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Mauri Kunnas

Very famous Finnish children books author/illustrator (especially his Joulupukki/Santa Claus is translated in many languages) made several comics early 1970´s, before he started his children books career. Among them was humorous rock´n´roll comic Nyrok-City (1975-1984) that is enjoying cult status even today. Nyrok-City episodes were collected as book in 2000. He made also newspaper strip called Kotlant Jaarti and lots of editorial cartoons.

Kunnas learned that Disney comics were produced in Denmark while he was studying in Ateneum, school of fine arts. Editor of Finnish Aku Ankka (Donald Duck) -magazine Markku Kivekäs was lecturing about Disney comics, and it was then Kunnas learned that Carl Barks was "the Good Duck Artist". He had studied Barks´ way of drawing even before he knew who he was. With the help of Aku Ankka´s editors he decided to try to offer some Duck stories for Egmont (then Gutenberghus).
Panel from Kunnas scripted story
At first he made three page sample story that was sent to Denmark. Danish editors send feedback with note that they need just plain scripts first. Kunnas did that and some more finished pages, but the thing didn´t go any further. Editors bought two scripts, but no artwork. Kunnas sent also some pages directly to Disney in California; they sent him an encouraging letter, where they said to have adviced Danishes to contact Kunnas. But they never contacted him. That was the end of Kunnas' Duck career. His only script, that was made into finished comic, was published in Finnish Aku Ankka 30/1974 titled as Puujalkainen avaruusolento (D2343). Art by Vicar.

 Other publictions for the story:

Germany (Raumfahrer auf Stelzen)
Micky Maus 39/1973

Denmark (Rummand i rosenbedet)
Anders And 30/1973

Italy (Paperino e i trampoli fantascientifici)
Topolino 1014 (lay-out changed into 3-tier)

Donald Duck 28/1975, DD en andere verhalen 7 (1990), DD en andere verhalen, uitgave V&D 08 (1980)

Sweden (En rymdman på styltor)
Kalle Anka 29/1973 

Sources of information:

Mauri Kunnas interview: Kupla 1/1983 (Finnish comic anthology fanzine)
DCML-Inducks for info on publications.

Timo Ronkainen

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