Are you ready?
You better be fucking ready because this is
“Mystic and a story-teller? Diviner? Northern witch? Or maybe a metaphor for something greater and darker in nature which no mortal should dwell in without risking their sanity? What or who Ester Pärberg really was – or god help us, still is – has to be one of the biggest mysteries of our lifetime which we will never get an answer to.”
I think even this dissection will start well with those words.
This comic has to have one of the most blown-out and hilarious intros I have ever seen in my life. After going on about the mystery of Ester Pärberg and how her stories were written on leather which was torn to shreds in the year 1155 by crusaders and then patched together by our four heroes at the year 1237 and then we get this hilarious page that introduces us to the cartoonists in a way that is rich with quirky inside-jokes.
I don’t know about you but I love these guys already.
So what is this really about?
Few years ago four teenage boys were incredibly bored at upper secondary school’s psychology class, so they started scribbling comics. One guy did one frame, the other made the next frame etc.. and this went on until they grew bored of that or the bell rang. The results made the whole of humanity weep. Later on the boys grew up (but not enough) and they decided to ink those comics again and publish those horrendous creations. This made the Cthulhu weep.
When thinking of a theme for this collaboration of bored teenage boy randomness, they came up with Ester Pärberg – a crazy old goof who told the most obnoxious and weird stories imaginable. Hilarity ensued.
As you can see, the intro goes on with the animals of Eternaleather woods seeking safety in Ester’s house because their homes are being flooded. Even Bream-Andy had to seek safety in the house, despite being a fish. He couldn’t use toilet in those crazy whirlpools underwater, anyway.
So, Ester starts reading stories to the flock of wet animals who poop, piss and fart everywhere..
..and the comic itself finally shows its main content.
..I got nothing.
There’s also one funny thing about the last page’s sound effects. For some reason the pile of poo is onomatopoetically repeating the lyrics of Juice Leskinen – Jyrki Boy “Jyrki Jyrki älä tyrki, älä sanojasi syö” or in english “Oh Jyrki, Jyrki, don’t push me, don’t eat your words” ..and before you ask, no the words don’t make sense even in finnish.
The next story is just as demented and weird. It’s about siamese twins, Heinrich the human and Hurbon the “cüclopsmonkey”.
They’re siamese because they share a toe that has magical laser powers
But being siamese is not the least of their problems as they have other weird bodyparts, like the face of Alfred Bittenwurst growing out of Heinrich’s bum and a whale head pointing out of Hurbon’s back
So they are tormented by Whalecatchers and Bittenwurst-fans
Uh.. and they.. also have the “Brothers of Radish, Arne und Perttu” living in their throats and they like to escape, which is bad because their lives would feel like nothing without them.
But then Heinrich eats Hurbon thus eating himself and that’s the end for this story
I.. can’t go on. Sorry. This comic is way too crazy to go trough in some sort of “order” because it’s more random than Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Invader Zim put together
But it seems to have a theme of crazy siamese twins
And.. uh.. JUST LOOK AT THIS!
This is too crazy and random to just explain, this needs to be experienced.
Yeah, alright, this comic is very, very, VERY random
But surprisingly it also has some stories with perfectly comphrehensive plotlines.. or at least plotlines. Like the story of exterminator who fights against a satanic cult of rodents who are about to summon a turnip demon.
Or the story about the captain of a carp-shaped spaceship and his underling
Who get in trouble about interspecies-bestiality-relationship because of a misunderstanding when the subordinate tries to give CPR to the karp-captain.
This comic is absolutely out of it’s mind. This is what boredom does to human brain, and it is not a beautiful sight, but it is nevertheless amusing.
The boys also have a habit of using the language in weird and inventive ways. The puns they make are not even puns anymore (TURBO-PUNS!) they get insanely mangled and out of shape when they try to amuse themselves in the pits of boredom. This takes form both in special effects and dialogue. Here’s few examples
And because most of the dialogue is quite stricktly riddled with finnish puns that cannot be translated, I’ll give you only one example of this branch of weird use of language
The one story that got me dry-heaving from laughter is really short one, and it strats perfectly normal at first, but ascends into insanity before you can say “I am bored at a psychology class”
Why am I laughing this hard?! That made no sense! Gahh! I’ve seen this random piggy jokes only in Invader Zim
Despite it’s extreme randomness Ester Pärbergin Tarinoita holds itself together really well trough all of it’s 143 pages! It’s no wonder, though as these guys are all somewhat professional cartoonists and KP Alare has the title of graphic designer under his belt and JP Ahonen has an actual career of a cartoonist with his strip comic Villimpi Pohjola (Northern Overexposure). The other guys who took part in this project don’t have anything on web that google could find for me, but they are not teenagers anymore, either. The gang is experienced and know how to work as a team and put out a good comic.
Which brings me to wonder.. WHY THE FUCK DOESN’T THIS COMIC HAVE ANY AWARDS!? When I met the guys at the festival I could swear they mentioned that they won something over their book, but I can’t find anything. The award “Taivaallisin Pienlehti” (Most Heavenly Small-Publishing) didn’t go to them this year and I can’t belive my fucking eyes. There’s something seriously wrong with Helsinki Comic Festival staff if they really have not awarded even a wooden spoon to these guys.
Who the fuck won the award if it was not them?
I’m sorry for being so judgemental and biased but-
No, wait. I am certainly not sorry, it’s the cruel truth that finnish female sarjakuva is absolute and utter shit. If you don’t belive me, listen to what I got to say – I bought “BLAW” but Circus Femme Fatale didn’t even pique my interest in the slightest.
Now BLAW and Phantomland are both drawn by females, but it is still not official femsarjakuva-brand of finnish comics. You actually have to somehow admit being a part of it and do nothing else but comics in which only theme ever is The Vagina. I’m not even kidding. And I know without looking that Circus Femme Fatale is not worth any attention it got and definately not worth any money.
I’ll go deeper into the theme of finnish female cartoonists once I do few more positive dissections. I’ll announde a theme month when I do.
EDIT: apparently this wasn’t even a small publishing “pienlehti” so it wouln’t have counted. Silly me. But all my statements still stand. The winner sucks, this deserves some sort of award, and female sarjakuva sucks.
But now, back to Ester.
This comic was the best I saw in the whole Helsinki Comic Festival, no other publishing came even near this one. Ester Pärbergin Tarinoita is funny, light-hearted, silly, professional and high-quality mash-up that truly put a smile on my face and left me with a giddy and good mood. Where Kane failed and didn’t bring the humor crazy enough, these guys succeed and throw it over the edge.
I can see the boys were somewhat influenced by a very popular, dirty humor sarjakuva we have here called “Myrkky” (Poison) but the influence is not overwhelming and they have plenty of insane originality that only they can put out as a team.
This left me feeling AWESOME
Ps. Flash warning
SEE YA LATER ❤
Gir “Let’s go to my room, pig!” from Invader Zim created by Jhonen Vasquez