Posted by: admin in: Comics
How did you decide to become a drawer/cartoonist?
Drawning has always been my favorite hobby – still is. I’ve been lucky to earn my living with it. At early stage I found it as a natural way to express myself by drawning
and I was lucky enough – again – to get education and work on that field.
Was it a difficult choice to make?
No, it was not.
Did you go to a school for drawers or cartoonists?
I spend 5 years (1969-1974) in the University of the Industrial Design in Helsinki learning graphic design as my main subject. There were no special subjects in comics or cartoons.
How do people consider comic strip in Finland?
Comics are popular in Finland: total selling of comics magazines is around 20 millions copies per year, new comic books/albums are published 70-100 titles per year, including around 35 original finnish with selling from 2 to 3 millions copies. Comic strips are published by almost every newspapers, on the national and the local level. Not so bad in the country with the population of 5 millions.
The most popular comic strip at the moment may be a finnish one, Juba Tuomolas VIIVI and WAGNER, which deals with the odd relationship of a yang emansipated woman and a sovinistic pig – a pig, not a man. ItÂ´s the best seller in album format too.
By the way, Juba visits every year in France, in Angouleme festivals and seeing his relatives in Paris.
There are too annual comic festivals in the country, in Kemi www.kemi.fi/sarjis and in Helsinki www.kupla.net/fest .
The main comics organisations, each in their own field, are: The Finnish Comics Society ry www.kupla.net/engl/engl.html, The World Comics Finland ry
www.worldcomics.fi and the SarjakuvantekijÃ¤t ry www.sarjakuvantekijat.fi : the first in the general comics as a culture, hobby ect, the second in promoting the use of local comics as a means for social change in Africa, India ect and the third as an organisation of the comic artists in Finland. There are lot of local comics organisations around the country.
What comic strip/artists did have a major influence on your work?
Donald Duck by Carl Barks.
Do you still read comic strip? Which one?
Occassionally. Regulary only Viivi and Wagner in the morning paper.
How could you present your work to our readers?
My main work MÃ„MMILÃ„ tells about a “typical” finnish village and its inhabitants from 1976 to 2002 – at the moment. The latest album will be published in august this year by OTAVA. There are about 40 main characters in MÃ„MMILÃ„, the backround or exterior as a one of them. In the matter of fact, the main character is the time, the way how time effects people, culture and landscape by the years: people get older, die, born, meet economical and social chance. Physical and psychical surroundings are chancing as well because of the new technology, economical progress/depression and international/natinal/lokal politics.
I started MÃ„MMILÃ„ in a magazine, one page every two weeks and ended it
20 year later – in order to make an album describing next 4-5 years period of time.
Now, in august there will be 25 year finnish “contemporary grassroot” history drawn in comics on almost 550 pages in the four books.
Besides of this I make illustrations and cartoons to books and papers and run a comic page “TÃ„Ã„ KAUPUNKI” in the mounthly supplement of the Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland.
Has your work been translated yet?
Some pages occassionally. One book for children has been published in Estonia, Sweden and Ireland in the local language.
What are your current and future projects?
I will run my regular cartoons and comics seeking ways to finance the next period of MÃ„MMILÃ„.
Do you think that internet is the future medim for comic strip?
Internet is a medium for comic strip already, not so important yet – but it will be, I believe.
Do you still work with a pencil and a paper or have you replaced them by a computer?
I still work with a pencil and a paper – with computer. For instance, I use in “PÃ„Ã„KAUPUNKI” digital camera, digital pen, computer coloring and typing with my own hanstyle font – after the basic work with a pen and paper.