Re: PRESS RELEASE: What makes Leskovac the comics center?

Acasă Discuții Evenimente INTERNATIONAL COMICS SHOWROOM CONTEST in BELGRADE – 2010 Re: PRESS RELEASE: What makes Leskovac the comics center?


Anniversaries of Serbian comics:
60 years of comics in Leskovac / 15 years of comics school “Nikola Mitrović Kokan”, Leskovac

What makes Leskovac the comics center?

Is it the fact that Nikola Mitrović Kokan, bard of Yugoslav comics, supporting pillar of the legendary edition Nikad robom (“Never Surender”) and member of the team that created incredibly popular adventures Mirko and Slavko, was born and lived here? Perhaps one should include Miodrag Veličković in the debate, the most awarded domestic comics artist and caricaturist who won 105 prizes around the world (Italy, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Korea, Taiwan …) and who published ten thousand comic strips featuring his character Bocko! Or Mija Kulić, who was working with great success on licensed Tom and Jerry for Belgian publishers for several years, at the same time making comics for the magazine Gespenster, published by German Bastei-Verlag…
If magazine Đački Zabavnik of the late Jovan Pop Kocić, with its thirty issues filled with comics created by Nikola Mitrović Kokan, Srdjan Nikolić Peka, Mija Kulić, Mirko Vasiljević, Ninoslav Miljković, and Ivan Stamenković is not enough, then another magazine – Arsenal could even the odds. During the mid-nineties the only comic magazine that published domestic comics was exactly Arsenal; with its six issues it pushed the entire generation of comics artists to the scene, including Srđan Nikolić Peka, Jurica Dikić, Milisav Banković, Igor Stoiljković, Dejan Stanković, Ivan Stojanović Fiki, Goran Tasić, Saša Stanojković and myself. This generation mainly sprung out of Leskovac comics school… Well, this school is another good reason to classify Leskovac among comics centers! It was started in 1995 by Nikola Mitrović Kokan (whose name it now carries) and Mija Kulić and today under the leadership of Srđan Nikolić Peka and author of this text, it celebrates fifteen years of continuous operation! Balkan festival of young comics artists originated from the school. The city in which this festival, the oldest in the former Yugoslavia, takes place certainly deserves the name of the comics center? The festival has entered its fourteen years of existence, it is the only one of its kind in the Balkans and it is unique in the region because, in addition to its pedagogical character it gives “guild” awards to comics authors on yearly basis…
Maybe it is sufficient that the participant and author of this text in collaboration with Milisav Banković and Denis Dupanović already released four graphic novels for French publisher Septieme Choc? Or the fact that he, together with Srđan Nikolić Peka, started series Vekovnici, for magazine Politikin Zabavnik (five albums have been issued so far); after that Peka started to work with Belgian script writer Michel Dufrane on series Odessa for Belgian publisher Casterman. Maybe, the fact that contributes to Leskovac is that the writer Saša Stojanović publishes Balkan comics magazine called Think Tank, which, besides regular articles about comics and comics themselves, brings also special editions dedicated to the ninth art? Does the fact that Serbian comics scene finally got a theoretical framework which was lacking twenty years with the Think Tank presents strong enough argument to consider “little Manchester” as a comics center? Maybe the theoretical aspect should be strengthened by mentioning the collection of essays regarding the ninth art, titled Južnjačka uteha (“Southern Comfort”), written by the author of these lines and published by Cultural Center Niš! And maybe, just maybe, the simple fact that this year its comics scene celebrates exactly six decades of its existence is the good reason enough to count Leskovac among the comics centers…
Marko Stojanović

5 years of “UPPS!” Internet Portal

sUPPSessful, isn’t it?
…A group of dozen comics fans and collectors founded Association for the Promotion and Production of Comics – (Serbian: Udruženje za promociju i produkciju stripa – UPPS) on August 18th, 2005 in Belgrade; the aim was to promote comics as a medium, publishers, authors, comics schools and theoretical works in the field of comics in Serbia and Montenegro (and beyond). One of the main directions of UPPS activities was running of a web site that would promote the work of the Association… Emerged from the comics forums that have changed its address several times, web page of UPPS finally stopped at
…In the beginning most of the articles were written by the members of the Association, headed by President Vladimir Ćuk. Thus, from the pen of Vladimir Tadić Darko Djokić, Aleksandar Mićić, Milan Jovanović, Dušan Mladenović and Sergej Karov first sections of UPPS popped up; their regularity depended on free time of young enthusiasts. Help of more experienced and already proven comics artists arrived very quickly. Besides regular editorials: Đole’s Recommendation, Ultimate Libertarian and occasional Thoughts from the Shadows, with Marko Stojanović, Dejan Stojiljković, Aleksandar Manić, Boris Lazić and Milan Konjević UPPS has gotten more weekly columns: Southern Comfort, Sour & Sweet, Slice and Dice, Onodenje, Archives of the North, Hit & Run…
We could say that for the five years of its existence, Association for the Promotion and Production of Comics – UPPS met most of the tasks through different routes of action and that the comic scene in the region is not the same with or without UPPS.
From the text by Predrag Ikonić (Peđa Slavni)