September 10, 2019 - Herceg Novi Strip Festival is growing year by year. Leonid Leo Pilipovic is one of 12 special guests of the 13th edition of the HSF, the most significant comic book show in this part of Europe. This year it brought together around 50 authors from all meridians in the city under Orjen. Leo is visiting Herceg Novi for the first time, so he is undoubtedly interested in today's segment of the program - HSF in Lustica.
The well-known Serbian comic artist, who has built his drawing career in France as well, visits thee Herceg Novi Strip Festival for the first time. He points out that he has heard about the festival from the beginning.
"I heard the best of the festival. Colleagues who have already been guests have told me that this is something incredible - a festival that lasts for five, six days, in a wonderful setting, by the sea. It sounds unreal. Of course, I had a desire to come. I met with Jovan Subotic at the Mostar Festival last year, when he told me that he had been waiting for me to join for a long time. So, this year, I finally showed up. And everything that my colleagues told me about this festival is completely true. Even more than that," points out the famous creator of Ninth Art.
Leonid "Leo" Pilipovic is a Serbian comic strip artist and musician. He is currently working for the French publishing house Delcourt under the new title "Le Dernier Dragon" (J. P. Pecau). For Delcourt, he has drawn two episodes (4th and 5th) of screenwriter Jean Pierre Pecau's "L 'Histoire Secrete" so far. He completed a series called "Le Grande Jeu" by the same screenwriter (6 episodes) and one episode of "Jour J" (J. P. Pecau and Fred Duval). At the same time, for the second French publisher, Soleil completed the series "Ravermoon" by screenwriter Sylvian Cordurie (3 episodes). His comics have been licensed in the US, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Croatia.
He is nicknamed "Léo von Punkerstein" in the 1990s, and in France, he signed as Léo Pilipovic.
"The Herceg Novi Festival is something out of the ordinary. I've been to a lot of festivals, both in Europe and in our area, but this is something extraordinary," says this renowned comic book creator.
Pilipovic agrees with his colleagues that HSF represents one of the most significant comic book shows of today, primarily since its crew works every year to secure the participation of globally famous authors. The opportunity to socialize with colleagues is a value in itself.
"From our perspective, as artists and cartoonists, festivals serve this purpose. Of course, people need to come in, get acquainted with the comic book, and draw something to passersby. And that's part of the whole story. The opportunity to socialize with colleagues from all over the world is one of the main motives that we all love to attend festivals."
The popularization of comics in our region is certainly a goal that should be addressed. HSF seems to be doing a great job in this regard.
"The popularization of comics is badly needed. Let me remind, especially for the younger generations who may not even remember. The former state of Yugoslavia has had a powerful scene in terms of cartoons and good comics. We have a strong tradition and a good culture of reading comics, which, unfortunately, has been lost in the last twenty years. So now we have to start over. It is difficult, it will take a long time, but it needs to start from something. Festivals are one part of those steps. Of course, they are not enough. First of all, it is necessary to renew the publishing, to raise it to a higher level because it all goes with each other. Publishers can't print a large print run if they have nowhere to sell it, and people who buy comic books have to see how it's made. That circle should be closed - festivals, publishers of audiences. It grows over time. And festivals are certainly an essential link in this whole process."
HSF works to popularize comics using the "internet" of our ancestors - one of the most important media that has connected people and places in the past. It brought art to Boka, and from Boka referred to the far shores. The artists are in Klinci today to meet the rural environment of Herceg Novi. Following tradition, they will throw their papers in glass bottles from the boat in front of the Boka Bay and let the sea take them to the shores.
Thus, comics in previous years, carried by the currents, were reaching across the Adriatic. Live art is also planned, as well as workshops with students from Lustica and Tivat.