Srđan Tunić

art historian, curator

Weird and wondrous comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comics in the expanded field (works 2011-2013) – essay

As a reflexion and summing up of my collaboration with Serbian comic artist Aleksa Gajić regarding the exhibition Weird and wondrous comics in gallery O3ONE in Belgrade 2013, I decided to write an essay in both Serbian and English. With this text I wanted to cover the main points of my research and try to contextualize his recently produced work, after the exhibition and without limitations of a brief catalog text.

The English version was published in December 2014 thanks to International Journal of Comic Art from USA, an independent publication with international and multidisciplinary approach in publishing scholarly and readable researches on any aspect of comic art (comic books, newspaper and magazine strips, caricature, gag and political cartoon, humorous art, animation, humor and cartoon magazines).

More about the current issue (vol. 16, no. 2), you can find on IJOCA’s website and blog. Also, my text is available as a downloadable .pdf via Academia-edu.

Special thanks to John A. Lent, Draško Roganović and Aleksa Gajić.

 

Weird and Wondrous comics of Aleksa Gajić

Comics in the expanded field (works 2011-13)

Introduction

The artistic production of Aleksa Gajić, one of the most renowned Serbian comic artists of the so-called middle generation, ordinarily tightly interwoven with both comics and animation, over the past several years shifted towards new and unusual forms. His best known works include comics made for the French market (such as The Scourge of Gods and Drakko), more then a decade of illustrations for the Politikin Zabavnik weekly magazine, as well as Technotise, the first Serbian animated feature film (Technotise: Edit and I) and comic of the same name, in collaboration with scriptwriter Darko Grkinić (Tucakov 2005: About the author). Motifs, content and visual style of his comics vary, from epic fantasy, sci-fi, cyberpunk (retro-futurism style) to comments on our everyday lives, imbued with a great dose of humor and Gajić’s trademark “frivolousness”, such as gags and banter (Zelić 2012). Since 2011, parallel to his more commercially oriented works, Gajić started creating the occasional intimate and experimental comics-like piece, which he calls therapeutic free style comics.

The works in question were the focus of the exhibition Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comics in the expanded field (works 2011-2013), an art project that was initiated as an idea in late 2012. As a curator of the exhibition, my professional aim was to gather the new works into a specific whole, problematize its departure from previous Gajić’s work and traditional comics, and to present the majority of it to the public for the very first time.
Therapeutic free style comics

During breaks between commercial ventures, which enable the artist to focus on his profession and make it sustainable, Gajić used that time to start making those therapeutic free style comics as a sort of release, a creative valve, free from editorial interference. Their genesis was not utilitarian, although as time went by, part of the works were exhibited, some even printed, and finally with the exhibition Weird and Wondrous comics all works were publicly displayed. In the very beginning, the works were only available to artist’s close friends and colleagues in his atelier.

In March 2012, Gajić gave an interview to the Serbian weekly Vreme, promoting his exhibition Epski heroji i grad budućnosti (Epic Heroes and the City of the Future), where he first mentioned publicly these new works:

– Anticipating your next film, you are working on “therapeutic free style comics” – as described in your biography?

– After the premiere (of Technotise: Edit and I, ST), I had a typhoon in my head: did I make it right, should I have taken that road… And, as a kind of self-therapy, I started doing something new, something that will eventually get its shape. So I made Scrapbook, and then Pljosnati strip (Flat comic) – both of unusual shape, I admit. Scrapbook is a collection of ideas I was jotting down in my notebook, wherever I went. After filling it, I continued to draw on rows of drawing paper left behind after I’d cut the required format for Drakko pages. That is why the latter is called the “Flat comic”. If the saying is true, that only the author can discern real art, what is truly inspired and what is simply taking the well-trodden path, I believe that in these two comics I recognized art. The reason is that these works sprang out of me sincerely, unpretentiously and found their own form. Both are humorous, with biographical details, bits and pieces I was cutting and gluing on the surface, as well as drawings that were done for the sake of themselves. I am calling these comics – pseudo-philosophy (Ćirić 2012)

