The 27th Helsinki Comics Festival will take place on the 7th to 9th of September 2012 at Lasipalatsi Square, Kiasma and nearby venues in Central Helsinki. Our theme this year is comics as the "ninth art", and the country of focus is Belgium.
Helsinki Comics Festival is a fair and a platform for publishers, commerce and comic artists from Finland and abroad. This year the main venue takes place at Lasipalatsi square, at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and at our Comics Center pop-up space at Art Kaarisilta, all located at the heart of the city. Small Press Heaven is an alternative fair of zines, smaller publication and young artists at a separate spot near the Lasipalatsi main tent.
Main Tent Opening Hours:
Fri 7/9 14–20
Sat 8/9 11–20
Sun 9/9 12–18
Helsinki Comics Festival is the largest comic-related event in Finland and Northern Europe, organised by the Finnish Comics Society since 1979. The festival is free of charge and the programme consists of a comics fair, interviews, lectures, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, performances, competitions, signings and evening events. The event keeps growing and last year we counted 25,000 visitors...
- Special themes 2012
- Friday 7.9.
- Saturday 8.9.
- Sunday 9.9.
- Main exhibitions
- Exhibitions in Central Helsinki
- Exhibitions at Sarjakuvakeskus – Comics Center
- Other comics exhibitions during the festival
- Artist guests
Comics – The Ninth Art
Comic art! No one can deny its power. Still, the unnecessary confrontation between "art" and "entertainment” is often voiced, especially when discussing comics. As a young art form, comics is still seeking its own niche on the wider field of arts and establishing a dialogue with other forms of expression.
The position of comics, especially in relation to visual arts, will emerge as a central theme of the 27th Helsinki Comics Festival. Over 20 exhibitions around the city will present the wide range of what comics can be today.
One of our partners and main venues during the festival is the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Its Eyeballing! exhibition links into our themes in several ways. Comics meets music in the Comics in Concert series at Kiasma Theatre, where the artists improvise drawings inspired by live music.
Kati Kovács / Kiasma – Eyeballing! exhibition
Belgium is one of the cradles of European comics civilization. It could be said, with just a hint of exaggeration, that without Belgium and France we wouldn't be reading comics in Europe. Belgium, known for many as the native country of Tintin, has created an artistically varied and hugely popular contemporary comics culture alongside the traditional, clear lined adventure comics.
Together with the French, Belgian comics have always formed our perception of what European comics are. Of course the national style and genre distinctions are never very simple. Moreover, Belgium itself is a country divided into the Flemish and Walloons.
It’s not only the long tradition of comics that makes Belgium an interesting country. New generations of artists succeed in innovating and renewing the art form. Today, new Belgian comics are once again a phenomenon – exciting, experimental and rewarding for an open minded reader. The strong tradition manifests itself in delicious references, nuances and satire in the works of Belgium's new artists. There is also a bright awareness of the range of possibilities in the art form.
Herr Seele & Kamagurka: Cowboy Henk
International programme for the 27th Helsinki Comics Festival
15:30 Martin Ernstsen
Martin Ernstsen is a Norwegian artist, whose latest album, a children’s comic book called Erakko (‘hermit’), will be published in three different languages. The Finnish Comics Society publishes the book at the Helsinki Comics Festival as a part of their publication series. (In English)
18:00 Émile Bravo
Interview with the French guest of honour. Several of Bravo’s albums have been translated into Finnish, including fairytale-themed Goldilocks and the Seven Squat Bears, The Hunger of the Seven Squat Bears and Beauty and the Squat Bears, as well as Journal d'un ingénu, a new take on the Franco-Belgian classic Spirou et Fantasio. (In English)
GALLERY ART KAARISILTA / SANOMATALO
15.00-16.00 Artist meeting with Herr Seele at the COWBOY HENK exhibition
17:00-18:30 Comics in Concerts!
A series of two comic concerts, where Finnish and foreign comics artists work with contemporary musicians at the Kiasma Theatre. The theme of the evenings is improvisation, which means the audience witnesses the creation of the audiovisual world. Both concerts feature three artists and three musicians. Entrance: 5€.
