Kalle Hakkola was born in 1971 in Helsinki, Finland and has worked in diverse cultural and artistic fields. He is also a qualified librarian by profession and worked in Helsinki’s city library from 1995 to 2003. Since 1995 Hakkola has written articles about music, comics and library science for several Finnish magazines and has been an important spokesperson for Finnish comics both internationally and at home. In 2005 he became head of the Finnish Comics Society, Finland’s main comic organization, which produces international exhibitions and projects. It also hosts Helsinki Comics Festival, publishes books and produces »Sarjainfo« magazine, Finland’s only comic-related magazine. The society works with Finnish Literature Exchange to promote Finnish comics internationally. In 2008 Hakkola was one of the founders of the Helsinki Comics Center, which operates teaching programmes, exhibitions, international programmes and a café. It publishes a series of comic albums and specialises in Eastern European comics.
Hakkola is presently working with several programmes which he presents worldwide, of which the most important are Finnish Comics Annual and Nordicomics. »Kolor Klimax«, an anthology of contemporary Scandinavian comics produced in collaboration with American publisher Fantagraphics, will be published in September 2011. The next edition of »Finnish Comics Annual« will be published prior to the 2012 Angoulême Festival. The 2014 edition will be published in German in recognition of Finland’s status as guest of honour at that year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Hakkola also plans to produce comic scripts in the future and a collaboration with artist Mari Ahokoivu is due for publication in spring 2012.
In Berlin Hakkola will be presenting Finnish Comics Annual as well as Tommi Musturi’s book »Unterwegs mit Samuel« (tr. Travelling with Samuel) which was published in German by Reprodukt in 2010. Rendered in luminous colours, it’s a long, quiet story which works on multiple levels. The sharp, clean line leaves space for the reader’s imaginative and interpretive faculties and »Unterwegs mit Samuel« is a perfect example of a new type of modern graphic story for adults. It has been published in five languages and extracts have appeared in a number of anthologies. Musturi, also a founder of Helsinki Comics Center, is currently working on numerous projects with Hakkola.
This year marks 100 years of Finnish comics and 40 years of the Finnish Comics Society. The society is celebrating its anniversary with exhibitions, publications and special programmes with the overall aim of improving comics’ standing with regard to cultural policies.
Hakkola lives and works in Helsinki.
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