The beginning of these “pseudo-philosophy” comics are tied to Scrapbook, started in 2010. Scrap book is a notebook with sketches, ideas, fragments of comics, illustrations, collages made out of sewn, glued, burned and punctured pages. This work creates a heterogenous collection of scenes and smaller narratives, that appear to be drafts and sketches (exercises in style, motif, character, and background), documenting personal experiences and development of content for forthcoming works (Gajić 2011: Scrap book). Persuaded by the Belgrade publisher System comics, this comic was printed in 2012. The series of comic strips titled Flat comic, started from 2011, are similar to Scrapbook, with one very important distinction. Flat comic was done in the form of individual horizontal and vertical strip lines, with series of short narratives. The stories could function independently (as homogeneous scenes or whole comics), but also like a (surreal) continuum. To quote the author, its origin is intrinsically linked to finding a use for the remains of pages for the Drakko comic.

While the aforementioned works remain in the field of comics, albeit with the prefix alternative, the forthcoming “off” works distance themselves even further from the classical comics form. A sequence of mini-comics on beach rocks made in 2011 under the title Kameni strip (Stone comic) are expanding the comic field as a graphic media towards sculpture, where the artwork is opening itself towards the open space and the viewer. Fitting in small formats, these comics require close attention by the viewers to get inside the story and enter a humorous world. The narrative is driven via panels made out of rocks of different dimensions and color, instead of paper. Two rocks are “breaking” this structure, as a comic relief, where the drawings are both on the rocks and bleeding outside of them, incorporating the background paper on which they are presented (Gajić 2011: Tasoško kamenovanje). This work was exhibited at the International Comic Festival in Belgrade 2011 and was awarded a special Jury’s award for innovation (Strip salon 2011).

For 2012 International Comic Salon in Belgrade Gajić made a strip object called Premotavanje (Rewinding) for which he received a grand-prix of the Festival (Strip salon 2012).i The comic, which is read by rewinding the two handles on a box bearing a strip roll seven meters long, requires interaction with the viewer in order to provide insight of a narrative about a man who is “rewinding the film” of his life (Gajić 2012: Rewinding). Rewinding, by the Salon jury’s words, presents a unique example of brutal merging of form and content, accompanied by the music of Chopin (in the case of the uploaded YouTube version). Parallels with this box-installation could be made with the forerunners of cinematography and animated movies at the end of the XIX and beginning of the XX century, experimental techniques featuring small pictures that required manual operation. Rewinding box could also be associated with the EKG (electrocardiogram) machine dating from the same period, which registers electric impulses of the heart beat; this correlation is emphasized with red lines initiating and ending the comic’s narrative. Special feature of this comic is the fact that all scenes are “melted” into a continuous image, where past and contemporary events of the protagonist are visually interwoven, avoiding classical comics panels/borders.


Comics in the expanded field

Starting from an alternative comic-notebook, and arriving to a comic-sculpture, one could pose a question – can we still consider these works comics? Or, what are the borders of (traditional) comics, as an art form? In a radio interview for Radio Belgrade 2ii, promoting the forthcoming exhibition Weird and Wondrous comics, Gajić jokingly said that he is a creative “omnivore”, unable to focus on just one subject or form, making him hard to be categorized by the public, in a purely marketing sense. Since my initial initiative in late 2012 up until the exhibition opening in October 2013, Gajić made a whole set of new and various works which were – more or less – accepting the logic of comics as a language, playing with different artistic media and materials. Comic artist Scott McCloud, by referring to Will Eisner, in his comic work Understanding comics was trying (very successfully) to discuss and set grounds to the frameworks of comics as an art form. In short, he claims that comics are sequential art whose main trait is the juxtaposition of visual and textual content (McCloud 1994: Setting the record straight). If we accept this basic definition, as a framework for understanding Weird and Wondrous comics, the constraints of the media itself become less strict and more open for reflecting/discussing.