Herr Seele (Belgium) & Amon Düde
Adios (Konsta Ojala + Timo Vaittinen) & Kuupuu
Ward Zwart (Belgium) & Kiiskinen
19:00-20:00 Belgian comics – what are they?
Lecturer and author Gert Meesters’ first lecture sheds light on the history of Belgian comics, all the way from Hergé’s Tintin to the small publishers of the 2000’s. Despite its small size Belgium has created two very different cultures of comics. Although the traditions in the country divided by two languages are very different, Meesters’ lecture also explores the similarities between Flemish and Walloon comics. The lecture includes works from Heré, Jacobs, Franquin, Vandersteen, Sleen, Bob De Moor and Herr Seele, among others. (In English)
17:00 Estonian comics culture
Interview with the most famous Estonian comics artist and all-rounder Joonas Sildre. (In English)
18.30 Kuš! and the Latvian comics scene
Interview with the country’s comics superman David Schilter. (In English)
12:30 Nordicomics Islands and CUNE residence programs
Nordicomics Islands and the newly formed CUNE network have arranged two international residence programs for comics artists. After a short round table discussion, application for the programs will be declared open.
13:00 Henri Gylander: En helt ny människa
Henri Gylander won the Kemi Nordic Comics Competition this year with his short story En helt ny människa (‘a whole new human being’), which will now be published in Finnish as an album called Unia ja toiveita. In addition to showcasing the autobiographical album Gylander will also talk about his studies in Serieskolan in Malmö. (In English)
16:00 François Schuiten
The Belgian artist François Schuiten has successfully combined architecture and comics in his career. Railway-themed La Douce, published in Finnish this year, is Schuiten’s first solo album. (In French)
17:00 Belgian comics round table discussion
What does the rich Belgian comics scene look like from within? A round table discussion with the Belgian guests of the festival.
18:00 Benoît Sokal
Interview with Belgian comics legend Benoît Sokal. Sokal’s most famous creation is Investigator Canardo, a cynical duck detective who likes his booze.
Artist and world citizen Juliacks uses comics, video, performance and theatre to tell stories. In addition to her short films Juliacks also brings musicians, who will improvise the background music, to the imagery.
12:00-13:00 Contemporary Belgian comics artists
Lecturer and author Gert Meesters’ second lecture continues reviewing the history of Belgian comics. Belgium lost its position as the leading comics country in Europe after the 1960’s and the work of new artists no longer spread beyond the country’s borders. The lecture on contemporary Belgian comics artists and their work concentrates on recent internationally acclaimed publications. Meesters speaks about both Flemish and Walloon comics, including such artists as Olivier Schrauwen, Brecht Evens, Dominique Goblet, and José Parrondo.
16:30-18:00 Comics in Concerts!
A series of two comic concerts, where Finnish and foreign comics artists work with contemporary musicians at the Kiasma Theatre. The theme of the evenings is improvisation, which means the audience witnesses the creation of the audiovisual world. Both concerts feature three artists and three musicians. Entrance fee: 5 €.
Jyrki Nissinen & Nuslux
Amanda Vähämäki & Tsembla (Sweden)
Emelie Östergren (Sweden) & Tomutonttu
KIASMA SEMINAR ROOM
12:00 Émile Bravo
The French artist talks about his career and comics. Lecture. (In English)
14:00-14:45 Dominique Goblet
Dominique Goblet, born in 1967, is one of the best-known contemporary Belgian comics artists. Interview. (In English)
17:00-18:00 Paula Bulling, Marc Tessier and Stanley Wany: From private to public
Comics artists Bulling (Germany), Tessier (Canada) and Wany (Canada) continue the discussion about comics as a tool of political involvement. Round table discussion. (In English)
SUOMALAINEN KIRJAKAUPPA KAMPPI
15:00 Benoît Sokal
14:00 Mattias Elftorp
Interview with Mattias Elftorp (Sweden) who publishes the dystopian series Piracy is Liberation. (In English)
15:00 Leen Van Hulst
Belgian Van Hulst spent a year as an exchange student in Finland, mainly in Turku. She was so enchanted by the Finnish winter that she decided to set her debut album Milk and snow in Finland. (In English)
17:00 Arne Bellstorf and Mauri Kunnas
Arne Bellstorf talks with publisher Seppo Laitinen (Sammakko) and author/comics artist Mauri Kunnas about his album Baby’s in Black. The German artist’s comics often deal with childhood and youth, and his drawings show the same straight-to-the-point quality and distinction as Hergé’s and Chris Ware’s. Bellstorf gained international popularity with Baby’s in Black (2010), which was released in Finnish this year. (In English)
13:00 Geneva Rosett-Hafter – Performance
Create and Protect: Moving Human Art. The audience is invited to take part in building a character, a creature or a sculpture on top of two dancers, and then see their creation come to life, dance and transform until the materials have fallen off and building of a new character can begin. Dancers Geneva Rosett-Hafter, Marja Koponen and Karolina Ginman create a combination of comics and dance that has never been seen before.
