by Koco (email@example.com)
Once there were the years 1999 and 2000. Let us call them the Golden Age of Slovenian Comix. It’s quite obvious why we should do so: the two year period in question was by far the most prolific for Slovenian comix, with a record number of independent comic albums published. Although, to be quite honest, I should probably narrow it down to just 1999, since only that year was really record breaking. But sometimes we like to believe our little lies and misrepresentations, it’s good for morale and increases self-confidence, so I’ll stick to my original statement in a vain attempt to convince myself that this “golden age” could be prolonged at least into 2001. Uaaaaaaaa. Yuck!
Once there were the years 1999 and 2000 which gave the Slovenian public 16 new albums and 10 comic publications: (1999) Hardfuckers; Druzinske zgodbe (Family Stories); 1943, 1945/ Zoran Smiljanic... Crni mozje, bele kosti (Black Men, White Bones); Matilda; Bucmanovi (4 zvezek)/ Iztok Sitar... Kratke zgodbe 2 (Short Stories 2); Barbar Macon 2/ Matjaz Bertoncelj... Lov za izgubljenimi rolerji (The Hunt for the Lost Inline Skates)/ Tomaz Mastnak... Mat & Fotr & Pes & Mulc (Mom & Dad & Dog & Kid)/ Dušan Kastelic... Carmula/Jure Perpar... Kurcoglavci/ Wookodlak...publications: Break 21, 21# Stripburgerja, XXX(strip)Burger, 25# SB... (2000) Lustri/ Andrej Stular... Bestije/ Izar Lunacek... Prva petletka/ Damjana Sovec... Delicatessen/ Koco... Os Anjos (Krilatci)/ Jakob Klemencic... publications: Grejpfrut 1999/ 2000, 26# SB, Break 21, Burger faces, 27# SB, Miniburger...
And let’s not kid ourselves: This was also the era of Soros and his slow but definitive withdrawal from Slovenia. Which meant a feverish battle against time for those who had the possibility to take advantage of their last chance to profit from this benevolent sponsor and get their albums published. It would be unjust of me to claim this applies to all of the above. But coincidences are never coincidental. And these events took place simultaneously and created a myth. If you don’t agree with my theory then you’re already being too objective. Unfortunately. So we are already in disagreement. I hope you have some more objective truths in store for me.
We finally lived to see Slovenian comics achieve international recognition. And not just one, but two awards were bestowed upon us. No myths and stories this time:
1. Tomaz Lavric became the first Slovenian comic artist to get translated and published in France, under the patronage of the Glenat publishing house, one of the largest publishing houses in the French speaking world. In the process he also picked up a couple of awards on comic festivals around Europe (Sierre, Bruxelles) and became the hot new name at Glenat. His translated works: Glista na begu (La cavale de Lezard, 1999), Bosanske basni, 1997 (Fables de Bosnie, 2000; Racconti di Bosnia, 2000), Novi casi (Temps nouveaux, 2001), Le Decalogue IV: Le Serment, 2001.
2. Stripburger became the first publication in the history of Slovenian comix to win the highly esteemed Alph-Art award at the festival in Angouleme. But sadly remains a lone rider in this, our time and space.
…is essential! The most important occurrence in the Slovene comic scene was the long awaited arrival of a new generation of artists. This new offspring includes a number of talented female artists (Nina Bric, Janja Gedrih, Mojca Janzelj, Andreja Kladnik, Mina Zabnikar, Sasa Kerkos), which is very encouraging, especially since we have yet to see a Slovenian all-female comic album. The other youngsters (Ivan Mitrevski, Olmo Omerzu, David Krancan) are also very promising, coming down to the office ever more often with more and more of their excellent contributions.
Naturally we will have to express our gratitude to the metaphysics of coincidences. We shall bring plentiful offerings to the altars and burn them joyfully. Because this is what we have been waiting for! Everything was getting tired and stale. Eventually Stripburger will have to close it’s publishing doors, before that happens it will need a fresh transformation to prolong it’s legitimate yet agonizing existence. Comics are spreading into more and more commercial newspapers and magazines and hopefully they will remain there as more than just a fashionable ornament. Comics will remain, that is no longer a myth. And maybe their final form isn’t that important anymore.
If Miki Muster succeeded in creating the masterpiece and classic “Zvitorepec” after 40 years of comic-strip-vacuum in Slovenia, we can also optimistically await a similar turn of events today, something not necessarily alternative or whatever you want to call it, but a reflection of the artistic maturity we have reached by this day.
Alas, I am no prophet.