This fall, stamps represent national themes


Pictorial motifs include Juhani Aho, Finnish comics and the lion of Finland

Stamps published this fall depict national themes, as the new stamps released on September 5 celebrate the 150th anniversary of Juhani Aho and 100 years of Finnish comics. The patriotic series is supplemented with two new Lion stamps. 

Juhani Aho's role as an author and journalist

Juhani Aho (1861-1921), a Finnish icon, was one of the first professional authors in Finland. The 150th anniversary of his birth will be celebrated on September 11. In honor of the anniversary, a miniature sheet of two stamps designed by Timo Berry and Teemu Ollikainen will be published on September 5, depicting Juhani Aho's  career: his work as an author and journalist, and the strong sense of patriotism that characterized it.
One of the stamps depicts Juhani Aho's extensive novel collection, which strongly represented Finnish nature, attitudes and social changes. His most beloved works include Rautatie, Papin rouva and Juha. Aho modernized Finnish prose, while filtering international influences into his works. The stack of papers depicted in the stamp is a reference to the concise type of short stories developed by the author - woodchips.
The second stamp is associated with Juhani Aho's career as a journalist for Finnish newspapers. Aho was one of the founders of the Päivälehti newspaper (published between 1890 and 1904) where he discussed many of the day's burning issues, including the position of women and workers. The picture below the stamp illustrates the young editors of Päivälehti.
The previous Juhani Aho stamp was published in September 1961, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

Six comic book characters from six decades

The first ever Finnish comic book, Ilmari Vainio's Professori Itikaisen tutkimusretki, was published one hundred years ago in November 1911. This is celebrated by publishing a stamp sheet designed by Ville Tietäväinen, entitled The 100th Anniversary of Finnish Comics, depicting the family tree of Finnish comics.
The pictorial motifs include popular characters from the first six decades of Finnish comics from the 1910s to the 1960s. The selected images represent the most distinctive features of each character.
The 1910s are represented by Ola Fogelberg's Janne Ankkanen which was published in Suomen Kuvalehti and later in Kansan Kuvalehti. Hjalmar Löfving's Olli Pirteä, which was published in Sirkka, represents the 1920s.

The 1930s return with Herra Kerhonen, whose author, Gösta Thilén, is regarded as one of the masters of wordless comics. The 1940s are represented by Antti Puuhaara, which was published in Yhteishyvä as drawn by Aarne Nopsanen and written by Raul Roine.
For the 1950s, the stamp sheet features Kili ja Possu, written by Olavi Vikainen, who specialized in animal characters in children's comics that were published in a number of Finnish and Swedish papers. The stamp for the 1960s depicts Unto Uneksija, which was published in Pellervo. Veikko Savolainen, its creator, is better known as Joonas thanks to one of his later works. 

Two new stamps added to the Lion series

The series of Lion stamps depicted in euro will be supplemented by two new stamps in September - a green two-euro stamp and a violet four-euro stamp. The stamps have been designed by graphic artist and illustrator Mika Launis who has also designed the three previously published Lion stamps.
The first Lion stamps of the series - the blue one-euro stamp of and the red five-euro stamp - were published in 2002 when Finland joined the euro area. In 2004, an orange three-euro stamp was added to the series. As the previous stamps are still available for sale, you can now choose from five different Lion stamps.

* * *

Further information:

Technical data of Finnish stamps released on September 5, 2011 (pdf) 
Technische Daten der am 05.09.2011 erscheinenden Briefmarken (pdf)

Itella Posti Oy
Rita Sadinkangas, Business Director, tel. +358 20 451 4671,
Markku Penttinen, Development Director, tel. +358 20 451 5519,
Tommi Kantola, Product Manager, tel. +358 20 451 5531,
email addresses:

Itella Communications
Sara Lindström, Communications Manager, tel. +358 50 566 6851,


Image material for the media is available in Itella's Media section > Image service and logos > Stamps.

A stamp sheet designed by Ville Tietäväinen, entitled The 100th Anniversary
of Finnish Comics, depicting the family tree of Finnish comics.