It all got started back when things had gone straight to hell. Having recently been dumped, and sitting on the train from Uppsala, Martin Kellerman drew himself as a dog with a noose around his neck. Who would have believed this would be the start of one of the widely read comic strips in Sweden? Today it has run for almost 20 years. Over 4,000 strips, over 30 albums and two big collection volumes have been published. Rocky has become a Swedish cultural institution. In 2014, when leading daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter listed 150 cultural phenomena that have shaped Sweden, Rocky was one of them.
Now Rocky has moved in to the Museum of Spirits, furniture and all. He brought his kitchen, his studio, his country cottage and his friend Igge’s living room – settings familiar to anybody who has followed Rocky over the years.
Martin Kellerman went into the project with the idea of “making a Junibacken for grown-ups”. He designed and painted the rooms, where you can sit down at the pink table, gather round the fire barrel at the cottage, see how a strip takes shape and think about the state of things together with Rocky.
For in Martin Kellerman’s Rocky strips, no subject is too big or too small, whether it’s global warming, gluten intolerance or the quest for the perfect drunk. With wit and accuracy, he has talked about celebrity wines, craft beers and wine snobbery. What wine is best paired with breakfast toast smeared with Kalles kaviar? Why do box wines have names that sound like kids’ security blankets? And isn’t it really nicest to drink your wine at home so you don’t have to deal with all that racket at a bar?
In Rocky’s world, drinks rarely play the lead role. Whether the backdrop is a restaurant or the kitchen, the alcohol is just a prop. As Rocky puts it, “I like to drink wine and talk, not drink wine and talk about wine! I like to take a walk and think about things, but I don’t want to join a walking club and talk about walks.” When in Rocky’s world, do as his friends do: take a seat at the kitchen table, pop the cork and relax at home with Rocky.