från vidare kommentarer.
De beklagliga händelserna har väckt frågor om våra nuvarande vapenlagar. Är det för lätt idag att komma över en potatisskalare? Behövs det skärpt reglering? Talesmannen för den största leverantören av potatisskalare förnekar detta: “det är absurt”, säger han. “Det är inte potatisskalaren som är problemet, utan den som använder den. En potatisskalare är ett verktyg, och som alla verktyg kan det missbrukas. Vi kan inte ta något ansvar för vad några enstaka galningar hittar på”.
Det är tydligt att frågan väcker känslor och åsikter. Många av de vi talat med uttrycker sin frustration med starka ord. En del ger uttryck för sin bitterhet mot myndigheterna, och sin egen maktlöshet. Journalistiken har här en vital roll som neutral plattform för en rationell diskurs.
I am in a process where I am exploring my own inner world and trying to put the experience into words. For me I have an emotional rich experience that is visually connected to colours. Each colour has a unique property in my mind. Blue is a symbol for shape and form, the blue colour can be seen when I close my eyes. I can shape the blue colour light by will in my dreams.
The yellow colour connects with fine-grained detail in perception. The red colour connects with the emotional response from inner organs. The green colour connects with the immediate response from my external sensory organs. The green colour thus represents the now, and it interacts and shapes the blue form while awake. By conversation a mixture of green and blue into cyan is apparent. This cyan colour interacts with the red emotions and puts them in motion.
The feeling resulting from a conversation is a movement of emotion, a Tingling sensation.While observing the world long enough it is covered with all the fields simultaneously, and the gaze turns white with a touch of golden that captures the changesIn sight… a long deep exhale. Thank you.
There is a color within me that is beyond the mind’s current ability to perceive, a Magenta shocking pink color, that color symbolizes what I cannot perceive, a color that I stumble on when my body physically changes to be able to receive new impressions. A color that symbolizes the thoughts I have not yet thought. A color I am very attracted to strongly attached to my #imagination. A color created out of emotional feeling mixed with shape.
in your eyes, reversed shards tinted tiny tricks and my tattered whispers trapped in the Box of words among letters and your pretty shiny things baby chameleons in the closet of course they are always there playing subtile and kissed stories from a lier tounges tickling glaring Kaleidoscope hope in the dept of your wishing well I live all my episodes alone in soft Hideouts shelters will’o’wisps and fairytales strangers, walking my walk talking my talk vibes and tunes not mine your moves and chills and in my bones your cheap thrills and my ribs like thorns cut sharp through raw flesh
Popee The Performer is a 3D animated kids show created by Ryuji Masuda. The show aired on TV back in 2001-2003 in Japan and it lasted three seasons with 40 episodes that have around a 4-5 minute long runtime.
At first glance, Popee The Performer might look like a bizarre and creepy low quality project with ugly, lazy animation and filled with over-the-top violence and immature content. Some people might therefore turn their nose on it and not give the show a proper chance. But there is so much more to Popee The Performer and it’s 100% worth giving it a chance. Keep in mind, this is early 2000s computer animation so it’s not going to live up to today’s standards, especially not with the small budget and tight deadline the creator had to work with. Ryuji Masuda took all the limitations and used it to his advantage and really made it work. The unique and somewhat off-putting artstyle and movement of the characters work in the show’s favor, because it adds more spice to it’s already bizarre nature.
The plot is quite simple. The show’s two main characters are, of course, Popee the performer himself and his assistant, Kedamono. The episodes often start out with the characters trying to perform a circus trick or something similar, and it somehow always goes horribly wrong. Popee is a clown with severe anger issues and he loves to use violence to deal with all of his problems. The one who usually has to suffer through Popee’s excessive violence is Kedamono, Popee’s masked purple wolf assistant. There are other characters that are introduced later on, such as Papi, who is another clown with a very flamboyant personality that loves to challenge Popee’s violence with even more violence. There is also a frog, an alien and a sentient elephant car.
