Here's the probably-final programme for next weekend. There's still time to blast off for Serbia. It's cheap, it's a great place to explore. (I have some information on hostels and stuff.)
People are cool, and GRRR! is something special for all cartoonists and comic lovers.
Well next year, then...?
FIFTH EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMICS FESTIVAL GRRR! PANCEVO APRIL 29th – MAY 9th
For the fifth time, in several locations in the town of Pancevo, a gathering of comics creators, publishers and theoreticians will be held. Along with the Main Program (which includes exhibitions, panel disscussions, projections,concerts), is connected to the venues of the Pancevo Cultural Center (including Gallery of Contemporary Art), there's also an Additional Program spread in other locations in town, such as clubs ( Arhiv and Studio 21), Popovic Pastry Shop, etc.
Among the guests of the festival is Chuck Sperry, coming all the way from San Francsco, representing Firehouse – certainly is one of the leading rock posters design teams in the world today. Chuck Sperry is heavily influenced by comic art iconography,and was one of the editors of New York's legendary World War 3 Illustrated magazine.
From Lisbon, we have Rita Braga, a musician and cartoonist, who will perform live in concert and display not only her own comics, but also (for the first time ever taken from the private archives) cartoon works of her grandfather (Ruy Braga) and great-grandfather (Antonio Braga)!
Andrea Plazzi, comic critic and editor from Bologna, is going to curate an exhibition of Cover Designs of Italian Comics Magazines from the 60s (which influenced many other comics publishing ventures, including Yugoslav ones). It definitely was one of the most exciting periods of Italian and European comics.
Also on display will be an exhibition of works inspired by Walt Disney creations, produced (mostly by local artists) in Central and Eastern Europe in the years before the Cold War.This unique material will be presented, probably for the first time, in an overview by Didier Ghez, a popular culture reasercher and collector of vintage Disneyana from Paris, where he is currently employed by Walt Disney Company in Madrid.
GRRR! also covers the inland scene – in addition to the series of exhibitions dedicated to the history of comics in Serbia, Zdravko Zupan will curate an exhibition in The Backyard Gallery, titled «Comics in Serbia 1972-1975», presenting original editions and artworks from the era.
Exclusivelly presented in this festival, will be original pages of «Dikan» comics, created since 1969 by Lazar Sredanovic. Dikan is a true local hero – generations of readers of Politikin Zabavnik ( kids magazine originated in 1939, and still in circulation) grew up reading this comic about Ancient Slavic people, who suspiciously resemble present day Balkanoids.
The panel discussion about comics publishing in different parts of Europe will be joined by Omar Martini, the owner of Black Velvet publishing house from Bologna, and Adam Halmos, representative of Art Comix from Budapest.
Among the slide presentations this year there is «Comix Files – Where the Ninth Art and the Other Eight Arts Meet» by Giannis Koukoulas, editor of Athens' Galera magazine. The second talk will be concentarted around the history of the (not yet well enough known) Hungarian comics scene. It's going to be presented by Triceps, famous performance artist from Budapest, originally from Subotica in Northern Serbia.
Also present at the festival is British autobiographical comics master (Chortle!) Lee Kennedy, and a few other international cartoonists including Piero Macola, an Italian author recently living (and publishing) in Paris, Greek comics scriptwriter Dimitris Savvaidis, along with authors from Hungary ( Balazs Grof), Austria (Edda Strobl and Helmut Kaplan), and Slovenia ( Jakob Klemencic and David Krancan).
A separate show will be dedicated to a magazine from Ljubljana, Stripburger, and their project «Honey Talks!», which links the tradition of 19th Century's Slovenian painted beehives with contemporary productions by some of the most interesting authors on the international independent scene.
This year’s GRRR! will be adorned by few unique exhibitions including “Home Made Magazines in Serbia”, which will show some of the fanzines and single-copy home editions, from1926 to present, and an exhibition dedicated to products found in Serbia, inspired by Walt Disney stuff (mostly by anonymous creators), including vintage rarities such as embroideries made in 1930s, depicting Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
As in previous years, the festival will bring together many cartoonists from Serbia, too, including a “big promise” of the Serbian comics scene, Maja Veselinovic, who will exhibit her work in the legendary Pastry Shop Popovic.
As part of the GRRR! Additional program, New York theremin player Dorit Chrysler will perform live at a club called Arhiv. At the same place, an exhibition of drawings inspired by Dorit and her music will present a selection of cartoonists from several countries.
The festival will conclude with an excursion to Deliblatska Pescara, where many people from the area traditionally gather for the picnic on Labour’s Day and where an exhibition by Mr Spiral will mark an end of his 5 year-long project of exhibiting comics at the shoe shop where he used to work. Also, Pancevo’s scene will represent itself through the comics-poster Silent Wall, and a compilation of local bands titled Black Spot.
Additional Program includes an event at the club named Studio 21, where underground music label Radioaktivno will present the music of the local bands (usually very closely collaborating with underground cartoonists as well).