The Slovenia Times

The Godfather of Contemporary Slovenian Comics



Lavrič belongs to the generation of Yugoslavian youths who grew up comics. Little wonder that his stories are closely connected to the former homeland - a homeland which in his youth boasted powerful production of domestic comics as well as a solid supply of foreign translations.
His creations have always been linked to liberal weekly Mladina, which more or less has Lavrič as its trademark. In it he has appeared under many pseudonyms and expressed himself through a variety of drawing styles.
His most unique creation is a story called Diareja (Diarrhoea). Even though it walks the thin line between comic strip and caricature it is definitely one of the peaks of the Slovene comic scene. In its nearly 24 years of existence it has mocked two political systems, numerous characters, and political situations - and continues to do so to this day. The main character - a big-nosed figure drawn with just a few lines - randomly changes to an officer, a punk, a bureaucrat, or a representative of a certain nation with just one attribute, and makes a simple but controversial point. What started as a comment on the last days in the political life of Yugoslavia has turned into a constant commentary on the ongoing situation. In short, it has become a part of the Slovene political culture.
In the nineties Lavrič published a few graphic novels from work which had previously appeared in Mladina. His Red Alert - Dark Days (1996) is an autobiographic portrayal of the Ljubljana punk scene. It was followed by Ratman (1997), a local superhero social and political parody, and Bosnian Fables (1997), a collection of stories of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He entered the new millennium with a collection of black humour stories under the collective titles Extreme Sports 1 & 2, contributed to the Decalogue project which featured other prominent European artists, and published French-exclusive sci-fi series Lomm. In 2004 he created the comic album Blind Sun, a series of nine short, cataclysmic stories with poetic text. His next creation was mafia thriller Evropa, followed by the notorious A Peregrine and a Dove series, where he put the entire Slovenian political scene into a romantic soap opera plot. It is not just Slovenia where his work is appreciated: many of his titles are published by foreign labels and are available in French, Spanish, Italian and Croatian.
In common with many comic artists Lavrič doesn't want much personal publicity. In a rare interview for Playboy he commented on his own satirical style: "What I have to say I say through my works. Is that so difficult to understand? Perhaps it really is, among all these village boasts and hysterical teenagers who would do anything for their five minutes of local glory. It's not about fake humility. I want to be on the front page of Time magazine or nothing!"


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