Yesterday I received a package from Serbia, with the first issue of a comic-book anthology called Stripolis.Ayer me llegó un paquete desde Serbia, con el primer número de una antología de historietas que se llama Stripolis.
Last January I got an e-mail from the editor of the project, Branko Djukic
, about collaborating with some story. I had liked the idea of an anthology that didn't have no restrictions of no kind and was done by people from many places around the world, so since I didn't have the time to work on something new for the project, I had sent him a comic that I hadn't been able to get published anywhere, and it's not included in this first issue. Still, he had the kindness to send me a copy of the book, and I sincerely thought it was fantastic, and that's why I'm writing this. En Enero de este año me había mandado un mail el editor del proyecto, Branko Djukic, acerca de colaborar con alguna historia. Me había gustado la idea de una antología que no tenía ninguna restricción de ningún tipo y estaba hecha por gente de varios lados del mundo, así que como estaba sin tiempo para preparar algo nuevo, le había mandado una historieta que no había publicado en ningún lado, y que no entró en este primer número. Así y todo, tuvo la amabilidad de mandarme una copia, y sinceramente me pareció genial, y es por eso que estoy escribiendo esto. Artwork by Nina Bunjevac
Except for the super-talented Nina Bunjevac, whom I had been fortunate enough to get to work with on another project a few years ago, and who put me in contact with Branko in the first place, I had no idea who else was going to participate. So when I first looked at the book, I was surprised seeing not only the works of people I don't know but I loved what they do, but also to see comics from authors like Rick Veitch and Vittorio Giardino. Salvo la super-talentosa Nina Bunjevac, con quién había tenido la suerte de trabajar en otro proyecto hace algunos años, y quién me puso en contacto con Branko en primer lugar, no tenía idea de quién más iba a participar. Así que al ver el libro, me sorprendí viendo no sólo trabajos de gente que no conozco pero me encantó lo que hacen, sino que incluso hay historietas de autores como Rick Veitch y Vittorio Giardino. Artwork by Vittorio Giardino
In this blog
there are samples of many of the works published, and it's worth checking them out En este blog hay muestras de muchos de los trabajos publicados, vale la pena verlos. Artwork by Jim Rugg
From what I read in the last page of the book (it's in Serbian), I think
that it says that it's a limited edition of 500 books, and at the moment of writing this, I don't know how or if it is possible to get a copy from outside of Serbia, but if I get to know about it, I'm going to update this and put the info here in case someone's interested. Sincerely the whole book is great: the cover, the design, the diversity and quality of the works (which I couldn't read because of the language... but it's a pleasure to look at)... and even the quality of the edition, super deluxe! Por lo que leo en la última página del libro (está en serbio), creo que dice que es una edición de 500 ejemplares, y al momento de escribir esto, no tengo ninguna información de como es posible conseguir una copia desde fuera de Serbia, pero si me entero, voy a actualizar esto y poner la info por si a alguien le interesa. Realmente todo en el libro es genial: la portada, el diseño, la diversidad y calidad de los trabajos (que no pude leer por el idioma... pero es un placer mirarlos)... e incluso la calidad de la edición, super lujosa! Artwork by Marselo Lelis
While I find it wouldn't have much sense to write this saying "the book is great, too bad I've got no idea how you can get it", I find it very admirable how it was done, so from this humble space I applaud the editor and all the artists who collaborated, and I hope this project gets the success it deserves and more issues can be published in the future
That said, I think it's an example worth following of how things can get done with minimum economic resources, but with people determined to make things work. Bravo! Si bien me parece que no tendría mucho sentido escribir esto diciendo "el libro es genial, lástima que no sé como se hace para que puedan conseguirlo", me parece más que admirable cómo fue hecho, así que desde este humilde lugar aplaudo al editor y a todos los artistas que colaboraron, y espero que el proyecto tenga el éxito que merece y se puedan editar más números en el futuro.
Dicho esto, me parece que es un ejemplo a seguir de cómo pueden hacerse cosas con mínimos recursos económicos, pero con gente dispuesta a que algo salga adelante. Bravo! Artwork by Pau Rodríguez
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The following text is copied from Stripolis' blog
, where there is more information on how this book was done:This is the post regarding all the people not speaking serbian, namely the authors who have participated in this project
I think you deserve some words about all of this, about history of comics in Serbia, and why we decided to do go on with this project.
First of all I wish to thank all of the authors for participating in this project and finding good will for sending your work. No one received a dime or any other mean of monetary compensation for working on this project. We had some funding from Vojvodina's secretariat of Culture and from our local Cultural center of Zrenjanin. Those funds were spent for printing this 1st issue of Stripolis.
This kind of publications are very rare in our country, but there is no lack of interest for sort. Simply, it's the lack of money.
Our country was devastated by the long economic sanctions, civil war and NATO bombardment back in 90's. People were deprived from every luxury, and comics were only one of them.
We had rich culture of comics back in the 80's, when we had comics published daily. There were gnerations growing up reading comics like Alan Ford, Dylan Dog and Zagor. Italian published comics were very popular. There were several magazines that published mainstream European and American comics like Stripoteka, Strip Art, Spunk and EKS Almanah. Domestic authors were presented in publications like Yu-strip, Mladost, Vidici, Glas omladine, Patak etc. The only magazine that survived all these years is Stripoteka. We had several atempts from some publishers back in 1995 who tried introducing american format in our market but due to the distributors these attempts failed (Luxor comics).
After the changes in politics back in 2000. publishers started reviving the scene, bringing them out from pirated editions of mostly american comics and some classics European comics like Corto Malteze. Publishers like Beli Put started printing graphic novels which were welcomed by the eager public.
Me as a part of this collective, together with my teacher Mr Branko Djukic, decited after publishing a one shot with the works of local authors form our home town (Zrenjanin), that we should do something similar but with the foreign authors which works haven't been printed in Serbia and with some of our acclaimed authors who haven't printed in their own country for ages. The sole purpose of this was to show that this kind of comic book storytelling hasn't died in Serbia.
We didn't know what kind of reaction we would get from the authors and from the readers.
I was overwhelmed! Every single e-mail and letter was answered! Branko couldn't belive the response he got from the people he wanted involved in all of this. Everyone wanted to help and pitch in.
The result is this first issue of STRIPOLIS. It's soft covered, printed in cyrillics, it has 130 pages and designed by me. It has got that retro look of those 80's publications.
We also started a festival, which is a sort of an art colony. It starts in several days and I will keep you informed of what's going on with some pictures and drawings.
Hope you will endure