Stichprobe exhibition in Berlin and Finnish comics going to GermanyThe Finnish Comics Society brings its culture export and collaboration events to Germany and Europe’s German-speaking countries. The series of events beginning this autumn culminates in October 2014 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where Finland is the official theme country. Germany is also the theme country of the Helsinki Comics Festival 2014. – There are many interesting things going on in Germany at the moment. Comics in general are booming, the field is expanding and the sales growing. Even the most marginal of things can grow to big proportions at such a broad language area, tells Kalle Hakkola, director of the Finnish Comics Society. – Even though the German comics culture is still light years away from French speaking Europe, the gap is constantly narrowing. Interesting new things are being created, and there is no such historic baggage in the comics culture as in the French-speaking world.
Marko Turunen’s work at the Stichprobe exhibition in Berlin.Comics are also being increasingly translated at the German-speaking area. At first, the translations were mostly classics, later on other things as well. The readers are increasingly becoming interested also in Finnish artists. Reprodukt, which has grown from an alternative to a medium sized publishing house, will publish the Comic-Atlas Finnland 2014 anthology in January. The artists are primarily chosen by Reprodukt’s publisher/artist Sascha Hommer , with consultation from Finnish Comics Society. –Our export efforts are not limited to the anthology. We will also promote many other artists throughout the year. Of course, we can’t have a say on what the German publishing houses will decide to publish. However, our hopes are up that in the near future, four or five Finnish book might be published in German.
Hanneriina Moisseinen’s work.Hakkola has noticed that especially seriously themed, brick-sized graphic novels are a big hit in Germany right now. There are many upcoming events in the Finnish-German comics export year, including the ongoing comics exhibition at the Finnish Institute of Germany in Berlin, Pop-up Comics Centre in Switzerland’s Fumetto festival, the book fair and comics festival in Leipzig, Erlangen comics festival and Frankfurt Book Fair.
StichprobeThe Stichprobe exhibition of Finnish comics was opened in the Finnish Institute of Germany 14th of November. The artists of the Berlin exhibition are Mari Ahokoivu, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Petteri Tikkanen and Marko Turunen. The works of Ahokoivu and Moisseinen search for the artistic limits of the comics format, whereas the approaches of Turunen and Tikkanen are more traditional. All of the artists brought at least two types of works and approaches to the exhibition. The exhibition includes things such as drawings and paintings on walls, cloths, shadows and animation. Comic-Atlas Finnland 2014 will be published at the finishing party of the Stichprobe exhibition.
Kalle Hakkola and the artists at the Stichprobe launch party.
Black Peider playing with Marko Turunen drawing live.
The result!Interview: Aino Sutinen Translations: Matleena Kantola Photos: Petteri Tikkanen, Mari Ahokoivu, Lauri Peltonen The Stichprobe exhibition is open 14.11.13–5.2.14, Finnland-Institut, Georgenstr. 24, 10117 Berlin More information in German here.
Aino Sutinen is a comics artist and Press Officer at the Finnish Comics Society.