Pahkasika – 10 Letters You Can Count on, a joint exhibition of the Postal Museum and Media Museum Rupriikki on the legendary humorous magazine, will be open from 19 February to 14 August 2016. The exhibits include comic strips, which were some of the magazine’s key contents, as well as artefacts from private collections. The exhibition will be held in the gallery of Museum Centre Vapriikki.
A total of 77 issues of Pahkasika were published in 1975–2000. The magazine’s humour ranged from clever to silly, ironic parody to sarcastic satire, long articles to comic strips and avant-garde collages to stand-alone jokes.
The story of the magazine started in 1975 when three senior students, Markku Paretskoi, Jukka Mikkola and Paul Öhrnberg, found a mimeograph duplicator in an attic. They needed to find a use for the hand-cranked machine so they decided to make a magazine. That duplicator is part of the exhibition. The first print run of the magazine was 100 copies.
In 1980, the magazine found a real publisher, the Tampere-based Fanzine Oy. The circulation exploded when the magazine started being sold at kiosks.
In 1983, the magazine started to be issued regularly four times a year. More material was needed, and the team of contributors increased, as did the circulation. At its peak, the circulation was over 30,000 copies. Regular issues enabled annual subscriptions. The peddling of old issues started a mail-order circus that expanded to t-shirts and other items, such as the famous propeller hats.
Pahkasika continued with the same format throughout the 1990s, but the charm of novelty was gone. The distribution flattened out and started to slowly decline. In autumn 2000, Pahkasika reached the end of the road in terms of regular issues. The editor, Paretskoi, does not admit to having said that the magazine ended because the world had become so crazy that it was no longer possible to make fun of it...
Although Pahkasika is no longer issued, it has surfaced occasionally – most recently last year, when a crowd-funded issue was published to celebrate Pahkasika’s 40th anniversary.
The major contributors of the magazine included Markku Paretskoi as well as Pauli Heikkilä, Ari and Vesa Koskela, Heikki-Pekka Miettinen and Juha Ruusuvuori. Also involved were Asko Alanen, comedians Simo Frangén and Pasi Heikura, Pertti Jarla, Timo Kokkila, Hannu Mänttäri, Hannu Pyykkönen and many other contributors, 237 in total.
The exhibition curator is Timo Kokkila, who will present the exhibition on 19 February at 3 pm. There will be a Pahkasika workshop on the same day at 3–5 pm. You can also do Pahkasika arts & crafts on 4 March at 3–5 pm.