The Mother, the Bee, the River’s Edge: A Story from The Kalevala


This comic strip is an adaptation of part of the first Lemminkäinen cycle in the Finnish epic, The Kalevala. The Kalevala is an adaptation of the oral folklore of Karelia and Finland written by Elias Lönnrot and is considered a major cornerstone of Finnish identity and culture. I started reading The Kalevala to get a better context for some of the metal music I listened to and found myself drawn to the women in these narratives. To me, they were as interesting (if not more so) than the male heroes. Lemminkäinen’s mother, in particular, is my favorite character, despite not being given a name herself. In this comic, I hoped to capture her own heroic journey and how her son’s happy ending did not necessarily lead to her own.