GUNMONKEY - A WEBCOMIC FROM FINLAND

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GunMonkey Do you know what is situated in the Fennoscandian regions of Northern Europe, and boarders Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Estonia? No. It isn't Paris Hilton. She's located in her own reality. And No. It isn't Finland either. Although technically speaking it is located on this particular plot of land. It's my creative mate, Tommi Veijalainen, who I spoke to just the other day about his monkey based internet publication. Here, check out what he had to say whilst fishing for compliments.


Lonely Planet Finland (Country Guide)


Gun Monkey 1) What are your own origins Tommi? And when did you know that you wanted to create?   Presently I am a teacher from Finland, and I have drawn all my life. Between 27 to 40 years of age (I am now 45 year old) I didn't do any “proper” drawing. I just started to draw again in meetings and other boring situations at work.

Over time I realized that there is a huge amount of money to be made on the internet, prompting me to tell my son that he should create a on-line web-comic. I have never considered myself as an artist, but my son defiantly is one. He wasn't interested, so I decided to try with my own comic instead.

OK, so it wasn't a commercial success. But I liked to draw and there were a handful of people who liked my comic. 

I tried to quit a couple of times, but I was addicted.

Michel Foucault
2) In your own words, how would you describe your webcomic, gunmonkey?   It is a dark and grim story with a hint of humor to it. Everybody seems to have their own interpretation really. People have said that Gunmonkey is representative of the minority, that comic reflect Michel Foucault's power theories etc. To me it is just a webcomic, which has a little bit of Finnish melancholia.

3) What inspired you to create this story?   That is a tough one I guess I just wanted to greate a superhero who is not that super. First version was a monkey who shooted everybody and everything, but Google ads won't allow violence, so I it developed it like this. I think this version is actually better -- violence and anguish are under the surface. 

Nowadays I get ideas in real life, television -- everywhere. I like British detective stories with no guaranteed happy ending, and try to achieve the same uncertain feeling in my work. 

You know, that you never know what is gonna happen. Also it is kind of safety valve to my stress.

Ewan McGregor
4) If you could cast a movie based on this tale, who would you cast and why?   I think Hollywood doesn't have actors ugly enough, so it will have to be myself and my friends. Ha! OK, just kidding. If we left the looks to one side, and concentrated solely on the acting skills alone, I think that Gunmonkey (as a monkey) could be Ewan McGregor; and in human form Harry Dean Stanton. Maybe Naomi Watts could be Kisuliina? They all have to be heavily masked, of course. So they can all reflect negative feelings and sorrow.

5) What piece of music or object would you say best represents your artistic style?   I would say that Radiohead's music has the right atmosphere to represent Gunmonkey. But I have heard otherwise also. One of my friends said that Red Hot Chili Peppers is great backround music when you read Gunmonkey. I think it is too happy music, but I try not to give people ready made thoughts about Gunmonkey. Everybody can read it as they like.




6) If your lead character was a singleton looking for a date, who would this date be, and why would he want to date this person?   I think he would need a mother-like woman, who says what to do and would take care of him. But if you have read the archive episodes, you have founded that Gunmonkey will settle for anyone who is willing to take him. And he has a wife. And can't tell the difference between women and men -- but you don't know if that happens for real.

OK, this is quite complicated. I think Gunmonkey just wants someone to look after him.

Enki Bilal
7) Who is your all time favorite artist, and what is the difference between your work and theirs?   I have to confess, I don't read comics books nowadays. But if I think back, I would say Enki Bilal. I was fascinated how he didn't use normal comic coloring style. The main difference between his work and mine is that he can draw. Plus the second difference is that I use a computer. 

Actually, I was surprised how fast I got better with the computer, and that is one reason why I like to draw.

8) During your time in this field of work, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I would say constant positive feedback from friends on Twitter and numerous forums. They inspire me. I can't mention them all - but they know who they are. 

Bless you Tommi. And thank you very much for telling us about your webcomic, gunmonkey.kissagalleria.com. So when you have the time dear reader, you know what you have to do -- click-click - and twitter-twitter. Amen.