Ville Ranta (born in 1978) is one of the most productive and translated Finnish comics artists of the recent decade. He also founded the Asema comics publishing company with Mika Lietzén in 2000.
Ranta draws in a sketchy, loose style, often with trademark watercolouring work. The frequent use of shorthand lettering and a lack of framing on the pages are other features which set Ranta aside from traditional ”technically correct” styles. Much of his work is semi-autobiographical, subjective and often daring. In Ranta’s autobiographical and commentary works his hero ponders the world, love, sex, religion, and politics in a philosophical manner.
A piece of comics commentary on the Mohammed cartoon debate landed Ranta in the deep end of cartoon controversy in 2006. Comics published online resulted in censorship, editorial break-ups and media frenzy. The story itself was a thoughtful commentary on the Danish events, but involved the prophet wearing a bird mask to cover his face. Ranta continues to draw for a newspaper and bring new touches into the field of editorial cartooning.
Ville Ranta’s fictional work includes a graphic story of Elias Lönnrot, the creator of Finnish national epic Kalevala. Kajaani (2008) was published in France under the name L’Éxilé du Kalevala (Cà et Là, 2010), with a subsequent nomination in the Angoulême Sélection officielle competition of 2011.
Ranta’s newest book Kyllä eikä ei (Sept saisons, 2013) tells the story of a preacher living in Finland in the 19th Century. Even with its historical setting the graphic novel reflects the confusion of our current times.
Kyllä eikä ei (2013)
Ohjeita rakastaville (2010)
Eräänlaisia rukouksia (2009)
Isi on vähän väsynyt (2005)
Engelsmannit tulevat! (with Mika Lietzén, 2004)
Scener från Paradiset (2011)
Engelsmännen kommer! (with Mika Lietzén, 2004)
Sept saisons (2013)
Suite paradisiaque (2012)
L’exilé du Kalevala (2010)
Papa est un peu fatigué (2006)
Célébritiz (with Lewis Trondheim, 2006)