B.E.M., by Matti Hagelberg

Matti Hagelberg was born in Kirkkonummi, Finland in 1964. After completing his studies in art history, he attended the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, and is currently a teacher there. He is the creator of the comic book 'B.E.M.', which first appeared in 1992, and has been printed by several publishers, both Finnish and French. It featured among others 'Atom Tom the Abolisher'. Matti Hagelberg has won many awards in Middle Europe with writer Riikka Ala-harja.

Comic art by Matti Hagelberg

During the 1990s, several issues of B.E.M. were issued by French publishers Chacal Puant and Le Dernier Cri. In 1996, he made 'The Sinful Days of Simpli City' and 'The Birth of Lauri Kenttä, the Champion of God' (Chacal Puant), followed by 'Zombie Justice' at Le Dernier Cri (1999). He made 'Venuksen Sulttaani' at Suuri Kurpitsa (1996) and for the publisher Jalava, he made works like 'Tikapuuhermosto' (1998) and 'Holmenkollen' (2000).

His powerful drawings engraved in black scratchboard tell stories full of unexpected juxtapositions and imaginative situations. Hagelberg's absurd sense of humour is clearly present in his 2004 graphic novel 'Kekkonen', in which he turns former president Urho Kekkonen into a storybook figure alongside Elvis, Jesus and space aliens. In 2010, he released the graphic novel 'Silvia Regina', a humorous, biting depiction of Finland as a land characterized by greed, segregation and neoliberalism. Matti Hagelberg is the most widely translated Finnish comic artist.

Striking Punchlines by Matti Hagelberg

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