Breaker Cove Road is a small
street stump in the most idyllic area of a fictitious Finnish town. The
titular comic strip tells about two neighbouring families, The Mattilas
and the Wikbergs. Tuomas and Rauno Mattila are brothers, 28 and 24 years
old respectively, and women are not part of their lives. Their peaceful
celibate life is only disturbed by Rauno's drinking problem and the
peculiar - to say the least - dog they get for themselves: Zimmla.
"Aaltotie" started as a very simple comic strip titled "Tuomas and
Rauno" - it was drawn by pencil on A4 paper sheets. Content-wise, the
beginnings were also modest: two brothers lived in the same house and
tried to babble funny things. Pretty soon the character gallery was
expanded by the neighbours: the parents Topi and Anja Wikberg and their
sons Tuomas and Tahvo. Yes, having two characters named Tuomas proved
that I hadn't cared about careful character design!
Eventually I kicked Tuomas Wikberg out of the series, because he was a
rather boring fellow: decent and good at school. The series also
received a more original name: "Aaltotien keikarit" - "The Dandies of
Breaker Cove Road". That "dandies" bit didn't really mean anything, it
just made the title more memorable.
After drawing for a couple of years I let the Mattilas and Wikbergs have
a vacation for a few years until I awakened them back to life in the
90's. "The Dandies of Breaker Cove Road" - nowadays simply "Breaker Cove
Road" - has become deeper and more complicated. From my bottomless well
of ideas I've come up with loads of themes to deal with, and worked on
the relationships between the various characters. Finally the series is
ready to be introduced to the world.
Tuomas Mattila is a hedonist who loves rock'n'roll music, science
fiction and horror movies, amateur photography, hiking trips outdoors,
good classic literature, and enjoyable tea ceremonies. He might be
called too conscious of the good things about his lifestyle. Taking care
of other people and understanding their feelings is not so easy for
His kid brother Rauno has been cursed with a difficult, ill-tempered
personality. He suffers from unemployment, low self-esteem,
maliciousness and an empty life, plus a drinking problem which Tuomas
tries to cure the best he can.
Zimmla, a fat white dog the Mattilas get mainly to cheer Rauno up,
changes their life completely. He's a former circus lion tamer, who can
talk. Zimmla, however, keeps his ability to speak in absolute secrecy,
fearing possible reactions from humans. Despite his overweight, Zimmla
is jolly and energetic, a self-supportive fun-loving type. He loves
walking on a trapeze, music and naturally food. He's uniquely
intelligent and resourceful, but resembles more a human than a dog apart
from his outward appearance. He's unable to get into contact with other
dogs, who are scared of him. Zimmla suffers from a budding identity
crisis, because he doesn't remember anything about his life before his
It might be added that Zimmla is a parody of all talking cartoon animals, and talking cartoon dogs in particular.
Tahvo Wikberg's name changed into Tauno in the 1990's. He's an insecure
12-year old who looks at the world around him with amazed eyes. He feels
alienated from the rest of the world and especially from his parents,
whom he regards as boring. Tauno doesn't feel like he belongs in this
world, and he has the tendency to see all other people as robots. So far
he has managed to keep these feelings mostly for himself. Tauno's only
comfort in life are computer games, a hobby which isn't regarded very
well by his parents. His best friend is Mikael Vilén, a classmate who
looks with amazed eyes at his health-freak parents.
The other inhabitants at Breaker Cove Road appear as sporadic supporting
characters. One of them, though, will later get a rather prominent
role: the shy and lonesome poor thing Kaino Halonen, who earns his bread
as a poet and lives with his cat Arvi.
Now, in 2008, the series has finally evolved into a multi-faceted comic
strip that needs to be followed closely. I've carefully planned all
events in this series in advance...