Macedonia: Ten New Editions of Comics Promoted
Ajvarman - the first original Macedonian superhero, the character Vojdan and Macedonian revolutionaries, are some of the fictional characters in comic books created by mainly young authors who have managed to promote the ninth art in Macedonia in the past several years using their creativity and enthusiasm.
The Skopje-based Strip Kvadrat (Comics Square) publishing house promoted Monday 10 editions of comic books that have been published in the past 18 months with support provided by the Ministry of Culture. These include graphic novels from the edition 'Macedonian Revolutionaries', comic books with the fictional characters Ajvarman, Vojdan and also a comic anthology, that were presented by cartoonist Igor Jovcevski, Nikola Temkov, Davor Dramikjanin and Dime Ivanov-Dimano.
Speaking at Monday's promotion, Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska said the art of comics in the past few decades had been neglected with comic books were published incidentally. In the past couple of years, she added, the number of comic editions that were supported through the Culture Ministry's annual programs was increased ten-fold.
"Comic books in Macedonia have found their rightful place. Today, comic books are experiencing its peak of media creativity. The fact that Macedonia's comics scene in recent years is dominated by young authors is encouraging... Their engagement resulted in creating the first original Macedonian superheros," said Kanceska-Milevska.
The edition "Macedonian Revolutionaries" is based on real-life characters from the period surrounding the Ilinden Uprising in the 1900s, the story of the fictional superhero Vojdan is set and related to the Battle of Belasica and the comic book "The Immortal Water" and "Guardians of the Eternal Light" contain elements inspired by Macedonian folklore.
The first original Macedonian comic book hero is Ajvarman, whose alter ego is Darko who turns into a superhero once he eats special peppers. His arch nemesis is Tomaton. The character is inspired by the heroes in American comic books.
Strip Kvadrat plans on publishing an edition on Macedonia ancient kings, which is likely to include five comic books. Its future strategy is focused on promoting not only up-and-coming authors, but also established comic book authors in Macedonia, it was announced at the promotion.