Aalto – Wave

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's one though chick

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.



Thanks, friend!

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.

"You want to know if there is any left for your own use, eh?"

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

It's super effective!

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.

Yes, I left empty space and covered it up with a cute, purple animal sftu

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!

Stop screaming! It's pretty!

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 lost a friend but at least I got a restraint order!

..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.

Good night~


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 😦


13 Responses to “Aalto – Wave”

  1. 1 Link
    February 22, 2010 at 3:54 am

    You poo. Did you deliberately post this so late? It’s almost 4am here and I fucking rage-joyed out loud when I saw this post.

    “….and does anyone else see “egs” written on the water? Is it just me? It’s just me. Okay..”
    Rofled like a retard, as per usual.

    You put that filler blob in again deliberately again didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU?! Because I squealed and flapped my arms like a mental patient when I saw it xD

    One more thing- I can look at blatant porn with the embarrassing fake noises and faces with a ton of people around and not care, your “Live model” thing had me facepalming and actually going red out of embarrassment- achievement xD

    P.S. The way your draw your friend is awesome, gives off so much personality, and your expressions etc just fit her really well. I don’t know this girl but I have a pretty good idea of what she might be like now from your art alone.

    Dis-jointed comment is dis-jointed. I need to start getting OFF the internets and actually sleeping…

    • 2 Comic Dissector
      February 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      I always post at 3-6 in the morning because I do these things all day, so.. yes and no. But if it spites someone, I’ll be glad. tee hee. Filler Blob I can admit, tho.

      Feast your eyes on my awesome physique…. which is totally different irl because I’m a skinny nerd.. BUT STILL!

      I am glad to amuse :’|

      Oh, and I didn’t have any time to show how silly and mischievous Miisa can be, I just emphasized how I feel she’s going to succeed with her attitude. She does pretty silly stuff like this: http://nightmarehound.deviantart.com/art/Soul-sucker-127789850 and has a wicked sense of humor.
      Let’s hope SHE likes how I portrayed her :0

      • 3 Link
        February 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        You…you want to spite me…? 0^0
        It’s OK. I spam your inbox on dA *HURRDERP*

        She seems like the kind of person that has a very dry sense of humor, and very serious. But has a more funny and compassionate side she shows to her friends. (from your drawings that is) And oh god that squirrel comic. Fuckinglol

        Filler Blob is awesome. I shall live my life for him now.

        Also- a question. How do you put WordPress posts in certain pages? (like filing a post under “About” etc).
        Wordpress hates me…and doesn’t want to let me use it lol

    • 4 Comic Dissector
      February 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      Lol oh no.

      I’ll send you mail and hope you haven’t already solved it.

  2. February 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Gosh, these people are so incredibly talented… they make me feel puny.

    One thing that I love in these styles is that it feels like they’re “just drawing”. I want to achieve that, just draw and don’t think too much. When I ‘create art’ I usually rip my hair out because I can’t figure something out.

    Honestly, the more I read your blog the more I want to make a comic for you to dissect, is that healthy 8(?

    Well aren’t you a good looking chap >8)? *wink wink, waggles eyebrows*

    • 7 Comic Dissector
      February 25, 2010 at 12:25 am

      It was my luck. I have seen most of these people at least once, so if they would’ve sucked, I would’ve had to crush their comics. This is very convenient.

      I visited your gal.. I mean, I used my psychic powers and saw that you’re pretty good. Of course I could redline the shit out of some of your work, but still. Good does not mean perfect, after all and nobody is perfect.
      If you want to “just draw” you probably have to aim for a really cartoony, flowing style. I noticed it didn’t fit me, so here I am ripping my hair out even with my blog’s “art”
      And if you’d know how much all of these guys rip their hair out.. ooh boy. It looks good just because they DO rip their hair and even sometimes hate what they drew.

      Yes, it is healthy, trust me I’m a doctor 8D Plase do so, I will be gentle teehee~

      I know, right? Only on paper tho.. but I can wish.
      Oh, and I almost made the butt really shiny, but I thought that might be too sexy u_u

      • February 25, 2010 at 6:59 am

        Yeah, I’m aware there is A LOT I need to learn, one sad truth is that whatever I’ve drawn and can do is actually self taught, it shows. I need to get into some sort of art school after high school. You know it’s just that every time I draw I SEE what’s wrong with it and no matter what I do, it’s still is very wonky and fugly, then I get pissed and say “whatever, here is ART >8(“.

