Helsinki Comics Festival brings Finnish artists to London for one-day event

HCF Does LDN Poster by Kimmo Lust. © Copyright Finnish Comics Society, Helsinki Comics Festival and Space Station Sixty-Five 2023. All Rights Reserved.

The 38th Helsinki Comics Festival is bringing Finnish artists to London in a one-day event organised in collaboration with Space Station Sixty-Five project space, The Feminist Library and Comica Festival on the Saturday 25th November 2023.

Prominent artists from both the Finnish and British comics fields are invited guests at HCF GOES LDN – including Kimmo Lust, who won the 2023 Comics-Finlandia award is this year’s festival artist.

Kimmo Lust

Helsinki Comics Festival was held for the 38th time at Korjaamo Culture Factory, Helsinki in September. Finland’s most international comics event gathers up to 25,000 visitors every year. The themes of the 2023 Helsinki Comics Festival were travelling and German-language comics, themes reflected in the programme and the presence of several invited guests.

And with one of the themes of this year’s festival being travelling, the festival itself decided to take a trip to London. The free event at Space Station Sixty-Five project space will take place on Saturday, 25th November.

The Finnish artists travelling to meet British audiences are Kimmo Lust, who was the selected festival artist and illustrator of the 38th Helsinki Comics Festival and the HCF GOES LDN event; Johanna “roju” Rojola, Janne Parviainen, and Eisner award-winner Max Sarin. They will be joined on stage by Emilia McKenzie, Gareth Brookes, John Allison, Sabba Khan and Rachael House.

Kimmo Lust will be joined in conversation with Emilia McKenzie to discuss memory, love, grief, and trauma. McKenzie, also herself half Finnish, has recently published a deeply touching book about the loss of a friend, But You Have Friends.

Johanna “roju” Rojola is a curator working in the field of comics. They are one of the founding members of the Kutikuti contemporary comics collective, the Femicomix Finland network and the feminist and anti-racist studio Poimu.

Roju will be discussing zines and feminist comics with Rachael House of Space Station Sixty-Five, also an artist and zine maker specialising in queer and feminist zines.

Janne Parviainen has, in his recent work, explored different ways of creating: light art, re-interpreting classic artworks, as well as traditional comics. The conversation between Parviainen and Gareth Brookes, a comics creator known for his bold approach to materials, is bound to be an interesting one.

John Allison and Max Sarin are the Eisner award-winning co-creators of Giant Days and The Great British Bump-Off, appearing for the first time together in London!

Sabba Khan is the award winning author of The Roles We Play, a graphic novel that examines diasporic identities and post-colonial legacy in the UK.

Paul Gravett from Comica Festival will also be interviewing and being interviewed, as well as presenting his most recent book on Moomins creator Tove Jansson – another Finn!

Several comics publishers and organisations will be presenting their activities and sharing what all creators want to know – how to best approach them with an idea for a book, exhibition or collaboration! Breakdown Press, Gosh! Comics, LDComics and The Feminist Library are some of the organisations taking the stage.

Of course, no comics event would be complete without the chance to shop! The Space Station Sixty-Five space will host over 20 comics creators who will sign books and sell books and merchandise.

HCF GOES LDN and Helsinki Comics Festival are organised by The Finnish Comics Society which is supported by The Ministry of Education and Culture (Finland).

The Finnish Comics Society is an association of makers, readers, collectors and researchers of comics. The society presents comics both to the wider public as well as to the cultural establishment. It aims to promote the awareness and critical reading of comics and to gain respect for the art form. In recent years the association has been active in launching several new cultural export projects as well as new websites and online services for comics lovers.

Space Station Sixty-Five (SS65) is a project space, gallery, curation and a contemporary art organisation. A not-for-profit platform for curation, research, creation and artistic contemplation leading to development of work, practice and potential participation, collaboration and exchange. Space Station Sixty-Five started in 2002 and in 2020 became an ongoing project of Space Art, a contemporary art charity set up for this purpose.

• HCF GOES LDN 11.00am to 7.00pm Saturday, 25th November 2023, Space Station Sixty-Five, Building One, 373 Kennington Road, London SE11 4PS | Admission Free | Facebook Event Page |

Free, all welcome, gallery building and bathrooms ground floor and accessible to all

• Space Station Sixty-Five: | Facebook | Instagram | X (Twitter)

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