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Author of Finnish Nightmares comic wins Lempi Prize

A 2016 Lempi Prize recognizing accomplishments in comic artistry has been awarded to Karoliina Korhonen, the illustrator behind the "Finnish Nightmares" series. The Arctic Comics Centre headquartered in Kemi has awarded artists since 1987 and past recipients have included Tove Jansson, Pertti Jarla, and Mauri Kunnas.

Finnish Nightmares-sarjakuvaruutu.
Image: Finnish Nightmares / Karoliina Korhonen

The author of the comic series "Finnish Nightmares", Karoliina Korhonen, was awarded the first-ever Lempi Prize for online comic artist achievement on Saturday at the Arctic Comic Centre’s 35th annual Comic Days in Kemi, Finland.

"Finnish Nightmares" is an insightful comic series that whimsically analyses introvert Finnish personality traits. Korhonen’s growing loyal following also proves that a comic born on the internet can gain fans in Finland and abroad. Towards the close of last year, her "Finnish Nightmares" series became a wildly shared meme on social media. On Facebook alone, the comic has received close to 165,000 likes.

"Finnish Nightmares" chronicles the adventures of its protagonist Matti, the Finnish everyman with his cloth Kalevala cap, who often finds himself in embarrassing social situations. Some of the dilemmas may be difficult for foreigners to understand, but most are immediately recognizable to virtually every Finn.

A series compilation was released as a book “Finnish Nightmares: A different kind of social guide” by publisher Atena this year.

The Lempi Prize has been awarded since the year 1987 to over 60 well-deserving artists in the comic book or strip genre. Previous Finnish recipients include illustrator Mauri Kunnas for his Doghill children’s books among others, Fingerpori comic strip author Pertti Jarla, and Tove Jansson of global Moomin fame.

Past international recipients of the award are Bill Watterson, the man behind Calvin and Hobbes, and the legendary underground comic artist Robert Crumb.

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