Crate of Curios part 77 – SANCTUARY!

It was surprisingly difficult to come up for a theme for this Crate – somehow nothing I came across for a good while clicked in my mind. And then all of a sudden there were two – a video clip on Instagram from 1969 where art critic David Sylvester (yes, the same one who interviewed Francis Bacon) is speaking about the artists’ right to do bad work and one of the many newsletters I get (that I cannot find any more) had a piece about the establishing AI-free spaces, which she called sanctuaries. Add to this the recent election results from nearer and further and there it was. SANCTUARY! A sacred place, but also a safe place, a place of comfort.

  1. Surely the first thought, when hearing ‘Sanctuary!’ turns to classic Disney – ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.
  2. Here is the clip by David Sylvester – “Artists must be allowed to go through bad periods”
  3. Speaking about sanctuary as a sacred place, let’s not forget maestro Umberto Eco and his ‘Name of the Rose’ (‘Το όνομα του ρόδου’ in Greek edition).
  4. In the 90’s, there was a brief period where tribal and medieval music trended (remember Enya?). Among those was Karl Jenkins’ symphonic ‘Adiemus’ from the very suitably named album ‘Songs of Sanctuary’.
  5. Sanctuaries are not only for people – as for instance this animal shelter in Ierapetra, Crete.
  6. Speaking of which, let’s not forget Gerald Durrell (here introduced by young David Attenborough) and the wonderful ‘The Durrells in Corfu‘ series based on his book ‘My Family and Other Animals’ (“Η οικογένειά μου και άλλα ζώα” in Greek edition).
  7. And saving the best for the last – ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Bride and Prejudice‘ (Yes, Jane Austen but in Bollywood version’ and yes, I have seen it at last 5 times).
  8. St. Francis of Assisi and the blue bird by Frank C. Gaylord in Chicago.

So long and until the next Crate!

Crate of Curios part 76 – a shirt of violent green

Time has passed by surprisingly fast and it’s just about time for a new Crate of Curios. The theme ‘a shirt of violent green’ comes from the R.E.M. song that my brother sent me some time ago – it made an impression as you can see, and sparked the brain into gear.

  1. First of all the theme song itself – R.E.M. “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”
  2. Violent green apparently does exist as a particular colour and so do many other greens.
  3. “The Green Lady of Brooklyn”
  4. Noone did green like Tom Ford when he still designed for Gucci in 2004. Speaking of Gucci – “The House of Gucci” is absolutely worth watching.
  5. As Gucci and neon green lead us to the 90’s, ‘Dirty Lines‘ miniseries brings it all back.
  6. Why is the green room actually called the green room?
  7. An unbelievably steampunk computer powered by algae (unfortunately not in production yet).
  8. In northeastern India, some bridges are not built but grown.
  9. Book with only 50 words? No problem – want some ‘Green Eggs and Ham?’ (plus Dr. Seuss’ amazing illustrations)
  10. Nobody loved green like the postimpressionists and expressionists – from the left: Cezanne ‘In the woods’ (1885), Matisse ‘Montalban landscape’ (1918), Pissarro ‘Landscape at Pontoise’ (1882), Kirchner ‘Five women on the street’ (1913), Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso ‘Green landscape’ (1915)

So long and until the next Crate!

I have an Etsy store! – updated


etsy screen

UPDATE. Actually I have decided to phase out the digital clipart and focus on paper products, which I feel are more ‘me’. So, right now there are already three sticker sets and the two Scarecrow President zines available and next week I will add some posters. It will be a part of my New Year’s resolution this year to get this little store going.


Somehow I’ve never mentioned here that I also have an Etsy shop where I sell zines and digital clipart! Well, this mistake is about to get fixed right now.

I’m in the process of re-working the clipart sets, so there are bigger and better sets on the way soon.

Link to the shop here: BonaramisArt

20 graphic novels everyone should read, part 2

So, let’s dive right in and list the remaining 10 in no particular order of preference.

11. “Habibi” by Craig Thompson (Pantheon Books)


A most unusual and captivating love story – and it’s that extraordinary that I won’t even give out any details in order not to spoil the reading pleasure.

12. “La Belle Mort” by Mathieu Bablet (Ed. Ankama Éditions)

la belle mort

A post-apocalyptic survival story that I’m not able to read, but that is exquisitely drawn, from the first page till the last.

