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Slovenia's storied general made a comic strip hero

Maribor, 14 January - Rudolf Maister, the WWI general that secured Slovenia's northern border, has long been admitted to the pantheon of national heroes. He is now also expected to make a name for himself as a graphic novel hero.

The statue of General Rudolf Maister in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence.
Photo: Domen Groegl/STA
File photo

Promoted as an "animated, taut and historically credible graphic novel" about General Maister (1874-1934), Naš Maister (Our Maister) has just been released by the publisher Miš.

The text was written by Mihael Glavan, the former head of the manuscript collection of the National and University Library in Ljubljana, while the drawings were created by Damijan Stepančič.

The authors will be launching the graphic novel at the Maribor University Library later on Tuesday. Stepančič's drawings will also be put on display.

"Rudolf Maister, our most celebrated general, has been the subject of many books of fiction and non-fiction, while our book follows key steps of his biography in words and pictures," the publisher said.

The graphic novel takes the reader from the general's birth in Kamnik in 1874, his schooling in Kranj and Ljubljana and his formative years as a soldier and officer at the Vienna Military Academy to his serving in the Austrian army and his celebrated taking control of Maribor with his troops in 1918.

It is largely owing to him that Maribor, Slovenia's second city, and the north-east of Slovenia became part of the new Yugoslav state rather than Austria after the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed.

In memory of his military campaign Slovenia celebrates Rudolf Maister Day on 23 November.

Apart from Maister's military and political projects, the graphic novel also includes brief sketches of his aides and supporters.

© STA, 2020