In 2008, I was in one place for a long time for the first time in a long time. And I had a library. So I caught up: Mahler, Hope Larson, The Golem’s Mighty Swing, Dash Shaw, Bardin. I could make a list from Jeffrey Brown to that excruciatingly unreadable autism manga. Or I could list online reads, from “Pictopia” (finally) to Kate Beaton and critical writing, most of which melts together.
Instead, I’ll just note the new comics of Finland. “Com of Finland,” why not? I discovered the anthology Glomp this past year, and have since written about works by Amanda Vähämäki and Katja Tukiainen for TCJ‘s special section of Finnish comics coming soon. And I actually found a copy of the Finnish anthology KutiKuti‘s first issue, colors pulsing on newsprint, in a stack of my old papers. Don’t know where I got it. Can’t read it. But it’s fun to look at (pictured above).
So: Finnish comics, far more vibrant and essential than I could have imagined. But it could have been another pocket of comics, as the landscape looks much more vast than it did just a few years ago. There are dozens of new artists I don’t know, and even more I never will. Good. Before I started writing on comics in 2000, I had spent three or four years reading all the touchstones I could. Then it seemed doable. Now, keeping up with everything seems quite impossible, and ignorance a sure thing going forward. Good.