Lauri Ahtinen (b. 1983) is a comics artist, surface pattern designer, painter, and illustrator from Oulu who has published seven books: three comic strip collections, one children’s book, and three graphic novels. Ahtinen’s paintings and drawings have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his patterns have been used in clothing. Ahtinen’s style, characterized by an intuitive and free visual language, has developed at the interface of visual art, visual poetry, and art comics. Rather than addressing larger phenomena, Ahtinen seeks to examine the individual, exploring emotions and one’s way of being in the world. His first three comics publications were collections of strips that combined a naive style with off-color social critique and a darkly humorous trampling of taboos.
Ahtinen’s 2015 graphic novel Mold Diary and the attention it garnered initiated a new chapter in the artist’s career. The work was an autofictional diary novel about purchasing and renovating a mold-infested house, as well as father-son relationships and the rupture of masculinity. Mold Diary also opened the door to the fashion world, with Ahtinen designing surface patterns for the rising fashion brand Vimma. Next, Ahtinen worked on the children’s nonsense book East Borneo together with illustrator Anna Sofia Vuorinen. Ahtinen’s graphic novel Elias, published in 2018, tells the story of an Afghan refugee searching for himself in the magical north, where the people are silent and the bears talk. The work was based on interviews with Finns of refugee background as well as on Ahtinen’s more than ten years’ experience as a school teacher for newcomers to Finland.
Divorce Diary, published in 2019, is a continuation of the story told in Mold Diary. Two years later, the protagonist finds himself in the midst of a sudden marital crisis that results in a lightning-quick divorce. Suddenly, his world is broken, wide open, and full of opportunities, all at once. How should he spend the weeks when his kids are at their mom’s house? How much grieving is enough? How will the children react? What should he do when new love hits him like a truck, head-on, at a hundred miles per hour?
Divorce Diary (Eropäiväkirja), 2019
East Borneo (Itä-Borneo), 2016
Mold Diary (Homepäiväkirja), 2015
Karelia 90120 (Karjala 90120), 2012
Fifteen Minutes of Solitude (Viidentoista minuutin yksinäisyys), 2010
The 1-Bedroom Apartment of Melancholia (Melankolian kaksi huonetta ja keittiö), 2009
Nominations and Awards
Sarjakuva-Finlandia prize for comics finalist, 2015 and 2019
Foreign rights enquiries
Publisher: Päivi Paappanen:
Author: Lauri Ahtinen
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