Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Regards from Serbia

In the tooting my own horn department, Regards from Serbia by Aleksandar Zograf is out this week from Top Shelf. One might wonder why I'm mentioning a book about the Yugoslavian Civil War here. Zograf posted daily emails reporting on the war to an email group on alternative comics, Comix@ that I belonged to. Zograf lost his electronic copies of his letters, but fortunately I had saved the emails and was able to provide them to Top Shelf so they could put the book together more easily. That archivist instinct to save material occasionally pays off, and I'm glad to have been able to help out with this project.

Top Shelf's website says:

"The Serbian cartoonist Aleksandar Zograf has created some of the most compelling comics of the last 15 years. His war stories about the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia, heartbreaking dissections of the cartoonist's inner and outer life as his world fell to pieces all around him, are as fine a group of testimonials as exists concerning the emotional and physical disruptions caused by proximity to death and destruction." -- Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

As the NATO bombs fell on his hometown of PanĨevo in 1999, Serbian cartoonist Aleksandar Zograf used his diary comics and e-mail to reach out to the world and offer a glimpse at the effects of the attacks. Over the weeks and months of the war, Zograf documented not only how the bombings shattered the lives of his friends and neighbors, but also how the routine of daily life remained unchanged. The most recent attacks on Pancevo's oil refinery are contrasted with the latest local soccer matches -- and American propaganda flyers are as likely to fall from the sky as American comics are to arrive in the mail.

In today’s ratings-driven era of globetrotting correspondents and embedded reportage, Regards From Serbia rings with the truth of a man who had the headlines come to him, and offers a comprehensive account of the conflict as only a local could tell it. -- 288 pages, Graphic Novel, Diamond: NOV063909, ISBN 978-1-891830-42-6, $19.95 (US)

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