Guests of honor 2018 Sami Toivonen and Aino Havukainen

Sami Toivonen ja Aino Havukainen. Kuva: Katja Tahja

Image: Katja Tahja

This year’s guests of honor at Tampere Kuplii Comics Festival are Sami Toivonen and Aino Havukainen, well-known for their work as comic artists, children’s authors and graphic designers. Among their most famous works are Tatu and Patu books for children. One of them, This is Finland, won Finlandia Junior literary prize for the best children’s book in 2007. Tatu and Patu books have won several other prizes and have been adapted to plays and a movie. The book series has also made a breakthrough abroad and the franchise has been sold to 21 countries so far.

Sami started drawing comics in the 1980’s and won the art award Kritiikin Kannukset in 1989. He graduated from Lahti Institute of Design in 1994 as a graphic designer and started working freelance in 1996. As a comic artist, Toivonen has drawn the Kramppeja & nyrjähdyksiä comics in the late 1990’s and collaborated with screenwriter Pauli Kallio on several occasions.

Aino graduated as a graphic designer from Lahti Institute of Design in 1992 and has since been working as a multimedia designer, and an AD in an advertising agency. She has been working freelance since 1996.

Aino and Sami work tightly together in every stage of creating books and illustrations. They spar each other and refine each other’s ideas from start to finish.

Their comic Himaset won the prize for best comic strip of Kemi’s Nordic Comic Competition in 2004. The judges concluded that in the comic the pair examines human behavior with the accuracy of an observer of animals and finds delightful comparisons from this point of view.

So far, there are three Himaset comic books; Juustoon ei saa piirtää! (Otava, 2008), Keijut ei juo kahvia! (Otava, 2009) and a collection Himaset - Kaikki kotona (Otava, 2015) containing both the previous books and 18 extra strips.

Programme in Tampere Kuplii including Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen tba.