Even in his youth the graphic artist, cartoonist and illustrator Poika Vesanto established a reputation as a skilled draughtsman. He also mastered the art of lithography.
Vesanto moved to Helsinki in 1924 and was among the first draughtsmen to be employed by the advertisng agency Uuden Suomen Reklaamitoimisto. His co-workers included,for instance, Alf Danning, Toivo Fahlenius, Aukusti Tuhka and later Juha Anttinen as well.
Poika Vesanto also worked as an advertising graphic artist for the publishing house of Otava and he was a much appreciated illustrator commissioned by e.g. the Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti and newspaper Uusi Suomi. He also designed numerous book jackets.
Today Poika Vesanto is chiefly known as a pioneer in Finnish comic-strip art. When the daily newspaper Aamulehti in Vesanto’s home town of Tampere published his comic-strip ‘Eetu ja Riku’ in 1931-1932, many readers believed that the artist was American. This was not an unreasonable assumption, as Vesanto’s work is strongly influenced by the American comic-strip tradition prevalent at the time.
The American influence is also apparent in the many postcards designed by Vesanto. His soldier theme postcards, drawn during his years as a war artist, are considered particularly valuable rarities by collectors today.
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