Kiasma Seminar Room
13:00-14:00 Emelie Östergren
Emelie Östergren is one of the most interesting Swedish new wave comics artists. Östergren’s comics reflect reality and subconscious desires with the help of surreal fantasy worlds. (In English)
15:00-16:00 Edward Gorey – A strange visitor (lecture)
Edward Gorey (1926-2000) was an American writer, illustrator and comics artist, who is known for his many dark, macabre works. A loner, Gorey made more than a hundred books in his lifetime, most of which are small picture books with a theme. His work is distinctive – it may feel like children’s rhymes, but the events surrounded by death and loneliness and the awe-inspiring Victorian imagery tell a different story. Jens Andersson is one of the leading Gorey experts in Europe, and his lecture is about the artist’s life’s work, interesting persona and the independent world he created. The very first Gorey book translated into Finnish will also be released at the festival. (In English)
16:00-16:45 Herr Seele
Herr Seele (born in 1959) is one of the best-known Flemish comics artists and one of the creators of the absurd comic Cowboy Henk. Interview. (In English)
14.00-15.00 Guided tour at Night Animals exhibition
Tour held by Gert Meesters, Els Aerts, Carmela Chergui and artist guest Ward Zwart.
Official festival exhibitions
The 27th Helsinki Comics Festival celebrates its festival artist Amanda Vähämäki with a solo exhibition. Vähämäki is one of Finland's most renowned contemporary comics artists and her works have been translated into several languages. Vähämäki's debut The Bun Field (Drawn & Quarterly, 2009) can be found in English and her comics can be read regurlarly in Kuti magazine. PIILOMAA ('hidden earth') offers originals and peaks into the artist's secret inner world.
Exhibition opening Thur 30.8. at 18–20.
Night Animals – 9 Contemporary Belgian Comics Artists
Galleria G18, Yrjönkatu 18
Long tradition is not the only thing that makes Belgium an important comics country, and it seems new generations of creators are able to innovate the artform regularly . The Helsinki festival's art director Tommi Musturi has curated NIGHT ANIMALS, an exhibition that showcases nine of the most interesting new Belgian artists.
On Sunday 9th at 14–15 there will be a guided tour led by Gert Meesters, Els Aerts and Carmela Chergui. The artists featured in the exhibition are Francesco Defourny, Brecht Evens, Eric Lambé, Alice Lorenzi, Olivier Schrauwen, Brecht Vandenbroucke, Judith Vanistendael and Ward Zwart, who is also present at the guided tour.
Contemporary Finnish comics have blossomed in an unprecedented way in the last five years. Many Finnish comic artists have in fact made a breakthrough in France, but not yet in their homeland. Finland is known as a country of art comics, but only abroad. EYEBALLING! brings comics forth as a form of artistic expression and contemporary visual culture.
Featured in the exhibition are Mari Ahokoivu, Terhi Ekebom, Matti Hagelberg, Jyrki Heikkinen, Kati Kovács, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Tommi Musturi, Aapo Rapi, Anna Sailamaa, Ville Tietäväinen, Katja Tukiainen, Marko Turunen, Amanda Vähämäki and Ville Ranta (who participated with a comics concert).
