Saturday, January 5, 2013
Viivi & Wagner 15.1.2008
Viivi & Wagner is a somewhat absurdist Finnish newspaper comic strip drawn by Jussi "Juba" Tuomola.
The titular main characters are Viivi, a Finnish woman in her twenties, and Wagner, a mature male pig. Wagner is fully anthropomorphic and sentient, yet still considers himself a pig instead of a human. Though often mistaken for married, the two are cohabitating in an Odd Couple-ish relationship and genuinely fond of each other when not bickering.
The comic originally appeared in Kultapossu, a promotional children's magazine by a Finnish bank. In the original version of the comic, Viivi was a small girl and Wagner was her animate piggy bank. When the Kultapossu magazine was discontinued, Tuomola adapted the characters to fit a newspaper comic strip style, also changing the characters to adults in the process.
Viivi & Wagner is extremely popular in Finland, above all because of its quirky humour. Most of the strips concern either arguments between Viivi and Wagner ("You ate the wrapper, too?!" "I always eat the wrapper."), or Wagner getting into totally absurd situations, either in everyday life or in a fantasy world ("I'm stuck in the moment before the Big Bang"). Some strips break the fourth wall ("Hey, your outline is loose.") or the classic comic strip format by not having a definite punchline at the end.
Some readers, who have been unaware of the strip's history in a bank's promotional magazine for children, have taken Wagner's porcine appearance as a statement of feminism, specifically implying that "men are pigs". Some have even thought Tuomola was a woman. It has been noticed that many medical inside jokes appear in the strips - many of them originate from an old friend of Juba, whose profession happens to be a doctor.
Thank you Dear Merja for this delightful FDC with the minisheet of six stamps issued on 15.1.2003.