Re: A point of view on Macedonian Comics


The first period of comics awareness in Macedonia was marked in early eighties by the „Tus Laboratorija” group. Its members Koco Trajanovski, Igor Tosevski and especially Marjan Kamilovski (with his expressive gesture) primarily used the youth press to showcase their work. At that time, Tomislav Osmanli, a comics enthusiast, even published a book in which he managed to portray the birth and development of comic from medieval frescoes (Macedonian, of course) to the recent masterpieces by masters like Pratt or Breccia. The book has its faults: for instance, a comic which is claimed to be an original work from 1945 appears to be plagiarized from Disney’s Pinnochio. And what does the comics scene in Macedonia look today? Towards the end of the 80’s, Makstrip magazine started with realistically drawn adventure stories of a rather high standard (the editor was a classic comic artist himself), but as the readership shrank, more and more material was reprinted from old issues of comics magazines from former Yugoslavia. It ended in sheer piracy, but that failed to help the magazine attract more readers. Still, the final issue enthroned the local authors like Zlatko Krstevski, Smile Cvetanovski and the illustrator Toni Anastasovski…

The student newspaper Studentski Zbor featured work by Lasko Djurovski, Vice Spasovski, Zlatko Krstevski, Milo Mancevski. There were some exhibitions, as well: the most important were Comics in Macedonia (1983) and Krstevski’s one man show in 1987 (despite his young age, he has had seven solo shows and has received a couple of awards). Two anthology magazines appeared in the ’90s: Strip Ekspres and Strip Art suffered from bad, worn-out concepts. Three new magazines consist mainly of stolen international material: the ironically titled Lift, sponsored by the Soros foundation, publishes over- and underground material; Klik from Bitola (partly financed by Ministry of Culture of Republic Macedonia) devotes about 20% of its pages to local cartoonists like Sotorovski, Krstevski, Dacev or Kamilovski, and the rest is, again, piracy; and finally, there’s Totem with non-copyrighted works by Moebius and Alonso Font. Another magazine was announced but never appeared—it looks as if computers and video took the last nine or so comic fans…

Goran Krste – Visinski
adapted by J.K., Stripburger