Cowboy Henk's absurdly anarchic but un-failingly fun world manages to surprise the reader constantly. Henk is purely a product of comics – it is hard to imagine the 30-year-old character emerging from any other medium. The artwork of Cowboy Henk is effortless and clearly a continuation of Belgian tradition. Mention-worthy details include the ever-clever typographic innovations in the comic's titles. The Art Kaarisilta exhibition is a small-scale retrospective of Cowboy Henk and displays large comics originals and drawings from over 30 years.
Artist Peter "Herr Seele" van Heirseele is present at the exhibition on festival Friday 7.9. between 15–16.
Dominique Goblet is one of the most esteemed creators of contemporary Belgian comics. Goblet's comics are intimate and his way of storytelling unique. Often the images and text move in separate levels of narration only to meet elsewhere – the tension and connection of the comic is created by contradiction. The exhibition at Galleria Myymälä2 contains Goblet's comics originals and drawings.
Exhibition opening Thur 6.9. at 18–20.
Nordicomics Baltic – New Comics from the Nordic countries and the Baltics
Kulttuurikeskus Stoa, Turunlinnantie 1
In 2011–2012 Nordicomics organised a Baltic tour that started from Tallinn and travelled through Riga to Vilnius. At Helsinki Comics Festival NORDICOMICS BALTIC will showcase contemporary comics from the Northern and Baltic countries. Artists featured in the exhibition are Emmi Valve, Joonas Lehtimäki, Joakim Ojanen, Hanna Gustavsson, Oskars Pavlovskis, Martins Zutis, Esben S. Titland, Kristoffer Kjølberg, Rikke Bakman, Mikkel Sommer, Kristel Maamägi, Joonas Sildre, Yoshi and Akvile Miseviciute.
Exhibition opening Mon 3.9. at 18–20.
Paula Bulling's debut Im Land der Frühaufsteher (Avant-Verlag, 2012) has excited a lot of discussion in Germany. The album tells stories of asylum seekers in East Germany, their lives in refugee camps and daily encounters with racism and violence. At the moment Bulling is working on a collaborative short comic with film director Maman Salissou Oumarou for the Brussels in Shorts anthology.
NEARLY THERE features originals from these projects, both of which concentrate on the theme of immigration from diverse perspectives. The relation between artist and artwork, gaze and movement are also explored.
JÄRKYTYS ('shock') is an atmospheric extract from the crude, fascinating world of Jyrki Nissinen. Musician-artist Nissinen is one of Finland's most prolific comics creators, whose works are filled with absurd trips, unforeseen twists and black humour. Often enough the protagonists are estranged from society and live in a surreal every-day existence.
In JÄRKYTYS, XL Art Space turns from an intimate setting into a resemblance of the artist himself, sovereignly invading the spectator's comfort zone. Welcome to the wasteland!
Exhibition opening Fri 31.8. at 18–21.
Walls of 9 – Comics Wallpaintings
Because of publication formats, people are used to encountering comics in a relatively small size – but not today! Helsinki Comics Festival doesn't break walls but builds them: three large walls will be set up at the Lasipalatsi square. On them several comic artists will leave their mark during the festival. Among others there will be artwork from Martin Ernstsen, Ingrida Picukane, Juliacks, Mattias Elftorp, Paula Bulling, Jyrki Nissinen, Terhi Ekebom and Mari Ahokoivu.
Gregor Hinz is a Kiel-born comic artist and a graphic designer. In BERNSTEIN Hinz presents 16 stories that end already on the first page, but keep developing and completing in the reader's mind further on. In his works Hinz concentrates on the fleetingness of life and its surprises. The stories feature many comical characters that leave an optimistic impression despite their inherent melancholy. All the comics featured have recently been compiled into a Bernstein album.
During her studies in the Royal Art Academy, Belgian artist Leen Van Hulst spent an exchange year in Finland, mainly in Turku. The Finnish winter enchanted her so strongly that Van Hulst decided to set her debut album in the country. Melk & sneeuw (2011) is a book filled with intimate, sketch-like atmospheric spreads and effortless pastel coloring. MAITOA JA LUNTA features originals from the album and can be viewed also after the festival in Turku at the Cosmic Comic Café.
