GIAN ALFONSO PACINOTTI – GIPI (IT)
Gipi (the pseudonym of Gian-Alfonso Pacinotti) is one of the most renowned Italian cartoonists of all time. He was born in Pisa in 1963. His comics have been translated into several languages and have been awarded numerous prizes in Italy and abroad, including the Gran Guinigi, Micheluzzi, Margouillat and Goscinny Awards.
In 1994 he began publishing short stories on satirical Italian magazines while working as an illustrator for the publishing industry and international press. His graphic novel Notes pour une histoire de guerre (“Notes for a War Story”) came out in France in 2005, and then was published in Italy and in the United States, winning the Goscinny Prize for Best Script and Best Album at the prestigious Festival International de la bande dessinée d’Angoulême in 2006, which further consecrated his work at the international level. Gipi created Gli Innocenti (“The Innocents”) for the Ignatz Series and this work earned him an Eisner Award nomination and a Max & Moritz Prize (2006).
After creating and directing various independent short films, in 2011 Gipi released his debut feature-length movie L’ultimo terrestre (“The Last Man on Earth”), produced by Fandango, and premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.
His most recent graphic novel, Unastoria (“Astory”) (Coconino Press, 2013), became the first comic book in Italy ever to be nominated for a major literary prize. Being shortlisted for the Strega Prize sparked an incendiary debate in the national media about the literary value of comics. Unastoria was also a bestseller for several months.
Gipi has long been an avid gamer and game designer. In 2015, he invented and illustrated a card game named Bruti, which became very popular in Italy and was published and distributed in the U.S. during the fall of 2016 by CMON Games.
His latest graphic novel La Terra dei Figli (“The Lands of the Sons”) was published to much critical acclaim at the end of October 2016.
Currently, Gipi he lives in Rome with his wife.
DEJAN NENADOV (RS/NL)
Dejan Nenadov was born in 1966, in Novi Sad, Serbia. He studied at the Educational Center for design, and afterwards at the Academy of Arts in his home city. After the graduation, he had his specialization at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. For a long time he lived in Amsterdam.
His affection for the comic art, and art in general, was manifested very early. He published his first comics in high school and in the most prestigious domestic comics magazines, such as Yu Strip Magazine and Stripoteka. Some of them were later republished abroad. He won many important awards for young authors, but also the prestigious award for best contemporary comics, given by magazine Vidici. He was also the winner of the Golden Pen of Belgrade.
After the appearance of the album Elazar, consisted of five linked stories, critics included him among the most important domestic comics artists. His comics have been characterized as an “intellectual compound of comics and literature”, a fact that earned him Zaharije Orfelin award for his contribution in connecting these two expressive media. His rhythmic drawing, at the same time playful, but also full of references to culture, makes his graphic expression both distinctive and powerful.
Shortly after leaving the country in 1991, he ceased to be actively engaged in comics, and in the next decade and a half he devoted his career to painting. He returned to the comics scene only in 2007, after receiving the invitation to continue the series Arcanes for French publisher Delcourt. In the next nine years he did twelve books in four separate series. He often claims that the return to his old love refreshed him and that he is still very happy to be active on the comics scene.
OLIVIER DOBREMEL – DOBBS (FR)
Born in France in 1972, Olivier Dobremel (aka “Dobbs”) started to write scripts for RPG, video games and comic books, while he was studying sociology. Back then, when he was a teacher of cinematography, he signed his first comics contracts for some biographies of serial killers and several thrillers. After that, he was provided by Soleil with opportunity to work on several mini-series in the fantasy & horror / adventure genres (Loki, Allan Quatermain, Alamo, Mr. Hyde vs. Frankenstein and Scotland Yard). Most of them were translated into Italian, Spanish, German and English.
Later, he wrote a one-shot story for Ankama set in the universe of famous video game Dofus. He also participated in the voluminous collection of adaptations of the stories written by Sci-Fi author Stefan Wul. After his collaboration with Serbian artist Darko Perović on Alamo, he joined the collective Serbian-French publication Frontlines, published by Belgrade based System Comics and the French Institute in Belgrade.
Recently, he began to work for Glénat on a collection of adaptations of H.G. Wells’ novels: The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. He is now setting on a new challenge: to write a book about his first passion – cinema.
NICOLAS GRIVEL (FR), Guest of Komiko Publishing, Novi Sad
Born and raised in North Eastern France, Nicolas Grivel is a literary agent. He began his publishing career in 2003 as a senior editor for French manga publisher Pika – Hachette. He now owns an agency (Nicolas Grivel Agency) specialized in the sale of rights of bande dessinée, comics, graphic novels in creation and in translation around the world.
He has sold in English graphic novels such as Ariol by Emmanuel Guibet and Marc Boutavant, Today is the last day of the rest of your life by Ulli Lust, Sam Zabel & The Magic Pen by Dylan Horrocks, The Realist by Asaf Hanuka, Jim Curious by Matthias Picard, Ghetto Brother by Julian Voloj & Claudia Ahelering, Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni, A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirached, An Iranian Metamorphosis by Mana Neyestani, First Man by Simon Schwartz, Peplum by Blutch, Incidents in the night by David B, etc.
