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SYKSY / AU T UMN 2018 ILM AIS TA S AR JAK U VA A FREE COMIC S
PÄÄKIRJOITUS / EDITORIAL When Tommi Musturi invited us to guest-edit an issue of Kuti we didn’t have to think twice. As avid readers of this wonderful free comics newspaper for over 10 years, we were very excited to have our own go on it! Since 2007 we have published the Latvian comics magazine kuš! and small press comics on our own, but editing a magazine for someone else is always a special endeavour. During the past 11 years the Latvian comics scene has grown into a lively community of artists who have discovered comics as a relevant medium of expression for them. For this issue we picked only twelve. Most of them we have collaborated with in the past, some have been regularly published in our anthologies for years, others are fairly new discoveries and one will be published for the first time. As it is almost a tradition with Kuti, they all got to draw whatever they want and have complete freedom. Now, as a result you hold in your hands a colorful bouquet of comics from your Southern neighbours. You will see, just like in Finland, the Latvians love nature and have all kind of bright and weird ideas. David Schilter & Sanita Muižniece kuš! editors komikss.lv
Kuti-lehden seuraava numero ilmestyy joulukuussa 2018. The next issue will be out in December 2018.
#49 SYKSY /AUTUMN 2018 | ISSN 1796-587X © Taiteilijat / Artists | www.kutikuti.com Toimitus ja julkaisija / Editorial & publisher Kutikuti Päätoimittaja / Editors-in-chief David Schilter & Sanita Muižniece Toimitussihteeri / Assistant Editor Petra Virtanen Taitto / Layout Benjamin Bergman Painos / Print-run 7 000 | Kirjapaino / Printer Printall AS Mainosmyynti / Ad sales firstname.lastname@example.org Tilaa Kuti / Subscribe to Kuti email@example.com Tässä numerossa / In this issue
Līva Kandevica, Ernests Kļaviņš, Rebeka Lukošus, Anete Melece, Oskars Pavlovskis, Ingrīda Pičukāne, Pauls Rietums, Vivianna Maria Stanislavska, Anna Vaivare, Lote Vilma Vītiņa, Zane Zlemeša, Mārtiņš Zutis (LV) Kansi / Cover Līva Kandevica (LV)
Tuoreimmat festivaaliuutiset löydät kotisivuiltamme: WWW.OULUCOMICS.COM/FEST/
Rebeka Lukošus: You’re Welcome / Ole hyvä
Lote Vilma Vītiņa: The Mouse / Hiiri Koira haukkuu / kun palaan / aina / ohittaen samat / katuvalot. / Tuuli puhaltaa / lämpimään korvaani / joen / äänen. A dog barks / as I return / always / passing the same / streetlights. / The wind blows / in my warm ear / the sound / of the river.
Rannalla / sytytimme käsisoihdun / kohti tyhjää / ikkunaa. / Märkä ilma / vihreät varret / juurien haju. On the shore / we released a flare / into an empty / window. / The wet air / the green stems / the smell of roots.
Ohuet oksat liikkuvat / pimeässä / kaikki kasvaa. / Kävelen kapeaa polkua / puutarhassa. / Täältä voin nähdä / entisen huoneeni – Thin twigs move / in the dark / everything grows. / I walk the narrow path / in the garden. / From here I can see / my old room –
Keltainen kuutio / täynnä / aurinkoa ja pölyä / siellä – haalea varjo / hiirestä / joka ravaa / loputtomasti. A yellow cube / filled with / sun and dust / there – a pale ghost / of a mouse / that runs about / endlessly.
Anna Vaivare: Spring Floods / KevĂ¤ttulvat
Mārtiņš Zutis: The Cynic / Kyynikko
Wonderful Stream by Lote Vilma Vītiņa I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. In notebooks from my childhood, the format resembles a zine: there were drawings of my family members and relatives, illustrations of stories I had written, and weird advice. The notebooks served as diaries, as a list of past birthday guests, and as a place to, for example, draw every single possible musical instrument. Later, when I grew up, I wanted to write novels. Usually, these ended before they had even started, but I always drew the main characters, and sometimes maps. Much later, when studying painting at secondary school and college, drawing in notebooks seemed like a calming respite—an intimate place where I could draw in the evenings before going to bed. At that time, it felt like the complete opposite of standing in front of an easel in a classroom. I came across a quote on a website that gives a good description of what drawing is to me: “Making a drawing is first about communicating with yourself.” Almost every drawing reminds me of how I felt or where I was when I made it. When I was a teenager, instead of writing a diary, I drew it, in order to be more mysterious and so that no one could read it. The drawings embodied all that was important and significant. For me, it was a secret sign language. I still believe that drawings capture my life better than, for example, photographs. In my first year at the Art Academy of Latvia, I got to know kuš! comics. I drew a comic about brussels sprouts for a competition. That was probably my first-ever comic. Later, kuš! invited me to join a poetry comics anthology where I drew comics for a particular poem. This poem was about love and rather sad. Back then, I tried very hard and discovered how the meanings of the text and image overlap, and how multi-layered and meaningful can a comic be. I remember painting with watercolours by an open window at night and how uplifting it felt. Without kuš!, I may never have believed that I could draw comics. The approach that kuš! takes in creating a comic anthology is very broad. It shows that a comic can be deeply moving, personal, atmospheric and sensitive. It can be illustrative, realistic, logical, absurd— in fact, it can be anything. All this richness is revealed in kuš! anthologies. Totally different styles, approaches and characteristics are positioned next to each other, and yet they fit together well, creating an inspiring and motley company. In 10 years of publishing, kuš! has prepared a fertile ground for young artists to take root and grow. It is crucial that this environment be available at the right time and place; in my case, it helped me believe that my drawings are valuable. Talking about illustrators, they make great company. One of my reasons for working in the field of illustration is that illustrators are very funny. This healthy atmosphere, where artists can look at themselves and others with humour, creates a sense of relief for me and pushes me further in the world of drawing. There is a great and often-used quote by Paul Klee: “Drawing is taking a line for a walk”. I would gladly take you for a walk through this artist selection compiled by kuš!. Let’s imagine it as a stroll through Riga, where on each corner, we meet an illustrator or a comic artist. Riga is so small that this could be entirely possible. I’ll take you through the techniques and particulars of the artists, but in order to make everything a bit strange, I’ll try to find the best comparison for each artist. Let’s start with Anna Vaivare’s comics, which we can meet in a park, on an open-air stage decorated with many colourful flags. Actually, Anna’s comics are paintings—with different patterns, layered, vibrating, slightly clumsy, but, overall, warm. In a sense, they remind you of a shaggy dog with beautiful eyes and a short tail. In one of the city’s tree-lined avenues, we hear the chirping of birds, which
are Vivianna Marija Staņislavska’s comics (I think she would really love this comparison). Vivianna’s pieces are skillfully made; she has mastered line drawing and working with watercolours. They are very, very happy illustrations. Next, Rebeka Lukošus stands out with her mystical ability to use oil pastels so that they actually look good. That is inconceivable. I have seen how naturally and confidently she does it. Rebeka’s drawings are made with saturated colours, and the texture of the oil pastels is delightful—like a very colourful blanket belonging to a grandmother in the countryside, to be placed over top of anyone who’s feeling cold. But since we’re in the city, I’d be better off comparing Rebeka’s drawings with an odd bush that is sprouting tiny, green leaves. Zane Zlemeša fits well in the city and her comics are a tall grey office building with graffiti on the front, a cat in a window, and a weird design store on the ground floor. Zane’s paintings are delicately made — careful and moving, like a child’s drawing. They are always wrapped in a haze of laughter, exuding love and naivety. Ingrīda Pičukāne’s drawings remind me of seeing my cousin’s precise marker drawings in childhood. They demanded great patience, which seemed unimaginable to me at the time. I would like to compare Ingrīda’s works to a crocheted bikini, which you could definitely find in one of the city’s second-hand stores. Do you see the old man in a wool coat, sitting on a wooden bench? A bee is buzzing around him. That’s a drawing by Mārtiņš Zutis. His drawings are conceptual and witty blue-grey, foggy, smoky, like an old man’s beard. But they can suddenly become solid and round, like a bee’s bottom. Next, we arrive at a zoo, which isn’t particularly cosy. Ernests Kļaviņš’ comics glide through a pool of melancholic absurdity. I believe that they are a dolphin, but since Riga doesn’t have any dolphins, I will say they’re a seal. It’s possible that this seal is able to paint on a small easel. Ernests’ drawings feature thick lines and areas of flat colour. He draws real panel-based comics, not just an illustrated text. I’d call them tragicomic. When we turn our gaze to the sky, we can make out Pauls Rietums’ work. It’s like a happy, constantly-changing rainbow, delighting everyone upon its arrival. He’s great at drawing fat cats. He does wonderful nature studies, as well as very stylized comics composed of fields of colours. Characteristically, his comics have very clear ideas. We find the marker princess Anete Melece in a supermarket, between some rubber slippers and a couscous stand. We see a woman with slightly crooked teeth shining in a smiling pink mouth. They cause inexplicable excitement and it’s impossible to turn away, even though you need to get to the vegetable aisle. Her comics are funny, warm-hearted, moving and very colourful. Finally, on our way to the vegetables, we notice a squashed lemon on the tile floor. Emotional, yellow juice gushed out of it; it may have rolled out of a comic by Līva Kandevica. It’s so touching that it’s hard to pass it by. We put it in our coat pocket when no one is looking. This really was a long walk! We sigh and go out for a smoke to collect our impressions. Just at that moment, a wrinkled squid from another planet descends from the sky, wearing a pink t-shirt. It leaves a slime trail behind and slips into a dark gutter. It’s a drawing by Oskars Pavlovskis. His comics are stylish, drawn with a pencil and rather surreal, featuring characters with bulging, slanting bean-eyes, and an alien quality. To describe your own style is, of course, an unbearable task, and I think that I have revealed enough for everyone to see that I am but a small thread in this tapestry. I would gladly end this chaotic excursion with a nice thought. Unfortunately, none come to mind right now. Instead, I simply suggest that you dive into this wonderful stream of art that we call a comics magazine!
Pauls Rietums: Turia
LÄ«va Kandevica: Oblivion / Unohdus
Oskars Pavlovskis: Companion / Seuralainen
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