        Actually, what I meant with the ‘just draw’ is that I shouldn’t care too much for the outcome, I need to enjoy the process more. That should be possible regardless of ‘style’.

        Haha, I am aiming for a comic to sell on ‘sarjakuvafestivaalit’ in Helsinki next fall, I hope I’ll have something to sell then <8)!

        WHat?! I demand you add that wicked shininess, how are we supposed to live through this blog without a shiny butt every now and then?

    • 9 Comic Dissector
      February 26, 2010 at 1:54 am

      That’s what it’s about. If you’re an artist, you have to love learning because it never ends. It’s good you’ve caught on that you don’t enjoy drawing enough. What I hate about keeping a blog like this is that I never know if someone hates what they draw, because that might explain why they don’t do it so well. Now I knew these people well enough that I could say “love what you do” but.. hah, yeah I know what you’re talking about.

      Ohohoho.. that’s marvelous. Even if you draw something Fail, it will still be a worthy experience. My first comic was utter shit, but it was a great learning experience. To be honest I should also do something and go there to sell it but I’m not sure how many people will want to kill me. Nevertheless, good luck and do something that YOU love, not something what you think others will love, that killed my second project.

      Ps. Don’t tempt me:

  3. February 25, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Hee! I was very giddy when I saw this review!
    And ha! I wasn’t studying in Liminka yet at the time when I made the comic so I mailed it to the school’s mailbox for Miisa. To be honest I was … kinda lazy about it and finished it about a DAY before the deadline which explains the scribblybad inking (as well as the story that I would make up as I drew. I can’t even remember what kinds of ideas I had before that, if any), and during the day when I went to town to ink and mail the comic, I had even bought a bit thicker stinky black marker for filling the areas I intended to be black… (couldn’t find or afford those fatass thick markers at the time *sobsob*)

    Anyways, it was pretty cool and satisfying to participate in the project at the time, I actually got something done!
    I…really need a kick in the ass to motivate myself to draw more comics.

    Seriously, the times I’ve had a lot of srs projects that get expanded too much in my head before I manage to draw them the way I envision them (why do I have to get shit done in chronological order argh I’ll die of stress) but as the wise Keijjo has said, “osaat kulloinkin vain niin hyvin kuin teet” (how does one translate that @__@). But in a nutshell – BY DOING, YOU LEARN. It r good mantra.

    ALSO OH YEAH ever since Miisa mentioned this blog, I’ve been lurking and I’ve showed it to friends too muhahaha. Keep up the good work, man!

    • 11 Comic Dissector
      February 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

      Even that your part was kinda small in it 😀 sorryyyy!
      Well, that certainly explains! I wondered if you were being experimental or something because the line I’ve seen from you is steady and insane. Also, my line was complete fuzz and shit when I was 15-19 because I was experimenting to.. projecting a bit.

      You should go back to Liminka to get a kick on your butt! Okay, maybe joining a group or a contest would be more like it, but yeah. Motivation.

      I got that same problem, shit just keeps expanding. I tried to put most of my ideas down as a script and the result is; Idea1 has 300 pages, Idea2 has 600, Idea3 went over 500 and I need to re-do half of it all. And it’s good! If I didn’t put it down, I would’ve never seen the flaws in the story. But how to get them done.. eehh, working on it. I hope you find the solution before me and tell me lol.
      “You can as well as you do at the moment” I quess? I think starting with a project that is not very dear to you is the best soluton, so you can experiment and try your wings before you do That Big Thing.

      Thank you. I shall keep fighting the good fight.

  4. March 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    your blog is such a guilty pleasure. First you make your readers roll on the floor in laughter and then feel incredibly guilty afterwads for laughing at young aspiring comic creators.

    Why o why are you doing this to me critic!? why!?

    In the end though I hope those aspiring artists will heed your words for they are wise and educational.

    In short your stuff is awesome! Post more frequently damnit!!! I need my fix of laughter and guilt!

    ps. Are you planning on reviewing those hokuto manga volumes anywhere in the future?

    • 13 Comic Dissector
      March 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      I do it because I care ❤ tee hee

      Hopefully everyone who I have critiqued will continue doing what they do and improve. This place might be really blunt and humor-driven, but I just wish people would show me and the world what they can really do. And I get so much complaints for my irregularity that I probably need to buy a new scanner or something..

      Oh snap! I had forgotten about Hokuto Manga. I have read probably all of them and I remember them.. how many did they make anyway? I wonder if I can find them anywhere anymore.

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