Comic artist JP Ahonen's dryly topical Puskaradio ('word-of-mouth') comic strip has graced the pages of Journalist magazine since 2009. Library Kirjasto 10 and publisher Arktinen Banaani present extracts of strip originals and prints. Ahonen will be interviewed on location on Sunday 9th at 15–15.30.
Joonas Lehtimäki: Anonyymien eläinten digitaalinen vallankumous
Elisa Studio, Mannerheimintie 22-24
Inexplicable modern art? No, a barcode comic book! Joonas Lehtimäki's Anonyymit eläimet strip can now be experienced completely digitally at Elisa Studio. Bring a smart phone to scan the barcodes (or borrow one at the studio) and enjoy the funniest and rudest strips so far!
Adios is a publication series that explores art as an alternative way of doing, experiencing and living. The Adios books have been born out of love of freedom, self-expression and books as the medium for that expression. The results are post-millennium psychedelia, visual innovation and cultural mutation. The most recent fourth installment of the series was edited by main editor-publisher Konsta Ojala together with artist Timo Vaittinen. ADIOS! exhibition features an installation created by the duo.
Exhibition opening Sat 8.9. at 19–21.
One of the Comics Center's September exhibitions features extracts from Norwegian artist Martin Ernstsen's comic Erakko ('hermit'). The album tells the story of a little boy visiting his grandmother in remote Northern Norway. When the only contact to the outside world is a single TV channel, imagination takes over and childhood games weave into reality inextricably. The result is a warm memory of summer days spent with a dear grandmother. The Finnish Comics Society publishes the Finnish edition of Erakko at the festival.
Exhibition opening Sat 8.9. at 19–21.
SILENCE is the Polish comics festival Ligatura's annual competition for wordless comics, which aims to promote comics art with solely visual storytelling. SILENCE – AN INSTALLATION presents the best of this year's competition.
Exhibition opening Sat 8.9. at 19–21.
The morning light is dim. A small ghost fidgets on a branch, pulls over a leaf to blanket himself, mutters himself to sleep. An installation of a frozen moment in comic artist Terhi Ekebom's work-in-progress album will unveil at Galleria Ruutu this September.
Roope Eronen: Kettu yms.
Napa Galleria, Eerikinkatu 18
Open Tue–Fri 12–18, Sat 12–16
Exhibition opening Wed 5.9. at 18–20.
Manga-café Amailla, Vuorikatu 14
Open Mon–Fri 10–20, Sat 11–19, Sun 12–17
Benoît Sokal (Belgium)
Benoît Sokal (b. 1954) is best known for his character Inspector Canardo, a cynical and booze-loving duck detective. His comics are said to fluently recycle the artistic and literal conventions of two quite different worlds: the world of traditional animal comics characters, and that of detective novel classics.
François Schuiten (Belgium)
François Schuiten (b. 1956) was born in an architect family, which is clearly reflected in his comics illustrations. He published his first comics in Pilote magazine at the age of 17. With his brother Luc as the scriptwriter he created the cartoons Carapaces and Terres Creuses. In 1982, À Suivre magazine started publishing the series Cities of the Fantastic with Benoît Peeters as the writer. Both Schuiten and Peeters, who had been friends since their childhood, won the Grand Prix of the Angoulême Comics Festival in 2002. Architectural forms often play crucial role in their dream-like fantasy stories.
Émile Bravo (France)
Émile Bravo (b. 1964) is one of the few present-day French cartoonists who draws comics mainly for children. His career has continued from the alternative comics movement of the 1990's (l'Association) to neo-traditional children's comics. His style is classical ligne claire with some additional roughness to express present-day nervous atmosphere.
Herr Seele (Belgium)
Herr Seele (b. 1959) is best known for the absurd comic strip Cowboy Henk, which he makes together with fellow comic artist Kamagurka. Cowboy Henk, combining clear line drawing and avant-gardist content, gained international acclaim when it was published in the influential Raw anthology.
Arne Bellstorf (Germany)
Arne Bellstorf (b. 1979) entered the German comics field in 2005 with his first album acht, neun, zehn. The album won the ICOM prize of best indie comics, and the artist himself was prized at the Frankfurt Book Fair of the same year. International success followed with Baby's in Black (2010), a story of the relation between "the Fifth Beatle" Stuart Sutcliffe and the photographer Astrid Kirchherr. The story goes on describing the subculture of Hamburg and the role of the photographer in the famous breakthrough of the Beatles.