The series is filled with slapstick comedy and is pretty similar to Tom and Jerry, just way more extreme and bloody. The characters die regularly in very gruesome and violent ways. Anything from getting shot or hit by a car to destroying the earth by throwing the sun at it or even fighting God, could happen in this show. Because of its short runtime things need to happen fast. The plot of the episode therefore always escalates quickly in very extreme and bizarre ways and it is always hilarious. The creator couldn’t afford voice actors so the show had to rely on visual storytelling and physical comedy instead, which is a great choice since it makes Popee The Performer completely universal. Anyone, no matter what language they speak, can understand and enjoy the show.
Popee the Performer got pretty popular in Japan back in the days. Both the TV-station and viewers of all ages seemed to enjoy it and there was even some merchandise and a manga made. Now, twenty years later it lives on as a bizarre series of videos with a dedicated fanbase that you might stumble upon on the internet if you are lucky. Go check it out.
The idea for the game came to me at 2014 but I postponed it since I had other projects. I then started developing it again in 2018 and have been playtesting it through 2019 to this date intensly with people I know and not know at all in different groups, also over zoom from different places in Europe. Game eveluation sheets are handed out both physical and digital to all playtesters.
Playtest & combined open-source development
The way I playtest is a sort of combined open source developement variant where all people can speak their creative mind and we directly test it in the game without hesitation. I´m a strong believer that regardless of your own creative ego you can allways take input from others. This can of course be challenging to keep the red thread and not to steeraway from your intended vision of what you want to achive in the end.
Bad gamedevelopement & playtesting
I meet boardgame developers where their ego can´t stand pure clean critizism of bad gamemechanics and when the game suffers of being boring. Playtesting with tons of people is the way to make a good game and not take it personal if someone says they dont enjoy it or just think it´s plain dull. If they say this ask them why and what it is they don´t enjoy to get knowledge of why it does not appeal. Perhaps the game is not for them or there really is a strong truth in what the say. The most important of playtesting is to amass a ton of people that are not your real friends and just random people to get more honest opinions because they are not afraid to hurt your feelings.
Developement so far 2021-06-03: Optimize card text, redraw illustrations on cards bricks, colourize them and continue to develope/edit the layout for the gamemanual. Further playtesting to streamline the cards for the basegame. Add more objects art to the gamemap. Reach out to new playtestgroups that will do ” Blind gametests” which in practice means that they will playtest it with me silently being in another part of the room or sitting over the net watching them play without me.
Review of comic fanzine “Mörk Choklad” No 2. Edited by Lars Krantz. Contributions by Lars Krantz, Andreas Rosengren, Ushiri Stenberg 56 pages, black and white Language: Swedish Released: 2021
Out on the side-walk I realized I’d forgotten to talk to USHiRi about that collaboration; that text that a friend of ours maybe wanted to write for the magazine.
“I’ll do it next time” I said to myself, while pressing the numbers of the code to the lock in front of me. Earlier in the morning I had come through this door to go park my bike in the backyard on the next side of the vault. Now the lock didnt “click” like it used to.
I pressed the handle to check; it was locked. I pressed the digits one more time. Nothing happened. I pressed again. Nothing.
“I need to doublecheck the code” I thought and took up my phone to scroll through the chat we’d had the other day. There was the address to where I was right now, there was the code. There was no discrepance between this and the one I’d just tried. Maybe the door was broke or something. I pressed the code again. Now it opened. “I really should have said something about that text”, I thought.
On both sides of the vault were stairs up to the houses’ apartments. Sprigs were painted on the walls. Through the glass doors ahead came a bright, sharp spring sun and on the other side was the backyard and somewhere my bike. The next door I could just open, but before I went out into the yard I had to fasten the door with that springy little metal pole, so that the it stayed open.
Then I don’t know what really. I found my bike, got back, released the pole from the ground and let the door shut. It didn’t. It stopped half-way when the pole suddenly dropped down, by itself, and stuck.
Noone was there. I looked at the door and on the pole. It didn’t seem broke or loose. I released the door and with my one hand steering the bike through the vault I took up my phone with the other and called USHiRi about the collaboration.
