Crni Popaj Štefa Bartolića kao ostvarenje moralne periferije

Title in English Štef Bartolić’s Black Popeye Beyond Moral Boundaries


Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Štef Barolić´s hero comics Crni Popaj is such a provocative phenomenon in Croatian comics that it requires careful examination. Bartolić´s outstanding and well-recognizable drawing style is being put together with hard-core story where well-known heroes of American cartoons and comics about Popeye the Sailor are being presented via totally different characteristics, both physical and psychical. In the main role of this comics, Popaj is becoming a beast that exude anxiety and disguise. In this paper we will try to find answers to the question whether Popaj is a persona non grata for every decent society, or whether it only points to the evil that is being hidden inside each of us. Is his decadent and nihilistic brutality just an expression of distortion of one wretch, or does it – in a very distinct and outrageous style – show the plague of demoralization in the whole society? Crni Popaj is the representation of the worst men stereotypes and prejudice, but at the end it seems to be a product of hate, not its contriver. What is being said about (not only) Croatian society in this family – but sometimes even horror – comics, that is one of the possible secrets, that we will try to expose by semiotic interpretation of the above-described piece of work.
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