Interview Matti Hagelberg 

Published in inguineMAH!gazine #11 – 2007

  1. Let’s introduce yourself…what about your storylife?

i was born 1964 near helsinki, studied in the university of art and design from 1985 to 1993. started my career as a professional comix artist 1992 with B.E.M. #1. B.E.M. #12 came out in 2004 and it’s called KEKKONEN. now i’m working on number 13 and 14

  1. May you tell us something about comic scene in your country? It seems to be alive and rich of stiles and culture…

  1. the first comic appeared in your country in 1925, I think it was Pekka Puup di Fogli: I suppose it was the first comic in the Nothern countries at all. Why there is this “old” tradition in Finland?

i dont have a clue. i dont think pekka puupää was the first comic in northern countries, at least it wasnt the first in finland.


  1. Anyway, you style is really original. It reminds something taken from naif or popular visual culture. Is it true or it’s something different?


i’m the worst person to analyze my style. in my second book i came up with this description: Fred Flintstone meets Dante. And even though i feel it doesnt quite describe my work correctly anymore it at least gives some idea of how i felt it was when i started it. i find art brut and popular culture quite inspiring. on the other hand im equally inspired by raymond carver, samuel beckett william blake...


  1. Which are your themes? Are you more interested in reality or fantasy stories? It looks like being a mix of these two…


i seem to be returning to themes like existance of God, death, ...but it varies. idiocy of existence. vanity of all.


  1. You do present a story done for Dante’s Hell. It was a meeting you was waiting for a long time or just a work done becouse this was the theme of Strapazin’s magazine?


dante is one of those inspiring things that i hold dear to me. i already did a version of inferno in my second book, in 8 panels. this was in 1994


  1. Have you ever been invited in Italy to present your work? What idea do you have in general of Italian comics scene?


i was in this biennale in torino , biennale di arte emergente. there was a little exhibition. i think i know something of italian comix, pratt ofcourse, altan was a big influence early on, he’s excellent, stefano ricci is brilliant, topolino romano scarpa, canicola...many more that i cant remember now


  1. Some years ago, Zograf showed me in Serbia the work of an innuit drawer: it was really amazing. Zograf had an exchange of mails with this artist and he said me that it’s quite common in this culture reading comics. Do you know nothing about?


no, not really.sounds interesting




Would you like to do animations from your drawings? What projects are you preparing just



i’m not that interested in animation. movement probaby doesnt interest me very much. if someone would approach me to do an animation i’d probably be interested, as long as i wouldnt have to do much. i would like to write a libretto for another opera, maybe third too. maybe something for theater... im working on my next book that’ll come out in 2008 or 2009, actually there might be a book before that one, but we’ll see. i’m currently more interested in writing than drawing and dont actually see my work as drawing at all but a form of writing.






Thank you



Elettra Stamboulis