zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Friday, September 21, 2018

Läskimooses - year #5 (2016)

Läskimooses - year #5 (2016 - numbers 30-34)
by Matti Hagelberg 

23cm x 17cm, black and white, colour covers.
5 issues, variable page count (24-38 pages), with A4 English translation sheets.

A few months ago Matti Hagelberg sent me a huge parcel containing 42 issues of his epic experimental comic Läskimooses, and as with everything else sent to me for review, I'm reading every word.  My reviews are taking the series year by year, until we catch up with the latest issue #42 - the full set of reviews will be found here, and like the the series itself it's probably best to read them in order. If you've read my previous Läskimooses reviews feel free to skip to the text below the next photo, otherwise here is a quick primer. 

Läskimooses straddles experimental comics, diy culture, punk aesthetics, and graphic art. It's already the longest single comic book story ever produced in Finland, with about two years left to run. Läskimooses is written entirely in Finnish but thankfully, for the non-Finnish speakers, each issue comes complete with an A4 sheet containing English translations.

Läskimooses contains elements of pulp sci-fi & pop culture, and the history of the universe. But in essence Läskimooses is a parody of conspiracy theory, you know the kind that underpins TV shows like Ancient Aliens - theories that begin at the fringes of reality and quickly veer off into unhinged absurdity. 

Again, it's hard to describe the content without spoilers, so I'll keep it brief. The first of this set of issues contains a disconcerting moment, and with a tangible backdrop of underlying tension, the diverging narrative is continued. 

The art incorporates elements and styles from a diverse range of sources from The Flintstones to pulp gangster thrillers, via Planet of the Apes and children's illustrated history books. Every issue of Läskimooses also contains a photo-montage on the first page, as well as a detailed, and obsessively drawn image on the back page. It's an additional puzzle to try and fit each of them with the ongoing narrative, more often than not there is no direct correlation - but that obscure/d connection is part of the fun of Läskimooses

The back page illustrations for year five range from a couple in fancy dress as Jessica & Roger Rabbit, Hitler sleeping in a deckchair, the pyramids of Egypt, and cos-players dressed as He-Man and Skeletor. Maybe that search for connection is part of the satire on conspiracy theory - the willingness to find connection and causality where there is none.

I can confidentiality state that if you're this far into Läskimooses you'll be hooked. So, get yourself a subscription, ration your reading, and you'll be caught up as the final issue goes to print.

There is now an updated shop for international orders, where you can buy back issues by year. The sold-out issues have just been reprinted, so it's a rare occasion that all issues are available - so get in quickly! 

Or ask your local independent comics dealer to get Läskimooses  in stock.

You can also check out some samples online here

Review by 
Nathan Penlington

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