No time for Batman. What is the future for Russian comics

In early October, the largest publisher of Russian comics by Bubble presented the trailer of the first Russian film based on the comic “Major Thunder”, which is just a day, Internet users watched over one million times. Does it mean that viewers are tired of American superheroes and, finally, it’s time for the national comic book, Aifi said the chief editor of the publishing house Bubble Roman Kotkov.

Time comics

Elena Yakovleva, Aify the Attempts to instill a love of comics in our country, but they do not survive, as the culture of comics is not inherent in us. Why do you think you will succeed?

Roman Kotkov: If something did not work before, so there is a kind of void that need to fill. Of course, in America, comics are part of their culture, but I don’t see any objective reason why that can’t happen in Russia. Now the new generation of children whose parents, at least, brought up on films about spider-Man. Besides American cinema today greatly helps the development of comics. In 2008, the year of Iron man I heard more people than at any time that it exists since the 60-ies. In Russia the film “the Avengers” collects the same huge amount of money, as in other countries of the world. So, why not?

Why Russia is not stuck to the comics?

People like superheroes, they like a vibrant personality, charismatic characters. I think they will rule the market, it is only a matter of time. Now is the time when people are open to new characters, to something new, to what comics can be in Russia.

– America loves Superman, but we also have your favorite characters, such as Koschei the Immortal. Why not make comics with Russian folk heroes?

– Actually, we in the comic book “the Monk”, which is now out, one of the main characters just Kashchei the Immortal. Therefore, it is currently possible to adapt such classical images in a new reality. These are reworked, reinterpreted, of course, the images a modern twist. But, nevertheless, they are bright, memorable, excellent work.

The cover provided by the Publisher Bubble

– As far as I know, the main character of this comic – Inok, so, roughly speaking, Captain America in a cassock. Then suddenly you decided to make a comic about a monk?

– We wanted to make a character traveling in time, and when he developed his concept, he thought: “And what type of person has always existed, the whole story?” Accordingly, there was born the idea of a monk. There was no order of the ROC or something else, what we really like to remember. The image that was born from the simplest ideas. And now the hero has long moved away from that image, he returned to our reality and now travels through time, and in fantasy worlds and even looks different.

And yet, as in the Russian Orthodox Church reacted to the Russian comic book about a monk?

– Official comment we have not received (laughs). We don’t know. And well, I guess that we don’t know. In another comic is Satan. So if they do like something, another something they may not like…

And Batman is so young. How old is comic book stuff

People need villains

– It seems to me, is still a strong stereotype about readers of comics, as minded teenagers who don’t like to read, and want to have fun, looking at pictures. And yet, today, who is your audience?

– First of all, is a man of progressive views. Someone who understands that comics is no longer a book with children’s drawings, and interconnecting between the book and film art form, which also conveys the meaning and the text and picture.

Most often we read young audiences or people who got into comics by watching the movies. It is impossible to say that comics are read only hipsters or just people who are always fond of them. The audience is very wide.

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For me personally, one of the main disadvantages of the comics has always been that they are primitive: they good is good and evil is evil. There are no semitones. Don’t you agree that such simplification of subjects not developing readers, but rather makes people think in cliches?

– Absolutely nobody thinks in black and white. It is clear that earlier 30-ies, when flew the shining hero who pulled people from the rubble and flew back, and it was (for example, Superman was invented by two people of Jewish origin understood as a symbol of God that descends from heaven and helps ordinary people). But now there are very different stories, they can be a semitone, and may not be dithered. It all depends on the author.

It is understandable that people want a new and complex story, but sometimes people need a simple story, and the villains who instinctively do evil. So from the very beginnings of the comic villains and heroes, we do not repudiate, but a comic can tell a much more complex, dramatic story.

The cover provided by the Publisher Bubble

A fairy tale for adults

– Interest in the comics always closely connected with the history of the country, for example, during the Second world war in America became Captain America. And during the cold war there was interest in the Fantastic four and Iron man. And what are the realities affecting the Russian comics?

– Of course, we interact with the historical context, for example, in the comic “Major Thunder” when he started, our hero is a policeman, serving in St. Petersburg, fought with a maniac, who incited the people to revolt against the Government and nominated himself as the main figure. In General, at the time when it came out, it was a pretty progressive comic, reflected opposition developments in the country, etc. Sometimes these actuality work, especially if it’s a comic book, realistic. It is obvious that some characters are more connected with reality, some less. We have Busaboy once fought with the demons who dwell, do not know of deputies (laughs). And, they say, we in the comics Milonov blew up …

Man-the-hedgehog-the-mosquito. What would be the Marvel of Russia?

