The Healing Island
Story and art: Kostja Ribnik
Published by Modesty Comics, London (UK) May 2014
136 pages, B5/ebook, B&W (color cover)
Buy digital on:
Modesty Comics (PDF format) £ 2.80
Amazon (Kindle edition) $ 8.00
To download first 25 pages of this e-book in English please click here
“The greatest success in storytelling is to draw the readers into an intimate narrative, a world built for the purpose of the piece and to speak up about universal and eternal themes in a way that cuts into the minds and souls of readers. Kostja Ribnik certainly does this in his experimental graphic novel, which uses its innovativeness for bringing out emotions and conveying ideas in a way that is rarely seen on the stage of the former Yugoslavia, but also much wider and further too. The confidence with which this young author plays with structure and form of the comic book medium, and all this at a significant number of pages, is refreshing and announces greatness and durability of a new expression and poetics.
The story about a young man named Steinbock who comes to an isolated island to buy an antique car, and then becomes a toy of magical circumstances that lead him on a path to achieving his creative and romantic potential is both ordinary and totally unusu¬al and perfectly mimics the creative process of creating a work of art...
...As it says at the beginning, “the healing island” is a real place, as real as Macondo by Márquez or Stephen King’s Castle Rock, with echoes of Shangri-La or Neverland, based on the Croatian island of Pag, but also a place where miracles inflame the imagination. From the skeleton - pointers through the hallucinogenic liqueur višnjorez and the bucket of destiny to the larvae that gets under your skin, everything here serves a purpose of creating a unique atmosphere that enchants, both characters in the story and readers alike.“ - From „Poetry of silence and all things small“ by Pavle Zelic
„Kostja’s art portrays how his passivity and we could say, his depression transforms in the face of people who are genuinely happy and who have found their place in life, their calling so to speak. What the graphic novel does really well is counter Steinbock’s inner monologues and descriptions of his life back in Vienna with images that portray the simple and meaningful beauty of the Healing Island, which “brings the best out of people”. Everybody knows everybody else there and everybody is known for a certain set of skills and services they provide.“
„With a few twists and turns that will surprise you, the book is well worth reading and exploring. I can say with ease that this is one of the best Bosnian comics ever produced, and in such a small country of only 3.5 million people, it is rare to see such maturity of style and expression, and also productiveness that Kostja continues to exhibit.“ - From “An Original Bosnian Graphic Novel In The Healing Island” By Emir Pasanovic