The Writers’ Block: Adriean Koleric


Graphic artist Adriean Koleric in front of Victoria Fancy Sausage, which is featured in the first issue of Trakovi: The Slav With No Remorse.


When Adriean Koleric was a child, his grandfather used to take him to Victoria Fancy Sausage in northeast Edmonton. “He hunted at the time and processed his game there,” says Koleric. 

The butcher shop, located in the neighbourhood of Montrose, is now immortalized in Koleric’s first comic book series, Trakovi: The Slav With No Remorse, a wild tale about a Slovenian immigrant and his gang of ne’er-do-wells. 

Trakovi fights, curses, blows up a school bus—yet has the gall to still attend Villain Rehab. (While Koleric’s grandfather was the inspiration for Trakovi’s graphic language, that’s where the similarities end.)

Contributing to Edmonton 

Trakovi also features references to one of Edmonton’s greatest bands, SNFU, and locations such as Bellevue Community League and Sugared and Spiced, a bakery in Old Strathcona. You might also recognize 76th Avenue, home to Farrow Sandwiches, Kind Ice Cream and Ritchie Market.


A man wearing a track suit drives to Bellevue Community League in a series of illustrations from the first issue of the comic
A few panels from the first issue of Adriean Koleric's comic, Trakovi: The Slav With No Remorse. Courtesy of Adriean Koleric.


“I didn’t want to build a new world, everything’s already here and it just gives the story more heart, as opposed to creating some fictional town,” says Koleric.

”I also wanted to build this up locally—I was more concerned with people in Edmonton reading it as opposed to people outside of Edmonton. Maybe they’ll be interested in going to visit some of the places [featured in Trakovi]. I like the idea of contributing to the city in some fashion.”

Showered with inspiration

Koleric, also known as thinkITEM, came to comics in a roundabout fashion—from interior design to furniture designer to visual artist. He came up with the concept for Trakovi while he was in the shower, listening to The Lonely Bull by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. 

“The song's playing and I'm envisioning the opening scene of the comic—Trakovi is driving his four-door European sedan and comes across this bus crash,” says Koleric. “It was like I visualized an actual movie scene and then I kind of worked my way back and tried to lay it out on paper and direct myself how to draw it.” 


Two covers of the first issue of the comic book, Trakovi: The Slav With No Remorse. One cover features a drawing of a man singing on top of an exploding school bus. The other cover has a man licking what could be a piece of chalk or a cigarette.
Covers of the first issue of Trakovi: The Slav With No Remorse, designed by Edmonton artists Dylan Korbisser, left, and Dave Thomas.


An abundance of support

Koleric needed a little help from his friends to create Trakovi. He didn’t know the first thing about writing comics, so he sought the advice of local experts such as artist Dallas Casavant and Leigh Rigler, the owner of Comic Fever, a northside store. Two others, Dave Thomas and Dillon Korbisser, drew covers of the first two issues. 


“There’s just an abundance of creative people here,” says Koleric. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”


Trakovi is a testament to community. Local fans contributed to his crowdfunding campaign to print the first two issues. (He asked for $2,000, they donated $10,000.) Audrey’s Books, Comic Fever and Variant Edition sold out of their copies of Trakovi—but there might still be a few left at Rolling Tales or online at Koleric’s 3Press Comics.

“Edmonton is crazy supportive,” he says. “Especially as an artist, there's always someone that's going to pick up your stuff or give you some encouragement. You’ve also got markets like Royal Bison that are absolutely huge as well. There’s a really, really good support system.”


More Trakovi in 2023

Koleric is also making a name for himself outside the city limits. Scout Comics, an indie publisher in Florida, will print the first two issues of Trakovi and three new ones, starting in 2023. Expect to see more Edmonton locations—including The Gilded Rabbit, an art supply and framing shop—and a time-travelling character based on local fan Taz Dhariwal. 

Beyond five issues, Koleric doesn’t have anything else planned for Trakovi. Though he likes to joke about hosting a bus tour of all of the locations in the series. “I’m not saying it’s going to happen,” he says. “But I don’t know. It could.”


The Writers' Block series features yeg-cellent authors and their latest work. Read the other chapters: