LORE – That Which is Taught to Us: Comics workshop of modern Nordic folktales

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Our Blogs, Workshops

Illustration © Jon Kuitunen 2018

Finnish Comics Society organises a workshop for twelve 18–25-year-old Nordic comics artists in Helsinki, August 2018 to make publications with a risograph. The theme of the week-long workshop is to delve into modern Nordic folklore, myths and urban legends and tell these stories in short comics story format. The finished RISO publications will be distributed during Helsinki Comics Festival in September 2018.

Theme of the workshop

There are always stories that stay with you, especially the ones you have heard as a child. Some you have learned from your grandparents or from friends during a sleepover. You’ll be walking down a dark forest road and you’ll remember the one with the ghostly footsteps of a dead suitor following a maid in the middle of night. Or on a cold winter night you might recall the one about the snowmobile driver whose brains froze when he drove without a helmet.

Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions like tales, proverbs and jokes. Other forms of verbal lore include e.g.:

  • Conspiracy theories
  • Folktales
  • Ghost stories
  • Jokes
  • Legends
  • Place names
  • Proverbs
  • Riddles
  • Superstition
  • Urban legends

At the workshop, the participants will create short story comics focusing on contemporary and traditional Nordic sources. The stories can be based on persisting traditional stories, unsolved mysteries from the past, topical urban legends of the day or even the roots of sayings and proverbs we use everyday. The North is full of sources from which to draw inspiration – where will you start from?

A note about cultural appropriation

We advice participants to avoid using source material from indigenous or minority e.g. Sami or Roma folklore, if you are not yourself of that heritage. We enthusiastically encourage artists of indigenous and minority backgrounds to apply for the workshop, so we can provide new platforms for your voices to be heard in the comics world.

The workshop in a nutshell

Finnish Comics Society invites 12 young Nordic comics artists to Helsinki to make publications with a risograph. The RISO printing machine gives the possibility to make almost offset-quality as easy as with a regular copy machine.

The participants will plan their initial story ideas beforehand with the workshop leaders via online feedback, giving then more time to execute the final artworks during the workshop week. The participants will print the publications for the Helsinki Comics Festival 2018 weekend.

The working language of the project is English, but the created comics can be in any language.

Structure of the workshop

Part 1: Preparation period

The project will include an online preparation period 1.6.–25.8.2018, during which the participants select and plan their stories ideas together with the workshop leaders and each other.

Part 2: Workshop in Helsinki

The workshop will take place 26.–31.8.2018 in Helsinki. During the week, the participants finalize their story pages and create the printed works (zines and posters) with Comics Center’s RISO machine.

Rights to works and distribution

Participants keep rights to their original works and the print runs created at the workshop. Finnish Comics Society reserves only the right to use artwork created during the project to promote the project in a non-commercial capacity. Finnish Comics Society will similarly keep a small portion of each print run for its archive and to showcase project results.

The created print runs will be distributed at Helsinki Comics Festival 1.–2.9.2018. The festival will provide a joint-exhibitor table at its Zine Fest sales area. The created RISO print runs can either be distributed free of charge or at prices decided among the participants.

Applicant eligibility

The workshop is aimed at young Nordic artists and artists living currently in the Nordic countries. The eligibility criterias for the workshop are as follows:

  • Applicant is of Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish nationality or is living currently in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden.
  • Applicant must be 18–25 years old.

Participant benefits

The workshop participants will receive the following benefits from the organiser:

  • Return travel expenses to Helsinki
  • Hostel accommodation in Helsinki
  • Complimentary meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)

Application process

Fill in the following form by the application deadline 14th May 2018. In addition to your contact details, add links/attachment files to your comics portfolio/web comics and write about three (3) possible story ideas you would like to work on during the project. Present each idea in short 1–3 sentence paragraphs.

There are 12 workshop places available in total, and 2–3 places for each eligible country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). The participants will be selected based on their existing body of work and the story ideas presented.

Finnish Comics Society strives to further inclusiveness, accessibility, equality, diversity, community and and anti-racism in all its functions, including the Lore project. In addition to project proposals and body of work, the Society will take into account equal and diverse representation of genders, backgrounds and other factors in the participant selections.

