Jouko Innanen was a Finnish political caricaturist and cartoonist. He was a mainstay in the Finnish press between 1981 and 2019 and house cartoonist of the newspapers Länsiväylä and Iltalethi. His political cartoons often addressed news from the viewpoint of the average person. Because of his longevity and productivity, he often called himself – in the vein of soul godfather James Brown – "the hardest working man in the cartooning business." During the 1980s Innanen also created a gag comic called 'Into' and, in 2010, another one titled 'Herra Kaaranen'. 

Early life and career
Jouko Innanen was born in 1952 in Ristina, but spent most of his childhood in Lappeenranta. As a child he already scribbled his school books full with doodles. In 1973 he moved to Helsinki, where he worked as a camera projector in movie theaters and assistant-archivist at the Finnish public broadcasting network Yleisradio Oy. Three years later he studied architecture at the Technical University of Helsinki, but dropped out because he was more interested in drawing cartoons. Among his graphic influences was Jim Borgman, whom he considered to be "the number one political cartoonist in the world".

Cartoons
In 1981 Inannen debuted in Länsiväylä and by 1984 his cartoons also appeared in Uusi Suomi and Iltalethi. He went freelance in 1987 and moved to Mikkeli. On 25 January 1989 the magazine Länsi-Savo started running his cartoons as well, followed by the magazine Turun Sanomat in 1991. His work furthermore appeared in Itä-Savo, Helsingin Uutiset and Vantaan Sanomat. An unusual feature about Inaanen's political cartoons was that he didn't caricature politicians that much. Similar to Belgian cartoonist Zak, most of his drawings about current events were depicted from the perspective of ordinary citizens. He often used himself for this role. Finnish politician and Minister of Finance (1991-1996) Iiro Viinanen was so impressed with Innanen's work that he once invited him to dinner. At this occasion Innanen challenged the politician to caricature him, "making a cartoon of a cartoonist". A photograph of this unique event hung in a frame on Innanen's wall.


'Into'.

Comic strips
In the early 1980s Innanen also drew a newspaper gag comic, 'Into', which ran in Länsiväylä. It starred the daily antics of a foolish young man and was a more timeless and straightforward humoristic series. Another comic strip by Innanen was 'Herra Kaaranen', a series of car-related jokes, published by Automediat in 2010.


'Herra Kaaranen'.

Other work
Apart from his work as a cartoonist, Innaanen has also illustrated books about Finnish dialect. Readers of Kari Valtonen's columns were also familiar with his work as Innanen often livened up the text with political caricatures. The cartoonist furthermore appeared as himself in an episode of the Finnish TV sitcom 'Strada', broadcast on 17 October 2008.

Final years and death
In 2007 Inaanen and his wife moved to Sulkava, where they bought a village school which they redecorated as their new home. In January 2015 he was one of many cartoonists worldwide to support for the victims of the terrorist attacks on Charlie-Hebdo in Paris. On 31 January 2016 Innanen decided to reduce his daily cartoon production to just the newspaper Iltalethi. By late 2018 his health went downhill. He passed away in his sleep in 2019 at age 66. Colleague Jyrki Vainio drew a special tribute cartoon for him and posted it on his Twitter account.

www.joke.fi

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