As one of the concrete inspirations for the framework of the exhibition was also the theory of the expanded field (of sculpture) by Rosalind Krauss. The theory was developed in a context where the author was trying to systematize and explain newly developed initiatives in contemporary sculpture venturing outside its preconceived constraints and playing with the classical notions of the media (Krauss 1979), a trait present in Modern art from the early Modernism, up to Minimalism and Land-art. Without wishing to start a detailed discussion on her approach in addressing the sculpture of the XX century, the idea of the expanded field seemed practical for two reasons: 1) because it questions departure from established frameworks and limits of art traditions (in this case transposed to comics) and 2) having in mind that certain comics theorists here and there are using the term comics in the expanded field, referring to the work of Krauss.iii By using two milestones – McCloud and Krauss – my intention is to try to set a temporary framework for Weird and Wondrous comics, questioning their unity, or trying to find similarities in their flirtations with the traditional constrains of comics.
Weird comics

The title Weird and Wondrous comics was developed as a non-descriptive umbrella term aiming at grouping certain past and newly produced works represented on the exhibition of the same title. Comics, traditionally established as a system of visual narration, are gaining the third dimension and features of installation / sculpture / assemblage, taking it a step further and playing with the two-dimensionality of comics and illustration. Also, in Gajić’s works there is a strong tendency towards various forms of applied art, due to his academic background as a graduate of the Faculty for Applied Arts. In most Weird and Wondrous comics, as in the aforementioned Rewinding, one can notice brutal merging of content and form, where the nature of the media (the canvas, the material) defines the narrative itself, thus becoming inseparable. Another common denominator of these works is their small scale, which requires the observer’s undivided attention. To fully direct the focus on the artwork, without author’s or curator’s viewpoints, the catalog text continues the narrative set by the artwork itself, without reaching any concrete conclusions. In doing so, the text takes form of a comic book script, wherein the curator is having a discussion with his subconsciousness:

– The Weird and Wondrous comics are filled with experiments, playfulness and a mixture of techniques – from illustrations and comics drawn on non-standard surfaces, crammed into boxes and made out of objects such as assemblages (akin to 3D collages), hand-made volumes, to comics sculptures, mini-installations, animation… Truly, the nature of the media and material itself (branch, bottle, stone, circle, etc) dictate the content, thus forming a mutual dependence – a story for the sake of the material and material for the sake of the story!

– I think you’re being complicated again. What about these works that don’t even look like comics?

– Yes, some works seem to stop being comics at all… Aleksa is constantly playing with the notion of what comics are, and what they are not – and that is an unknown frontier… (Tunić 2013)

 


To clarify, Weird and Wondrous comics could be categorized based on their appearance, with the caveat that such a categorization relies on an attempt to make a systematization of non-standardized works, because most works are not suitable for developing a “hard” typology. Having that said, I will describe works most illustrative of the concept, since the exhibition included some other previous Gajić’s works. Certain works have the form of notebooks, with illustrations and mini-strips nesting under the label of alternative comics (Skicen blok, from 2012), with interventions (gluing, sewing, burning pages in Scrapbook). Inspired by Scrapbook, Gajić made a poster Pseudo-philosophical illustrated patchwork book for youngsters (2013), with faux “man on the street” interviews, where each of the fragments is done on a different type of paper and with a different technique. Flat comic is following the fragmentation of these works, with more or less coherent narratives and characters. According to the typology of six types of comic scenes McCloud sets, these works are relying to the “scene-to-scene” (physically and time divergent content), “aspect-to-aspect” (unrelated to time, observing spaces, ideas and moods) and non-sequitur, “illogical” scene and panel shifts. In most commercial comics, only “scene-to-scene” is a widely accepted category, while the latter two are indicative of alternative and experimental comics (McCloud 1994: Blood in the gutter). The short comics collection U šrafovima (Between the screws), published in 2003, introduces a novelty – metal screws that bind the cardboard covers, remaining for the most part a standard comic work. This work was included in the exhibition as sort of precursor to future experiments and as a special installation. Illustration Metamorfoza (Metamorphosis), made during artist’s college days (1997), follows the comic panels logic in its visual narrative, where every scene was created with a different technique, as an experiment (Sofrenović 2013). Several works have the shapes of small books, such as Znameniti zemunski alasi (Memorable Zemun fishermen) with a branch and a fishing float the artist found in the river, Sirota mala cev (Poor little pipe) made of plywood and cloth, and Lubenice (Watermelons) consisting of clay tiles. All three were made in 2013, and Poor little pipe is the only one that has anything resembling a comics narrative, while the other two consist mainly of illustrations. Two pop-up illustrations are also part of this group – Džon Eldridž (John Eldredge) and Saznao sam da si s’drugim (I’ve found out that you’re with another guy), both from 2013.

