In 1925 Nikolaj Muster, known as Miki Muster, a Slovenian academic sculptor, illustrator, cartoonist and animator was born in Murska Sobota.
Muster was a pioneer of Slovenian comics and one of the most successful creators in both that field and the one of animation. His creative opus is extremely large and characterised by technical perfection and lively content.
Miki, born to a Hungarian mother and a Slovenian father, moved to Ljubljana at the age of eight, where he lived and attended schools for most of his childhood, except for the WWII era, when his mother was employed by the occupying Hungarian administration and he attended grammar school in Murska Sobota.
During these years he dreamt about leaving for the United States to join Disney Studios after the war, which wasn’t possible due to the Iron Curtain. He began drawing his first comic book when Yugoslavia was in the Stalinist era, before the Tito-Stalin split in 1948, and the American, Disney-style characters were not allowed.
Muster completed his studies in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana. Between 1952 and 1973 he published his comic Dogodivščine Zvitorepca Trdonje in Lakotnika (The Adventures of the Trickster, Hardie and Hungerly) in Slovenski poročevalec, where he was employed as a journalist and illustrator. They were later reprinted several times in book form.
He is well known among children for his picture books Medvedek Neewa (Neewa Bear), Maja the Bee, Snežek, and others.
In 1973, he moved to Germany and dedicated most of his time to animation. Most successful was his animation series Mordillo, based on the work of the Argentinian comic book artist Guillermo Mordillo and produced between 1976 and 1981. Also well known in Germany are the Knax cartoons, the first four of which Muster created in the mid-1980s for Deutsche Sparkasse.
In the 1990s, his work was marked by TV sports and animated commercials such as those with the Cik-Cak Bunnies, created to announce the end of kids programming after the evening cartoon on national TV, and ads for High C candies, Jelovica, Medex, Pomurje Dairy Farms, Pips and others.
On his return from Germany Miki Muster engaged in competitive swimming and eventually won gold in the masters category (for 75 to 85-year-olds) at the 2000 World Championship in Munich, and bronze and silver at the 2003 European championships in France.
Miki Muster died in 2018 in Ljubljana.