What happens when …
superwoman Horny Dyke meets the depressed cat Zorka, ill-omened ravens threaten a rubber duck, the tramp Mita Kombajn listens spellbound to Momirka’s partisan stories and superhero Lavanderman is plagued by nightmares?
comiXconnection – strip, bandă desenată, strip, képregény, стрип
The alternate names for the medium of comics vary as widely as the forms it takes in Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The history of its development is directly reflected in these countries‘ political histories and their societies‘ openness to this form of art and communication. Thus, the line between mainstream and alternative also varies from country to country. comiXconnection introduces independent comics from these six countries in the broadest sense of the term, highlighting the differences and possible connections between them.
Not only the artists and their current works are presented here. The multifaceted network of relationships which they both create and are surrounded by is equally significant: many of the artists join together in collectives, clubs and groups to collaborate and jointly publish fanzines and magazines. In content, form and style their works consciously elude any attempt at mass marketing to which commercial mainstream comics often fall prey. These artists design and tell their stories free of profit-oriented pressures. Their comics speak to a particular audience which will not be swayed by the usual marketing strategies.
How, then, do independent comics find their readers? This mainly happens through a network established by energetic and motivated individuals in clubs, publishing houses and bookstores. They act on a number of different levels, both nationally and internationally, organising festivals, exhibitions and workshops, and winning publishers and sponsors. This guarantees public perception, mutual interaction and exchange, and holds together the threads of this colourful fabric.
Consulting a mental map spanning all of the many individual networks, one notices the map is stereotypically orientated ‘with its face to the West and its back to the rest’. Even neighbouring countries often exclude each other from their line of sight. Exactly here, then, is the focal point of the comiXconnection project with its emphasis on the six countries mentioned above. Beyond historical-political, linguistic and mental boundaries, it examines already existing connections as well as possible future ones.
‘Comics rarely stand alone!’ This also includes related art forms such as illustration, graphic design, animation, street art, graffiti, music and performance. The diverse shifts in perspective and broadening of horizons that result from a collection such as this are hoped to lead to synergies in the network, stronger awareness and finally an increased appreciation for this kind of comics. The immense bandwidth offered by the medium of comics above all points out paths to realms in which comics can be used as an innovative form of communication in the future.