Application Form (Google)

Organiser

For questions and more information about the project, please contact:

Finnish Comics Society
Maura Manninen, Project Coordinator
maura.manninen@sarjakuvaseura.fi

Project support

Lore – That Which Is Taught to Us is supported by NORDBUK (Nordic Committee for Children and Young People) in 2018.

Nordicomics Youth! Comics Camps 2015

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in NC Youth BLOG, Our Blogs

tallinnacomicscamp 01

Nordicomics Youth! Comics Camp went to Tallinn in November 2015! This time the camps had participants from Finland, Estonia and Sweden. The main focus of the camp was on fast pace and making zines. Lots of fast exercises, accompanied by feedback.

The amount of comics made in Tallinn was staggering. The participants dipped to the world of game play by using RPG elements to make a improvised comic zines. The camp also had tiny history lessons concerning the history Finnish and Estonian comics scene.

What’s in store for the future? In January 2016 there will be an exhibition in Stockholm, Sweden where the works done in Helsinki and Tallinn camps will be present.

tallinnacomicscamp 04

About the project

NORDICOMICS YOUTH! COMICS CAMPS 2015

The Finnish Comics Society organised two Nordicomics Youth! comics camps in the later half of 2015 to help young comic artists, between ages 18 to 29, from Finland, Estonia and Sweden. During both camps a lot of comics were produced, new revelations made and a lot learned. The participants got to plan and work on their own project in the Helsinki camp.

The workshops in Helsinki & Tallinn supported each other by offering different content. The comics camp in Tallinn focused more on exercises and making a lot of content in short amount of time eg. short one page comics, technique experiments and small zines.

The camp was a great way for people to meet old acquaintances and make new friends as well as share information about a mutual passion; making comics. The workshops were taught by Finnish and Estonian comics professionals.

Nordicomics Youth! exhibition will be held in January 2016 in Serieteket, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Nordicomics Youth! Comics Camps were organised by the Finnish Comics Society and received support from Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Svenska Kulturfonden.

Nordicomics Youth! exhibition in Helsinki 9.–26.11.2014

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in NC Youth BLOG, Our Blogs

nordicomicsyouth_exhibition-1

Nordicomics Youth! exhibition
Dates: 9.–26.11.2014
Venue: Comics Center, Hämeentie 150, Helsinki

Finnish Comics Society organised the first Nordicomics Youth! comics camp for young artists in August 2014 at Luukki camp center, Espoo. Ten artists aged between 18–25 years from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Estonia took part in the camp. During their week-long stay the young artists worked on their own comics stories guided by Finnish professional artists. Gallery Sarjakuvakeskus is proud to present the finished stories and the working process of the camp now in an exhibition of its own.

The exhibition presents works by Johanne Eikå Bergill, Ida Eva Neverdahl and Jofrid Sandgren Østenstad from Norway, Jennie Sörensen and Sara Hernoldson from Sweden, Ina Rosberg and Yrtti Taivaloja from Finland and Leore Klyszejko from Estonia.

The Nordicomics Youth! camp was organised by the Finnish Comics Society and received support from Nordic Children’s and Youth Committee – NORDBUK.

Illustration credits: Ida Eva Neverdahl

www.sarjakuvakeskus.fi
www.kulturkontaktnord.org

Sign language and monsters

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in CUNE CiR Blog, Our Blogs

A bunch of comics-enthusiasts gathered on August 8th at the Comics Center to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition at the Comics Center Gallery. The atmosphere was literally quite warm as people circled inside exploring all kinds of monsters and robots doing their daily routines.

Matt Boyce, photo by Jack BarnesThe man behind the exhibition is Matt Boyce (1981), a British artist who comes from a bilingual family. Both his parents are deaf, and he is fluent in English and British sign language. Sign language is part of both his own art and teaching work at a college in London. The Everyday Monsters exhibition is part of Matt’s residency project in the CUNE Comics-in-Residence programme.

The day before the opening I sat down with Matt and we talked about the residency and his stay here in Helsinki. What are his plans for the forthcoming month, what are his first impressions so far and what are the things that inspire him?

Matt told me that during his first week in Finland he has mainly done some touristy things like looking at sights and walking around Helsinki. During his residency Matt will be staying at Suomenlinna, an island off the coast of Helsinki that holds an old maritime fort built in the 18th century. He has been overall impressed by his lodgings at HIAP residence center.

