Search results for "tommi musturi"

Lucky strikes

12 August 2010 | This 'n' that

Stumbled upon: readers find Tommi Musturi's comic strip (June 10–June 18)

When Books from Finland was a printed journal, it was relatively easy to define its readership – now it is different: we are a part of the internet’s ecosystem, its surging and multifarious mass of knowledge.

Those who visit our pages may have the most diverse motives for wanting to read our articles – and they may travel surprising itineraries before arriving on Books from Finland’s pages, as we found out recently: StumbleUpon is still a fairly little-known service in Finland. Thus it took a while before we realised why so many of the comments about our piece on Tommi Musturi’s wordless comic strip, on colour and friendship, began with the words ‘I stumbled upon’… More…

Song without words

7 May 2010 | Comics, Fiction

Walking with Samuel

The episode we feature here is from Samuelin matkassa (‘Walking with Samuel’, Huuda Huuda, 2009; the book has been also published in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Portugal)

Our lives are now more surrounded with images – moving or still, narratives or icons, emblems and symbols – than ever before – but do we know how to interpret them? How well can we read pictures?

Try this: Samuel is a cartoon character, created by Tommi Musturi, who wanders through time and a fantastically colourful universe of his own. His story is told in pictures, not words – and the details speak volumes. It tells, as you will find if you ‘read’ it carefully, about friendship between man and… another creature. More…

Serial fun, or comics celebrated

24 January 2011 | In the news

The art of comics celebrates  its first centenary in Finland this year. The first Finnish picture story was a book called Professori Itikaisen tutkimusretki (‘Professor Itikainen’s expedition’, WSOY), by Ilmari Vainio, published in 1911; see our post on the Books from Finland website.

By the way, comics in Finnish is sarjakuva, ‘serial picture’, covering the modern usage of ‘comics’ – including serious, graphically impressive stuff such as the newish genre of the graphic novel.

The annual Helsinki Comics Festival, organised by Finnish Comics Society (founded 1971), is the biggest event in the field in northern Europe; this year’s festival will take place in September. In 2011 comics exhibitions will take place at the Finnish Design Museum, the Finnish Post Museum and the National Library of Finland.

Tommi Musturi. Photo: the Finnish Comics Society

The Society awarded its Puupää prize 2011 to Tommi Musturi (born 1975) – take a look at an extract from his Walking with Samuel which we ran on the Books from Finland website in May 2010.

Among Musturi’s publications are ten anthologies entitled Glömp; he has also worked for Kuti magazine and Huuda Huuda publisher. The jury remarked, in particular, on their appreciation of  Musturi’s highly original, often wordless, stories and their graphic brilliance.

The prize: Puupää's hat

The prize is not money but a honorary hat, and is named after a classic Finnish cartoon character, Pekka Puupää (‘Pete Blockhead’), created by Ola Fogelberg and his daughter Toto. The Puupää comic books were published between 1925 and 1975, and some of the stories were made into film.

Serious comics: Angoulême 2011

24 February 2011 | This 'n' that

Graphic artist Milla Paloniemi went to Angoulême, too: read more through the link (Milla Paloniemi) in the text below

As a little girl in Paris, I dreamed of going to the Angoulême comics festival – Corto Maltese and Mike Blueberry were my heroes, and I liked to imagine meeting them in person.

20 years later, my wish came true – I went to the festival to present Finnish comics to a French audience! I was an intern at FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange, and for the first time, FILI had its own stand at Angoulême in January 2011.

Finnish comics have become popular abroad in recent years, which is particularly apparent in the young artists’ reception by readers in Europe. Angoulême isn’t just a comics Mecca for Europeans, however: there were admirers of Matti Hagelberg, Marko Turunen and Tommi Musturi from as far away as Japan and Korea.

The festival provides opportunities to present both general ‘official’ comics, ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ and unusual works. The atmosphere at the festival is much wilder than at a traditional book fair: for four days the city is filled with publishers, readers, enthusiasts, artists, and even musicians. People meet in the evenings at le Chat Noir bar to discuss the day’s finds, sketching their friends and the day’s events.

As one Belgian publisher told me, ‘There have always been Finns at Angoulême.’ Staff from comics publisher Kutikuti and many others have been making the rounds at Angoulême for years, walking through the city and festival grounds, carrying their backpacks loaded with books. They have been the forerunners to whom we are grateful, and we hope that our collaboration with them deepens in the future.

