Finnish Comics – 1

 

I live in Finland and in Finland there is a huge comics culture. I got involved through a place called the Comics Center, or rather the Sarjakuvakeskus as you would say in Finnish (http://sarjakuvakeskus.fi/) . It is a hive of people giving workshops for children and adults, with a cafe, a gallery and a place to work and meet new people. They have a huge festival once a year with guests, panels and people travelling from all over to participate. They also have a huge section called Pienlehtitaivas or Small Press Heaven where anyone who has printed comics or wants to can get a table for free and hock their wares. Everyone from webcomics to indy comics to people who draw fanart come.

One of these talented individuals from Finland is a friend of mine who I met through the Comics Center. She is a wonderful person who I greatly respect and I admire her for her perseverance in doing what she wants to do.

I now open the floor  to Kukka! (Which means flower by the way.)

  1. Who are you and where do you live?

Hi there! My name is Kukka-Maria Aurora Kiuru, I’m a visual designer and comic maker. Currently I live in Helsinki, Finland. At the moment I’m in the process on publishing my first graphic novel (Noin satatuhatta solmua/A Hundred Thousand Knots) and working with Blue Boots comic strip and character project.

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  1. How did you start making comics?

Since a kid I’ve always read Aku Ankka, Nakke Nakuttaja, Liisa aku20ankkaIhmemaassa and Rasmus Nalle comics besides countles other picture books. I also drew a lot since I was 2 or 3 and Disney, Peanuts and Warner Bros animations and characters were my inspiration. As an early teenager I found Sokal, Comes, Pratt and Loisel from my local library and something got started. From those comics I found something visually so facinating that didn’t exist anywhere else or in any other form. Also the stories were better than in Aku Ankka. If I remember right I did my first comic when I was sixteen. It’s a large sunday strip format and it’s about a dog called Laina (Loan). It was a good moment – to be able to tell a story, illustrate it and make it fit in a single piece of paper BY YOURSELF.

After that I drew comics for our anthology called 66°:25°, issues II-V, while studying art and design in University of Lapland during 2002-2006. Then there was years that I only worked and lost the connection to drawind and myself, but I started drawing again in 2012. Something opened and I realized that there was something coming out from me and that was Blue Boots (Siniset saappaat in finnish). Blue Boots came to stay. It’s a comic strip and a story about a former animal-testing beagle who survivers outside world only by wearing the boots. There’s no cursing, mocking or violence in Blue Boots. It’s a safe place and I’m so glad it came to my life.hair


I think it came when it came because quite soon after I needed a safe place while I was working with my autobiographical graphic novel about alopecia, being a bald girl and woman. Process of writing and drawing was difficult because I had to face things that I thought I had already left behind.

It took time to allow to call myself a comic artist but now I look back and hey; four anthologies, one self-publication, one group exhibition in Pictoplasma, another coming up next month, a bunch of characters, several short animation scripts, a blog and graphic novel coming up soon.

 

  1. What inspires you?

Animals and art supplies. Flora and Fauna. Seagulls. I love seagulls. Outdoor life. Experiencing something for the first time. And in art supplies stores I can spends hours. Playing with stuff is a great source of inspiration.

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  1. What materials do you use?

For my graphic art mostly acrylics, experimental tools, like ice scraper and such, and different surfaces. For digital experiments 3D and illustrator/photoshop combo.

For my comics it’s always the same. For sketching Faber Castells blue Polychromos crayons, Faber Castell Perfection 7056 and 188121 erasers and copypaper. For inking Talens Indian Ink, few different nibs or Sakuras Pigma Microns and for coloring Faber Castells Pitt big brush pens. Originals are drawn to Schoellershammers Markespapier 75g/m2 or Fabrianos Bristol 250g/m2. I love good materials.

I play with different pens and find different characters with help of them. I have a nice collection of both. Some of the newest characters, a bobcat twins called Ludwig and Sara, were born by sketching UniPosca markers. Sometimes feel and trace of pens really inspires to certain kind of characters.