Certain number of these comics have a strong element of sculpture or installation present in them, whether they are applied to various non-paper surfaces or made from 3D materials. Granični strip (Border comic, 2013) is made on a branchiv, Satni strip (Clock comic 2013) as a clock background, while Pljosnata sreća (Flat happiness, 2013) is made on a hip flaskv. Nobelov strip (Nobel comic 2013) is made of an illustration on the barrel-like surface of a mono cigar box, while inside it there is a mock dynamite stick with a short comic – author’s interpretation of the moment when Alfred Nobel discovered dynamite. One snail made of silicone, snail’s shell and pin-antennae (2013) carries a thought bubble with dialogue. Papir, kamen, makaze (Rock, paper, scissors 2013) is using a pair of scissors and a rock glued to a paper as the titular characters, similar to Stone comic. Two wooden panes combined make the Wooden comic, titled Kut Humi i stari Hijahinto (Koot Hoomi and old Hiyahinto, Gajić 2013: Wooden comic). Artistic form of assemblage, 3D collage technique invented during early avantgarde movements of the XX century in Europe, is easily recognizable in Aleksa u paklu asamblaža (Aleksa in Assemblage Hell, 2013). Wooden surface, divided by shelf-like barriers forming a small frame made of square cubicles, has a central illustration with the author saying “Prokletstvo, ništa se ne uklapa!“ (“Damn, nothing fits!”), while the other fields are filled with tiny objects, such as clay sculptures, ship ropes, pocketwatch gears and small vials and bottles, among other things. One may even notice the comics logic following the wooden panels, where the center illustration is the only remaining part of a comic, while the other squares are “eaten up” by various objects. Similar to assemblage is the front page of the Politikin Zabavnik weekly, which illustrates, in nine fields, objects regarding the chapters and columns of the newspaper itself (Gajić 2013: Politkin zabavnik). The Weird and Wondrous comics exhibition’s poster (2013) is also divided into nine fields, with a comic narrative, hidden in the shapes of letters of the title of the exhibition.

During 2013. the artist produced a great number of “box” works, with the comics inside the boxes (that one can physically take out of the box) or integrated in boxes, as an integral, conceptual part of it. Gajić mostly bought the boxes at a local flea market (and made several by himself), and then used their shape, dimensions and ornaments as a starting point for the works that were contained therein. Apart from Rewinding, Trans dimenzionalna ujdurma (Trans-dimensional shenanigans, 2013) for the greater part resembles a comic work, with four panels inside the box, featuring the characters suddenly gaining 3D faces made of clay. Špuhlanje u Srbiji ’51-’61 (Špuhlanje in Serbia ’51-’61, 2013), as a fictitious document of a made-up old profession, has a cover illustration and inside the box two character pin-ups (a homage to engineers of the communist Yugoslavia) with speech bubbles and holding metal tools. Žvakanje amalgama (Chewing the Amalgam, 2011), is a continuous illustration, like a scroll, with illustrations for the book of poems under the same title, is housed in a locked box with a key (Gajić 2011: Associative poem). Another work, Molekul Mića u epizodi: ljubav ah ljubav (Molekul Mića in: Love, oh, love, 2013) also belongs to this series of “box comics” made in an intensive and short time period, with works such as Cirkus Gajić (Circus Gajić, 2013), an illustrated chronicle of an imaginary family circus and Lovačka priča (The Huntman’s tale, 2013), set in an engraved box with hunting ornaments done in relief. Three more works are following the narrative logic of the comics, however playing with its sequentiality. Klavijatura života (The keyboard of life, 2013) can be read by pulling out the cardboard comic out of the box, with black and white keys, visually illustrating negative and positive moments in the protagonist’s life. Ne dirajte moje krugove (Do not disturb my circles, 2013) is a comic featuring the ancient Greek philosopher Archimedes, illustrating the historical anecdote regarding his death, with the comic being stored inside a round box, drawn on papers cut in a circular shape and connected (physically and narratively) via a thread (Gajić 2013: Round comic). Duh iz bočice (Genie from the bottle, 2013) presents a narrative of a blue genie in various aggregate states, stored in eight glass bottles. The last two box works are least likely to be labeled as comics, since they’re basically simply boxes filed with with various materials: Komplet za katalogizovanje puževa (A set for cataloging snails) and Magijski komplet za prvu pomoć (Magician’s first aid kit), both from 2013.