In the beginning of Huvuden ska rulla (Heads will roll), the opening story of Swedish horror and sci-fi cartoonist Lars Krantz’s fanzine Mörk choklad No 2, (Dark Chocolat No 2), Lars is asked by his friend Martin if he is interested in drawing the artwork for a music video, for a song called Heads will roll. The song is about “ideological extremism”, inspired by a woman Martin knows of that believed she could communicate with God via the sun. She had these conversations just her and God first, while later introducing also her son. The experiences was described by the woman on Facebook. Appearantly she had a schizofrenia diagnosis.
Exactly why and when any heads are gonna roll, I’m not really sure of, and this, of course, builds up a certain suspense. Is it something that will be exposed or disclosed? Is it the woman, her alikes, and ideological extremism, that subsequently will be squelched? Or is it something else going on? Will people get killed?
In the beginning of the story, Martin talks vibrantly about an imminent apocalypse and Lars replies in an ironic tone that “Yeah, I guess God will have it his way, as always”.
Later in the night, after having discussed Heads will roll out on the pub, Lars wakes up in his room, only to find himself surrounded by skulls staring up to the sky. He gets out of bed, walks up to the window and put the blinds aside. He then discovers what they’re all glaring at; the sun. Conciously or unconciously, Lars seems to be very influenced by, or maybe even identify with, that woman Martin told about.
Women with visions of light and divine contact take some part in the subsequent story in the fanzine too; the dark and humorous narrative zest of Andreas Rosengren’s Guldbenet (The Golden Leg).
A girl called Veronica visits the library where André works, asking for literature on Hildegard von Bingen. Von Bingen was a Benedictine abbess, philosopher, mystic, visionary, writer and composer, who in the 12th century in Germany experienced the umbra viventis lucis, the reflection of the living Light, via which she could observe different people from “distant lands and spaces”.
Von Bingen wasn’t considered schizofrenic or anything, instead she was actually one of the first persons to be brought up for Roman canonization. Also in modern times, only ten years ago, Pope Benedict XVI said of Hildegard that she is “perennially relevant” and “an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music.”
Veronica’s interest in Bingen is the spark for a sexual, thrill-seeking and inevitably destructive relationship between her and André (who manage to ask her out after vivid input from his dick and his soul that say they’re gonna kill him if he screws up), later putting him in a state of something similar to dissociation.
André is mesmerized by Veronica’s beauty, and the notions of vertigo, abysms and adventure he sees in her eyes. Veronica, on her side, soon also reveals that what she wants is not conversations on middle age’s saints, but late night ventures and escapades.
She seems to have a complex relation to defenselessness and susceptibility; while at the same time indulging in intense experimenting with lust and desire through drugs, sex and death challenges with André, she shuns from conversations touching on vulnerability, making André for instance feeling totally dull when telling her about his depressions.
These messing-with-reality-actions make me think a little of American neuro-scientist Erik Hoel, who has written a lot about the biological ground for fiction. The hitherto established idea of dreams is that they help create and establish long-term memories by processing our different experiences. Hoel, however, argues that dreams occur for the sake of themselves, as of assets of “noise injections”, to help us to not get stuck in a too well-known environment; to help us better perceive and recognize different kinds of things and beings. Hoel is inspired by machine learning; if an artificial intelligence is trained to recognize for example cats, and is presented to only one type of pictures of cats, it will be very good at recognizing these kinds of cats but no others. If “noise injections”, concisting of odd or weird pictures are mixed up with these data, the AI will have easier recognize a wider range of various types of cats; the generalization ability will improve.
In Kult, the final story of Mörk choklad (and the continuation of Heads will roll) Lars tells about his love for the dark and savage roll playing game “Kult”, “a deeply philosophical” game that offered “a terrible explanation of our existance”. He goes on musing about the current world, concluding that “things mustn’t come ready-packaged. If we don’t see the grey scales when we’re young then it won’t be easier when getting older”.
