FROM THE RUSSIAN PROGRAM NOTES
"This is the biggest exhibition of Russian comics ever in the US. lt was first conceived in August 2016 when representatives of various Russian festivals were touring the US - along with some artists. Now that same initiative has taken new shape as a collaboration between Professor David MacFadyen (UCLA) and Moscow's KomMissiya Festival – within LA's own FFM Festival. Collaboration is always a good idea(!), so this exhibition combines the best of two Russian events: KomMissiya in the capital and Boomfest in Saint Petersburg."
"KomMissiya began in 2001 with the artist known as Heehaws - and to this day takes place every May. Currently it is overseen by Alex Kunin (aka ChedrikJ. Special guests over the years have included Moebius (twice) plus other legends from Franco-Belgian comics. Visitors and experts have also come from Chile, Japan, Finland, Sweden, China, ltaly, Spain, and the US. KomMissiya has been graced by various creative minds from Marvel and DC comics: Rodney Ramos, Dennis Calero, Bryan Boland, and Rick Mayers. ln 2011 KomMissiya launched an international and civically inspired social comics project, supported by the EU and the Goethe lnstitute. Examples will be included at FFM in December 2016"
"As for Boomfest, it was born in 2006 and would increase steadily in popularity. lt is currently hosted each September, thanks to founder and director Dmitry Yakovlev. Like KomMissiya, so Boomfest is an international event, to which many European graphic artists are invited. From the US, recent celebrities have included Joe Sacco and David Lasky."
"The larger posters in our exhibition represent the world of Russian web-comics -prepared for us by the online community at www.Acomic.ru (founder Alex Kozlov). They include fragments of early Russian superhero comics (published by Bubble} and twenty-four genuinely unique posters from the Yekaterinburg magazine Veles. That publication was popular across the Ural Mountains in the 1990s. It has now reemerged, thanks to Radik Sadykov and the publishing house TIEN. One of the most remarkable Veles narratives has always been Red Blood, inspired by frontline memoirs from Afghanistan. The author lgor Kozhevnikov was himself aided by three screenwriters, one of whom was a war veteran. For more about Russian comics, please consult Jose Alaniz's monograph Russian Komiks. Exhibition collected and prepared by Anna Voronkova (KomMissiya). Technical support- Ksenya Vasiieva."