Comic Book Legend Miki Muster Dies, Aged 92

By , 08 May 2018, 15:38 PM News
The cover of one of Muster's many books The cover of one of Muster's many books

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STA, 8 May 2018 - The pioneer of Slovenian comic art and animated film, Miki Muster, has died aged 92. His best known work is a collection of comic books about Zvitorepec, Trdonja and Lakotnik. 

The author of countless cartoons, animated films, comic books and commercials won the Prešeren Prize, the highest national awards for lifetime achievements in the arts, in 2015.

Muster began his career in the 1950s when the art was still frowned upon as trivial by the Communist authorities, yet his endearing characters soon won the hearts of children and adults and are still popular today.

Enjoying almost a cult status to this day, his best known work is a collection of comic books about Zvitorepec, Trdonja and Lakotnik, a recount of endless action-packed adventures of a plucky fox, wise turtle and a kind but simple-minded wolf.

The stories first came out as a comic in a daily newspaper in the early 1950s and were later also turned into an animated cartoon. Altogether, the collection features more than 40 comic books.

Muster has produced over 5,000 panels of comics and animated film running to a total of ten hours. Talking to the STA upon receiving the Prešeren Prize, Muster said he had always been a workaholic, working up to 16 hours a day. But having enjoyed so much in drawing, he never perceived it as actual work.

Hailing from Murska Sobota, the academic sculptor by profession and a self-taught cartoonist and animator, was initially unable to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist, because he could not travel to the US after WWII while the art was still non-existent in Europe.

So he studied sculpting at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts, and left for West Germany in 1973, where he stayed for 17 years, working for Bavaria Film and other studios, but also keeping his Slovenian clients, including TV Ljubljana, the predecessor of the public broadcaster, and several well-known companies and brands such as Kolinska, Medex, Elan and Fructal.

His commercials were immensely popular, being funny and witty.

On his return to Slovenia in the 1990s, Muster started to draw political caricatures for the Mag magazine, which has been later discontinued, and later for the weekly Reporter.

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