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tuomasrauno 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.

The characters

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 him.

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 circus days.

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 h
ealth-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...

Jan Wiberg



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