Agust och Lotta

Bia Melin is a Swedish cartoonist, who succeeded her father Ingvar Persson in writing and drawing the quarreling couple 'Agust och Lotta' in 1997.

Britt-Marie Melin-Persson was born in 1954. During her childhood, her father worked as a forest guard in Riddarhyttan, Västmanland County. Her grandfather Elov Persson was one of Sweden's most prominent cartoonists, and the creator of emblematic characters like 'Kronblom' (1927) and 'Agust och Lotta' (1928). Ingvar Persson didn't turn to cartooning until Bia's grandfather passed away in 1970. Bia Melin eventually assisted her father with the coloring, backgrounds and balloons of 'Agust och Lotta' and assumed complete control in 1997.

By then, the comic strip ran in the rural-oriented magazine Land, and in annual Christmas compilations. The setting and clothing of the egoistical Agust and his dominant wife Lotta had not changed since the strip's inception in the late 1920s. Shortly after Melin took over, Land magazine underwent a restyling. The editors deemed the grumpy elderly couple old-fashioned and demanded a modernization. When Melin refused to change the series' basic concept, the magazine dropped the strip altogether. This however resulted in heavy protests from the magazine's readership, and even cancellations. The editor had to give in, and 'Agust och Lotta' could continue their nagging after a couple of months absence. The characters continue to appear in half page episodes every week. They still live in a 1930s setting, and heat their house by fire, but more modern elements like a TV set have been added to the interior.

Agust och LottaAgust och Lotta

Besides her father and grandfather, other members of Bia Melin's family also work in the comics industry. Her uncle Gunnar Persson took over Elov Persson's signature character 'Kronblom' from 1967 until 2010. Her nephew Jonas Persson is the current artist of 'Kronblom', and her brother Lasse Persson has continued his father's creation 'Frid och Fröjd' since 2014. By now, the fourth generation of the Persson dynasty has also stepped in. Bia Melin's son Johannes Melin has made the cover illustrations for the 'Agust och Lotta' annuals since 2014.


Bia Melin and Ingvar Persson

Series and books by Bia Melin in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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