Monday, September 19, 2011

100th anniversary of Finnish comics 5.9.2011

Who doesn’t like comics. Most of us read comics in our childhood and youth. And many like me even now. I just love them. When one enters the world of comics, daily stresses and strains don’t stand a chance, at least while I am reading it. My dear friend Ella, sent me this FDC and a couple of maxicards commemorating Finnish comics.

The year 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Finnish comics. November 21st 1911 was the day when the first ever Finnish comic book was printed, The author was 19-year old Ilmari Vainio and the book Professori Itikaisen tutkimusretki (The Expedition of professor Itikainen, WSOY). The comic book has had several printings since then, and this year it is published as an anniversary edition. Itikainen’s story is very typical for its own time, travelling around the world in a balloon, wondering strange and funny places and cultures. This event was celebrated on 5.9.2011 by publishing a stamp sheet designed by Ville Tietäväinen, entitled The 100th Anniversary of Finnish Comics, depicting the family tree of Finnish comics. The pictorial motifs include popular characters from the first six decades of Finnish comics from the 1910s to the 1960s. The selected images represent the most distinctive features of each character. The 1910s are represented by Ola Fogelberg's Janne Ankkanen which was published in Suomen Kuvalehti and later in Kansan Kuvalehti. Hjalmar Löfving's Olli Pirteä, which was published in Sirkka, represents the 1920s. The 1930s return with Herra Kerhonen, whose author, Gösta Thilén, is regarded as one of the masters of wordless comics. The 1940s are represented by Antti Puuhaara, which was published in Yhteishyvä as drawn by Aarne Nopsanen and written by Raul Roine. For the 1950s, the stamp sheet features Kili ja Possu, written by Olavi Vikainen, who specialized in animal characters in children's comics that were published in a number of Finnish and Swedish papers. The stamp for the 1960s depicts Unto Uneksija, which was published in Pellervo. Veikko Savolainen, its creator, is better known as Joonas thanks to one of his later works.
Professor Itikainen the first Finnish comics character is inspecting the tree of comics - the miniature stamp sheet depicting different comics characters from the early decades in 20th century. The first day cancellation forms a speech bubble.

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