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Luna Welcomes Finland: Tero Mielonen and Pentti Otsamo!

Updated: May 19, 2019

Luna Press is delighted to welcome writer Tero Mielonen and artist Pentti Otsamo, authors of the comic book "The Ozone Diary". We will be bringing you the English version of this scientific comic book which has already been highly praised in academic circles. They even created a Spotify music list to go with it!

"The Ozone Diary" is a successful attempt at popularising science, via a comic book medium, particularly about the life of postdoctoral researchers in the field of Meteorology.

We must thank the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Kone Foundation for helping to make this possible.

We are thrilled to bring you something a little different, although you know we love our sciences at Luna.

Let's introduce you properly to our new writer and artist.

Tero Mielonen (@tmielone) works as a senior scientist at the Atmospheric Research Centre of Eastern Finland of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Currently, he is using satellite observations and climate models to study the interplay of biogenic and anthropogenic fine particles in the atmosphere. He has been awarded an adjunct professorship in the field of spaceborne observations of the atmosphere. The Ozone Diary is Tero’s first script for a graphic novel, but his reviews on comic books created by other authors have been a feature at for many years.

Tero says:

"I'm a huge fan of graphic novels/comics and I have always wanted to write one but, as the world is full of great stories and storytellers, I didn't see the point in trying to compete with them. Then I moved to the Netherlands for a postdoctoral visit and realised that now I had found all the pieces for an original story. By telling a story of a scientist working in a foreign country, I could tell about my research topics, what is it like to work as a scientist, and what it is like to live in a foreign country. By combining all these pieces, I hoped to create something which has not been done a thousand times before. As I had no experience in writing scripts, I wanted to collaborate with a professional and contacted Pentti. I didn't know him beforehand but I liked his books and thought that his drawing style would be perfect for my story. Then we applied for funding from foundations and were lucky enough to get some. As a scientist I had written several applications for scientific research, but hadn't been successful with them. So, I was quite surprised when I got funded to do something that I didn't know how to do. All in all it's been a challenging but fun project and I hope the readers like the book."

Pentti Otsamo (@potsamo) has been working as a freelance illustrator and comics-maker for more than 25 years. His illustrations have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, books and textbooks. His comics include Kahvitauko (Like, 2012) and Pieni Olento (Otava, 1999), which have been published, in addition to Finland, in Sweden, France, Italy and Canada (The Fall of Homunculus, Drawn & Quarterly, 1998). Pentti is the recipient of the Puupäähattu Award for Finnish comic artists.

"I have always been interested in science and the popularisation of science, so when Tero suggested collaborating on his book idea, it was easy to say yes. I had read about climate change, in the news and in fiction, so I was familiar with the topic and it was interesting to see what kind of angle an atmospheric scientist would choose for a story in this field. The combination of everyday science and international collaboration was a refreshing way to approach a topic that has received a lot of coverage in the media. In his scripts, Tero gave me free reign for the illustrations, but we also wanted to depict the venues accurately. We had taken some photos from the venues for reference but, as the story is set in several cities in different countries, I also had to use photos from the Internet. In a graphic novel, the illustrations and text can be used to tell separate stories, so we used this to combine scientific content with descriptions of everyday life. It was challenging, but we hope that readers are happy with the end result. To add some sound to the book, we made a Spotify playlist based on the chapters of the book. You can find it here."


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