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Pyton was a Norwegian comic book series which was produced by the company Gevion, and afterwards Bladkompaniet, between the years 1986 until 1996. An anthology magazine with no major main character, its style of humor focused mostly on satiric and toilet humour, including sexual, toilet, and farting jokes. Most of Pyton's material was produced by the magazine's own staff, but a handful of foreign comics also appeared in the magazine, including Gary Larson's The Far Side , and the German comic Werner .

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Comic book publication of comics art

A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.

Satire Genre of arts and literature in the form of humor or ridicule

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.


The name is Norwegian for python, a term which in Scandinavia also have gained a slang adjective meaning of "disgusting" or "sick". The magazine also adopted a python snake as mascot (after discarding their original polar bear), who occasionally featured in his own comics.

Pythonidae family of nonvenomous snakes

The Pythonidae, commonly known simply as pythons, from the Greek word python (πυθων), are a family of nonvenomous snakes found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Among its members are some of the largest snakes in the world. Eight genera and 31 species are currently recognized.

The comic reached its peak around 1990 when it sold around 35,000 copies per month.

The Essential Guide to World Comics by Tim Pilcher and Brad Brooks says that the anthology and its sister series MegaPyton had "short-lived but important MAD-style humour anthologies with an underground comix edge." [1]

Underground comix comics genre

Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books which are often socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality, and violence. They were most popular in the United States between 1968 and 1975, and in the United Kingdom between 1973 and 1974.

The magazine's editor was Dag Kolstad, who prior had been the editor for Norsk MAD, the Norwegian edition of MAD Magazine. Kolstad was also a writer for many of the series (under the pen name Dick Kolby), and was also featured in the actual series as the sadistic and overweight character Redaktøren (The Editor). Another prominent writer was Rolf Håndstad (pen name: Rhesus Minus, Balle Brock).

A pen name is a pseudonym adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their "real" name. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise their gender, to distance an author from some or all of their previous works, to protect the author from retribution for their writings, to combine more than one author into a single author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge.

Some of Pyton's most prominent artists were Tommy Sydsæter, Bjørn Ousland, Arild Midthun (pen name: Arnold Milten), Kristian B. Walters and Frode Øverli who a few years later created the successful and popular comic strip Pondus . Martin Kellerman, who later went on to create Rocky, also made a few contributions to Pyton in the mid-1990s.

Bjørn Ousland is a Norwegian illustrator, children's writer and comics writer. His breakthrough was the album series Solruns saga from 1988 to 1993. Among his later albums are Mumle Gåsegg from 1999, Soria Moria slott from 2000, and Grimsborken from 2002, all adapted from Norwegian fairy tales. He was awarded the Brage Prize in 2007, jointly with Jon Ewo.

Arild Midthun Norwegian illustrator and cartoonist

Arild Midthun is a Norwegian illustrator, cartoonist and comics artist. He was born in Bergen.

Frode Øverli is a Norwegian comic strip cartoonist, considered one of the most successful in Scandinavia.

In 2009, the old magazine had gained a large nostalgic appeal, and it was decided to launch the massive collector box MegaPyton (not to be confused with the Swedish magazine Mega-Pyton, see below), featuring classics from the magazine collected in hardcover books.

Recurring features

The monthly publication had no constant features, nevertheless several new features were created almost monthly. Some of the most popular features were:

Pervo-Kris is a British/Norwegian comic strip. It originally debuted in 1990 in the comics magazine Pyton Spesial and is written and drawn by Bristol born comics artist, Kristian B. Walters. Pervo-Kris was also featured in the Swedish spin-off comics magazine Mega Pyton after 1995 and has been a regular feature in Finnish Pyton the last ten years.

Foreign editions

In 1990, a foreign edition was launched in Sweden, also named Pyton. Apart from publishing older Norwegian material, this spinoff edition also showcased Swedish artists such as Joakim Lindengren, Mikael Grahn and Alf Woxnerud etc. This soon led to much international collaboration between the two editions with many cartoonists, both Norwegian and Swedish, producing work published in both editions. The Swedish edition folded in 1998.

In 1992, the Swedish spinoff Mega-Pyton appeared, in the beginning it was mostly a thicker version of the original magazine, but after a while it evolved into a more alternative/underground-oriented magazine featuring artists such as Ivan Brunetti, Mike Diana and Sam Henderson, as well as local Swedish artists including David Liljemark. This edition folded in 2001.

In 1994, after the success of the Swedish launch, there was an attempt to release a Danish edition under the same name. For some reason, this edition wasn't as successful as the other Scandinavian editions, and the magazine was cancelled after only seven issues in 1995.

The longest lasting of these editions was in Finland, where the magazine was launched in 1989, titled Myrkky (Finnish for "poison" or "venom"), published by the Finnish branch of the Nordic publisher Egmont. Originally, the magazine featured mostly translated Swedish and Norwegian material, but after these editions folded, the magazine published more and more native material, as well as material imported from other sources. The most popular character in Myrkky was Pera Pervo (Pervo-Kris). This edition didn't fold until 5 November 2008, with a final summer special appearing in 2009.

Regular strips in Myrkky included Myyntimies Mynttinen, Pera Pervo and Firkin the Cat .

Perhaps the most famous cartoonist whose work appeared in Myrkky is the British Hunt Emerson. However, most of the strips - particularly after the other editions had folded - were drawn by Finnish cartoonists. Regular Finnish cartoonists included Santtu Liima, Armas Salakka and Samson.

See also

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  1. Pilcher, Tim and Brad Brooks. (Foreword: Dave Gibbons). The Essential Guide to World Comics. Collins and Brown . 2005. 260.