Discussing the modernistic notion of sculpture, Krauss notes that until the end of 1970s there were many artworks problematic to applying the traditional term “sculpture”, signifying a set of heterogeneous practices, where the label of sculpture itself becomes ambiguous (Krauss 1979). Identifying what sculpture is not (architecture, landscape), Krauss develops a concept of sculpture in the expanded field through its interaction with architecture and non-architecture (axiomatic structures), landscape and non-landscape (marked sites) and architecture and landscape (site-construction). This idea could somewhat be adapted to comics, bearing in mind that sculpture is a classical artistic media whose integrity was questioned in the 20th century, while the comics basics were “drawn” during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, i.e. in the process of differentiation from graphics, illustration and caricature, among others. Even so, recognizing the differences, Weird and Wondrous comics could have their place within the expanded field for three reasons. First, starting with what comics are not (i.e. sculpture, illustrations and books), certain works become intersections with notebooks, applied illustrations and sculptures (reliefs, installations, boxes and assemblage). Second, the interdependence of applied arts is strong, where from the 20th century comics are becoming the subject matter of applied arts, but in this case the initiative is coming from the world of comics, incorporating other artistic forms.vi Thirdly, unlike sculpture, comics are defined as a language, sequential artistic form juxtaposing visual and textual narrative. McCloud emphasizes that if comics are defined as such, it consists of three border points: picture plane (artistic point), language plane (ideas, meaning) and representation plane (nature, appearance). Trough these points one could follow the ways and levels that text and picture are juxtaposed throughout history, to this very day (McCloud 1994: The vocabulary of comics).
The exhibition

Weird and Wondrous comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comics in the expanded field (works 2011-2013) presents the final stage of this initiative, an exhibition in the art gallery O3ONE in Belgrade. While several of the aforementioned works (such as Scrap book, Rewinding, Stone comic) were exhibited solo, as a part of annual International Comic Festival in Student’s cultural center in Belgrade, this was the first opportunity to gather all of the works, the greater part of which was made in the last three years, and introduce them into an art space, researched and a displayed as a whole to the public, as a small retrospective of sorts. Most of the works were exhibited for the first time to the public and raised significant interest – suite to artist’s prior acclaim and established communication with his audience, gallery’s network and the appeal of the works themselves.

Original works were set under glass (as museum exhibits), while the enlarged reproductions were hanging from the walls, showing them either in their entirety, or just a selection of scenes, providing the viewers with directions on how to read the miniature narratives. Expecting that these artworks would be interesting to a younger audience (kids), a greater part of the exhibition cases and reproductions of comics were set lower than the standard height of exhibition settings. The setting also included a display with animations, following the concept that connected illustrations, comics and animation. Apart from the video of Rewinding, where one could see the comic in its entirety, there was present a short film Uspon i pad umetnosti (Gajić 2013: Rise and fall of art), together with two older works – music video for the song Buđav lebac (Moldy bread) by the band S.A.R.S. (2009), with a comic of the same title, and Ljudi od gline (Clay people 1999), a set of illustrations (also displayed) tied together in an animation with recorded actor’s voice. As a background of the setting, there was a gentle presence of Penguin Cafe Orchestra music, a band whose signature genre ambivalence was similarly rooted in experimentation and playfulness.

 

 

Conclusion?

Indeed, the introduction of comics into gallery spaces is not a new practice, but in spite of many initiatives, it seems that comics gained their (deserved) place which is not often mixed with the other so-called “visual arts”. Potential reason for this probably lies in the fact that for the longest time the art world regarded comics, as an irrelevant and less-than-equal artistic form, while the comics world was busy establishing its own field – production, authors, publishers, and such. A shift was visible with the inclusion of comics in museums and galleries, starting intensively some forty years ago in the Western world (Munson 2009).

