Posted by: admin in: Comics
How did you decide to become a drawer/cartoonist?
It wasn’t planned. I drew some comics in my youth, but I stopped for some reason when I entered lukio. It wasn’t until I left the university that I started to draw again. That was in 1998. Since then, it has become more and more important, until I decided to quit my dayjob as a copywriter in autumn 2001, to begin working full time as a comic artist and illustrator.
Was it a difficult choice to make? Why?
Yes. It’s probably the same for every freelancer; the income is not regular, and you are constantly looking for new jobs and marketing yourself. Working as a copywriter I had a monthly check if I just bothered to go to work. Now I actually have to work. On the other hand it offers freedom which enables me to work on my personal projects, such as albums.
Did you go to a school for drawers or cartoonists?
No. I studied language and literature at the university. As a drawer
I’m completely self-taught.
How do people consider comic strip in Finland?
The majority of population still sees it as something intended for children. Graphic novels, i.e. serious comics such as Art Spiegelman’s Maus, are still mostly unknown, but the situation is improving and almost every month there is something new being published from Finnish artists.
What comic strip/artists did have a major influence on your work?
Herge’s Tintin has been a big influence. However, the main reason I started drawing again was because I discovered contemporary Finnish comics through “Kramppeja ja nyrjÃ¤hdyksiÃ¤” (Cramps and Strains in Finnish), a comic strip by Pauli Kallio (writer) and Christer Nuutinen (original artist). That’s probably been a big influence as well. It’s a strange coincidence, but I’m going to be drawing that strip in the autumn, with Pauli Kallio as the writer.
Do you still read comic strip? Which one?
I read a lot of comics. Tintin has always been my favourite. But I also read a lot of contemporary comics from French-speaking countries, from such artists as Lewis Trondheim, David B, Dupuy&Berberian etc. Lately I’ve been interested in new Swiss artists such as Frederik Peeters or Tom Tirabosco.
How could you present your work to our readers?
For a sneak peek, you can visit my web site at http://www.lietzen.com.
Has your work been translated yet?
Yes, some of my short stories have been published in Canada and Slovenia. A few stories are also available with English translations in Finnish anthologies, such as GlÃ¶mp 4 and 5 and Laikku 01.
What are your current and future projects?
I’m currently working on a 25-part series for Suomen kuvalehti. Also, I’m working on a 100+ page album called “Huone kaupungissa” (A Room in the City or Une Chambre en Ville) set in Paris that spans approximately 100 years. It’s partly autobiographical, partly fiction. In addition to that, I’m putting together a 100+ anthology for Comic Association Asema, the small publishing house that I’m part of.
Do you think that internet is the future medium for comic strip?
Probably not. The Internet will help to market comics (especially small press products, which are scarcely distributed in ordinary bookshops) but I don’t think it will become a media for publishing comics. It’s the same as with all books. Paper is still the best media and will be for a long time in the future as well.
Do you still work with a pencil and a paper or have you replaced them by a computer?
The basic work has not changed, you begin with a blank paper, a pencil, a brush and a bottle of ink. I use computer mainly in the later stages, especially in colouring.