“Read Cankar, because he’s always contemporary”
Boris Pahor

On 11 December, we mark one hundred years since the death of Slovenian writer Ivan Cankar. The anniversary is a time for renewed reflection on the importance of his literary opus, and above all on our attitude towards it. With the project Cankar in Comic Strip, we seek to bring his literary works closer to the younger audience, and to encourage the older audience to re-read his original texts.

The collection Cankar in Comic Strip was created by leading authors and illustrators:
Andrej Rozman Roza and Damijan Stepančič mulled over The Serfs and created the comic strip: The Serfs – When the Angels Get Weary.
Boštjan Gorenc Pižama and Tanja Komadina shook up My Life and wrote and drew My Life.
Žiga X Gombač and Igor Šinkovec self-righteously reflected on Bailiff Yerney and His Rights and created the comic strip Bailiff Yerney and the Rights of Dogs.

Why comic strip? Because comic strip is a medium that allows a great deal of freedom in interpreting a work and placing it in a broader context: historical, cultural and political. And because comic strip is a subversive form, just as Cankar’s creativity was subversive more than a hundred years ago. Communicativeness, relevance and the linking words and images will encourage readers to read Cankar’s works and reflect on his powerful messages.

At the exhibition in the “S” Gallery of the Ljubljana Castle, we present comic strip panels (originals and enlargements) and a video showing the three authors’ very different ways of creating comic strips – not only with regard to graphic style, but also in terms of technology, with the use or non-use of modern technology to present the scenario in comic strip.

Tanja Komadina has created an extremely witty and playful child’s world of the young Ivan with a moustache, with an emphasis on the brighter side of his childhood. Her characteristic children’s drawing is very well supplemented with appropriate facial expressions, the dynamics of events, and the framing of individual scenes. Igor Šinkovec has used pure drawing, cross-hatching and gentle shading to create an unforgettable dog’s world of the injustices of the ice-cream master Bailiff Yerney. Damijan Stepančič, the seasoned master of comic strip, conveys us to the events of the drama The Serfs with highly expressive drawing in red, black and yellow tones, featuring grotesque stylised figures, dynamic group scenes, and above all a monumental Jerman. Dr Petra Černe Oven designed the overall visual image of the project (logo, posters, comic book design, design of the FB profile). Her contribution to the visual image is therefore included in the exhibition. For designing the comic strips, she received the prize for the best-designed book in the comics and cartoons category at the Slovenian Book Fair.

Cankar in Comic Strip is conceived as a multi-faceted project. The three stories in comic strip interpretation are supported by art exhibitions, theatre-comic strip performance of the Cankar comic strips, workshops and discussions. In autumn, the puppet show My Life will be presented in co-production with the Maribor Puppet Theatre. Thus, Cankar in Comic Strip is not just a “book” project; it is a genuine campaign to promote the reading of Ivan Cankar’s works, extending to numerous spheres of creativity and addressing various target audiences.

Založba Škrateljc, 2017
Creators of the project: Dr Uroš Grilc and Lena Jevnik

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We recommend using the funicular railway to visit the exhibition.

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