Somewhere inside the rainbow – Helsinki Comics Festival 2014

The 29th Helsinki Comics Festival (5th to the 7th of September) proved again that comics are supremely colourful – not only by way of the artwork but in terms of their themes, benefits and forms of expression. Northern Europe’s largest comic event welcomed about 25.000 visitors this year, including prominent international artists. The festival themes were German language comics and LGBT. Life, healing, sunlight, nature, art, harmony and spirit. The rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT culture, also expresses attributes that describe the unique atmosphere felt at Lasipalatsi Square at the weekend.

Finnish Comics @ Internationaler Comic-Salon, Erlangen, Germany

The 16th International Comic Salon was held at Erlangen, Germany during the Finnish midsummer, 19th – 22nd of June. The festival, organized every two years, is the largest of its kind in Germany. The events are spread around the small Bavarian city; the main hub of operations is the Heinrich-Lades-Halle Congress Centre, which hosts the large, sprawling comic fair with all the publishers and vendors, as well as most of the interviews and panel discussions. The narrow corridors between booths were full of people right up until Sunday evening, and the large council hall (dubbed “the UN” by Joe Sacco) that hosted most of the interviews seemed to be quite popular as well.

The main venue.

Toronto Comics Art Festival – Grass is greener on the north side of the border

A few impressions of the circumstance of comics at TCAF festival and in Toronto

Finland often looks west, to Sweden, with a bit of envy. Everything seems to be a little bit better there, the standard of living is higher, the Swedes seem to have higher self-esteem etc. Relations between US and Canadian comics resemble those circumstances – at least compared between New York and Toronto.

New York has the Mocca Fest which is not bad at all. However, it pales in comparison with TCAF, Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The fair has pretty much all the quality publishers form south of the border, but also some really good small Canadians that don’t usually exhibit at Mocca.

Finnish comics @ Stockholms Internationella Seriefestivalen 2014

Stockholm, the self-proclaimed ”Capital of Scandinavia”, hosted the annual Stockholms Internationella Seriefestivalen (SIS) on the weekend of 16th to 18th of May. SIS, located in the very central Kulturhuset in the Sergel’s Square, is the biggest comics festival of Sweden. Hot and humid it was and Stockholm was buzzing, so what a better way to spend a sunny weekend in a vibrant city than staying inside and exposing oneself to comic art or all sorts.


Finnish Comics @ Fumetto

Fumetto is an annual comics festival in Luzern, Switzerland. It focuses especially on quality exhibitions and Finnish artists have often been showcased here. This year Fumetto co-operated closely with the Finnish Comics Society and Comics Center, presenting a wide scale of Finnish comics at the Pop-up Comics Center in central Luzern. We had three floors of exhibitions, workshops and of course, comic books for the festival audience to see and read.

The artists Mari Ahokoivu, Aapo Kukko, Kaisa Leka, Eeva Meltio, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Ville Ranta, Aino Sutinen and Emmi Valve were present at the nine-day festival.


Finnish Comics presented in Angoulême

Finnis comics are well presented in Angoulême Festival (27.01-30.01) Finnish Literature Fund (FILI) has a stand where the latest french editions of the finnish artists are presented. This year there is two finnish albums in the main competition Ville Ranta, L’Éxilé du Kalevala, Çà et Là 2010 and Aapo Rapi: Meti, Rackham 2010. Angoulême Festival is the european main event. Journalist Vesa
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Kataisto will write a report from the festival to this site.
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