Along with contemporary animated shorts, a new focus of this year’s edition of Supertoon will be comics and comic book authors. By organizing a group exhibition of works by regional groups and artists in Azimut club and setting up several comic book stands, with works by authors represented in the exhibition, and screen printing stands on the city streets and squares as well as presentations and talks with the authors, Supertoon 10 will introduce its audiences to current trends and tendencies in independent comic book art.
Members of the following collectives and platforms are so far confirmed to appear at Supertoon 10: Komikaze (CRO/SLO), Matrijaršija / Fijuk / Novo doba (SRB), OHOHO! (CRO), the association of artists called Hrvatski autorski strip (Croatian authorial comics) and representatives of the contemporary Split, Croatia, comic scene.
Komikaze is a publisher and a network for spreading comic activities on the Internet, as well as for electronic and print distribution of mostly young comic authors’ works. The aim is to connect the Komikaze comic book activists from the Balkans with their international peers in order to exchange information and comics. Resisting the tendencies geared towards institutionalized artistic production, the Komikaze program represents free spirited and altruistic activities by artists from different geo-strategic areas, who share an independent and uncompromising attitude, called “the alternative”, in relation to the existing dominant artistic practices. Partners and spatial priorities are related to non-profit autonomous zones of culture.
At the 2020 edition of Angoulême International Comics Festival (Festival international de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême), the Komikaze album No. 18 won the award for best edition in the category of alternative comics, “PRIX BD ALTERNATIVE”. This year – which the French Ministry of Culture proclaimed “The Year of Comics” – saw 37 publications from all over the world compete for the coveted prize established in 1982, and Supertoon audiences will have the opportunity to see the comics from the album live in Šibenik as part of the “Back to the Future” exhibition and meet some of its contributors.
Novo Doba/Fijuk/Matrijaršija is a self-managed organism located in Zemun, a suburb of Belgrade, Serbia. It is a virtual and material meeting point for illustrators, nomads, poets, printers, self-proclaimed geniuses, art students, dreamers, publishers, artisans, provocateurs, intellectuals. It is a much larger and non-finite network of artistic production (Fijuk), an annual festival (Novo Doba), and an autonomous cultural center (Matrijaršija).
Matrijaršija is currently a patchwork of various individual and collective living art phenomena from Belgrade, Serbia, the region and the whole of Europe. During its four years of existence it has become a centre of congregation for various authors who joined its non-structured network, as well as acknowledging and encouraging particular existential and working practices, which more and more are coalescing into a specific type of custodianship and preservation of the semi-public status of this type of art and the thriving network in which it exists. Regarding organization, the activities that take place in Matrijaršija include work on its annual program (both exhibitions and performances), the artist-in-residence program Prekomanda (Transferal), and non-stop activities in several of its studios and workshops: screen printing, graphics and music.
OHOHO festival is an exhibition, discursive, residential and educational space for creativity and cultural exchange of comics and street art by non-established but also established artists who create “underground” art according to DIY poetics. The focus of the festival is on street art (independent art forms of murals) and independent comics, and the main educational, production and distribution activities of the festival are aimed primarily at younger generations of artists working in the medium of independent posters, graphics, and illustrations.
An indelible part of the festival is the publication of the comic fanzine OHOHO. The idea of a zine came to fruition in 2019, and its first edition came out as part of the festival OHOHO program which takes place in the autonomous cultural center Medika in Zagreb. The call for entries invited artists to create comics on the topic of subversion and antifascism. A top international line-up of artists responded to the call and sent in their antifa-themed comics: Iztok Sitar, Mihaela Erceg, Klara Rusan, Matija Pisačić, Klara Skok, Dragana Kuprešanin, Lea Kralj Jager, Lucija Mitar, Stipan Tadić, Aleksandar Zograf, Korina Hunjak, Ivana Geček, Jana Adamović and Marko Dješka. A new thematic edition of the fanzine with once again a strong authorial line-up was prepared to be launched at this year’s edition of OHOHO festival, which was unfortunately postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the fanzine is ready and will see the light of day at Supertoon 2020. Along with the fanzine launch, which will be attended by its contributors, selected pages will be shown as part of the group exhibition at Azimut.
The Association called Hrvatski autorski strip (meaning: “Croatian auteur comics association” or “Croatian comics d’auteur”) was founded in 2020, and its goal is to create a stable production framework within which Croatian authors could express their huge potential. The idea of founding the association arose in 2019 at the “24-hour comic book drawing” event in Osijek, at which time a group of comic authors concluded they have reached a critical mass needed in order to formalize their initiative. Recent domestic comic art editions will be available at the HAS stand in Šibenik.
The Split comic art scene: fragmented, periodic, never coherent and far from the “altar”, but because of its authentic authorial expression, it encompasses various authors and editions. To talk about this extraordinary underground scene in a very ordinary way Supertoon will host somewhat less ordinary comic authors and painters: Vinko Barić (punk doyen of Split and Croatian underground comics and self-published albums since the second half of the nineties, director of the independent publishing house IDZFS, author of several comic albums and fanzines, more recently known for his “Baroque man” and the fact that he is part of the permanent staff of “Lavanderman”) and Ivan Svaguša Svaig (author and co-author of several comic albums, blind but also tired enthusiast of unnecessary arts such as comics, music, graffiti , director of the independent publishing label Bučni stirpovi (Noisy Comics), which combines experimental music with visual media such as comics, painting and illustration). These two directors of independent publishing mastodons will come to Šibenik to tell us something about other greats of the Split comic art scene, such as Damir Ercegović, Sonja Gašperov, Miro Župa, Ladan Mehić and others.