13. “La Colére de Fantomas” 1-2 by Bocquet, Rocheleau and Ravon (Ed. Dargaud)

More French comics that I cannot read, but that simply look gorgeous. This one is an adaptation of the series of “Fantomas” by Souvestre and Allain. The style is very dynamic and an absolute pleasure to look at.

14. “Muchacho” part 1, by Emmanuel Lepage (Ed. Dupuis)


Not the only work of Emmanuel Lepage on this list. This story is about a young seminarian Gabriel, a boy from a good family, in Nicaragua in 1970’s, gradually getting to know the life and struggles of the common people.

15. “Rendez-vouz a Paris” (from the series “Monstre”) by Enki Bilal (Ed. Casterman)

bilal rendez vous in paris

Part 3 from the series “Monstre” by Enki Bilal, who is one of my favourite comics artists of all time. I have this one in Greek, but bought at the time I still couldn’t read it on the necessary level.

16. “La Peau de l’Ours” by Zidrou and Oriol (Ed. Dargaud)

la peau de lours

A gorgeously colored story of an old man with quite an interesting life behind him…

17. “Nuit de Fureur” by Matz & Miles Hyman (Ed. Casterman)

nuit de fureur

Thuggish noir, that’s a pure visual treat.

18. “Un regard par-dessus l’epaule” by Paquet & Sandoval (Ed. Paquet)

un regard par dessus

A story of a little boy who gets imprisoned into the wall of the living room and has to find the exit to get back home.

19. “Un Printemps a Tchernobyl” by Emmanuel Lepage (Ed. Futuropolis)

un printemps

22 years after the catastrophe in Chernobyl, Emmanuel Lepage takes a journey through Ukraine to report about the current state of the place…

20. “Voyage aux îles de la Désolation” by Emmanuel Lepage (Ed. Futuropolis)

voyage aux isles

One more stunning travelogue by Emmanuel Lepage about his journey to the Reunion island.


And the last one for bonus is the comic book I grew up with and was allowed to read as a treat on Sundays and holidays as a small kid! As you can see, the book on the picture is just as frayed as mine is.



20 graphic novels everyone should read – part 1

Soooo… this one started with the post of Katerina Stamati, who aired her favourite comics and graphic novels and challenged a bunch of others (including myself) to do the same. And I figured… nice idea, why not – after all new book recommendations are worth the weight of the particular book in gold.

Two things before I get started. Firstly, the order of the books is random and secondly, as I’m the kind who buys graphic novels for the artwork, more than half of the ones I’m recommending I haven’t technically read, because they are in French (of which my understanding is very rudimentary).

Here we go.

  1. “Groenland-Manhattan” by Chloé Cruchaudet (Ed. Delcourt)


In 1897, explorer Robert Peary returns to New York after his voyage to Greenland and brings along 5 Inuits, who are housed at the basement of the Natural History Museum…

It is based on a true story (one can look up Minik Wallace, to learn more details), but the story is not mentioned in any encyclopaedia articles about Robert Peary.

2. “De Profundis” by Chanouga (ed. Paquet)

de profundis

To be honest, I never really understood what this story is about. But the artwork is so poetic and absolutely gorgeous that I never really cared. Let’s just say that there is a lonely sailor and many mermaids…

3. “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy” by Lanzac &Blain (FR -Dargaud/ EN -SelfMadeHero)

weapons of mass diplomacy

The insanity of international politics and diplomacy in graphic novel form, narrated by Abel Lanzac, (real-life diplomat Antonin Baudry), who worked in French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002-2004. Deeply satirical, so anyone who’s sniggered at ‘Yes, Minister’ or ‘The Thick of it’, will most probably enjoy it.

4. “Rebetiko” by Prudhomme (FR – Futuropolis / EN – SelfMadeHero)


Story of rebetiko musicians in Athens in 1936 and stunning artwork to go with it.

5. “Nocturno” by Tony Sandoval (ed. Paquet)


I’m normally not a huge fan of ‘dark’ comics, but “Nocturno” is an exception. Partly, because my understanding of French is poor and partly because the artwork is just so damn great. Whoever said that one has to keep the same style throughout the book?

6. “Periode glaciaire” by Nicolas de Crecy (ed. Futuropolis)


Looking back to our days from a far and frozen future. De Crecy is a superb watercolorist and freehand architecture renderer, who needs no more than 2-3 colours to bring any story alive.

