Mauri Kunnas (born in 1950) is without a doubt one of the most well known and loved children’s book writers in Finland, having made more than 50 books during his ongoing career.
Kunnas graduated from Taideteollinen korkeakoulu (Aalto Arts) as a graphic designer and before launching his career as a writer worked for Iltaset, Aamulehti, Turun Sanomat and Helsingin Sanomat papers doing comic strips and political cartoons.
Kunnas’ comic career begun in 1974 when he started drawing the police cartoon Kotlant Jaarli for Iltaset. The strips were later published in book form by the Finnish Comics Society (1982).
Mauri’s comics show a lot more anarchistic side of him than what the children’s books audience might be used to, the main themes being pop and rock culture. A good example is the series of Nyrok City comics (1975–1986) which told about Finnish rock bands living the rock’n’roll lifestyle to the fullest. Nyrok was published in youngster magazines like Intro, Help and Suosikki and also as collection books Nyrok City Collection (1982), Nyrok City Collection 2 (1993) and The Best & the Wörst of Nyrok City (2000).
The Beatles has been a long time favorite of the artist and in 2012 he made a cartoon book Piitles: Tarina erään rockbändin alkutaipaleesta (The Beatles with and A, The Birth of a Band), which has been translated into Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Greek and Portuguese. Kunnas himself plays the guitar (he has 3 acoustic and 3 electric ones) and is in a band called Dzamps’it that gets together once a month to rehearse and play tunes from the 60’s.
Mauri Kunnas was awarded the Finnish Comics Society’s Puupäähattu honorary award in 1981 and has also won many other awards and prizes mainly for his children’s books, for instance Pro Finlandia (2002), Rudolph Koivu Prize (2003) and the State Award for Public Information for a distinguished life’s work (2013). In 2013 he also received the Honorary Doctorate from Aalto University.
Kotlant Jaarti (1982)
Nyrok City Collection (1984)
Nyrok City Collection 2 (1993)
The Best & the Wörst of Nyrok City (2000)
Mauri Kunnaksen varhaisia töherryxiä : sarjakuvia vuosilta 1965–75 (2007)
Mac Moose ja Jagge Migreenin tapaus (1995 & 2013 in colours)
Piitles: Tarina erään rockbändin alkutaipaleesta (2012)
Beatles, Fra begyndelse til berømmelse (2013)
The Beatles, De begindagen (2013)
The Beatles with an A, The Birth of a Band (2012, 2014)
Mac Moose and the Case of Jag Migraine (2013)
Biitlid : lugu ühe rokkansambli teekonna algusest (2014)
Beatles com A – O nascimiento de uma Banda (2015)
Mac Moose e os Stones (2015)