This is to some extent a reoccuring theme in all of the stories of Mörk choklad I think. It’s in Krantz’s explorations of different dimensions, worlds and beings, it’s in Rosengren’s description of foundations and paths of desire and confusion, and in (my friend’s and colleague’s) Stenberg’s playful recounts of odd characters.
The shortage in some people’s ability to recognize a human is told in for instance Stenberg’s Too tall, a (true) story about a dude who cannot sit straight on buses, cannot sleep in hotels bed, have difficulties finding things to wear, and is made fun of when going to the pub, because of being taller than average.
Sci-fi, oddities, fiction, the unknown, dirt or fifty shades of grey is perhaps more or less vital for humans. If we don’t see a difference between two things we’ll often try to find it; either in dreams, prejudices, fantasies, art, innovation, mental “illnesses” or in the theory of QAnon. Some seem to find exciting differences in numbers or location, in age or descent, time or space.
The collaboration I called USHiRi about that day when the code lock didn’t work and the door stopped by itself, later turned into a first-person recount about being isolated because of certain conditions that increases the risk for severe Covid-19 symptoms (Sweden hasn’t had the same extent of restrictions as many other countries; here it has mostly been extra vulnerable people that have had to stay home).
The woman writes about feeling lonely, how she just wants to go out, be noticed and socialize. She fears however that when society opens up there are gonna be lots of people like her, too many in fact, and where can everyone find their place? Her story is a recount of someone who doesn’t really have her needs fulfilled, and who thinks that everyone else is in the same situation; therefore fearing a fight over resources and upcoming opportunities.
I don’t really see the difference between her anxiety and Lars or Martin’s ideas about the apocalypse, their struggle with not getting jobs, or getting payed, with not being seen by an condescending girlfriend. But whereas they are certain that heads will roll and they will win, she seems for some reason worried that she will be left behind.
-My carrot? An orange tall, shaved man, / Min morot? En orange lång, rakad man
(There is also another interview with the sexy Thedöd representing Avocadocat in USHiRimagazine #2 that can be bought at Malmökonsthalls bokhandel. )
We also visited a cool relaxed vinyl record store in Ängelholm, Vinylpågarna. A bit hidden away from the main street were we got a sexy psychadelic bag the have youré records in. But we didn´nt. Big thanks!
Vi besökte även en skön vinylbutik namnad Vinylpågarna som var lite undanskymd där vi fick varsin cool tygpåse som va mega psykedelisk. Stort tack!. We will get back to Vinylpågarna in another article later on that will be written by Anna Karlsson.
Here below is a track he wrote when he was performing in Avocadocat:
“Before I met Mr Downearth and Freddie, I didn’t know who I was. Life had changed for the worse and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Valerie left, the kids too, and they were never coming back. So I left too; ascended with my new friends.
“In the first year, it felt like my flat was eating me alive. I was suffocating, like an indebted wretch thrown to the bottom of a deep, dark canal. ‘Who am I now?’ The question echoed through the empty space of my room, bouncing off the walls in an endless, erratic dance. Who am I, with my lack of presence? No longer a worker, no longer a father, barely a functioning man. A nobody.
“In the midst of my despair, Mr Downearth appeared. I hadn’t spoken to the fellow in many years, but I vaguely remembered him from the days I spent at the library with my wife. I remembered his smile. His honest, unrelenting eyes. I remembered picking up his books just to put them back down and truth be told, I remembered my desire to stay away, because in his studies he was up to more than I could really bother to understand. I mean, why bother with all of that strange business if you have no reason to escape? Back then that was my one and only truth. But now, I need a new truth. The pining, red-eyed mess of a man I’ve become… he desperately needs something.”
I stand in front of the smoky, bird-footed creature that used to be a man. When I lean down to take a closer look I notice the name tag attached to his robe reading “0001” in neat, black lettering. I turn to Professor Downearth who’s been observing me from a corner of the room.
– Is that him? I ask.
The professor nods. I turn back to the monster to greet him.
– It’s nice to meet you, Kane.
A subtle sound like a stifled laugh. I ignore it and continue:
– I’ve read about you. Can I ask you a few questions about yourself?
– Maybe about your wife? Valerie?
