Slobodan Škerović

Trilogy “The Third Argument”

“The Third Argument” (a graphic novel / comics), art: Zoran Tucić, script: Zoran Stefanović after Milorad Pavić stories: “Orbis” and “Bata”, Belgrade and “St. Sava”, Limassol, Cyprus 1995.


The Wedgwood Tea Set (part one) – Mythological quest for the meaning related by rich visual art language and strict storytelling suspense. Simulation surpasses reality and truncates it into decorative symbolism. Such inner shining I only saw in Kurosawa's Dodes'ka-den and Dreams.

The Horses of Saint Mark (part two) – One kills from freedom – so the history won't flow. Better without history, so the freedom survives. This part of “trilogy” is a key to open horizon in which everything is forced into the power of knowledge. Knowledge is the source and the outcome. Division on East and West suffers from “unseen” beauty – a promise which tears and destroys the illusion of pre-mythic Golden Age and “return”.

The Third Argument (part three) – Sacrificing people as “enemies” is just the allegory of sacrificing people as “friends”. Obverse and reverse of the same idea produces history as if something else.


Divided into three wholes, this story wins with its sophisticated painting and gamut, as well as with mystical humming of storytelling rhythm.

In part one, The Wedgwood Tea Set, rhythm had mostly covered the already muffled rationality. Existential mode is just apparently pragmatical, and reasoning, which is only formulated towards the end, is unconvincing. What is much more convincing is the mystical charge which prevents the reader-viewer from unleashing imagination, transducing him to the realm where quiet droning of the art's instrument overcomes the need for undeniably solid form of orderly existence.

Sensorial quality of the empirical civilizational aesthetics, suddenly withered and exhausted in itself, gives way to Dionysian coupling with the abstract force which, instead of explaining itself – creates. Energy of the rift, which makes the distance between Western civilization and the Balkans, a cruel sprout emerged in the ancient times of bronze and Achaean Greece, culminates in this story as the argument of the Abduction of Europe, with erotic experience remaining in the mythical, while rationalism continues its hopeless journey towards the psychological time-out of history.

What at the end of first story appears as an explanation, imbued with fear of existence which face is hunger, is the amnesia of experience, an impenetrable blockade of the mind obsessed with persistence of form.

Second part, The Horses of St. Mark, is actually a story of history's creation. About the alluring enchantment which “leads” to movement towards unreachable beauty, where the movement itself is the obstacle to achieving the objective.

The crime is realized as history, the work of the idea of realization – conquest, enslavement, extermination – the amnesia that follows historical personality and is its property, is amnesia of a victim doomed to oblivion. And what is it that is forgotten? Exactly the present moment.

Here is painted the parallel between technology and mythology, past and present, symbolism and reportage. One becomes the other, at different times performing the same function – the delusion of life.

The world's events repeat: one, two, three empires fall – all that seen in advance, and with the irresistible force of inertia those events suck the subject of storytelling into themselves. Knowledge of future events is dispersed into symbols-chants which speak with certain tension, but that tension is an attack of rough pathos and feeling of completion.

The story of Troy is Dardanized, that is – Balkanized. It's being told by insiders, with Balkan version of Hellenic names for gods and people. Usage of this filter, introduces prehistoric perspective into the story about history, which is not the case when exploiting Homeric point of view, because Homer had been absorbed into history. Misty Danubian forests present a very different support for the motif of the Iliad.

Third story is about the triple argument of Cortes: his first is superstition, second is mythological parallel and the third – cannibalism of life-and-history.

The last part tells about human sacrifice, which is the carrier of communication between historic man and divine force, where the “sacrifice” is supposed to offer valid arguments in defense of the deeds of historic character. For this reason, one's best friend becomes a chosen sacrifice.

Absurdly and superficially, it becomes clear that the sacrifice does not possess the adequate argument. It is the materialized history which has no weight in the Other World. From the beginning of The Third Argument, as the story unfolds, characters are doing something wrong, and then they look for an excuse and forgiveness. Chaos continues, fertilizes, reproduces, victims fall, bronze horses get sick and die.


The Third Argument is a painted and written creation of two excellent and versatile creators, Zoran Tucić (artist) and Zoran Stefanović (scriptwriter), based on Milorad Pavić texts, and one can freely say – masterly work created by crossbreeding of strong painter's sensibility and the art of not-uttering the essence which can only act from higher spheres, where artistic experience of immortal generations is collected.

If we talk about comics as art, here the shift from the usual comic book towards the literary and visual communion is too big for The Third Argument to be simply called – comics.

На Растку објављено: 2016-07-15
Датум последње измене: 2016-07-15 13:21:23
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