Finnish Nightmares An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments Hardcover | Kindle
By Karoliina Korhonen
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release date: August 20, 2019
Finnish comic strip character Matti gets an American debut with Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments, a new hardcover collection published by Ten Speed Press.
Matti is described as a “mild-mannered and typical Finn,” and being an American with little knowledge of what the average Finn is like, I’ll just have to take creator Karoliina Korhonen‘s word for it. But going through these cartoon strips that depict Matti’s every day life, it seems like his experiences are not exclusive to native Finns. His fears of awkward social gatherings, hectic commutes, and running out of coffee have global resonance.
If you grew up in New Zealand and Australia during the 1980s, you would be familiar with a comic strip that was very popular for both Kiwis and Aussies, but never took off internationally: Murray Ball‘s Footrot Flats.
For those who don’t know, Footrot Flats was a comic strip that was written and drawn by Murray Ball that was published from 1975 to 1994. The strip followed the life of Wal Footrot and his dog (named “Dog”) on their farm. There was an abundance of other human and animal characters that were also central to the strip, and it followed the idiosyncrasies of these individuals, poking fun at our human faults.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the release of the Footrot Flats movie, a film release that was testament to how popular Footrot Flats was in New Zealand. The collected publications of the strips were selling in the millions at the time, and Footrot Flats eventually also became the basis for a stage musical and a theme park as well. The elements Murray Ball covered in the adventures of Dog totally resonated with youngsters (and adults) across Australasia, but more importantly became a staple aspect of New Zealand culture.
Be sure to continue on for much more and to see videos relating to Footrot Flats — one a music video and one from the animated movie.