“It’s great to have a big house all for myself. It’s the biggest place I’ve ever stayed in. It’s kind of funny to have a big space for painting and there I am, working on my comics.” During his residency Matt will be working on a new comic book, but that’s still very much a work in progress.

The way Matt uses sign language in his comics interests me. There is no sound involved in comics anyway, and all sounds from speech to effects are presented visually. Does he still feel like it’s important to incorporate sign language into comics? I revealed my ignorance to Matt and he gave me an answer:

“British sign language is different from English, and not everyone who speaks sign language knows English. For me, sign language was the first language I learned, and I still find English weird sometimes even though I can speak it fluently. In my teaching I use simple English and try to keep the style very visual. I teach courses for deaf children, and it’s important that everyone understands the comics I use for teaching.”

The most important thing for Matt is that everyone can draw comics and express themselves. This will also be the basis of the workshop he will be teaching during August at the Comics Center in Helsinki and HIAP’s Gallery Augusta. During the workshop the participants will be making autobiographical comics using sign language, similar to the courses Matt is teaching in London. He showed me some comics made in the workshops by deaf children who are leaving school. In the comics they talk about themselves but also their fears regarding the future. Matt explained to me that in England, deaf children get support and help with studies while they’re at school but after graduation they might have anxieties about the future. In their comics the children talk about their dreams for the future but also the obstacles they might run into.

Matt describes the island he is living on as both strangely silent and filled with tourists at the same time. The tourist crowds have actually given him an inspiration for a zombie-comic – both tourists and zombies are known to wander around in large packs with no sense of direction.

matt_everydaymonsters-web

EVERYDAY MONSTERS exhibition is open at the Comics Center Gallery until August 31st.

Interview and exhibition photos by Laura Antola. Matt’s photo by Jack Barnes.

Good news from Mariehamn

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Nordicomics Islands Blog, Our Blogs

Linus Strandberg spent last month in residency in Mariehamn, in the Åland-archipelago, where he was born. Therefore the purpose of his recidency was to work on an autobiographical graphic artwork filled with his childhood’s memories.
He arranged a workshop and made a fanzine during the first weekend of May.
A reporter from the local newspaper, Ålandstidningen, wrote about the workshop and how it successfully brought a comic artist and a visual artist together for a week-end. Linus sent us a copy of the article (in Swedish) and pictures from the fanzine they created.
“Since then I´m just sketching and drawing…”, he replied to us when asked about his whereabouts. Well, we surely hope to see his new comics soon.

Workshop reportage ÅT 06.05.2013

Brief translation:
Comics and visual arts hand in hand in workshop.
Picture 1: There are many different methods and technics in use to draw comics. Linus Strandberd often uses ink and pencil in his work, while the workshop’s participant Fanny Listherby holds on a regular pen.
Picture 2: With a pencil and a bit of ink, the drawing comes to life. According to Linus Strandberg, you don’t need to have drawing skills to create comics.
Picture 3: Both colors and black work to engild your comics. Linus Strandberg shows how he prepares his comic series in his sketching notebook.
Pisture 4: The comics born during this workshop will be then gathered to a small magazine, so called “fanzine”.

“It is only about getting some paper and pen and start drawing”

Fanny Listherby has always dealt with pure visual arts. However the workshop in Kakelhallen has been the opportunity to unleash the comic artist inside her. “This is fun. I will maybe go on with it.”, she says.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Greetings from Nuuk!

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Nordicomics Islands Blog, Our Blogs

Mari Ahokoivu and Søren Mosdal have now spent one month in residency in Nuuk, Greenland. They have just sent us a letter and a few pictures to share their experience with us.

“We’ve had a whole month to enjoy and experience Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, and now we only have one week left, the time does go by so quickly!

We’ve experienced both good and bad weather here, seen icebergs floating by our window and whales splashing in our backyard.

There was a lot of snow here during the first weeks of our stay…

The view on our evening walk : there was a lot of snow here during the first weeks of our stay…

…But it has  melted quickly, and we've been able to see glimpses of the green Greenland.

…But it has  melted quickly, and we’ve been able to see glimpses of the green Greenland.

 Thanks to the city of Nuuk’s library, we’ve had a nice room where we have been able to draw and work on our own comics. In the library we have also hosted two workshops, one for adults and one for kids. Although the workshops where not such a big success, we where able to meet Greenlandic comic artists and draw and talk with our colleagues.

