NEW ERA is an international, worldwide, super-national, cosmic festival, summit, meeting, event of authors, activists, groups, publishers, editors, theoreticians, critics, enthusiasts, fans, and fanatics of independent, unaligned, alternative, artistic, noncommercial, underground comics, graphic novels, illustrated novels, illustration, comic theory, graphics, posters of comics, films made about comics and vise versa, video, animation, and experimental music, which will be held every year in Belgrade, but sometimes in other, bigger and smaller comics centers, cities, villages, and towns in Serbia, the Balkans, Europe, the world, the cosmos.
NEW ERA is a long-standing project of the creation of comics, which in recent times, as a descendant of and an interruption to the digital revolution, must be viewed in a wider perspective, and not only in a technical nor esthetic light, but also in a creative, social/sociological and ideological context. Films, videos, and animations are very often in the realm of comic authors, not only as an after-effect, but increasingly often, it could even be said that it is the rule. The redefinition of this media, a long time overdue, although in the end impossible, will also, with the help of theory, talks, debates, and praxis, direct work on comics and insight into production, point out a new tendency in the world of comics, will reevaluate the classics, and will carefully find the clear need to experiment in the sphere of the avant-garde as it is, in the social and political context of comics, which, although not innovative, is all the more present in world comics. Comics in countries which don’t have a comics tradition, new media, new comics; a new era.
NEW ERA doesn’t start from zero, but it starts from a very important moment which, if we look at time with the sense of its infiniteness, can take very long. A moment of great change, a tick above the metamorphosis of the medium, in the context of other media and of modern life in general, as a disruption of the flow of civilization, before the death of the local scene, or of the national, the next to last, the thinnest line between the space underground and this world, between this side and that side, between both-sided and all-sided, just at the moment when the full revitalization of the material, in the middle of the simultaneous revolution of which the majority is not aware, the hellish orange of Big Brother on the animal farm on which, since 1984, electric sheep have been dreamt of.
NEW ERA is not a compromise of two mistaken approaches, one of which being prostituted and degraded, alternative, underground comics, undefined for the wrong reasons, a wavering and unfocused, aimlessly bizarre, in themselves low quality, failed experimentation and with the industry of a sporty approach, characterized by strict, precise order, and by persistent yet passé norms, a precisely codified process of the creation of comics, the tools for comics, and of techniques, which, from the beginning, have not changed, and also of proficiency, but something much more complex, the essentially defined yet difficultly explained, that which in itself avoids definition, while avoiding branding the wide spectrum of half true titles. Certain that all problems, extenuating circumstances, and unfulfilled needs and possibilities can and must be used to ones own advantage.
The NEW ERA festival more or less coincides with a few more, relatively similar festivals, some of which have existed for a relatively long time already, but the ideological construction, the similarity of esthetic, the thematic, and even one strong dose of honest solidarity, gives the right to think that something is happening naturally. Participation in the new era, honest and enlightened, direct or indirect, internal or from the outside, now or forever, can take and lead you through the whole world and beyond, along underground paths or intergalactic paths in a weightless state, floating and sailing through the labyrinths and fantasies and worldly eternal battles. Comics are no longer an escape from reality to a world of imagination and a daily or ancient way of dreaming, but a space which contains all that is in comics and around comics, the mysterious situations from dreams in a waking state, the infinite space between two panels, the unbelievable ideas on the edge of the impossible, the story between the lines, complete freedom of expression and personal, autonomous realization and critique, to experience the work in which you yourself participate to the full extent, from one side paper and a screen, creation without any technical assistance, and from the other side technical perfection, which is only inherent in children, with the same honesty and enthusiasm.
NEW ERA has always been, will never end, and is now in its zenith.