Mari Ahokoivu is a Finnish illustrator and a comic artist. She draws comics for adults and for kids and has been publishing comics professionally from 2007, starting with a how-to make comics guidebook. Her first graphic novel, Find Me In This City, was published in 2009, leading her to work at a Finnish comics society as a Nordic comics project coordinator and start drawing comics for children.
Together with Kalle Hakkola, Mari Ahokoivu started Sanni & Joonas – a series that includes comic books, an ongoing strip in Koululainen magazine and more. Sanni & Joonas -Talviunta book has been published in multiple languages. This also led to Ahokoivu to create a three-book children's comic series, Lola Olifante, for Éditions Cambourakis in France. She also created the silly superhero satire Batuman that began as a blogpost but ran for several years,
Her most notable work of late, however, was a 376-page graphic novel, Oksi, published in 2018. Created with support from North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund of Finnish Cultural Foundation, the world English rights have now been bought by Nick Thomas at Levine Querido. Inspired by Finnish mythology, this YA graphic novel is an epic tale of mothers and daughters, of stars and legends. The English language publication is scheduled for the autumn of this year. Mari Ahokoivu;'s agent Tuomas Sorjamaa at Ferly negotiated the deal.
A story about mothers and daughters, stars and myths. One of the bear puppies is not like the others. What is it? Who sent it? Oksi is the main work of Mari Ahokoivu's career so far, an epic comic novel that mixes sci-fi, fantasy and Finnish mythology. The story reflects on the relationship between mother and child through an ancient bear birth myth. Oksi brings the mythical forest to life.
Here is a brief extract of the Finnish original version of Mari Ahokoivu's Oksi, with English translations running below.