How objective can a critic be when critiquing a friend? We’ll see in this entry.
After being too busy with school and being my usual “what month is it again?”-self I turned to my friend for help. It went something like this
She of course wouldn’t call her own production “holy grail” and it took a lot longer to get the comic but.. eh, you get the picture. We’ve known eachother for few years now, she has listened to me whine and goddammit I am the most emotional and whiny ball of hurt you’ll ever see so it must’ve been hard for such a personality as she is. She won’t take any unneccesary bullshit, just does her job and avoids whiny bitches.. unless it is me, and I am pretty hard to just brush off when I need a listener.
TIME TO RIP HER COMIC TO SHREDS YAYYY!
Aalto is a collaboration between 4 art school friends, Miisa Lopperi, Olli Hietala, Noora Kivisilta and Sonja Kivivuori. The legendary comic school in Finland, Liminka always has a table at some comic meeting to get their students taste what it is like to sell their comics.. or actually just MAKE the comic first time in their life. It’s just magical, folks! And this was one of those projects.
Let’s start with Noora
I don’t really have much bad things to say about her comic. This is very rare for self-published little projects. Her comic is about brothers who have a quarrel over drugs.
Her style is very natural, smooth and swirly. She can draw her characters from every angle, and the storytelling is smooth. She grows the tension with frames and dialogue. It works very well
I especially liked the fight scene because.. just look at his face!
They got slight “anime disease” with their expressions – they are so beautiful and stylished that their expressions can’t show enough emotion trough the core, but this works. He looks fucking upset here. When it ended and even though no one died and it was settled down, I was left waiting for more. I’d want to know more about these guys.
It’s kinda hard to dissect 10 pages properly. All I can say is that Noora has her style very well together. Quick look at her Deviantart gallery showed me that her stuff nowadays is really pleasing to eye, she has progressed allot. I wish she would make a longer comic so I can pick on it better some day.
Sonja ain’t bad, either.
Her style is more fuzzy, but it holds together, especially with her story which is.. absolutely surreal.
Little boy who has panda ears loses his rubber duckie in his bathtub and then a submarine raises from the water and.. I just don’t know. In the end when he doesn’t go help the ducklins to fight for their “War-scarred land” he is transported to a sea.
All this in 10 pages! It was very interesting, but I am not sure how that kind of style would work with a longer story. This was very much like Alice in the Wonderland. I checked her Deviantart, too and she is still into some freaky fucking shit.
When she’s not doing stuff like that, she’s making these moomin-like creatures. Her head must be interesting place to be in. I fucking love it. Still, a look at her gallery tells me that the comic she did for this collaboration wasn’t the full extent of her talent. I can’t see any other trait of hers in this comic than the surrealism that is within her. I really want to see her start a serious project, it WILL be interesting.
Let’s move on to Olli. His style is very naivistic.
Every frame is the same size, there’s only 3 different colours, text is placed in almost randomly wherever it just happens to fit best.. this ladies and gentlemen is what I hate. I hate naivism. I HATE IT. I just have personal distaste to it – it killed my mother, burned down my house and kicked my dog, and since that moment I promised I would hate it forever because my name is Inigo Montoya and he killed my mother, prepare to die!
I promise to rant more about that in some other entry, because we’re getting into the main part here. The 18-page long comic that is enough for somewhat proper dissection. Miisa.
Besides, I really liked his more personal diary, it made me feel nice and sad feelings. You were saved this time, Olli.. but I’ll be watching you. I’ll go all Inigo Montoya on you some day. Some day..
Every character in Miisa’s comic is someone who I knew beforehand. I just had never seen them interact with eachother in comic form so reading this was very enlightening. She has somewhat well-thought world full of monsters where she placed this story in. I know what it’s all about, so I can see she didn’t try to tell the whole history of that world in either the story or some korny “Long time ago, light and dark were fighting..”-prelude. Many beginners do it when they have a well-thought world full of different monsters, values and characters, even if their comic would be just five pages long. Miisa starts this briefly with the main character getting a mission from her acquaintance.
Her style is very clean and bullshit-less, but she has a weakness against perspective
I think it’s because she has investigated her characters so troughfully in design that she’ll get stuck when they have to change in perspective. It’s kinda common with artists with very stylished characters, they don’t exist in real life, so it’s near impossible to imagine them moving in dimension.
She moves the story very smoothly. From the main character’s house to the street with “meanwhile”
..from the street back to the main character, with blackening frames
But there was a major wtf-part when the protagonist walks on the shady street corners.
When I paid more attention I realised the “bookshelf” was a brick wall with failshading, and that shop proved to be a deli/meatstore-thing later on. Some actual meat on the window would’ve helped allot.
This part was also a bit fuzzy, and by this point I notice the problem: texture. Miisa can do the best and smoothest line you’ll see, but texture seems to be weak.
….and does anyone else see “egs” written on the water? Is it just me? It’s just me. Okay..
The action is very clear, and she has managed to try many different effects succesfully in this short time
And I love the character interaction, it’s so casual and smooth.
And I have to give her my personal thumbs-up and Super Special Gold Star for knowing her biology. She based the big meanie monster on trematodes/heartworms (trematoda and dirofilaria immitis) and it is not only awesome, but proves she does research.. or she just happened to randomly know about those. BUT STILL! GOLD STAR!
Her monsters have always been really nifty, I can’t help loving pretty much every design she comes up with
Nifty fucking shit. I feel incredibly lazy now.. it happens every time I visit her galler..
..I’m sooo going to regret this joke. DON’T KILL ME PLEASE!
To be safe, I’ll end this now. Aalto was honestly good collaboration full of people with ambition and skill, and I would definately want to see a serious full-length project from all the girls involved in this, they have some interesting ideas.
Also, from knowing Miisa and reading trough the diary comics of the other people involved in this project, I have one friendly advice for all of you:
Love yourself and your art a bit more. Seriously. I’d love me if I’d be you.
http://nightmarehound.deviantart.com/ -Miisa Lopperi
http://sulphurspoon.deviantart.com/ -Sonja Kivivuori
http://onnenruikku.deviantart.com/ -Noora Kivisilta
http://hillo.sarjakuvablogit.com/ -Olli Hietala
Ps. Anteeksi että joululahja on yhä myöhässä 😦