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 18–30-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 18–30 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 4th June 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.

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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.