Søren and the kids workshop.                                                                  The library, their comics collection and Søren.

Mari has been drawing some diary comics here, that can be found in her comics blog at http://ahokoivu.sarjakuvablogit.com
She’s also planning to gather all the comics and drawings in a pdf-book later this year.

Søren has been able to work on the follow-up of his comic “The King of Greenland”, called “Draugen”, which also takes place in Greenland. Thanks to the inspiration from the surroundings and the many books on greenlandic and nordic mythology in the library, where he and Mari have worked, he has managed to complete almost half of the comic.

Check out these Greenlandic comic artists:
Christian Rex http://www.deluxusstudio.com
Nuka Godtfredsen http://www.andala.dk/
Robert Holmene https://www.facebook.com/groups/26403812437/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Kujanaq, tak, a big thanks for Nordicomics for the residence and to NAPA for funding our travel tickets.

Mari & Søren”

CUNE CiR artist selections for 2013, 2nd round

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Our Blogs

Applications for residencies in summer and autumn 2013 are now closed! There were over 50 excellent applications this round, among which the residence coordinators chose the following 7 artists:

Helsinki, Finland: Matt Boyce (UK), Dace Sietina (LV) and Max Baitinger (DE)
Riga, Latvia: Emmi Valve (FI)
Tallinn, Estonia: Kathrin Klingner (DE)
Malmö, Sweden: Valentine Gallardo and Mathilde Vangheluwe (BE)

We thank all applicants who took part this round, and would like to remind you that the next application round for 2014 is scheduled to take place in Autumn 2013. So look forward to that!

Nordicomics Islands – Contemporary Comics of the North 12.1.–10.2.2013

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Nordicomics Islands Blog, Our Blogs


Nordicomics Islands – Contemporary Comics of the North
Exhibition open 12th January–10th February, 2013
Venue: Reykjavík City Library, Tryggvagata 15, 101 Reykjavík

Nordicomics Islands showcases the diversity of Nordic comics and contemporary influential and up-and-coming artists of the region. The exhibition comics revolve around the themes of distances and differences between places and people, an outsider’s view on the world and the historical and emotional landscape of the North, always through the personal viewfinder of each artist. In Nordicomics Islands, the Northern comics mentality takes on many guises, ranging from poetic, understated emotion to reveling, grotesque absurdity.

Artists in the exhibition:
Mari Ahokoivu (FI), Lene Ask (NO), Hugleikur Dagsson (IS), Nuka K. Godtfredsen (GL), Eeva Meltio (FI), Søren Mosdal (DK), Linus Strandberg (AX), Josefin Svenske (SE)

Nordicomics Islands will travel through the island capitals Reykjavík, Nuuk, Mariehamn and Tórshavn during spring 2013. Tour schedule and more information can be found here.

Nordicomics Islands is supported by the Nordic Culture Fund and the Icelandic-Finnish Cultural Foundation. The Reykjavík exhibition is organized by the Finnish Comics Society together with the Reykjavík City Library.

Poster artwork by Josefin Svenske

Sign-up for the Nordicomics Story Workshop at Reykjavík City Library

Written by Maura Manninen on . Posted in Nordicomics Islands Blog, Our Blogs

Josefin Svenske, 'Hemse'

Date: 15th January, 2013, 10:00–16:00
Venue: Reykjavík City Library
Tryggvagata 15
101 Reykjavík

Nordicomics and The Reykjavík City Library are arranging a 1-day workshop for comics artists interested in discovering new ways of visual storytelling. The workshop concentrates on discovering ideas from personal experience and constructing the most fantastic, escapistic comics from mundane details and events you encounter every day. Sign up by e-mailing nordicomics@gmail.com!

The workshop will be lead by Josefin Svenske, Swedish comic artist and co-founder of Kolik Förlag, one of the most diverse quality comics publishers in Sweden. Josefin has worked as a full-time artist since 2005 and is one of the main teachers at Kvarnby Comics School in Malmö. Josefin is also the first residence artist of the Nordicomics Islands, and her workshop will kickstart the spring 2013 tour for the whole project. Watch this space for more details!

www.borgarbokasafn.is
www.josefinsvenske.se

Nordicomics and its projects are funded by Nordic Culture Point, Nordic Children's and Youth Committee – NORDBUK, and the Finnish Comics Society. All images are the copyright of their respective owners.