7. “Le Jardin D’Hiver” by Dillies & La Padula (ed. Paquet)


A beautiful and poetic story about love and loneliness in a city.

8. “Taste of Chlorine” by Bastien Vives (FR – Casterman / EN – Jonathan Cape)

smagen af klor

Boy meets girl in a swimming pool. And again and again, and then… Bastien Vives is one of the most talented young French graphic novelists and definitely the most productive one.

9. “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan (ed. Hodder Children’s Books)


“The Arrival” is a silent book, meaning that you won’t encounter a single word on its 128 pages. However, it shows how it feels to emigrate to another country out of need.

10. “Sambre – Maudit soit le fruit de ses entrailles” by Yslaire (book 5) (ed. Glénat)


For the second time in this post I’ll be making an exception to a ‘dark’ comic. The truth is that I wouldn’t have bought ‘Sambre’ for the story alone (as I got mine from Danish book sales, I’m actually able to read it), but I do like the red-sepia-black artwork. I also didn’t get the other volumes for the very reason that I didn’t like their artwork which was slightly different.

Aaaand the first 10 are done.

Next 10 soon to come..

When I moved to… ATHENS

Christmas is almost here, another year is about to come to a close and I think it’s a good time to take a moment and look back – both to this summer and to the last 5 years of my life. Keep reading here…

The Memrise Blog

Athens. Five years later…

So, here I am – in my old rented apartment in the middle of Athens, hiding from the midday heat as the heat wave has arrived with a vengeance. Someone is having their apartment renovated and the whiny sound of the drill brings forth some less-than-pleasant memories of a dentist’s office. There’s no air conditioning here, but the high ceilings and thick walls keep the temperature down – my building was built three years before the Second World War, way before air conditioning found its way here.

Even the nightly blasts of Molotow-cocktails have calmed down. It’s almost strange how easily one gets used to them.

Exarchia is quiet now – most of the students have already left for summer holidays, the ones still here will leave after their exams are done. Even the nightly blasts of Molotow-cocktails have calmed down. It’s almost strange how easily one gets…

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Teaching English with schemes and pictures


As the start of another school year is fast approaching, a quick look back to the last one ought to be useful. Last year I made my debut as an  English teacher with the association Piso Thrania. This group of volunteer language teachers has been teaching Greek and English to refugees and other immigrants for years now and they are rather well-known in the neighbourhood. In the first classes people were sandwiched in the rooms. They were so many.

I remember giving examples about things that are nice to do and ‘going to the beach’ was among them as far as I remember. And then an Afghan man, from deep inside the Eurasian continent, asked: “What is this “beach”? We tried to explain in other ways, noting sand, sun, sea, swimming, lying in the sand… The man’s face remained politely blank until he asked: “What does “sea” mean?”.

We said it’s a lot of water and retreated. Neither of our languages had an overlap in this particular niche. For me it somehow pinpointed the difficulty of teaching with images – either mental or real – our mental landscapes look different and sometimes they might be too different. Nevertheless, despite their shortcomings, images can be very useful in explaining grammatical concepts.

Gathering all the tenses on one page and one timeline for instance turned out rather nicely. It was difficult to say, whether the students directly benefited from it or not, but it was helpful to use, their two teachers in terms of getting a quick overview over the material.

english tenses updated_web


Cleaning time!

The last quiet weeks of August will be spent on a noble purpose – revamping this portfolio site and planning upcoming blog posts.

So I apologise for the current mess – it’ll be cleaned up as soon as possible, to make for easier navigation and better (not to mention updated) selection of works!

Some more poetry

Heaven came down
no, not heaven
I’m exaggerating
just the ceiling in my bathroom
just before
I went in
I could not fall asleep
that night
Kept my guard up
eyes open
Had it been a coincidence
a sign
a warning?
But apparently
good things come to those
who wait


Only nostrils above water
no, don’t move
don’t make waves
convulsions, panic
take energy
make waves
you’ll go under
and there’s no time for that
breathe calmly
force your body to obey
because fear
is not your master
you are
conserve energy
and wait


I searched my soul
then I searched my heart
but I didn’t find it
It felt like empty space
in my chest
felt like
How do I know now
how to love
when the photograph
is gone
and memory not to be trusted
Maybe love
passed me by many times
stepped on my toes, apologized
and I never knew