Gert Meesters (Belgium)
Gert Meesters (b. 1972) is currently one of the most remarkable academic scholars in the European comics field. He has a doctorate in the morphology of Dutch language, and he teaches at the University of Liège.
Tommi Musturi (Finland)
The art director of the 27th Helsinki Comics Festival is Tommi Musturi (b. 1975) who is an independent comics publisher as well as a comics artist himself. In addition to his own works, his publishing house HuudaHuuda is specialized in the field of artistic comics, both Finnish and foreign. His works have been widely published in Europe and North America.
Amanda Vähämäki (Finland)
The festival artist of this year is Amanda Vähämäki (b. 1981) who is known of her strange ways of describing everyday life. She is said to be a model example of a young internationalized Finnish comics artist. Her first album Pullapelto (2007, The Bun Field) was published in Italian and in English even a year prior to the Finnish edition.
In 2005, Vähämäki won the International Comics Competition in Luzern, Switzerland. The significance of the event was considerable since during the Swiss competition the artist's comics had not yet been published at all in Finland.
Other international guests and exhibitors
Paula Bulling (Germany)
Comic artist Paula Bulling (b. 1986) has studied illustration in Burg Giebichenstein Art University and worked as a translator. Her debut Im Land der Frühaufsteher (Avant-Verlag, 2012) has excited a lot of discussion in Germany. The album tells stories of asylum seekers in East Germany, their lives in refugee camps and daily encounters with racism and violence.
Mattias Elftorp (Sweden)
Mattias Elftorp comes to the festival to showcase the comics and art project Wormgod, which he directs together with Susanne Johansson. Elftorp will also take part in the festival’s wall-painting project Walls of 9.
Martin Ernstsen (Norway)
Martin Ernstsen (b. 1982) has a Fine Arts MA from Konstfack University of Stockholm and has published seven comic albums. Of these Ugler (Jippi Forlag, 2007) was nominated for album of the year by the Norwegian SPROING Comic Awards. Ernstsen's latest work Erakko ('hermit') will be published in Finnish at the festival by the Finnish Comics Society.
Gregor Hinz (Germany)
Gregor Hinz is an illustrator and graphic designer from Kiel, who wishes to work for a better world and improve animal rights. His books have been published by The Biblyotek from Leipzig and Mückenschweinverlad from Stralsund, among others. Hinz has recently published an album in English called Bernstein, and its visual world is showcased in mbar during the festival.
Although born in the US, Juliacks is a world citizen and an artist who tells stories by combining different forms of expression in a unique way. Her latest work, Invisible Forces, combines comics, moving images and performance in the story of Rody Plane, who is trying to find balance between the frightening outside world and the darkness of her own inner one. Juliacks finished the piece during her residency in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, where she also made Swell, a small screenprint publication about a family coming to terms with the death of a daughter and a sister. An offset print version has also been published.
David Kerr (Scotland)
David Kerr is a Scottish comics artist whose work has been published in Kuti Kuti, Variant Magazine, Sexy Machinery and LE GUN among others. Kerr’s comics examine the downsides of the publishing business as well as the effects of neoliberalism in Scotland.
Søren Glosimodt Mosdal & Jacob Ørsted (Denmark)
Søren Mosdal is a member of the Copenhagen-based studio Overfloden and has worked as a professional for the last ten years. Mosdal has collaborated with comic book writer Jacob Ørsted since their debut release Hundegott in 1998. Through the years, several European publishing houses and magazines have published their comic books. The third installation of Mosdal and Ørsted’s Copenhagen Rockworld series, Boilworld is ready to be showcased at the festival.
Geneva Rosett-Hafter (Finland/USA)
Geneva Rosett-Hafter, born in California, calls herself a renaissance woman. She is a professional dancer, massage therapist, model and an artist of many mediums. Her main work consists of a post-apocalyptic web-comic that updates every three days as well as a book called The Cat of a Madman. Rosett-Hafter will perform an interactive dance piece on the main stage during the festival.
