Posted by: admin in: Comics
How did you decide to become a drawer / cartoonist?
I wanted to be a comic artist as early as 10 years old. I wanted to draw Donald Duck for Disney comic books. Later I found European comics: Pratt, Tardi, Bilal… and I knew exactly, what I wanted be doing in this life. I want to create literature in the form of comics. I think I can’t explain the reason, why comics finally came the nearest and dearest form of telling stories. I think Hugo Pratt is the most guilty person. Lately French artist like Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar have inspired me to become a professional.
Was it a difficult choice to make? Why?
I was (am) afraid that I won’t have time to do anything but draw whatever to earn my living. That I wouldn’t be able to focus on my art, but I would be forced to make illustrations and daily strips. Lately, though, I’ve found comic strip very inspiring and interesting genre of comics, and – at least so far – I’ve had time to focus on longer stories too. The choice WAS very difficult. I wandered if I should have a “proper” job (a journalist, for example), but now I know that that’s not necessary, not even in Finland.
Did you go to a school for drawers or cartoonists?
No. I have been drawing and painting and writing all my life. I’ve studied literature in Helsinki University, but I haven’t studied writing more than drawing. I would like to study comic art (in AngoulÃªme), but I think I won’t.
How do people consider comic strip in Finland?
My one to two pages long strip in a magazine called Kaltio in Northern Finland (Oulu) has had very good feed-back and people even talk about it in this town. That’s been great.
What comic strip/artists did have a major influence on your work?
In strips Ben Katchor is the most important. Other artist: Hugo Pratt, Lewis Trondheim, Jacques Tardi, Joann Sfar…
Do you still read comic strip? Which one?
Ben Katchors strips in Metropolitan Magazine are available in the internet. I read them. Some Finnish strips too, but there’s not anything really interesting going on right now. L’Association’s strips in the new issues of Lapin are great too.
How could you present your work to our readers?
As translations. Text is very important to me, so I think I’m going to offer my comic books to French publishers as soon as I can.
Has your work been translated yet?
Yes. One short story was translated in Italian and published in “Kerosene”. In one exhibition we translated (in the Asema group) our comics into Swedish.
What are your current and future projects?
I’m working at a graphic novel that is going to be published in 2003. I make many comic strips also. As a publisher there’s a lot of work too. I’m a member in a small press publishing house Asema, that publishes new Finnish comics as albums (go and see: http://go.to/asema).
Do you think that internet is the future medim for comic strip?
Yes, of course. Though I prefer reading books.
Do you still work with a pencil and a paper or have you replaced them by a computer?
I draw with pencil and paper, but I make colours often with computer.