Exhibition: “VICAR, a life with a pencil”**
3.–31.10.2019, Annantalo, 2nd floor. Annankatu 30, Helsinki
Dear friends of Donald Duck in general and fans of the excellent Donald Duck strips by the masterful Vicar in particular!
In Finland Donald Duck is neither your garden variety cartoon character nor a magazine. The first Donald Duck magazine was published in 1951 and became an instant hit as well as the favourite magazine of all Finns – kids and adults alike. In the 50s it was brimming with cartoons by Duck Master Carl Barks whose ingenious tales etched the denizens of Duckburg straight into the hearts of their Finnish readers.
Each decade has had its own artists, thanks to whom Donald Duck has maintained its position as Finland’s biggest weekly. Few cartoonists besides Barks have had as powerful an impact on Donald Duckas Vicar. His first cartoons appeared in Finland in the early 1970s and with his masterful drawings he reached, in just a few years, the position of ”the other great duck cartoonist”.
As you may know, the names of the Disney cartoonists were not published together with their cartoons before mid 1990’ – and that took place for the first time in Finland where the Duck enthusiasts are more fanatic than anywhere else. My predecessor, Markku Kivekäs, did a great job in order to give the cartoonists the appreciation they doubtlessly deserve. The Finns of course already recognized the incomparable style of Vicar which Barks himself considered superior to his own.
Vicar’s cartoons have kept Donald Duck on top through five decades. Every week 680 000 Finns get to make a fantasy journey to Duckburg, still regularly on the wings of Vicar’s cartoons. According to a study conducted by Donald Duck magazine, about 40 % of Finns have learned to read with the help of Donald Duck, so Vicar’s importance to us Finns is even greater than you might venture to guess!
I had the pleasure and honour to meet Vicar on both his visits to Finland. My most vivid memory is of the warmth he irradiated when meeting with his fans, both young and old. it’s moments like that which make living – and reading cartoons – worth while!
Editor-in-chief / Duckburg
Sanoma Media Finland Oy
*Words of Aki Hyypä editor-in-chief of Sanoma Media Oy, read in Spanish by Joel Oviedo (11 years), pupil of the Käpylä primary school, at the opening of Kolibrí Festivaali and inauguration of the VICAR exhibition, 3.10.2019, in Helsinki, Finland.
**This exhibition is a co-production by Ninho Kulttuurikeskus Ry and the Chilean Embassy in Finland. It has been possible thanks to our partners: Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Kulttuuri Helsinki.