Marcel Ruijters (Netherlands)
Marcel Ruijters currently works as an editor for the Zone 5300 magazine in Rotterdam and reviews comics for Dagblad De Limburger, a Dutch newspaper. Ruijters is also an illustrator and a translator, and his latest published graphic works are 1348, Bestiarium and Sine Qua Non, which are based on medieval mystique and were published in collaboration with Oog & Blik.
Linus Strandberg (Sweden)
Linus Strandberg's (b. 1985) style has often been described as psychedelic and hallucination-like. His heavy, liquid lines are especially well-represented in the rural dystopia Arkipelag. Born in Åland, Strandberg has since relocated in Goethenburg where he co-manages the alternative art gallery ORO.
Emelie Östergren (Sweden)
Emelie Östergren’s comics reflect reality and subconscious desires with the help of surreal fantasy worlds. Her debut album Evil Dress was published in 2009, after which she has released five other works. Her illustrations and comics have been published in several anthologies, magazines and books in Sweden and abroad. In 2010 Huuda Huuda published Östergren’s album Plut och Plutarna in Finnish under the name Pikki ja riikkiset.
This year the festival presents a large section dedicated to Belgian comics, which consists of a comprehensive selection of works from several different publishers.
The Drops anthology – now in its third issue – showcases new and interesting comics from Germany and around the world.
Landfill Editions (UK)
Hugh Frost’s Landfill Editions is a small independent publisher of comics, zines, artists books and literature founded in 2009.
Kuš! is an international anthology of comics published in Riga that aims to introduce comics to Latvians and Latvian comics to the world. In addition to publishing, Kuš! organizes exhibitions and workshops. Editors David Schilter and Sanita Muizniece and artist Ingrida Picukane are guests at the festival.
Chili Com Carne (Portugal)
Founded in 1995, Chili Com Carne is a group of young artists that has published literature, essays, illustrations and zines in addition to comics and anthologies. CCC firmly believes in do-it-yourself philosophy, spontaneity and diversity, and its director Marcos Farrajota is involved in several different projects in the area of modern art and culture.
Peow! Studio (Sweden)
Peow! Studio is a collective of three artists – Patrick Crotty, Elliot Alfredius and Olle Frorrslöf – that is involved in animation, moving graphics and other large team projects. The solo works of the members include unique and diverse illustrations, comics and art prints.
Celebrating its 6th anniversary this year in St. Petersburg 15.9.–14.10., Boomfest is an international comics festival started and piloted by Dmitry Yakovlev. Boomfest has grown into one of the most interesting international events in the comics scene. Yakovlev will represent Boomfest at the Helsinki comics festival.
Éditions TRIP (Canada)
Éditions TRIP is a small Canadian publisher of alternative comics that aspires to improve the international visibility of comics from Quebec. Trip publishes experimental works utilizing both new and traditional techniques. A comic book as an art object is also a source of inspiration. Stanley Wany and Marc Tessier will be talking about Éditions TRIP at the festival.
Cult Pump (Denmark)
Zven Balslev showcases his works, such as screen-printed art books, comic books and audio from his own independent publisher, Cult Pump.
Internationally successful Reprodukt is an independent German publisher of both domestic and international comics. Reprodukt’s interests go beyond economic gain – the publisher wants to advance comics culture with collaborators and comics artists from all around the world. In Germany Reprodukt is known especially as a benefactor of young comics artists and has provided footing for such artists as Arne Bellstorf and Mawil.
Christian Maiwald (Germany)
Christian Maiwald is an experienced editor and one of the driving forces behind the German publisher Reprodukt. This year Maiwald was also a jury member for the pitching competition at the international Ligatura comics culture festival.
The books published by Swedish Sanatorium are a mixture of eccentric comics and non-comics. Jens Andersson of Sanatorium is one of Europe’s leading Gorey experts and will give a lecture in Kiasma on the very first Edward Gorey book translated into Finnish, which will be released at the festival.
The German comics scene changes and grows constantly. Avant-Verlag is one of its new interesting publishers and one of its artists, Paula Bulling, is a guest at the festival.