In 2020 the Oulu Comics Competition looked for new comics based on the theme of comics for kids. The competition was open to all Nordic, Baltic and Scottish comic artists and also to artists currently living in those areas.
1. prize – Heidi Lintula
The jury had a long discussion about the top spot in the competition. Heidi Lintula‘s Aarni’s treasure was seen as a comic that could succeed internationally. Classical storytelling and skillful drawing forms a stylish wholeness. Achieving the first prize would have been even easier if the comic had been in color or used more light and shadow. The comic is contemporary and the story of today’s world of children is easy to identify with.
2. prize – Juliana Hyrri
Completely finished and technically beautiful Juliana Hyrri‘s Covered by the Forest, is a symbolic and even a little bit scary comic. The story is working well from start to finish. The jury thought it’s better for older readers than for kids. The question arose, that would the story have been appealing to the jury when they were children. The artistic style is finished and the reading experience is enjoyable.
3. prize – Maryam Abuzaid-Ryu
The basis and perspective of the story caught the attention of the jury in Maryam Abuzaid-Ryu’s comic Peach Tree. The important message of the story has been skilfully written, even if the dialogues could be improved. By paying more attention to the graphics, the comic would have had an opportunity for an even better prize. A well-chosen style of the story leads the reader smoothly through the comic.
Honorary award – Hopea
It’s difficult to compare strip comics to short stories. Therefore, the jury wanted to give an honorary award to Hopea’s Trio comics. The drawing is finished, but the jury would like the stories to be related. Although the content sometimes lack context, strips also offer readers many good scriptural moments.
This year the competition jury included Kalle Hakkola and Tuuli Hypén. They selected three winners and shared one honorable mention among the entries. Harri Filppa was honored to be the secretary of the jury. The competition received 28 entries mainly from Finland. This book presents the best entries from the competition.
Quality of entries were very varying in style and level. As a general comment, the jury hoped that participants would pay more attention to the finishing of the works involved, both story and illustration. Many developable comics were left out of the winners due to incompleteness. That’s why the jury decided this year to give just one honorary award.
The jury extend their thanks to everyone who participated in the competition.