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Bernadotte, our French king

~Now available in stores!~

I am proud, and relieved, to present the project that I have been working on for the past four months: “Bernadotte, vår franske kung” – which means Bernadotte, our French king in Swedish. It is a comic about the life of Charles XIV John, or Karl XIV Johan as he is called in Sweden, and Carl III Johan in Norway. All 36 pages are drawn and I will be putting everything together next week.

Karl XIV Johan's biography in brief
Karl Johan was born in 1763 in a small village near the French Pyrenees as Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, son to a low-level lawyer. To escape the legal profession he enrolled in the army at the age of 17. He did quite well there, but his career road was blocked by the laws of the time, which stated that only those of noble birth could gain officer’s rank. This and many other things were over-turned come the French revolution in 1789. Although Jean Baptiste was not a whole-hearted supporter of the revolution and the chaos it brought, it did provide him with rapid advancement and was the catalyst of a fantastic life story in which he served first the Republic and then the emperor Napoleon, and in which chance and coincidence would eventually take him to the distant northern land of Sweden where he was made king and given a new name.

The current king of Sweden is descended from Jean Baptiste. The crown princess Victoria is to be married next year, which coincides with the 200 year jubilee of her French ancestor's election to crown prince of Sweden.

For this project I have taken care to be historically correct, and there are plenty of Easter eggs for those who know their history!

The production team
The comic is written by Maria Bergström, drawn by me and coloured by Gabrielle Nilsson, known as Gabbi here on Deviantart. Anne-le Sahlin has provided support though additional historical research. The publisher is Kulturpoolen i Falun, who specializes in historical comics and often pick relatively new artists to work with. I have made one comic for them before, “Little Selma from Mårbacka”.

How to purchase
The comic is now available to buy! Many stores will not have it on their shelves yet, but you can remind them or, if you can't wait, the comic is available through the following vendors:

Bokus (on-line) [link]
Bokextra (on-line) [link]
Skivlagret (Eskilstuna, Halmstad, Johanneshov, Kalmar, Kristianesand, Motala and Trelleborg) [link]
Skolshoppen (on-line) [link]
Ord & Bok (on-line) [link]

ISBN number is: 978-91-977522-9-9.
At present the comic is only available in Swedish.

:icongabbi: Please note that the colour work of this piece is © Gabrielle Nilsson. I only drew the lines.
Preview pages for Bernadotte, our French king [link]
Poster for Bernadotte, our French king [link]
Karl XIV Johan on Wikipedia [link]
Kulturpoolen i Falun [link]
Little Selma from Mårbacka [link]
Image details
Image size
595x842px 319.82 KB
© 2009 - 2021 Aeonna
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Valsayre's avatar
I would have followed him to the North :D 
bis01's avatar
Great work! I love the details, and colors you gave... You have really captured his feature so good! 
I was just surffing around Web for Napoleonic Wars... Then I was caught and enchanted by his life storyXD Fantastic, Indeed...   And I somehow feel good about that he stayed loyal to Swedish. 
Aeonna's avatar
Thank you! ^^
I didn't do the colouring on this, credit there goes to fellow deviant gabbi.

He did have a fantastic life: the scope of his journey, social and geographical, and the era in which it takes place are in themselves to bold for a writer of fiction to dare to invent : )
bis01's avatar
Oh Then I must correct myself, you both did great job =D!!
RD-DD1843's avatar
You realize King Karl was the only one of Napoleon's Marshals or relatives (brothers Louis and Jerome, Marshal Murat) who retained their throne. He was smart enough not to totally trust Napoleon and switched sides in time to be in at the defeats of the Emperor in 1814 and 1815, and was one of the leaders at the Congress of Vienna.
Aeonna's avatar
Yup, it's quite a feat to be the only one to establish a lasting dynasty.
FanofJura's avatar
Sorry, as a french, I have a few issues with that guy who turned down of Napoleon at the worst possible moment. :(
Aeonna's avatar
I can imagine. But they hadn't been on good terms for many years, if ever, so maybe it wasn't completely a surprise to Napoleon.
FanofJura's avatar
Still cost us the decisive battle of Leipzig.
winzrella's avatar
By the way, I bought the book and read it through sometime ago. I loved it! I like history and such so it was completely my thing to read.

Jag hadde trevligt när jag läste den :)

My written swedish is quite bad nowdays...
I haven't needed to write it much for years. Pretty much I only read and talk Swedish nowdays (second family language).
Aeonna's avatar
I'm very happy to hear you liked the book! I'm a nerd for past eras so it was fun to research it (a lot more fun than drawing it).

...och för övrigt är din svenska mycket bra : )
winzrella's avatar
Du vet inte hur länge det tog mig at skriva det som jag skrävde sist rätt. Jag har ingen aning om jag skrävde det här rätt häller, men du förstår vad jag menar, tror jag.

And I'm a nerd for history, so I can understand you very well :XD: (Writing Swedish, because I can! =P )
Aeonna's avatar
Jag läste franska i skolan men jag är absolut inte lika bra på det som du är på svenska.
winzrella's avatar
Jag lärde just ingenting i skolan när vi skulle läsa svenska. Det är bara fråga om at halva släkten är svenskspråkig so jag bratar svenska rigit bra. Och läser svenska.
Men jag kan ser nu at jag ändå skriver bättre än jag trodde, men jag skulle vilja vara bättre på at skriva svenska. Jag bara behover inte göra det just nånsin.
Jag läste franska i skolan mig själv men lärde ingenting........ Så vi kan glömma det :XD:
Det är bra at du änså förstår mig :)
Aeonna's avatar
Med lite övning skulle ingen märka att du inte var svensk. Jag vågar mig inte på att försöka lära mig finska, men så har jag ju ingen i släkten som talar språket så jag kan inte få hjälp.
winzrella's avatar
Vi måste lära svenska i skolan här i Finland. Men det menar inte at alla sku kunna prata svenska :XD:
Jag är bara glad at jag har lärt mig två olika språk som barn. Ny jag bara sku villa använda mera svenska på jobbe. Vi får se. Det beror på at vad för job jag får :)
Aeonna's avatar
Du kan ju alltid bli Finlands ambassadör i Sverige!
Paddyeahh's avatar
Så fin! varför tänker jag på Snusmumriken när jag ser hans ansikte?!
Aeonna's avatar
Hm... jag har faktiskt ingen aning vad det kan vara. Jag ser inga likheter i ansiktsdragen, men jag gillar Snusmumriken, så om det är likt är jag bara nöjd!
Paddyeahh's avatar
Haha! Nej, jag vet inte! Ja, jag gillar också Snusmumriken, så det är ju en komplimang! :giggle:
it is a book i
llustration in sweden
geminick's avatar
Åhå! Här snubblar man över bra saker!
Funderar på att skaffa mig ett ex av den här serien, den låter väl värd att läsa. Snygg är den också, att döma av det jag ser här och nu. :)
Aeonna's avatar
Kul att du tycker det! Fundera gärna vidare ^^
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