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Comics From M’ARS
Photos courtesy Marka:ff

From April 24 through May 11, the KomMissia 2008 International Festival of Narrative Drawing was held at Moscow’s M’ARS Center for Contemporary Art. The event, in its seventh year, included exhibits of comic art from many genres including manga, graphic novels, and anime, as well as lectures and master classes with well-known artists. In the Soviet era, domestic examples of the comic genre centered on official cartoons produced for children, and exposure to the multiplicity of comic art genres developing in Asia and the West was limited. Nevertheless, comic art developed a following that has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. Perhaps because of its association with children, comic art is often not given the serious treatment it deserves, and it is one of the missions of the KomMissia Festival to change this perception by drawing more attention to the artistic value of the work and the talent of those who create it. The festival, which included participants of all ages from all over the world and work drawn from mainstream and alternative branches of narrative graphic art, concluded with the awarding of juried prizes. To explore the work of the winners and learn more about KomMissia 2008, visit

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