The first issue of Aku Ankka, December 1951
|First issue||1 December 1951|
History and profile
The first issue of Aku Ankka was published on 5 December 1951 and sold 34,017 copies. The first issue, with a special Christmas theme and the Snow White story published later in the 1950s, are very prized collectors' items and can fetch a price of several thousand euros on the collector market. Until 1956, the magazine was published monthly, between 1956 and 1960 biweekly, and since 1961, once a week every Wednesday. In August 2010 2893 issues was published.
Despite being a part of a multinational franchise with most stories produced abroad, Aku Ankka has become a cultural icon in Finland. This is largely due to the magazine's colourful and innovative use of the Finnish language. Many characters' names are Finnish language spoofs of established celebrities' names. In 2001, in recognition for their work for the Finnish language, the editorial team were given the Kielihelmi-award by the Finnish language department of University of Helsinki's Faculty of Arts.
The Aku Ankka comic is now more popular in Finland than in the country of its origin, the United States (where Disney is better known for its cartoons and films than comics). The United States Donald Duck cartoonist Don Rosa is exceptionally popular in Finland, and has acknowledged this by creating The Quest for Kalevala, a Donald Duck story specifically set in Finland.
There is a popular urban legend that Donald Duck was once banned in Finland for not having any pants. This myth was sparked by an incident in 1977, when Helsinki councilman Markku Holopainen proposed discontinuing the use of city funds to subscribe Aku Ankka comics for youth centers, due to city's financial difficulties. The following year, Holopainen was running for a Parliament seat, when his opponent called him as "the man who banned Donald Duck from Helsinki". Holopainen lost the election.
A similar incident took place a few years previously in Kemi, and international reports exaggerated the situation in claims that the character's attire and his unmarried relationship to Daisy Duck were the culprits.
Aku Ankka is one of the most popular weekly publications in Finland as well as the largest edition per capita in the world for a Donald Duck magazine.
Aku Ankka had a circulation of 320,500 copies in 2006 and 324,000 copies in 2007. The 2010 circulation of the magazine was 306,555 copies. It was the third largest magazine in Finland in 2012 with a circulation of 282,794 copies. The magazine had a circulation of 260,455 copies in 2013, making it the best-selling Finnish magazine.
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