By Filip Stojanovski.
Stripoteka, one of the oldest surviving comics magazines in the world, celebrated its 50th anniversary in May 2019. It was originally published in Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina province of Serbia, as a special monthly edition of an already established magazine, Panorama. It become so popular that it ran as a weekly paper between 1972 and 1985.
Its concept was to serve as “review of world comics,” using it 60-page magazine format [similar to Spirou, 2000 AD or Heavy Metal], to present–whole or chopped up in sequels–top quality graphic novels and other comics forms. As a whole, taken as a cross-section or an archive of the medium, balancing classics and contemporary hits, it has gained the status of an ‘encyclopedia’ or ‘academy of sciences for comics.’
The front cover of the 50th anniversary edition (number 1173, May 2019) featured a collage of some of the most popular characters, from the Franco-Belgian Oumpah-pah, Gaston, Lucky Luke, Axle Munshine and Lieutenant Blueberry; to American Tarzan, Mandrake the Magician, the Phantom, Hägar the Horrible, Marvel’s Thor and Conan; to Italian Corto Malteze and Cocco Bill; to Spanish Torpedo and British Modesty Blaise.
In an op-ed in that issue, editor Milan Jovanović noted that through all its diversity, Stripoteka had been largely missing out on one important trend in world comics – manga. Therefore, that issue featured a story by Japanese artist Jiro Taniguchi (1947-2017).
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