The first Finnish Tex was published in the summer of 1953. Till year 1965, on average 26 issues were published annually. The format was small: one issue contained 32 pages and one page contained only one line of pictures. However, Tex was an instant success in Finland. But, suddenly the publishing of Tex was interrupted in 1965. Many readers disappointedly found out that the latest story were left unfinished. The story was L’enigma del feticcio (the Italian title), and not until last year it was finally published entirely. So, 40 years many old Finnish Tex fans had to waite until they could read the end of this specific story.
Back in the 70s
After an interval of six years, Tex was back in Finland. This time with the new and more precise name on the cover: Tex Willer. The size of the comic book had also been changed bigger and there were now 128 pages in one issue. Tex Willer reached immediately a great success again.
But the fact was that Finland had left behind of Italy where the stories had been published uninterruptedly and at the quicker pace. As a result, these stories, which were published in Italy at that time, were scattered topsy-turvy in the issues of Finnish Tex Willer between the years 1971-1986. Sometimes this aroused a little confusion. For example, the story with the debyt of El Morisco was published in Finland as late as in 1985. And previously there had already been published some other Morisco stories. In other words, the original Italian order of publishing was more or less mixed here at that period. Still today, there are a few old stories which haven’t yet been published in Finland.
From 1971 to 1978 there were 12 issues published annually, 1979 13 issues and 1980 the amount of issues raised to 16. Soon the number of pages was settled to 114. We still have that pace of 16 issues per year. In Tex matters Finland has collaborated with the other Nordic countries and the ‘Nordic version’ of Tex was also sold to other countries like Holland, Germany and England. Nowadays the collaboration continues only with Norway.
The first Finnish Texone was published in 1998 and since then there have been on average two Texones in a year. Maxi Tex series was launched in 2003. A couple of our Maxis also include old Tex material from the 50s. Finland hasn’t got Almanacco del West series, but some of those stories have been published in the normal monthly series. A series of our own, called the Tex Willer Chronicles, contains reprints from the 70s.
Futhermore, two Finnish books about Tex Willer have been written in the 21st century by comic researchers and fans Ilpo Lagerstedt and Janne Viitala. On the whole, we can say that the Finnish Tex is doing very well in the 21th century, as it has done on the previous decades too.
There are a few interesting stories related to Tex in Finland. When the Finnish Tex readers first heard of Tex’s son, the translator had made a mistake and as a result in the story Tex was talking about his doughter! Well, this was a human error and the truth was revealed to the readers afterwards.
Another story is related to the translators, too. The most long-termed Finnish translator of Tex, the legendary Renne Nikupaavola, who had begun to translate Tex in 1971, was suddenly obliged to stop his work in 1974. The reason was that the language of the original material that was delivered to Finnish editors changed as Italian (before it was in English). However, Nikupaavola didn’t give up but persistently studied Italian and made a comeback in 1979. Since then, he has translated almost every Finnish Tex publication.
Text from Ville Mäkelä with colaboration of Janne Viitala. Translation to Portuguese from Fernanda Martins. Images sent from Janne Viitala.
(To see the above images on a larger scale click on them)