25th Arctic Comics Festival in Kemi, May 19 – May 21, 2006

  • What has happened in the Finnish comics scene over the past quarter of a century?
  • Duckburg
  • Manga – Japanese Comics
At the first ever comics event in Kemi in 1981, comics journalist Juhani Tolvanen and freelance journalist Heikki Jokinen discussed Finnish comics. Now, after a quarter of a century, they return to the crime scene with the same topic and will go through the happenings in the Finnish comics scene over the past twenty five years.

Journalist Ville Hänninen has studied all the comics albums compiled of awarded works in Kemi’s comics competition between 1982 and 2006 and will discuss the trends and themes that have occurred over the years. In his presentation, which will be largely based on numerous image examples, Hänninen will also present some surprising findings from the past.

Erkki Huhtamo, presently Professor of Media Art at UCLA, while doing his civil service in Kemi Office of Culture in 1986, edited essay collection Puhekuplia which has later been used as teaching material even in universities. This year, Professor Huhtamo’s topic in Kemi will be comics and cinema.

This year’s international guests will include David Lloyd who is famous, for example, for his 1980s V for Vendetta comics that have been recently converted also into a blockbuster movie. Other international guests are "the French ambassador of manga" Frédéric Boilet and "Anais Nin of Comics" Aurélia Aurita.


The main exhibition of the 25th Arctic Comics Festival, Duckburg in the summer of the SnowCastle town, will take us back to the so-called Donald Duck quarrel in 1975 which eventually lead to the birth of the Arctic Comics Festival. The extensive three-dimensional exhibition will include, for example, a dozen of life-size duck figures, houses of Donald and Magica de Spell, Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, and plenty of exhibits from the vaults of collectors Sampo Haahti and Marko Leppälä. The exhibition is produced by The Arctic Comics Centre / Risto Koskinen and it will be open to public in Kemi Art Museum all summer.

Sanoma Magazines Oy will publish Villi Pohjola, a comics album featuring Disney’s famous ducks, made by Scandinavian comics artists at the opening ceremony of the festival. Attending the festival will be artists Freddy Milton, Denmark, and Kari Korhonen and Kai Vainiomäki from Finland whose works will be featured in the album.

Kivi Larmola will discuss translating Donald Duck into Finnish. Larmola’s talk will be titled “Ten Years On the Wing with Donald Duck”.

The 25th anniversary of The Arctic Comics Festival is also marked with “The Winners of the Comics Competition 1981-2006” exhibition.

An array of 150 Hannu Esko's oil painting comics will form yet another exhibition.

Ilpo Koskela’s and Juha Ruusuvuori’s book, partly in comics form, about The Perämeren Jähti, a ship built according to old, 19th century building techniques, and that is set to be launched in the summer, will also be presented in an exhibition.

Plan Finland Foundation will exhibit comics by West African and Finnish children.


Japanese art of comics, manga, will be prominently displayed at the Arctic Comics Festival. Nationwide manga competition for children will end on April 30 and participating works will be on display in Tullimakasiini all summer. On Saturday, May 20, a cosplay costume contest will be held and comics students of the Liminka School of Art will give manga drawing demonstrations. In addition, Children’s Comics Saturday will include a cat ear workshop to further elaborate the manga theme.

Janne Kemppi from Manga and Anime Society of Oulu will discuss the history of manga and manga expression. Kyuu Eturautti and Mauno Joukamaa from Anime magazine will introduce the backgrounds and present state of cosplay phenomenon. Furthermore, Yoko Tsuno, classic Japanese character of Belgian artist Roger Leloup, will be introduced by Lasse Märsy.

Competitions, music etc.

Both the Scandinavian Comics Competition and the Music & Comics song writing contest have ended. The results will be published at the opening ceremony of the festival.

The traditional Sprint Strip Finnish Championships will be held on Saturday, May 20, and the Lempi prizes will be given at the closing ceremony of the 25th anniversary festival.

The organ-drum duo Nieminen & Litmanen will be headlining Saturday night’s comics party where the stage will also be taken by Tornio’s rising rockers Moses Hazy and comics artist Kivi Larmola’s band Kätyrit.

A kendo show in Saturday's programme will complement the Japan theme of the anniversary festival.

Minerva Oy will be presenting their comic book Life of Alvar Aalto 1-4.

Nieminen & Litmanen
Comics students of the Liminka School of Art will be documenting the festival in their fanzine workshop on Saturday and Sunday.

Theme edition of the Sarjainfo magazine dedicated to The Arctic Comics Festival will be published in early May.
Articles on the history of the Arctic Comics Festival by media students from the Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences about will be published on The Arctic Comics Centre’s website in the near future.