  1. What is your favourite personal project?

Blue Boots.

blueboots

  1. What do you do when your creativity has run out?

Moan.

  1. What are you doing now?

Preparing a exhibition piece for our Monstradamus Show in Berlin, White Concept Gallery. We have a multinational collective called We Dance Like Monsters and we met in Pictoplasma Academy in 2014. We’re 27 people in 24 countries and we love characters.2268690-4256427608_b6e045702f

  1. What is your favourite beer? Because Beer.

Karhu of course. Because of simple illustrated
character.

  1. What is your favourite comic?

Peanuts and Corto Maltese. My grandmothers maiden name was schultz by the way 🙂

  1. Any advice for people trying to make their own comic?

Take long walks by yourself. Carry your pens and notebooks with you. Eat lunch alone and pay attention to other living creatures. Write the scripts before you start to draw. Draw by hands and try out different materials. Good idea can take years but just start somewhere. Start with something small. Be happy about it.

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And finally how can we look at your work?

Blue Boots blog: http://sinisetsaappaat.sarjakuvablogit.com/

Blue Boots in facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sinisetsaappaat/?ref=ts&fref=ts

My portfolio and information about the upcoming graphic novel: http://kmkiuru.tumblr.com/

(I’ll most probably make a blog about the book and write also blog posts about being bald woman.)

Instargram: kukka_m_kiuru

We Dance Like Monsters: https://www.facebook.com/wedancelikemonsters/?fref=ts

 

Thank You!

Batman vs Superman

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I have some prior knowledge of these character and the events that they brought about so I’ll also be referencing that. Comic book geek here!

So along with that…. Ahem…

DW-River_Song_Spoilers.

So this movie rocked! It was everything everyone had hoped for and is leading the way to a great many other heroes and movies to come.

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Superman was already introduced for this universe, with his last movie Man of Steel. He’s the biggest boy scout in the world and he played that off super well. They defiantly jumped ahead with him and Lois already living together. But it was nice to see how they showed some rocky realistic issues because of the Clark being Superman. Helping bring him back to earth and not being a “god”.

 

So they had to get more-details-on-batman-v-superman-and-batmans-suicide-squad-connectionus caught up with Batman. They got you big time with the opening intro of Bruce becoming Batman. The whole dream thing was really weird throughout the movie though… They also made Batman really “dark” for what he is normally. They had him breaking his normal rules, but they sorta tried to cover it by having Alfred say “when good men go bad.” So he’s a Dark Batman in this universe alright let’s keep going. Alfred was great loved him, all the quick wit and sarcasm. It was fantastic that they actually showed how much Alfred actually does for Batman/Bruce. Batman has never completely been solo with Alfred around, so when he takes over controls of the Batwing, so awesome! Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince love the chemistry they were giving them! They have always sorta had a thing going and it was great that it was introduced there.

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Lex Luthor Jr.,  he was done well but the part with him being openly schizo…. yeah no… he was always a show man and was always able to hide that side of him. It would slip every now and then again but never with the public eye on him. But since this movie is in a “darker universe” again it slides… Him being so manipulative is completely accurate. I think he was portrayed really well in this movie and it was kinda funny watching him sorta become his dad when they shaved his head.

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Alright now I apologize in advance here because this is when it gets ugly….

WTF DID THEY HAVE TO KILL SUPERMAN ALREADY??!! AND DOOMSDAY REALLY??!! Lex Luthor Jr. did not make him! I was willing to let it go with it if he was making Bizarro, but DOOMSDAY COME ON!

Speaking of Doomsday…. again he shouldn’t have been in the movie… They did do him justice though. He looked accurate, he was kryptonian, and he did kill Superman… But again LEX DID NOT MAKE HIM!!

