Around the World with Batman: The World - Part 2
Pack your bags! It's time again for our transcontinental travel with Batman: The world. Comics are more than one genre. They are a means of expression by which each nation has its own unique relationship, and one that is used by each of those cultures to express themselves in a way that represents their own aesthetic and cultural values. Using the global icon of the Dark Knight, Batman: The world is a special opportunity to shed light on the vibrant differences between our cultures, seeing how each one tackles a Batman story in its own way. On this leg of the journey, we will take a closer look at some selected collaborators from Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The Czech comic industry is shared between the two nations which previously included Czechoslovakia until 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This market represents a unique challenge, as to reach their audience, comics generally have to be translated into both Czech and Slovak. DC talent in this area includes Slovak artist John Sikela, one of the most prominent Superman artists of the Golden Age, who worked under the same Superman co-creator Joe Shuster.
Czech comics from the early XNUMXth century were typically published in local newspapers as strips in children's magazines such as Koule, very similar to comics in the United States before the invention of the dedicated comic. From the 20s to the 40s, artist Josef Lada was seen as a kind of godfather of Czech comics with his prýmovné komiksy: Obrázkové (Joking comics: series of images), setting the comic tone within the culture for other Czech comic creators and cartoonists. Comics were mostly suppressed in Czechoslovakia during the early years of Communist rule, but by the 60s the "Funny Animals" genre that had previously engulfed America, Italy and Germany had found its way into territory with popular serialized comics such as tyřlístek, a series that describes the misadventures of a cat, a dog, a pig and a rabbit that still runs today. Some science fiction comics, meanwhile, found publication in the 70s via the Czech Republic ABC magazine and spawned some of the most daring and highly regarded Czech works of art, such as the retrofuturist Muriel to andělé. The first anthology dedicated to Czech comics, Crew, was published from 1997 to 2003, but ABC magazine continues to provide space for comics such as the graphic adventures of the Czech folk hero “Pérák, the man of spring”, reinvented for a new audience as a superhero. Even if titles for young readers like tyřlístek still represent the lion's share of the original Czech comics, Crew e ABC they have unleashed the potential within the market for comics to tell more than just children's stories.
Represent the Czech Republic for Batman: The world is science fiction and mystery novelist Stepan Kopvira, formerly the writer of the graphic novel Nitro, and illustrator Michal Suchanek, who adapted a collection of science fiction stories by Czech author Ondřej Neff into the anthology Terrifying delights.
Beyond the cultural barriers of the Cold War, the interface between American and Russian comic traditions is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, one of the very first artists in DC history, Matt Curzon, originally from Russia, as well as (much more recently) Alina Urusov, illustrator of some iconic covers for Birds of prey e Teen Titans GO!
Like many European cultures, the earliest known examples of sequential art in Russia are devoted to religious iconography, translating events from the Bible into pictorial form. Seventeenth-century Russia saw the rise of the lubok, which were wood carvings, copper engravings and lithographs depicting popular folk stories and sometimes even cartoons, bordering on the political. It was not unheard of for these lubok of texts and images to be bound in collected forms, thus providing us with a very first example of comics. By the 20th century, the lubok it had faded from Russian popular culture, although its iconography and themes have survived in the posters and political messages. When a growing Communist regime began to impose strict rules on Russian culture, some Russian emigrants in neighboring countries kept their folk traditions and stories alive by continuing to illustrate them in comic form. In the 60s, the children of Soviet Russia were introduced to one-page comic stories in magazines such as Koster, but comics as a whole would not find open acceptance in Russia until the waning years of the Soviet Union. The Russian comic anthology Mukha was born in the 90s, providing a platform for Russian artists to express themselves through form. Folk tales and fairy tales continue to exert a strong influence on Russian comics, as do post-Cold War tensions and anxieties in horror stories that echo Chernobyl and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
Representing Russia for Batman: The world è The Shadow Thief writer Kirill Kutuzov, 41 nights the graphic novelist Egor Prutov, e plague doctor the artist Natalia Zaidova.
Polish comics have historically been a relatively insular industry, with few titles translated for an international audience. However, a large number of Polish talents have graced the sacred halls of Washington, such as Agnes Garbowska, a DC Super Hero Girls, Piotr Jablonski, Daphne Byrne cover artist, and Szymon Kudranski, artist of Penguin: pain and injury. Two of Poland's greatest contributions to DC history: mildly changeable artist Joe Kubert, not just for his work on titles such as Sergeant Rock music e Falcon, but for founding an enduring school for the art of comics, and Max Fleischer, who gave us the immortal Superman cartoon series of the 40s.
One of the cornerstones of Polish children's literature is Koziołek Matołek, Poland's first example of a "funny animal" comic starring an anthropomorphic goat. Comics for children like light fantasy Lil I put, and a uniquely Polish version of the Franco-Belgian style adventure comic, Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek, they continued to lead the core of the original Polish comics. But satirical counterculture titles like Jeż Jerzy, police procedural Kapitan Żbik, and the cult classic sci-fi epic of the 80s Funky Koval continue to provide fertile ground for a variety of narratives in Polish komik. Today, as in much of the world, Poland's greatest opportunities to reach a wider audience have come through the potential of online webcomics.
Representing Poland in Batman: The world è the sorcerer team of cartoonists of Piotr Kowalski and Brad Sampson, together with the award-winning science fiction novelist and director of the Polish “World Comics Club”, Tomasz Kołodziejczak.
Like Poland, Turkish comics have not been granted much of an international audience. But even like Poland, there are some truly fascinating original works inside and culture-inspired once you immerse yourself in their history. We also had some Turkish DC talent, including Supergirl artist Mahmud Asrar, Legion of superheroes, Firestorm, e Young Titans artist Yildiray Cinar and illustrator of Vertigo's Aria, MK Perker.
Like early American comics, most Turkish comics have historically been collections of strips that were published daily in Turkish newspapers. Popular historical fiction titles such as Karaoğlan, Abdülcanbaz e Tarkan provided sympathetic insights into Genghis Khan's Turkish ancestors and the often misunderstood Hun nomads of the fourth century. Like the folk tale tradition that preceded them, Turkish comics have historically focused on exalting the past and turning history into legend. Since the 70s, the more mature humorous comics trading in irony and satire have found a wider audience among Turkish readers. Perhaps the reason why few Turkish comics have appeared outside of Turkey is because of how proudly and fervently they wear their national and historical roots on their sleeve. Most of the Turkish comics you will find are simply Turkish with no excuses.
Representing Turkey for Batman: The world is writer Ertan Ergil, one of the country's most devoted Batman fans, and award-winning film poster designer Ethem Onur Bilgiç.
We're two-thirds of our journey with Batman: The World, but some of the best are yet to come. Join us tomorrow as we explore the comic traditions of Mexico, Brazil, China, Korea and Japan! Ahoj, до свидания, do widzenia, e güle güle!