PSYCHONAUT

Sasa Rakezic, aka ALEKSANDAR ZOGRAF

Working under the pen name of Aleksandar Zograf, Sasa Rakezic has been a creating comics in his native Serbia since the mid-1980's. He has had several English language works published in the US and Europe including: Dream Watcher, Psychonaut and Life Under Sanctions.

Sasa's most recent comic book, Psychonaut #3 is currently available from MonsterPants Comics.


Below are some excerpts from a recent interview with Sasa Rakezic.


Although a great deal of Zograf's work has been published in the U.S. for years, the artist did not visit this country until late 1999. He spent time in New York, Seattle and Toronto, producing a special edition of his web-based strip, "Regards From Serbia" entitled, "Regards From U.S. of A.".

"I met really nice people, some great artists, bought a tons of books and comics. I believe that it's the same world wherever you go. Generally, Western Civilization is a savage one, with a lot of unresolved social and even spiritual issues, but people are just people, in Serbia or in US. I always meet nice people wherever I go, they are there, if you want to find them."

"There were some things which really made me sad in the States. Even though it's a cosmopolitan place, where you can hear all the languages being spoken, and where you can meet people of all races and eat even the most exotic food or whatever, there were almost no traces of the culture of Native Americans. In fact, it seems that the modern America is built to be exactly the opposite to the culture of its natives."

 

"On the other hand, without modern America, there will be no classic animated cartoons from the 30's and the 40's, no unique mixture of the music of black and white race, no comics by Crumb or Herriman. So there's always two sides to anything. Though I'm sorry that all that's left of that beautiful aboriginal civilization is the spirit that is secretly hovering over everything, and I guess that I was able to sense it even in Manhattan."

"My new book in US, Psychonaut # 3, came out pretty recently ( with MonsterPants Comics), so I'm still trying to let know people about it . Alternative comics books are selling pretty slowly nowadays. There's so many titles that people got confused --and then there are always problems with distribution..."

"Otherwise, I'm still working on my Regards from Serbia weekly strips. A collection of these strips has come out in Spain. I expect French ( with L'Association) and Brazilian versions soon and I'm negotiating about Italian and American editions."

"The last drawing that I finished was a design for a mural in Italy. Gordana (Sasa's wife and frequent collaborator) and I were in a small town of Tarcento in April, for the first edition of their comics festival. It turned out that Major knew my works and had few of my books. I was surprised even more when he asked me to do a drawing to be painted on the wall at the Municipality of Tarcento!!!"

 

Read the rest of the interview at men360.com.

Visit aleksandarzograf.com