And now the fight… Well guess what BATMAN WINS DUH!!! Anyone that knows Batman knows he has a plan on how to take out ANY/ALL of the Metahumans/Aliens of his world out. That’s just who is he is, being prepared and seeing the potential darkness in everyone. The battle was epic, Batman had everything setup perfectly. I was actually waiting for Wonder Woman to stop them and call them little boys. But where they left it was great, Batman wins and proves he does have a heart. But seriously why are both their mother’s named Martha? I mean if Batman listened to Superman to begin with we would have never had the fight, but again “dark”. But boys will be boys right? Bash each other up a bit and then all is right again being best of buds. XP

And I know that they killed Superman so they had an excuse to bring everyone together to help fight what may come now that the protector of Earth is dead…? ~_^  Alright and now those little teasers of the other metahumans…

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I love that Amazon Warrior Princess! Not Xena… this time, who is also a amazing…but Wonder Woman.. freaking amazing! Loved the costume and how they showed that she was right on with Superman. Still kinda wondering about the timeline with her, but that should be answered on June 23, 2017 (mark your calendars) with her movie. *crosses fingers*

 

For many of us this will be a first to say this… I WANT MORE AQUAMAN!!!15 - 1.jpg So not fair that always all they showed of him…*cries*

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Cyborg, was a Teen Titan… not Justice League…

Flash, was an original member so this will be fun.

Great movie again and I loved it! Just want more now!!

Comic Review: Levi Levi and the Time Machine

LLTimeMachine001CoverI’m happy to say that today I’m doing a review of a fun webcomic called Levi Levi and the Time Machine by LeEtta Schmidt aka leemsmachine.

LeEtta, the writer and artist of this comic, is an incredibly talented creator. Her website which displays her plethora of art which ranges from crafts, drawings, comics and fabric is well put together.

Levi Levi and the Time Machine is also well put together. Levi Levi, (that’s his full name by the way) according to his creator ‘ runs a detective agency/project manager consultant/anything you need fixer. He’s happiest when he’s on a job, and, when he’s not, needs someone to keep him in line.’  He is a dashing young man whose manner and willingness to get wrapped up in a mystery helps to draw you into the story from the beginning. Cute and easy to read, the comic’s art is wonderful, keeping the reader invested in wanting to know how it all ends.

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The artwork is heavily stylized, the initial use of green, empty white space and heavy black lines reminding me of something akin to Dick Tracy, although the storyline more imitates Dirk Gently’s mysterious ways. If you liked reading about Douglas Adam’s detective then you’ll enjoy this story just as much.

The handwritten speech bubbles give it a down to earth slightly gritty tone that adds to the overall feeling of the story.

The change of art to show a different time period is fantastic and very well done, showing forethought by the artist and making the entire project feel more complete.

In my opinion this wonderful comic ends much too soon! There is so much potential for more story development including new lines of detective work. Some questions are not answered which leaves me hankering for more. I wanted to see what more trouble Levi Levi would get into and was very interested in seeing how his relationships developed with the other characters, but it seems for the moment what’s there is what you get.

Overall it’s a great little comic and I enjoyed reading it a lot. Some pages are just beautiful and it’s definitely worth a read! On top of that I’ve found that all of LeEtta Schmit’s work is worth looking into!

Check out LeEtta’s Esty shop!

-Pun

Bad Wolf Part 2

As stated in Bad Wolf Part 1 the goal is to make a cosplay of Princess Monoake for a two year old.

monokae

Sadly I failed in the picture taking department of this so I’ll try to give as much detail as I can instead. Please also pardon the crude displays.

Dress & Tunic

DressI used blue suede material for the “dress” which was pretty easy to do. I just made a rectangle that was half my daughter’s height when folded in half.  Cut a hole in the center of the fold, then sewed sides together leaving room for arms at the top. Then cut the bottom to be jagged and roughed up.

Tunic

 

The tunic was pretty much done the same way. But cut from daddy’s old white tshirt, helped give it the worn look.

 

Ears & Mask

For the mask I decided to use Fun Foam. I choose this instead of paper mache or clay for the main reason of TWO YEAR OLD.  And what do two year olds do?  GO CRAZY! The bounce, run, jump and fall. I wanted something that wouldn’t break or hurt if fallen upon.

