Ida Neverdahl writes:
Have you ever heard about the philosophy of sprell? Much like the Zen philosophy of Buddhism, it’s an ancient practice, a mind set and a lifestyle, inspired by practices of old. It stems from the Vikings of Northern Europe, a rowdy gang of sword wielding barbarians who loved to rob and pillage. They liked to chop things up and offer the chopped bits in worship to equally rowdy gods such as Odin and Thor.
You’ll find a lot of sprell in Jelly Vampire, my comic collection, which you can now back on Kickstarter.
Jelly Vampire is about the unpredictable everyday adventures of Lulu Lulusen, a little girl with black hair and similarly dark sense of humour. On the surface it’s cute and quirky, but when school kids bully Lulu and her unicorn, the unicorn quickly turns vigilante and rips the children apart with his horn. From travelling to a planet made entirely of the soft underside of cats’ paws to helping a depressed god reconcile with his/her lover, Lulu’s adventures will take you anywhere, as long as you allow the ancient Viking philosophy of sprell into your heart.
So what is sprell? Sprell is the ability to put yourself in the mindset of jolliness. To establish a natural drive towards filling every action and event with goofs and laughs, shenanigans and jokes. It’s a philosophy of how to have the most fun in life.
The first traces of sprell mentality is found in old, crumbled cave paintings, drawn by Viking hands on barren rocks over a thousand years ago. Ancient Viking writings also tell of the concept of sprell, but information is scarce. It seems to have resemblances to the Northern warrior tradition of ‘Berserkers’. The Berserkers were Norse warriors who were primarily reported in Icelandic literature to have fought in a trance-like fury. Sprell is similar in the sense that it’s about devoting yourself to a particular mindset, but also quite opposite. While Berserkers were about killing, murdering, hitting, kicking, blood and gore, sprell is about more neat things, like dancing to kickin’ tunes, petting dogs, celebrating dogs’ birthdays, etc.
It’s been proposed by some authors that the Berserkers drew their power from the bear and were devoted to the bear cult. Similarly, the sprell philosophy has its own patron animal: the unicorn. The magical horned horse, Uniroth — a mystical being, with three horns on its forehead. Uniroth are said to have brought the first spark of sprell, and with it, joy of life to Viking tribes. Evidence is scarce, but we can see traces of that magic in their headwear, which often sports horns in various shapes. Before the appearance of sprell, Viking life was a dreary one. Have you ever been to Northern Europe? It sucks. The weather is bad, and the only stuff to eat is dried up fish and potatoes. Summer lasts for three days!
Sprell is just as relevant today, as it was for my Viking ancestors. The world can still be a dull, grey and cold place, unless you turn it around and engage with it. Some people would propose you eat more Omega 3s, pick up a hobby, or go to the gym. But like my Viking ancestors would say: ‘’IKKE FAEN DIN KNALL!!’’ (‘No way, you doofus’ in Norwegian). Instead, use the teachings of sprell and start living lighter. Buy rhino beetles online and invite your friends to an insect party. Rescue a mannequin from a trash bin and name him Abraham. Start a collection, learn to wrestle, start medical school so you can dissect a brain! I’ve tried all these things, and it works really well.
It’s up to each and every one to discover their inner sprell, and use it to generate magic. As with the Vikings, it’s important to find your tribe. Nothing amplifies sprell like sharing it with a friend and reading Jelly Vampire. Look inward and around, and find the people who share your predilection for a certain type of fun and beauty. Then your sprell will flourish, creating fireworks of fun and goofs and mental glaciers of ice cream in all flavor of jokes that you can surf down on tandem skis of friendship with the gooey chocolate sauce of hijinks flowing behind you.