Aku Ankka (Finnish for Donald Duck) is a Finnish weekly Disney comics magazine published by Sanoma Magazines.
The first issue was published on December 5, 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. As of August 2010, 2893 issues have been 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. With a circulation of over 320,000 and more than a million readers weekly, Aku Ankka is the most popular weekly publication in Finland as well as the largest edition per capita in the world for a Donald Duck magazine.
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 up by an incident in 1977, when Helsinki councilman Markku Holopainen proposed discontinuing the use of city funds for the purchase of Aku Ankka comics for youth centers, to cope with the city's financial difficulties. The following year, as Holopainen was running for a Parliament seat, his opponent called him "the man who banned Donald Duck from Helsinki". Holopainen lost the election.
A similar incident also took place a few years previous in Kemi and international reports then exaggerated the situation with claims that the character's attire and his unmarried relationship to Daisy Duck were the culprits.
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