DSC05515So I snag a few sheets of Red, Tan, and Black. I used a paper plate and small paper cups as my outline templates for the sizes of some the shapes. I traced the outline of these with a pencil onto the foam, the others were just sorta free hand.

 

 

Mask parts

Cut out them out and it was time for the hot glue!I wanted to make sure this thing wasn’t going to fall apart.

Mask

And poof! You have a mask that just needs to be attached to the hood of her cloak. Which brings us to….

The Cloak

IMG_4606.JPGSo for the cloak I just bought a yard of your basic white fur material.  A yard is defiantly more then what I needed, but I planned on mistakes.

Cloak

I cut a forth of it into a square and then cut off the bottom corners, rounded it out.

 

Then I took one of those corners, trimmed it a bit and used for it for the hood. The hood isn’t actually a hood for this costume; it’s just a spot to attack the mask to.

After that I just sewed the hood to the cloak. Then sewed the cloak to the tunic. Made it a bit easier to get on and off. Originally the was to attach it to her teeth necklace with a clasp but I didn’t get that far. Maybe for the next round.

Finishing Touch

I didn’t get to do as many detailed pieces as I would have liked. But then again it is for a two year old so probably for the best anyways.

Boots – I full out cheated for those and hit up the Dollar Store grabbing a pair of adult tan sock. Slipped the over her shoes and fold it back down to her ankles.

Headband – Dollar Store again, a pack of adult hair bands. Perfect size for going around her head and not digging in.

War Paint – I actually failed to bring the face paint I had bought. So cheated and use red lip gloss instead. It worked out pretty well, and looked like blood when she smeared it. So win win right?!

And now time for the show….

SacAnime Summer 2015

Better late than never!

SacAnime* happens twice year and is kid friendly, so I have started becoming a regular there now. It’s also one of the smaller cons, so not as crazy as some of them can be. They had some good guest speakers and panels, but I wasn’t able to hit anything this round. But there are always lots of cosplayers with great costumes to check out! Sadly I forgot new batteries for my camera so barely any pictures of this year’s con.CosplayersSACTotoro(Super cute), Leelo Dallas (with multi-pass), Steampunk Ursula, Cruella Deville & Puppy (such a cute idea!), Scarlet Witch

CosplayersSAC2Daring Doo, Tinker Bell, Alien, Digimon!

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 Sadly I’m not as up to date on all the newest/popular animes. So I have no idea what this group meet up is. But they have some very cute costumes.

And we** busted out a few different costumes from our closet and some new ones to join in on all the fun.

Chibi Princess Mononoke!WolfPrincess

Winrey & Death Watch MandalorianBSGroup

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 I am Wonder Woman, hear me roar!  The mighty Thor!

Bringing on the alchemy with Edward Elric!

(sadly he didn’t want to wear the arm)

All of these costumes we wore were made by myself, friends and family. (All but Wonder Woman onesie)

*http://www.sacanime.com/
**My group Black Sheep Inc, a small little cosplaying group (among other things.)https://www.facebook.com/BSheepInc

Protectors of the Small

Lionhead Studios released yet another awesome character in Inga, a shield bearing badass in the protector class for Fable Legends.

In honor of female tank characters everywhere, let’s celebrate two other towering lady knights:

Brienne of Tarth

I love the J.R.R Martin’s Maid of Tarth. As a character, she embodies the dogged, weary reality of breaking gender roles while still having the traditional desires attached to that gender. Where other characters might inhabit a stronger binary, Brienne represents a finer line of being a woman who also just happens to want to be a knight. There’s no great fanfare, no loud story to beat you over the head, just an individual living her life as she sees fit:

I don’t want anyone following me. I’m not a leader. All I ever wanted was to fight for a lord I believed in. But the good lords are dead and the rest are monsters.

We feel you, Brienne of Tarth. Keep being awesome.

Keladry of Mindelan

Kel from Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series is another example of a taller than average noble woman who puts her call to knighthood beyond social ridicule. Standing just under six feet, this lady knight is a great model for YA readers and older Pierce enthusiasts alike.