The other day we posted a heartbreaking strip called “What a Wonderful World” by Zep featuring Titeuf, the Bart Simpson of France, in a storyline that echoes the refugee crisis now affecting Europe. Thousands of families are fleeing war torn areas—predominantly Syria—and trying to find asylum in various European countries, leading to a humanitarian and political crisis.
Finnish cartoonist JP Ahonen best known here for his graphic novel Sing No Evil, wrote to say that he’s helped organize a pop-up comic art store with Finnish comic book artists and illustrators. All income will be donated to the Red Cross to aid the asylum seekers. The shop was written up here, and many of the pieces have already sold out.
The Taideteossa.com page opened on Monday morning and by midday more than half of the drawings on display had been sold. Ahonen, who produces a popular comic called Villimpi Pohjola (known in English as “Northern Overexposure”), says he is pleased with the brisk start to his charity campaign.
“There are about 60 different works on sale on the site right now, with more to come once I get more material from the artists,” he says. “There are about 20 people involved now, with more signing up.”
Other domestic cartoonists involved in Taide Teossa (“Art in Action”) include Ville Tietäväinen, Tiitu Takalo, Anni Nykänen, Ville Ranta and Milla Paloniemi.
You can see the site here – and it’s also a fine gallery of art by various Finnish cartoonists including Marko Turunen (above) and the great Amanda Vähämäki (below.) Worth a look.
It may be a small thing, but at least people are trying to do some good with their art.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.