talented Finnish artist Jukka Murtosaari (1963 - 2016) have done several
different types of comics, from funny animal and humorous strips to
adventure comics. He have done also lots of book covers and novel and
short story illustrations. His Disney works are only small part of his
Jukka was a comics fan since early childhood. Among so many other
Finns he learned to read with Aku Ankka comic book before school.
Through reading nearly all comics available in late sixties he become
interested of creating his own comics. Jukka is mainly self-educated as
artist. He have schooling for advertising designer, but no other formal
training to this field.
After several years in cartooning and illustrating in 1980´s he
left to USA to work for Finnish feature length animation Sindbad
produced by Franck Films in 1989. At the same time he tried to find
some comic book, preferably cover art, -work to do. He roamed around
San Diego Con with his portfolio, and everybody was looking artists for
superhero comics or painted postmodern sienkiewicz-type covers. His
samples of classical type adventure comics gained no interest among
publishers like Marvel. At last in 1990 he found his way to Disney and
they liked his works, even though he had no Disney-type works in his
portfolio. After first meeting Jukka made quickly few samples with
Disney characters, in second palaver Disney bought them and contract
was signed after third meeting.
In all Jukka made 56 covers for Disney, of which 9 was left unpublished
due to the closing of some comic book titles in the end of Disney's
venture of publishing Disney-comic books. After that Gladstone took
Disney books, but that's another story.
One oddity comprised in making covers for Disney. As Jukka was capable
of doing all aspects in that field, from pencilling to finished artwork
with color scheme and even scripting the ideas, he wasn't allowed to do
all for one piece of art. There was a rule in Disney, that at least one
of the four aspects - Idea rough, pencilling, inking or colors - should
come inside the House. This was made to prevent freelancing artists
requesting original artwork back, by claiming that it was solely their
Usually artist wasn´t allowed to sign his/hers work but sometimes
it was OK, if initials were well hidden. In some of his covers Jukka
put his initials, but not in all. Editors in Disney competed who would
first find them, and they sometimes found them even there existed none!
After his stint in California and Disney, Jukka came back to Finland to
draw Moomin comics with other comics jobs. In 2000 he made with Kari
Korhonen very Disney-like childrens book illustrations for a book by
Jaana Lappo. Soon after that he moved to Portugal to live with his
portuguese wife. Jukka died suddenly and unexpectedly in late August 2016. He was 53 years old.
An example of
Jukka´s cover art. On left editor Bob Foster´s rough and on
right finished art for Donald Duck 22 (Disney).
|Disney Covers by Jukka
|- Walt Disney´s Comics and Stories
563(i), 569, 570(i)
- Donald Duck
12, 14, 16, 22
- Uncle Scrooge
251, 254, 255, 256(i), 257(i), 260(i), 261(i), 264
10, 11, 15(i), 16(i), 18(i), [19(i)], [20(i)], [21(i)]
- Goofy Adventures
11, 12, 13
- Mickey Mouse
- Junior Woodchucks
1, 2, 3, 4
| - Roger Rabbit
13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 
- RR´s Toon Town
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, , 
Chip´n´Dale Rescue Rangers
- Summer Fun
- Colossal Comics
- Cartoon Tales:
Beauty and the Beast (i), 101 Dalmatians (i), Little Mermaid(i),
i = only inking,
penciller was Jim Mitchell in all. Except in Cartoon Tales also Ed
Murietta and Philo Barnhardt.
Numbers between[ ] are unpublished.
Jukka Murtosaari Interview, Ankkalinnan Pamaus 2/2000 by Timo Ronkainen
Jukka Murtosaari in his letter to writer (about his covers)