Monday 23 June 2014

Migrants' comics in London

The last page of "Baz'" story on his Palestinian-Syrian nationality, which is not recognised by the authorities.

A group of migrants in London made comics about life in the UK. The comics were made in a project by the Migrants Resource Centre, an organisation with a vision of a society where migrants are valued and able to contribute. The comics were made at four evening workshops as a part of My Journey, a multimedia storytelling project which also includes photography, radio, audio-visual slideshows and film (see My Journey is run by Migrants Resource Centre and funded by City Bridge Trust.

The stories have a very wide range of approaches as the migrants come from five different continents - the only thing in common is that they are now Londoners. These comics open windows into their lives and their views on the situation of migrants. This is particularly important as the public debate all over Europe has become more anti-immigration in the last years.

The workshops were run by Lindsay Pollock, the artist who co-created the “Meet the Somalis” comic book (see our blog January 14, 2014). Pollock is a part of the Positives Negatives -organisation (, which creates comics about social and human rights issues.

I was very excited to see these comics. They clearly show that comics is medium which can stretch quite far and which is readily accessible also to non-artists. If the comics were redrawn and redesigned by a professional comics artist, their poignancy and vibrant street credibility would be lost. 

So, if you have something to say, say it with comics! You can!

(Post by Leif Packalen)

Read the comics on this link:

Sandra's story tells about how to battle bureaucracy for a whole year.

Friday 20 June 2014

World Village Festival 2014

World Comics Finland displayed its giant "Comics Power" logo on its stand.
We took part in the festival with a stand where we showed parts of our new exhibition “Maailman sarjakuvittajat” (comics creators of the world) and in general promoted our grassroots approach to comics. We sold our publications, pins, second-hand comics etc., and made enough to cover the attendance. 

Two days of promoting and networking left us hoarse but happy. As always, it was nice to participate in the festival together with likeminded organisations and people who want to do something for our global common future. We were also happy to see that there are many new, recently formed organisations.

Thursday 19 June 2014

New members to our board

Hanna Arvela
Heidi Leino
In its recent annual general meeting, World Comics Finland elected Hanna Arvela and Heidi Leino into our board. Hanna Arvela is a longtime member and has run workshops in Tanzania and Kenya. Heidi Leino has been very active in the school visitor comics program with Nuorten Akatemia (The Youth Academy) both as a school visitor and a trainer of school visitors. She has also run a workshop in Mali. 

We welcome both Hanna and Heidi to the board, at the same time we thank Tarmo Koivisto and Lidia Kivinen who now leave the board after 17 and 15 years of service. 

Tarmo Koivisto
Lidia Kivinen
Tarmo has been the Vice Chairman since the establishment of our organisation in 1997 and has run workshops in Tanzania and India. Lidia joined the board in 1999 and has been our main exhibition and display architect over the years. Lidia has run workshops in Viljandi and Narva in Estonia. Warm thanks to Tarmo and Lidia for long and dedicated service. 

The current board: 

Leif Packalen, Chairman
Katja Tukiainen, Vice-Chairman
Heidi Leino, Secretary
Hanna Arvela, Member
Maippi Tapanainen, Member

Saturday 14 June 2014

New improved manuals

Basic manual
Trainer's guide
We have improved our basic wallposter comics manual with adding more drawing instruction and enlarged the script-making section. The manual has now 32 pages vs 21 in the old version

At the same time, we have rewritten the step-by-step trainer’s guide for those who run workshops in which our basic comics manual is used as a handout. The two manuals are to be used hand in hand. The trainer’s guide has 40 pages. 

Both manuals are available for download on our website:

When you download the manual you can also print it double-sided, if your printer has that option. That will reduce the amount of paper use to half. 

If you have access to both a double-sided printer and Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can open the document in that program and print it as an A5-sized booklet. This reduces the paper use to 25%, but remember the print-out text is rather small. Try it out!

Download the two manuals and you get a quite good idea of how it is to run a workshop. 

We are working on making the improved manuals available also in other languages.