The goal of Nicolas Grivel Agency is to represent and to push demanding works which make the readers think. Nicolas is casting a wide net for all kinds of graphic stories. He’s also scouting comics and artists for the American studio Laika as well, and he’s teaching classes in two French Universities and doing lectures in various universities or events, such as Beijing Film Academy, Hanghzou Festival, Ligatura (Poznan), Budapest Book Fair, Warsaw Book Fair and others.
VJERAN & VIBOR JUHAS (HR)
Comics club from Pula and launch of album Mr. Joe
Comics Club Mrkli Mrak (“Pitch Darkness”) allows visitors to familiarize themselves with the world of comics and to look at recent publications on the domestic and foreign markets. Here, you can get acquainted with the various genres and forms of art applied in the creation of comics. You can find out which comics editions are highly ranked among the critics and why it is so, and you can get insight into other particulars about comics you might be interested in. There is no loan, and no sale option, but there is no membership fee either. Everyone is welcome. The goal is to create a community of fans of comic art, and to provide them with a place to exchange advice, thoughts, experiences and ideas.
Vibor and Vjeran Juhas spent most of their lives as brothers. They live and work in Pula, Croatia, although many do not understand why. They say that comics are their great love because that is how it must be. The album Mr. Joe is their first comics. The year is 1890. Heinrich Schliman is a German pioneer of archeology. Germany has colonies in Africa. Groucho Marx, Agatha Christie and H.P. Lovecraft are born in the same year. Probably some other people as well. These facts are true. However, what is happening in this story is a history that few people know about; а history so incredible that we refuse to admit it happened; а history no one dares to talk about. Therefore, it is transmitted in the form of comics. And for Mr. Joe, this is just another adventure. It is a moment for you to get to know this tacit history; a moment for you to meet Mr. Joe.
EXCERPTS FROM THE PROGRAM OF THE FESTIVAL:
SPECIAL AWARD FOR GENERAL CONTRIBUTION TO SERBIAN COMIC STRIP
Winner: Marko STOJANOVIĆ (1978), Leskovac, Serbia
Marko Stojanović (Leskovac, 1978) finished Gymnasium in Leskovac and afterwards graduated English language and literature from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš. He lives and works in Leskovac, as a teacher of English language in an elementary school. He started to work on comics and their translations in 1995 (Hellboy, Hardboiled, Raptors, Sky Doll).
He exhibited his works on many exhibitions in Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and Russia. He is the scriptwriter of the following albums: Max Debris (French publisher Y.I.L. issued it in 2016 under the title Max Debris 1: Confession d’un véritable faussaire), Crne duše (“Black Souls”), Postelja od gloga (“The Bed of Hawthorn”), as well as those belonging to the two series Vekovnici (“Eons”) and Beskrvni (“Bloodless”): Rekvijem (“Requiem”), Pasji životi (“Dog Lives”), Prah (“Dust”), Pepeo (“Ashes”), Bajka i druge istine (“Fairytale and the other Truths”), Mrtva straža (“Deathwatch”), Duhovi u boci (“Ghosts in a Bottle”), Čudovišta (“Monsters”), Zla krv (“Bad Blood”), Na kraju krajeva (“After All”), Kainov soj (“Cain’s Stock”) and Zemlja Čuda (“Wanderland”). French publishing house Septieme Choc issued his six albums: Le Dico des Hommes, Le Dico des Femmes, Les 69 secrets à savoir sur les Femmes, Les 69 secrets à savoir sur les Hommes, Savoir bien s’y prendre pour tout obtenir de lui! i Savoir bien s’y prendre pour tout obtenir d’elle!, while one – Croix Sanglante, which Stojanović produced in collaboration with Dražen Kovačević and Dan Ianos, has been released by Delcourt.
His comics and texts about the ninth art have been published in magazines at home and abroad. He is the author of the two books containing essays about comics: Južnjačka Uteha (“Southern Comfort”, 2009) i Stripovanje (“Comicking”, 2017). He edited and published the following monographs: Leskovački strip 1950-2010 (“Leskovac comics 1950-2010”), 20 godina Leskovačke škole stripa (“20 Years of the Leskovac Comics School”) and Zaječarski strip (“Zaječar comics”). He edited four thematic volumes in the Niš based magazine Gradina, and wrote over three hundred weekly columns for the internet portals Strip Vesti (“Comics News”) and UPPS. He was the editor of the comics section in cultural magazine Think Tank from Leskovac. Since 2001, he is the editor-in-chief of comics magazine Strip Pressing from Niš. Starting from the autumn 1995, he is the leader of the Leskovac comics school Nikola Mitrović Kokan. Also, he is the creator and since July 1998 organizer of the Balkan Comics Festival for Young Artists. He organized around one hundred comics exhibitions, launches and public classes in his hometown.
