8th International Comics Festival, organized by Happy Gallery of Student Cultural Center Belgrade, will be held from September 30th, to October 3rd, 2010. It brings unique and valuable exhibition, panel and educational program of the Ninth art comparable with the European and international art scenes.

Since its establishment, the festival is designed to present overview of the current comics achievements through competitive program & via international comics contest, also to show the top achievements of this art through the visits of world’s most eminent artists.

In that aspect, this year’s festival, eighth in a row, is unique, because for the first time artists from the African continent are present in the Festival’s competition. Thereby, cycle of the participation of artists from all continents and all countries of the world where comics exist even in its development is completed.

After this year’s Festival, Belgrade audience will be rarely provided with an opportunity to see in one place about a hundred original works of the world’s greatest masters of comic, from immensely rich collection of Jean-Marc Besnier, which is another treasure of this festival.

Guest appearance of Jean-Marc Besnier, comics collector from Paris and member of the WIP Agency, association which organises promotions and comic-cons in France, represents French artists at home and abroad and helps artists to sell their original or commissioned works to other collectors, is an excellent opportunity for networking of local artists with European and international comic book market. Furthermore, a number of international projects, of which the most interesting is The Monsters, by Romanian writer Marian Mirescu, will provide an opportunity for the international art communication and professional recognition of the interested parties.

Important part of this year’s edition of the Festival will be the orientation towards script writing, which we intend to achieve through visit of one of the leading European writers whose name is most associated with the cult comic Torpedo 1936 – Special guest of the festival is Enrique Sanchez Abuli, Barcelona.

As in the early 20th century, the quality of comics scene in Serbia today is at the highest possible level and undeniable, and our efforts to revalorize its values in all segments are reflected in the awarding of special recognitions for the contribution to Serbian comics. This year it will be given to Novica Đukić (1925), Serbian comic book author, illustrator and first editor of magazine Kekec. This year, for the first time, the festival will give awards for domestic comics publishing, which in the past decade showed revolutionary progress, but is still far behind the European and world comics production.

The winner of the award for best domestic comics edition 2009/2010 is System Comics Publishing Belgrade, for the series Vekovnici, by group of artists and scriptwriter Marko Stojanović. Award for best foreign edition in Serbia 2009/2010 goes to the publishing house Darkwood, Belgrade for the series Tarzan (Edgar Rice Burroughs / Burne Hogarth: “Tarzan of the Apes”, “Jungle Tales of Tarzan“). For second year in a row Children’s Newspaper Dositej Publishing and the Municipality of Gornji Milanovac, will give the prize Srećko Jovanović for comics publishing; this year’s laureate is Sibin Slavković from Novi Sad.

With this year’s anniversaries – 60 years of comics in Leskovac, 15 years of comics school Nikola Mitrovic Kokan, Leskovac and 5 years of Internet portal „UPPS” – and with the workshops and training programs, 8th International Comics Festival will favor the educatuion of youngest talents and all interested in the art.

Awards to youngest contestants, as well as awards of the festival in all other categories, will be annunced by the jury at the Opening and Awards ceremony of the 8th International Comic Festival, on September 30th, 2010.

Welcome to Student Cultural Center, to your festival – 8th International Comics Festival!

Miki Pješčić, editor of the festival