The Comics Journal” je nabolji časopis iz teorije stripa koji “Fantagraphics Books” tiska već 40 godina. / “The Comics Journal” is the best magazine for the comic theory published by “Fantagraphics Books” for last 40 years.

TCJ LINK: https://www.tcj.com/three-comix-and-reflections-thereon/


KOMIKAZE – A past award winner at Angoulême, the current issue offers contributions from Croatia (12), Slovenia (3), Poland (2), Japan (2), and Montenegro, Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Taiwan, and Brazil (1 apiece), and contains its share of skulls, penises, murders, plagues, depression, self-mutilation, demonic possession, mental illness, economic exploitation, depression, starving dogs, eradication of elephants, and human extinction from trypophobia. (I had to look that up.) But interspersed throughout are two teddy bears, a sunny dispositioned pussycat, and engagements with the minutiae of life rendered in a potpourri of startling, engaging, rewarding-to-contemplate visual styles, uniqueness piled upon uniqueness. Images are commonly abstract. Representation is not a major concern. Linear narrative is often absent. Language is often missing. Readers’ eyes will engage with panels; but then comes free play, and what results is anyone’s guess, as individual minds work it out with individual authors. The challenge might drive away many, but those who stick around will benefit. Like muscles, minds need exercise to thrive. You may find you can’t come up with words to express your experience, but even if you can’t, it doesn’t mean you are not having one. Let’s look at two artists who engaged me.”

Ivana Armanini everything in the book “work in one unity”

“Ivana Armanini, about whom I have written before, presents 17 pages, which she had planned as being divided into three parts but grew into a single “Big” story, that, she says, aligns with her vision that everything in the book “work… in one unity.”
“Armanini is among the most purely abstract of the artists represented. Her work blurs the line between “Fine” and “Comic” art to near indistinguishability, except for hers appearing on pages and not upon walls. Here she limits her palette to a compelling-in-its-restrictedness black & white, cream, and red. If there is language, unlike in most of the book’s strips, it may go untranslated into English. Perhaps it is presented in mirror-writing; perhaps it is not language at all. A word, like “Pupak” (“Belly Button”) may give you an idea of what is being depicted on the accompanying page, but “Chopping Wood Like Van Gogh His Ears” offers little textually to grab onto, and “DIY or DIE,” which lead into skulls and breasts and rib cages, conveys a clear sentiment without an obvious correlation to what is displayed. 
The ultimate effect is an appreciative “WHEW!”

Damir Stojnic’s “Conflagration – Contin(g)ents

https://komikaze.hr/issue_attachment/60-damir-stojnic/ 👈 “consists of 11 pages, some double-, and some single-paneled. The visuals, with golds and blacks predominant, are glorious. Each panel but one presents portions of a map or globe or both, none contemporary. There is language: Latin, for sure; maybe Italian, maybe French. “China” appears on the corner of one map; “Brasilia” identifies another. The continent of Africa is recognizable. Superimposed on the maps and globes, sometimes to the point of all but obscuring them, are dark shapes. Sometimes the shapes are unidentifiable and sometimes distinct: playing card-like kings; human hands; human silhouettes; a black butterfly. When a blood red knife and fork, each gripped in a separate hand, are superimposed over Africa, the meaning seems clear. That clarity can influence what one makes of some other images, but from still others only beauty and oddity come through. This is splendid, jarring work.”


TCJ 2020: https://komikaze.hr/comics-journal-review/