He received over sixty awards for his work, among them the first prize of Politikin Zabavnik magazine, several awards at International Comics Festival in Belgrademm including the Grand Prix of the Festival in 2011, the Grand Prix at seventh and twelfth Comics festival in Veles, Macedonia, award Kragujevački pobednik, five awards of Stripoteka magazine, three October awards of the city of Leskovac, prize Nikola Mitrović Kokan for best young scriptwriter in 2000 and 2004, as well as for best comics theorist in 2007, recognition for his contributions to the Macedonian comics scene as well as plaque Aleksandar Dankov for his contribution to the Bulgarian comics. He was a member of many juries at home and abroad.
“SREĆKO JOVANOVIĆ” – AWARD OF DEČJE NOVINE DOSITEJ PUBLISHING HOUSE AND GORNJI MILANOVAC MUNICIPALITY
Winner: Nikola MASLOVARA - MASLI, Gornji Milanovac, Serbia
He was born in 1946 in the town of Odžaci. He graduated from the College of Pedagogy in Novi Sad, Department of Arts. Since 1979, he lives in Gornji Milanovac, where he worked as art director in the comics department of Dečje Novine publishing. Together with his colleagues M. Stevanović and M. Petković, he founded Den Art publishing house, which publishes two magazines for children – Dečji odmor and Zvrk. Since 2007, he leads workshop titled Little school of animation in a public library in Kraljevo.
He pubished his first caricatures in 1969, while his first comics appeared two years later in the Kuriri edition. Eigth years later he created the FONS group, together with Milan Bukovac and humorist Vojislav Ratković. He created many comics: The Prince Marko, Detective Easygoing, Fioux, Fat Croquejet, Stupidzan and many others. For some time, he worked intensively on licenced comics: Pink Panther, Tom & Jerry, Muppet Babies, Felix the Cat and Il Grande Black. He also scripted the comics Mickey Mouse and the Head of Steel, drawn by Zdravko Zupan. During 1988, together with Slaviša Ćirović, Brana Nikolić and Zupan, he became a member of the famous quartet that worked on the domestic series Yupi-stars.
In France, he won the third prize for his comic Homo anticus in 1979. He also won several awards for caricature: Icarus (1973), gran prix of the Borba newspaper (1979), first award at the festival of jazz caricature in Belgrade (1997) and the Golden Helmet in Kruševac (2007).
ANDRIJANA RUŽIĆ: ANIMATED FILMS OF ŠPELA ČADEŽ (SI), lecture / screening
Honest(ly) animated world of Špela Čadež
Špela Čadež (1977, Slovenia) is an independent director and producer of animated films. After graduating in Graphic Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia, she continued her studies at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, Germany. With the first two puppet films, Zasukanec (2004) and Lovesick (2007), animated and produced in Germany, she won several international awards in the category of student competition. Since 2008 Špela has been working as an independent director and producer. The third short film Boles (2013) has won 50 international awards and nominations. Špela's latest film in a cut-out technique Nočna ptica (2016) has already won numerous awards on the most important international animation festivals and we will have a privilege to screen it in Serbia for the first time!
Špela's emotionally involving films have the power of beautifully told stories filled with mixture of reality and fantasy. The convincing atmospheres from her films are the result of patiently crafted puppets and props put in extremely detailed settings with the right light effects, good timing and editing. Often shot in close-up, Špela's seducing, fragile and dreamy puppets enchant the audience with their big eyes, long slender fingers and sleepwalking moves. The author selects the topics close to her personal sensibility (love, creation process, loneliness, daydreaming) that evolve in a personal synthesis of formal elements and the narrative form. The success her films gained throughout the world has favored also the status of animation, an extremely lonely and marginalized art, in her native Slovenia. When you listen or read her interviews, you realize that the key words this smiling animator uses when talking about her profession are: honesty, love for work, perseverance, good story, challenge. So, welcome to the honest(ly) animated world of Špela Čadež!
At the Festival, the following films of Špela Čadež will be screened: Mate to Measure - 6:50 min / Lovesick (2007) - 9 min / Boles (2013) - 12 min / Nighthawk - 8:45 min
ZORAN DJUKANOVIC: 70 YEARS OF LUCKY LUKE – TWO STORYTELLING GENIUSES RENÉ GOSCINNY & MORRIS, lecture
All of the three most important comics scripted by René Goscinny - Asterix, Iznogoud, and Lucky Luke, possess a formal framework, repeated throughout episodes. Changeable are the brilliant variations within the thus set framework. In the Lucky Luke, Goscinny and Morris showed superior mastery in paraphrasing myths of the Wild West. Through their creative work, although they rendered the mythological basis meaningless, they inasmuch ironically upgraded these myths. When the whole corpus of forty albums, belonging to the golden period of their collaboration is taken into account, it is particularly surprising how much attention was paid to the study of the group behavior or, in simpler terms, the psychology of the masses. Variations of the adventures with a bunch represent a collection of valuable sketches of authoritarianism and power. Throughout this novel emerge a gallery of famous historical figures and parodically styled cameo appearance of famous actors.