More silence. The professor steps in and puts his hand on my shoulder. He’s smiling, yet I can’t discern the expression on his face as he says:
– Now, what you’re trying to do is very interesting, but it’s no use. He doesn’t know who he is.
– Not at all? I reply.
– So he doesn’t even recognize you anymore?
– He does not, I’m afraid.
– Does that upset you, Professor Downearth?
For a second, his face seems to freeze. Then he smiles even wider.
– The results of the study have been positive, haven’t they? Trust me, there’s no reason to be upset.
As the professor swivels us around to exit the room, the smoke around 0001’s head seems to puff even thicker.
“The visitors can expect amoroso and joyous paintings. If the paintings reflect my inner carrot I guess I have a very varicolored carrot; none with just plain orange, but all of the colors. I have worked very spontaneously, not very thought-through, just gone by feeling. Most of the paintings are made in 2012, 2015 and 2020, some in art classes I attended and some at home. For me painting is a way of expressing myself and canalize energy. It’s very therapeutic; when I paint I see patterns and the contexture of everything.”
“I love to exhibit my art and meet people. I’ve had lots of exhibitions planned the last year that have been cancelled due to Covid-19, but here we go, finally! Some four years ago I started painting more abstract instead of doing portraits, which I’d done a lot before. This way I feel I’ve had it easier to find my own style and rhythm. Now I use a lot of colors, including gold, silver and coppar – that unfortunately don’t come out that good here as in the original paintings – , but anyhow… My paintings reflect my inner world, they are really an expression of that. I think we all need to put our conscious thoughts aside sometimes, at least that is something that makes me feel good. And people need colors too, especially in these times. I’ve put titles on my paintings, in Spanish, like “Otoño en fuego”, and some in English too, but I would also like the beholder to come up with their own interpretations.”
The exhibition lasts from July 15th up until August 15th. Opening hours are the same as those of The Vegan Bar.
A recent study conducted by the University of Escapism indicates that, yes, it is indeed possible to ascend through smoking. I went to interview the university’s own Professor Downearth for more details.
Walking through the halls of the university, I feel the urge to question the tall gentleman once more:
– Is it true what you claim? Can you really ascend through smoking?
He simply smiles. He walks, I follow. As we walk, the walls start to cave in around us. Space crumbles, I follow. The professor saunters along the now non-existent floor nonchalantly. Dancing along to his own heartbeat in the thin air seems to be second nature to him. As soon as I manage to pry my eyes away from his feet long enough to start worrying about my own safety, he pulls me along with him by my wrist, saving me from falling into the lifeless abyss below. He walks, I follow. For a moment, or perhaps a million, I seem to lose my grip on the concept of time. When it finally, or perhaps immediately, returns to me, we are standing in front of a metallic door labelled “Air”. Professor Downearth’s calm expression remains even as he opens the door and says:
– Meet the Airheads.
The room inside is dark and foggy but I can see them clearly. Twenty-seven or so grotesque beings sitting huddled up on the floor. About half of them each hold a lit cigarette in their hand. These beings look human enough for me to not feel frightened, yet strange enough for me to become concerned. The shapes of their bodies I immediately recognize as my own. Their feet, however, are enormous and birdlike, sharp claws sticking out of coarse yellowish toes. It’s quite amazing. But the truly most amazing part is what I notice next: their heads. Or, the thick, swirling clouds of smoke that take up the space where a head should be. I’m not sure where their bodies end and the clouds begin. I’m not even sure if they really have heads, though I would guess they do. The lighting is a smidge too dim and the smoke a smidge too thick for me to confirm it, but in the center of the clouds above their torsos I can almost make out a dark, round shape that appears to be the core. It seems to hold some of the smoke together to form the shape of a head, while the rest of the smoke ascends and spreads throughout the room like a fleeting dream.
Whether or not the Airheads still remember who they are, I don’t know. Neither do I know if they are better or worse off now than they were before they were brought into the laboratory. All I know is that they seem to have peace of mind. They seem to be part of a community, their heads evaporating and connecting in the ceiling like a smoky hivemind.