Interview with Boris Stanic


Boris Stanic is a Serbian author whose expressive and recognizable style conquers the eyes of the audience almost at the first sight. We met him recently and had a short chat about his work

RP: You were schooled as a classical painter, but your love for comics art is something older than that. Can you explain us in short the history of your relation to comics?

My father is a big fan of comics...I still have all the episodes of Asterix, Umpah Pah, Lucky Luke, Tin-tin, Corto Maltese and others that i used to read over and over again, thousands of times. I was also drawing comics and illustrations until I enrolled the Faculty of fine arts in Belgrade.

The professors didn't appreciate comics. They didn't think comics were art at all. Of course education in classical painting and art history did me a lot of good, helped me become aware of what and how I want to create... I guess, when i started doing comics again a few years ago it was my return to the roots.

RP: First part of Radosav book was published some time ago, and it was widely accepted. Can you tell us a bit about the process of making it, how did it go, and which were the reactions that the book provoked among audience?

It's a story about my grandfather's life after the World War II, his childhood, his struggle to survive in those times of hunger...it is based on my memories of him, memories of all the stories that he used to tell me and my grandmother's memories, who really helped me to connect all these fragments into a whole. I wanted to reconstruct reality, to make it alive and vivid, to go through all these situations with him, with my grandfather whom i loved so much. Speaking of drawing, this book is expression, it is not a comic book in classical manner, I've improvised a lot, drew freely, directly with ink, the writings are also expressive, created in the moment. I've tried to use my panting experience while drawing a comic book. Comments were good, luckily, people felt that i managed to realize these intentions, and i guess, they felt connected to the topic since everyone here has someone who went through the similar torment as my grandfather did. For the last 3 years I've been working on the second book, in which i plan to conclude his life journey...It will be a lot bigger piece since i plan to include my whole family and their going through many different situations.

RP: Which kind of comics do you follow and read? What do you find interesting on the comics scene?

I'll recommend you a few comics that i enjoyed: Stitches by David Small, Three shadows by Cyril Pedrosa, Rabbi's cat by Joann Sfar, Vertigo by Lynd ward, God's man by lynd Ward, Paying for it by Chester Brown, Lone wolf and cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, X'ed Out by Charles Burns...and there is many more...

RP: Among your friends, you are well known as very well informed fan and skilled interpretor of American early country and blues music. Can you tell us a bit about your affinities in this field - what makes you inspired in this kind of music, who are your favourite musicians and why?

I love old music generally, old recordings of American country, bands and authors such as the Carter family, Dock Boggs, Elizabeth Cotten ...you can find that rich feeling of life in those songs, in every honest note and simple, natural voice. it is very expressive music, and those guys were speaking of real life, everyday life...

It inspires me a lot. I love also Serbian, and whole Balkan's old music, I even try to learn to play tamburica, an instrument that was invented in today's Vojvodina, north region of Serbia.

RP: Which are the other sources of your inspiration? Which books, movies, artists would you recommend?

I look for inspiration in the world around me, in people, nature... I read history books and articles these days, since i'm beginning preparations for another comic that will be about assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. It will be written by Guido van Hengel.