It could be argued that comics, as a specific language of visual-textual communication, existed from the first moment of juxtaposing two or more pictures and text (for example the Trajan’s column, the Bayeux tapestry, not to mention frescoes and icons of the Middle ages),vii although as an artistic form it is mostly dependent on the development of modern printing houses and means of mass reproduction in Great Britain and U.S.A. from the XIX century.viii In the (both „high“ and „alternative“) art world, comics are incorporated for the first time by the avantgarde art movements at the start of the 20th century, which were appropriating „non-art“ content, although a greater impact into the visual arts was achieved with the pop-art paintings of the 1960s, namely the appropriations by artist such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In both cases, comics were treated as a heritage of commercial prints, mass produced for the wider audience, which questioned its credibility from the position of elite (or elitist) art. But the acceptance of comics as a valid art form took time and persistence, and since it spent quite some time being “under the radar” of art critique and the established art world, it opened a space for development of distinct expressions and experiments (Sabin 2011: Not quite art).

Comics are widely available nowadays – in bookstores, on festivals, and as part of social projects (self-expressions, personal histories), in galleries, museums, on the Internet. In Serbia, comics are visible dominantly through manifestations in Belgrade, such as the International Comics Festival, Novo doba (non-aligned comics) and GRRR festivals, exhibitions in the gallery of the French institute in Belgrade, Elektrika gallery, Happy gallery of Student’s cultural center, and in the Museum of applied art, but also outside of the capital, in Leskovac, Kragujevac, Jagodina, Novi Sad, to mention just few cities, though the list keeps on expanding every year. On a purely personal level, as a comics fan, it was a challenge to use my interest and knowledge of comics and set it through art history and curatorial filters, giving my small contribution to the articulation and visibility of this artistic language.

In that light, Weird and Wondrous comics are an example of liberation from standardization, a brief respite and creative spasm brought forward by abandoning the commercial projects. They tend to defy the rules (borders are there to be crossedix) and extensive theorization; thanks to the cooperation of the artist and the curator, a temporarily framework is developed, set to problematize the boundaries of comics and make the works accessible to the audience. Also, they represent a game, a child’s play that bears its author’s style and his “omnivorous” creative inclination. The exhibition marked a period, a series of works that represented the much-needed release of a creative valve, before the next comic/animation project or challenge comes along. However, it is certain this is not the last time we’ll be seeing Weird and Wondrous comics.

 

Notes

i News example on internet portal SEEcult: http://www.seecult.org/vest/aleksi-gajicu-gran-pri-10-salona-stripa (in Serbian, retrieved 18th December 2013)
ii Zlatni presek – kulturni krugovi (The golden ratio – cultural circles) by journalist Tamara Vučenović: http://www.rts.rs/page/radio/sr/story/24/Radio+Beograd+2/1412216/Kulturni+krugovi%3A+Zlatni+presek.html (in Serbian, retrieved 18th December 2013)
iii A couple of online examples: http://thecribsheet-isabelinho.blogspot.com/2008/10/comics-expanded-field.html, http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2011/08/comics-expanded-field-and-other-pet-peeves (retrieved 11th December 2013)
iv A play on words – granica (border) and grana (branch) is used, with ambivalence.
v Another wordplay – adjective “pljosnato” (flat) is similar to the word “pljoska” (hip flask).
vi This fact is not unusual since both comic and animation art are part of the applied arts at the University of Belgrade, Gajić’s being its alumni.
vii Interesting text on drawing correlations between medieval Serbian zografs (painters) and iconographers and comic artists: Ivkov 2013.
viii McCloud describes an interesting “genealogy” of comics as a language in the chapter Show and tell.
ix Gajić, from the public guided tour with the artist and the curator in art space O3ONE, October 2013.
Literature
Gajić, Aleksa and Tucakov, Anica. 2005. Virtuelna realnost – realna virtuelnost (Virtual reality – real virtuality). Exhibition catalog. Belgrade, The museum of applied art.
Gajić, Aleksa (blog posts, all accessed December 2013)

2011. Skrepbuk (Scrap book). Available at <http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2011/08/skrepbuk-scrap-book.html&gt;

2011. Tasoško kamenovanje (Stone comic). Available at <http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2011/08/tasoshko-kamenovanje.html&gt;