Aapo Rapi: Meti (Kutikuti, 2010)

This year two Finnish artists, Aapo Rapi and Ville Ranta were nominated for the Sélection Officielle prize, which gave them wider recognition. Rapi’s Meti is a colourful graphic novel inspired by his own grandmother Meti [see the picture right: the old lady with square glasses].

Hannu Lukkarinen and Juha Ruusuvuori were also favorites, as all the available copies of Les Ossements de Saint Henrik, the French translation of their adventures of Nicholas Grisefoth, sold out. There were also fans of women comics artists, searching feverishly for works by such artists as Jenni Rope and Milla Paloniemi.

Chatting with French publishers and readers, it became clear that Finnish comics are interesting for their freshness and freedom. Finnish artists dare to try every kind of technique and they don’t get bogged down in questions of genre. They said so themselves at the festival’s public event. According to Ville Ranta, the commercial aspect isn’t the most important thing, because comics are still a marginalised art in Finland. Aapo Rapi claimed that ‘the first thing is to express my own ideas, for myself and a couple of friends, then I look to see if it might interest other people.’

Hannu Lukkarinen emphasised that it’s hard to distribute Finnish-language comics to the larger world: for that you need a no-nonsense agent like Kirsi Kinnunen, who has lived in France for a long time doing publicity and translation work. Finnish publishers haven’t yet shown much interest in marketing comics, but that may change in the future.

These Finnish artists, many of them also publishers, were happy at Angoulême. Happy enough, no doubt, to last them until next year!

Translated by Lola Rogers

Comics come to Helsinki

7 September 2012 | In the news

Comics are the ‘ninth art’, according to the organisers of the 27th Helsinki Comics Festival, which runs from 7 to 9 September.

This time, the special theme examines comics in relation to visual arts, and the main venue of the Festival is the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki. An exhibition entitled Eyeballing! and a concert series where comics meet music will take place there – artists improvise drawings inspired by live music.

Belgium is the country of focus;  in the homeland of the classic Tintin the tradition and the experimental forms of comics live side by side. Among the guest artists will be Benôit Sokal and François Schuiten, Gert Meesters and Herr Seele from Belgium, Émile Bravo from France and Arne Bellstorf from Germany. Tommi Musturi and Amanda Vähämäki are the Finnish guests.

The ninth art? In Greek mythology, the Muses are nine goddesses personifying the fields of the arts. So nowadays Polymnia, Clio, Melpomene, Urania, Euterpe, Terpsichore, Calliope, Erato and Thalia inspire, respectively, painting (including drawing and photography), sculpture, theatre, architecture, music, dance, literature, cinema (as well as television & video) – and comics.

Thalia is ‘the amused muse’: in most languages the term for comics is a variant of  ‘comic story’ or ‘amusing art’ – but the Finns call comics sarjakuva (serial pictures), which is what they mostly are.

Funny peculiar

9 December 2011 | Articles, Comics, Non-fiction

Samuel, the creation of Tommi Musturi (featured in Books from Finland on 7 May, 2010, entitled ‘Song without words’)

Comics? The Finnish word for them, sarjakuva, means, literally, ‘serial picture’, and lacks any connotation with the ‘comic’. The genre, which now  also encompasses works called graphic novels, has been the subject of celebrations this year in Finland, where it has reached its hundredth birthday. Heikki Jokinen takes a look at this modern art form

Comics are an art form that combines image and word and functions according to its own grammatical rules. It has two mother tongues: word and image. Both of them carry the story in their own way. Images and sequences of images have been used since ancient times to tell stories, and stories, for their part, are the common language of humanity. The long dark nights of the stone age were no doubt enlivened by storytellers.

One of the pioneers of comics was the Swiss artist Rodolphe Töpffer. As early as 1837, he explained how his books, combinations of images and words, should be read: ‘This little booklet is complex by nature. It is made up of a series of my own line drawings, each accompanied by a couple of lines of text. Without text, the meaning of the drawings would remain obscure; without drawings, the text would remain without content. The whole gives birth to a sort of novel – but one which is in fact no more reminiscent of a novel than of any other work.’ More…