The fifth Oulu Comics Festival 3.-6.11.2016

Oulu comics festival offers about a hundred events in 2016. The main venues of the festival are Culture house Valve and the comics library Sarjasto of Oulu city library.

A little taster of the festival can be had the 27th of october when Kalle Hakkola’s and Mari Ahokoivu’s exhibition “Sanni ja Joonas matkalla” opens at the Oskari Jauhiainen gallery. The library on wheels “Onneli” transform into comics library on wheels on the 31st of october and circles the schools in the Oulu area. With it travels Milla Palosaari, the creator of the finnish comic “Kiroileva siili”.

The official opening of the comics library “Sarjasto” is the 3rd of october with the opening ceremony, a quiz and with live music. The program of Sarjasto continues the next day, 4th of october, with a Arctic comics seminar, where the topic is science and comics. Special guests at the seminar are Katja Kontturi, who did her doctoral thesis on Don Rosa’s Disney comics, and Kristian Hellesund from Norway who is investigating the history of norwegian comics.

The winners of Oulu nordic comics competition is announced the 4th of october at the Festival gala along with an album compiled of the competition’s works. At the same time is the opening of comics counsellor Ilpo Koskela’s exhibition and an exhibition of the works from the Oulu nordic comics competition’s works. The 8th “Skrew you” award is also presented for the work done for the benefit of comics.

Saturday the 5th of october is the main day of the festival and the culture house Valve fills up with comics publishers and small press. There you can buy their works and see the offerings of finnish and nordic comics. On the main stage of Valve, you can hear an interview with a local comic artist Ville Ranta and writer Pauli Kallio and artist Reetta Niemensivu tell about the creative process behind their new album. 

In the spirit of the Seventh art theme of the festival, Oulu Film Center is showing Donald Duck movies in the Valve Studio. Open comics workshops are organized on saturday in Valve and in Main library on sunday. The festival is a part of this years program of Oulu – a city for children’s culture. 

Saturday sees the release of Anssi Vieruaho’s and Sami Nyyssölä’s 24 – days album which is based on the stories of asylum seekers. Jyrki Nissinen, known for his independent comic “Borgtron”, tells about the birth of his works and performs in the comics club held in the restaurant Snooker. On the Valve stage you can see the festival’s international guests: Leon Stekla from Sweden, Gon Rodger from Spain and Øyvind Lauvdahl from Norway. Sanmagumo-collective leads the audience into japanese Yokai-tradition. 

On sunday 6th of october you can meet Karoliina Korhonen, who rose to fame with her comic of Matti who suffers from Finnish Nightmares, at Sarjasto comics library. Discussions about comics blogs, e.books, becoming a professional comic book artist and illustrating crossword puzzles, are held on the Sarjasto stage. At the end of the festival, the 2017 festival is announced at Comics center. During the festival you can meet the artists, who are signing their work, at the Turun Sarjakuvakauppa and Comic Oasis.

During the festival there are 15 comics exhibitions held in different venues around Oulu. Lóa Hjamtysdottir, a comic artist from Island, has an exhibition at the festival restaurant KOnst O. Deli, Harri Fillppa’s exhibition “Vastarannan Siili Unten Mailla” is held at the Oulunsalo library, Emmi Nieminen, the festival illustrator, has an exhibition at the city library’s exhibition space and a collaborative exhibition with the Swedish Tusen Serier, showcasing swedish comics, titled Dubbelmoral, is held at the Bingo gallery.