2011. Associative poem (Žvakanje amalgama). Available at

<http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2011/11/asociative-poem.html&gt;

2012. Premotavanje (Rewinding comic). Available at <http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2012/10/revinding-comic.html&gt;

2013. Drveni strip (Wooden comic). Available at <http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2013/04/wooden-comic.html&gt;

2013. Round comic (Ne dirajte moje krugove). Available at <http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2013/05/round-comic.html&gt;

2013. Rise and fall of art (Uspon i pad umetnosti). Available at

<http://aleksagajic.blogspot.com/2013/04/rise-and-fall-of-art-short-trailer.html&gt;

2013. Cover page of Politikin zabavnik (no. 3218, 11th Ocober 2013). Belgrade: Politika a.d.
Zelić, Pavle

2012. Epski heroji i grad budućnosti (Epic heroes and the cities of the future). Catalog text. Belgrade: The French institute. Available at <http://www.happynovisad.com/strip/izlozba-alekse-gajica-u-francuskom-institutu-u-beogradu.7865.htm&gt; (in Serbian). Accessed December 2013.

2013. Nastavlja se… tri generacije savremenog srpskog stripa (Continued… three generations of contemporary Serbian comics. Ed, exhibition catalog. Belgrade: The French institute. In Serbian.
Ivkov, Slobodan. 2013. “Poreklo naklonosti ka vizuelnoj naraciji u Srbiji (The origin of tendency of visual narration in Serbia)”. In Nastavlja se… tri generacije savremenog srpskog stripa (ed. Zelić, Pavle). Belgrade: The French institute.
Krauss, Rosalind. 1979. Sculpture in the expanded field. Cambridge (U.S.A.): October, Vol. 8 MIT press.
McCloud, Scott. 1994. Understanding comics: the invisible art. New York: Kitchen sink press.
Munson, Kit. 2009. Beyond high and low: how comics and museums learned to co-exist. International Journal of Comic Art (IJOCA), Vol. 11, No. 2. John Lent: USA. Available at <http://www.academia.edu/231822/Beyond_High_and_Low_How_Comics_and_Museums_Learned_to_Co-Exist&gt;. Accessed December 2013.
Sabin, Roger. 2001. Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels: A History of Comic Art. New York/London: Phaidon.
Sofrenović, Vesna. 2013. Život je bajka (Life is a fairytale, an interview with Aleksa Gajić). Belgrade: Politika a.d (Politikin zabavnik no. 3219, 18th October 2013).

Available at <http://politikin-zabavnik.rs/pz/tekstovi/prica&gt; (in Serbian) Accessed December 2013.
Sretenović, Mirjana. 2013. Magijski stripovi za prvu pomoć (Magic first-aid kit comics, an interview with Aleksa Gajić). Belgrade: Politika a.d. (21st September 2013)
International Comics Festival (various authors)

2011 Catalog. Belgrade, Student’s cultural center. Available at <http://www.skc.org.rs/images/stories/pdf/katalozi_salona/Catalog_of_9th_International_Comics_Festival_Belgrade_2011.pdf&gt;. Accessed December 2013.

2012 Catalog. Belgrade, Student’s cultural center. Available at

<http://www.skc.org.rs/images/stories/12_septembar/salon_stripa/Katalog-10-web.pdf&gt;. Accessed December 2013.
Tunić, Srđan. 2013. Weird comics of Aleksa Gajić: Comics in the expanded field (works 2011-2013), catalog text. Belgrade, Art space O3ONE. Available at <https://srdjantunic.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/cudnovati-stripovi-alekse-gajicaweird-comics-of-aleksa-gajic&gt;. Accessed May 17th 2014.
Ćirić, Sonja. 2012. Epski heroji i Beograd budućnosti (Epic heroes and future Belgrade, interview). Belgrade, weekly Vreme. Available at <http://www.vreme.rs/cms/view.php?id=1042273&gt; (in Serbian). Accessed December 2013.

The author would like to thanks to Draško Roganović and Comic Hall of the International Belgrade Book Fair for support in developing this essay.

Foto: Aleksa Gajić, Studio Orange/O3ONE, Srđan Plavšić and Srđan Tunić.

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