From Iceland — How To Be Hugleikur? A Diet Of Sick Cartoons And The Moomins

How To Be Hugleikur? A Diet Of Sick Cartoons And The Moomins

Published April 30, 2019

How To Be Hugleikur? A Diet Of Sick Cartoons And The Moomins

Hugleikur Dagsson is one of Iceland’s most loved and, perhaps in some ways, notorious artists. His comics are brutal and hilarious in their simplicity. His books have been translated for global audiences and have impacted the comic scene in Iceland in a legendary way. He has also been an important part of The Reykjavík Grapevine’s story as he was once, one of Grapevine illustrators. But here it is – what impacted and shaped this fantastic artist.


The ending of The Holy Grail was an eye opening experience. The camera man was killed and then nothing. Not even end credits. I didn’t know this was allowed. By putting structure and storytelling in the back seat and putting the joke behind the wheel, Monty taught me the beauty of rule breaking.
Favourite work: The Meaning of Life. The Live Organ Transplants scene triggered something within me.

Eddie Izzard and Bill Hicks were my first stand up comedy crushes. But Silverman was my first love. Her combination of darkness and kindness is exactly what I’m aiming for in my own comedy stylings. She manages to be super woke and super un-PC at the same time. In an age where many people think PC culture is killing comedy, she’s a reminder that humour doesn’t work that way.

Favourite work: It’s a tie between A Speck of Dust, (stand up special) and the short lived Sarah Silverman Program. Oh, and her performance in Wreck it Ralph! I love the fact that someone who regularly tells trump to go eat shit on twitter is also a part time Disney Princess.

I’ve always been fascinated by world building. Stan Lee and Tolkien play an important part in my general geekdom, but Jansson is my personal favourite. Looking at the detailed map of Moominland in the first pages of every Moomin book sparked my interest in fantasy, which has only grown stronger.
Favourite work: Comet in Moominland. It’s a children’s book about the end of the world. Probably had a huge part in me writing my own apocalyptic graphic novel series, Endir.

I had already started doing my overly sick cartoons when I discovered Johnny Ryan’s overly sick cartoons. He has been my immoral compass since then. If Johnny can do it, I can do it. Having said that, he does delve into territories even I wouldn’t dare to enter. The only time I’m offended by Ryan’s work is when I don’t find it offensive enough.
Favourite work. The Prison Pit series. It’s a black metal space opera where every character is the scum of the universe.


I started listening to Jón Gnarr and Sigurjón Kjartansson when they had a radio show called Heimsendir (“World’s End”) in the early 90s. Later they became Tvíhöfði, the most popular comedy radio duo in Iceland. After repeatedly winning their movie trivia game they hired me as a film critic and then later as an animator for their TV show. I learned a lot from being in their presence. They are my comedy parents. Jón is the mom.
Favorite Work: Whenever they’re on the radio. That’s my favourite.

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