Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kiba Lumberg - Gipsycomix

In physical size Gipsycomix book by Kiba Lumberg, writer and painter, is quite small. It contains the comic strip that ran in the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat as "kuukauden kotimainen" (monthly changing strip by Finnish artists) in 1991, some additional strips and one longer story.
In terms of content it is thick one though, with Lumberg addressing several themes relevant to an ethnic minority, especially one who traditionally has been more an object than a subject in literature. In an interview she does mention the reluctance of Romani people to discuss their matters with outsiders and how they have traditionally moved from place to place without building or leaving other permanent traces of themselves.
Beside obvious themes like racism, Lumberg does not hesitate to handle some of the darker sides within Romani, like oppression of women and strict behaviour codes and casting out of those who don't wish to follow them. Yet despite heavy subjects, this is a comic strip and cartoonish humour and exaggeration is the chosen style (it should be noted that I have a strong appreciation for anyone who manages to be light in tone without being trivial).

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