Nooa + Ofelia – Comics About Madness

Drawings by Helmi Kajaste

Drawings were originally made for a comic book Noah’s Ark which was completed in the fall of 2012. Flower drawings are sketches for the comic book’s other pair, called Ofelia. Together the two comics will tell two stories about madness.

As a guest in the tv program Inside the Actors Studio Jodie Foster said that in her opinion men tend to put the blame outside of themselves in difficult situations while women tend to blame inwards, blame themselves. That’s why she said serial killers are often male and the parents that murder their children often female. Men take revenge on the world and women on themselves. This idea of a difference in energy between women and men stuck to me. This difference shows itself not only as a direction of aggression, but as a way of inner monologue, and that is what I wanted to capture in the drawings. Something about loneliness and the discussion that the character has with him/herself. In this case often without words.

Noah from the Bible was a man with a mission and I see him through my imagination as a bitter and lonely man with grandiose delusions. Ofelia from Hamlet is a work in progress, but I see her as a tired woman aiming to please everyone and punishing herself for being so weak. I do not wish to reinforce stereotypes, on the contrary. I don’t like either of the characters, but I wish relief for them both.

These drawings are made by hand with some additional effects by computer. The difference can be seen comparing the original drawings with the finished comic. Ink is used here with love.

-Helmi Kajaste-


Helmi Kajaste studies architecture in Aalto University and is finishing her master thesis about living architecture in films. She has been drawing comics since 1999 and has done short films on video and 8 mm film since 2005. During her studies she has been an active member of Technical University film club Montaasi. In 2011 she was one of the founders of artist collective Mahti.