The Nordic Comics Competition, traditionally arranged by Kemi Comics Festival and having made a short visit to Helsinki, arrived home to Oulu in 2014.
This year, the competition was themed “Polar Night”. The competition was open to all comic artists and writers born or living in Nordic and Baltic countries. An international board of professional comic artists refereed the contestants.
The competition received more than 60 entries, of which the majority came from Finland. About ten works were entered from Sweden and Norway, Estonians and Latvians together sent roughly another ten. Only one of the entrants consisted of comic strips, the rest were long stories. The works judged to be the best are compiled into this book.
The entrants were of high quality and diverse content. The theme “Polar Night” inspired many artists to include fantasy elements in their work. The members of the board all chose their favourites, of which the winners were chosen through conversational process. Number one was found more easily than the other prize recipients.
The board of referees extend their thanks to everyone who participated.
The 2015 competition will be held again in Oulu. The theme and schedule are announced at the Oulu Comics Festival, November 6.–8.
The prize winners of the Nordic Comics Competition are displayed in the Nordic Comics Exhibition at Valve gallery (Hallituskatu 7, Oulu), November 6–29, 2014.
1. PRIZE (2500e) Lauri Mäkimurto
A beautiful ambience vignette about the darkest time of the year, where naturally flowing dialogue carries the story with ease. Claustrophobia and atmospheric cohabitance are mixed in a tale depicting the small things in life. In the background, though, something greater looms.
2. PRIZE (1000e) Sofia Falkenhem
A poetic love story full of Polar Night magic. The fragility of the line supports the lyrical content. The tender ending anticipates the continuation of the story.
3. PRIZE (500e) Mikko Saarainen
A playful story of a light retrieval trip, easily identified with in the dark northern wintertime despite the fantasy elements present. The strong drawing line carries the wordless tale fluently onwards. Beautiful palette entices the reader to remain admiring the pictures for a long time.
Ida Eva Neverdahl
Jury: Oulu Comics Center Executive Director and cartoonist Harri Filppa and comic artists Mari Ahokoivu and Søren Mosdal.