This weekend sees something a little different on the London comics calendar as the Helsinki Comics Festival comes to Space Station Sixty-Five, mixing Finnish comics creators and their British counterparts in one full day of events and tables. More information in the press release below.
HCF GOES LDN
The 38th Helsinki Comics Festival brings Finnish artists to London in a one-day event organised in collaboration with Space Station Sixty-Five project space, The Feminist Library and Comica Festival on the 25th of November 2023
Helsinki Comics Festival was held for the 38th time at Korjaamo Culture Factory, Helsinki on September 16-17, 2023. Finland’s most international comics event gathers up to 25,000 visitors every year. The themes of the 2023 Helsinki Comics Festival were travelling and German-language comics. The themes were reflected in the programme and the presence of several invited guests.
With one of the themes of this year’s festival being travelling, the festival itself decided to take a trip to London. The event at Space Station Sixty-Five project space will take place on Saturday, the 25th of November from 11:00 to 19:00. Admission is free!
Prominent artists from both the Finnish and British comics fields as invited guests – Kimmo Lust, who won the 2023 Comics-Finlandia award is this year’s festival artist
The Finnish artists travelling to meet British audiences are Kimmo Lust, who has been the selected festival artist and illustrator of the 38th Helsinki Comics Festival and the HCF GOES LDN event, Johanna “roju” Rojola, Janne Parviainen, and Eisner award-winner Max Sarin. They will be joined on stage by Emilia McKenzie, Gareth Brookes, John Allison, Sabba Khan and Rachael House.
Kimmo Lust (Photo by Henry Söderlund)
Kimmo Lust will be joined in conversation with Emilia McKenzie to discuss memory, love, grief, and trauma. McKenzie, also herself half Finnish, has recently published a deeply touching book about the loss of a friend, But You Have Friends.
Johanna “roju” Rojola is a curator working in the field of comics. They are one of the founding members of the Kutikuti contemporary comics collective, the Femicomix Finland network and the feminist and anti-racist studio Poimu. Roju will be discussing zines and feminist comics with Rachael House of Space Station Sixty-Five, also an artist and zine maker specialising in queer and feminist zines.
Janne Parviainen has, in his recent work, explored different ways of creating: light art, re-interpreting classic artworks, as well as traditional comics. The conversation between Parviainen and Gareth Brookes, a comics creator known for his bold approach to materials, is bound to be an interesting one.
John Allison and Max Sarin are the Eisner award-winning co-creators of Giant Days and The Great British Bump-Off, appearing for the first time together in London!
Sabba Khan is the award winning author of The Roles We Play, a graphic novel that examines diasporic identities and post-colonial legacy in the UK. Virpi Oinonen questions our assumptions about the world and how it works through irreverent comics aimed at decision makers.
Paul Gravett from Comica Festival will also be interviewing and being interviewed, as well as presenting his most recent book on Tove Jansson – another Finn!
Paul Gravett (Photo by Linus Lindholm)
40 min Virpi Oinonen – Sabba Khan (interviewer: Wallis Eates)
40 min Kimmo Lust – Emilia McKenzie (interviewer: Athanasía Aarniosuo, Finnish Comics Society)
20 min presentation: LDComics
40 min presentation: Paul Gravett
40 min Max Sarin – John Allison (interviewer: Woodrow Phoenix)
20 min presentation: Breakdown Press (Gareth Brookes will do a Q&A)
40 min Janne Parviainen – Gareth Brookes (interviewer: Paul Gravett)
20 min presentation: The Feminist Library
Johanna “roju” Rojola – Rachael House (interviewer: Lana Le)
Presentations, workshops, and sales tables
Several comics publishers and organisations will be presenting their activities and sharing what all creators want to know – how to best approach them with an idea for a book, exhibition or collaboration! Breakdown Press, Gosh! Comics, LDComics and The Feminist Library are some of the organisations taking the stage.
Of course, no comics event would be complete without the chance to shop! The Space Station Sixty-Five space will host over 20 comics creators who will sign books and sell books and merchandise.
Tabling artists and collectives:
Roju – Femidistro
Finnish Comics Society
The Feminist Library
HCF GOES LDN and Helsinki Comics Festival are organised by the Finnish Comics Society. The Finnish Comics Society is an association of makers, readers, collectors and researchers of comics. The society presents comics both to the wider public as well as to the cultural establishment. It aims to promote the awareness and critical reading of comics and to gain respect for the art form. In recent years the association has been active in launching several new cultural export projects as well as new websites and online services for comics lovers.
Space Station Sixty-Five, Building One
373 Kennington Rd, London SE11 4PS
Space Station Sixty-Five (SS65) is a project space, gallery, curation and a contemporary art organisation.
A not-for-profit platform for curation, research, creation and artistic contemplation leading to development of work, practice and potential participation, collaboration and exchange.
Space Station Sixty-Five started in 2002 and in 2020 became an ongoing project of Space Art, a contemporary art charity set up for this purpose.
Free, all welcome, gallery building and bathrooms ground floor and accessible to all
In collaboration with:
The Feminist Library
The Ministry of Education and Culture (Finland)
Ella Tahkolahti producer
Athanasía Aarniosuo director