Oulu’s Nordic Comics Competition 2016 was themed ”Seventh art”. The competition was open to all comic artists and writers born or living in Nordic and Baltic countries.
From 27 competition entries, the Jury (Tessa Astre, Veli-Matti Ural and Mattias Elftorp) picked three winners and three honorable mentions, all of which are presented in this book.
The creators chosen to be included in the book present comics that approach “Seventh Art” from a variety of perspectives. Skilled drawing and colouring weren’t considered to be enough – the correlation to the “seventh art” in the manuscripts was also a huge part of the consideration of the works; as is appropriate for the artform of comics.
1. PRIZE (2500e) Avi Heikkinen (Finland)
The deep, multilayered manuscript draws a deep cut into the protagonist’s will and inevitable destiny – a clear and well thought-out description of contemporary medias mixed into filmmaking and documentary. The content of the story is serving the artwork and dares the artists of tomorrow to boldly use new tools in comics creation. The line work is great, expressive and realistic.
The chosen genre – psychological thriller with an ordinary scheme is used in a fresh and crafty way. The idea that is the basis of the story is interesting and works well with the theme. The looping narrative intertwines with the filmmaker’s spiraling descent into his own ego. Heikkinen’s story is engaging and intense and with its bittersweet ending, somewhat similar to a Shakespearian tragedy.
2. PRIZE (1000e) Dace Sietina (Latvia)
Dace Sietina’s fine-arts atmospheared short story creates an interpretation of one of the first notable art-films in
history, Georges Méliès: *Le Voyage dans la Lune*. The beautiful imagery also conveys the filmic qualities of this dream-like state, reminiscent of a 70’s horror/space opera set in the mind of the main character.
Sietina’s dada-like manuscript, comprised of beautiful, minimalistic panels, opens new levels of reading. Poetry combined with oil-painting like panels challenges our predictions of art-qualification. The Slavic mindscape used in the panels and composition poses a question about politics in art-making.
3. PRIZE (500e) Mika Lahtonen (Finland)
The third place in the competition belongs to Mika Lahtonen, whose thrilling, funny and bohemian short story shows virtuosity-like inking skills. Lahtonen pairs his classical Mad comics drawing style with storytelling and monologue that is very reminiscent of a specific kind of filmmaking, not so different from the classical works of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. Lahtonen’s story brings laughter and rides with contrasts that are familiar from film noir.
Ella Eiranto (Finland) Gon Rodher (Sweden) Juliana Hyrri (Finland)