III. Historical comics in the post-communist period

After the change of regime in December 1989, many comics have been published, but as they appeared, so they disappeared, resisting the market only for a few issues.

Freedom of expression will continue by using many new types of comics: from Christian comics to erotic and even pornographic, from samurai comics to political comics, etc.

Unfortunately, there will be few historical comics. This happens because, on the one hand, the screenwriters are no longer interested in this subject, and on the other hand the new generation of cartoonists no longer addresses the realistic genre, much more difficult than the comic-caricature. Furthermore, a historical comic requires a rich documentation and especially a lot of time to make.

However, after 2010, both the magazine “Mekki” from Cluj and “Cutezatorii” from Ploieşti, publishes short episodes from the history of Romania, with realistic drawings and a lot of talent, by Andrei Moldovan and Puiu Manu.

The series from “Cutezatorii” has the generic name History is the most beautiful storyin comics, with the screenplay written by Professor Marius Leştaru.

In 2009, Nemira publishing house published the album Misiunea Berthelot (subtitled Romania in the First World War 1916-1919). This is a teaching album, informing children about the premises, development and end of the First World War in Romania and the fundamental role that General Henri Berthelot, commander of the French military mission under the Romanian army, had during this period. This work is the first in the history of Romanian comics which, addressing the subject of the First World War, notice the merits of the prime minister of that time, Ion Brătianu and the merits of Queen Maria (“Queen-soldier”) and the first in which King Ferdinand appears as a character. The comic strip album was drawn by the Frenchman Alain Lesbats after a screenplay written by journalist Marcela Feraru and appeared simultaneously in French, under the auspices of the France Ministry of Defense.

In 2010 Vali Ivan published the album Iancu Jianu. For the first time, the writer addresses the realistic drawing by choosing a difficult theme: outlawry.

In 2013, HAC! BD publishing house launched one of the most important historical comics album after 1989 and certainly one of the most beautiful in the post-December period: Ioniţă Tunsu, an outlaw from Bucharest, drawn by Puiu Manu after a screenplay by Marius Leştaru.

In 2014, the short album Cei trei viteji and Constantin Brâncoveanu (signed by Petru Demetru Popescu, drawn by Giorgian Gînguţ), the graphic novel În trecătoare (drawings by Alex Talambă, screenplay by George Dragan), the album Bărăgan 1917 (drawings by Robert Obert and Diana Necşulescu after a screenplay written by Felix Ţele) have appeared.

It should also be noted that, after 1989, the Bedefililor Association from Romania republished, in the form of an album, in collaboration with different publishing houses, several historical comics from the socialism period in the magazine “Cutezatorii”.

In 2018, Nicolae Pepene, a well-known and appreciated cultural manager in Brasov, is observing correctly that the historical comic genre is hardly practiced in Romania, and decides to organize a salon of the Romanian Historical Comics. The salon, which became a festival the following year, presents impressive outdoor exhibitions, some of them traveling in the country and in Bucharest.

Finally, Nicolae Pepene, bringing together several institutions such as the Brasov County History Museum, George Baritiu County Library in Brasov, Astra magazine, etc., also have proposed to publish a collection of historical comic albums signed by Romanian writers. Therefore, he published the album Braşov, 1987doi ani prea devreme (2017, screenplay and drawings by Mihai Grăjdeanu), the album Istoria e cea mai frumoasă poveste în benzi desenate (History is the most beautiful story in comics) (2019, screenplay by Marius Leştaru, drawings by Puiu Manu), as well as the collective album Stories from `89 in comics, the first in Romania to address the events of December 1989. The last one is a real premiere, not only in Romania but also in Europe, because it has no less than 212 pages, including the graphic stories of 39 authors.

The Brasov Festival created a real competition between authors, so that in 2021 three historical comic albums were published, all signed by participating authors and even winners of the contest organized in Brasov: Povestiri din trecut by Şerban Andreescu; Povești cu voievozi by Daniel Danil; Nemuritorii, by Adrian Cocos.

Historical comics now appear in the magazines ’’Historia’’, ‘’Astra’’ and ‘’Amintiri din Copilărie’’.

II. Under communism