– But you always denied that it was Milon…

Yeah, it’s just like people (laughs). It is clear that such intersections with life – they, of course, pleasing people, readers like it. But to fully go into realism in comics, I think, impossible, we are creating a fictional story, but real life is around us in all its glory and not glory. After all, the world in comics should be fictional, so that the reader not only seen something this great in real life, but could, as they say, to go into this story, to dive and to believe that, Yes, there’s a world where, if anything, will save me a good police officer Igor Grom, and all will be well.

– Tell us, why for the first film adaptation you chose a comic “Major Thunder”. You see in this hero of the greatest potential?

Well, there are, of course, good answer, that’s where we are seeing a larger potential, it is a flagship character, a comic book sold well, and St. Petersburg is a beautiful place for filming. And it’s all true.

But beyond that, “Major Thunder” is the only suitable budget history among our comics in which there are demons, space, magic and time travel. And this is also true.

I think for the first movie comic “Major Thunder” is ideal, but do not put a cross on it that it’s just another film about the police. It is, first and foremost, the film based on the comic book about a COP and a comic book about the major Thunder is very interesting, it’s full of charismatic antagonists and villains, which he opposed.

The cover provided by the Publisher Bubble

Not a superhero movie

– What do you think, what’s the secret to the success of the trailer for “Major Thunder”? Only for the first day on YouTube it was viewed more than a million times?

– I think it’s just talented work. People interested in the fact that this was not there before.

Every year comic book movies coming out more and more. But just this year they finally began to scold. Perhaps people are slightly tired of Batman, Supermen. And we wanted to show that our film is energetic, bright, dynamic, vibrant, charismatic characters – something missing rollers of the film “the Defenders”. I was interested to see this film, but, in my opinion, he sells the effects, not the characters and their history. We primarily focus on characters, vivid images, and in this respect, our film will not disappoint.

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– “The defenders” by Sarik Andreasyan come out in 2017, a year before the feature film “Major Grom”. Not afraid that they might somehow undermine the interest in your product?

– To be honest, I don’t know how audience will take the “Defenders” that there will be, because will is ambiguous. In this regard, we would like to distance himself from them and show that we have the film, although based on the comics, but not superhero movie. After all, comics are not only about superheroes, comics are the detective, mystical, erotic, what happens… what you’re doing Mr. Andreasyan and the company is superhero movie, a Soviet super-soldiers, something explodes, etc.

Our idea is comic book style, bright, memorable, beautiful, spectacular movie. A “Defenders” are on the path of the discharge pathos: to save the Motherland-mother, etc., etc. Perhaps in the end, in the eyes of the audience, these two projects will be divided into completely different camps, and we don’t even have in the event of failure or defeat to get in touch with them.

– “The defenders” has already received a grant from the film Foundation, and you will count on state support?

– Silly to say, calculated – not calculated. Why do we all decided to do? We really do not want to work under someone else’s tune, we would love to come to a specific Director and said: your comic is full of crap, I want this hero to do here so here is completely different, and in General it will be totally different, of Asian appearance and a beard.

We appreciate our heroes, we love our heroes, we want them to be exactly as we intended, and as they caught the fancy of our audience. Premiere of the short film “Major Thunder”, which will be held in December, in fact, will show what we are capable of, and whether it will attract some investors for full-length movie.

If we get offered support, I don’t think we proudly say “no, go away, we won’t take your money, take your millions”. However, to change the universe in order to get some extra dollar, we won’t either. Accordingly, we want to make an original film for our comics, which are also pretty interesting and original. The most important thing is not the Ministry, no funds, and audience. If the audience will support, respectively, all will be well.


  • © The 52nd room More Fun Comics, February 1940


  • © 1st room Archie Comics, January 1942


  • © 1st room Captain America Comics, March 1941


  • © 1st room Marvel Comics, October 1939


  • © 1st room Flash Comics, January 1940


  • © 1st room Batman spring 1940


  • © 1st room Superman, June 1939


  • © 15 th issue of Amazing Fantasy, August 1962


  • © 27 th issue of Detective Comics, may 1939


  • © 1 th issue of Action Comics, June 1938

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