One of the most disorienting things about living in another country is discovering whole corners of the world that I didn't even know existed.
After I published a post about a whimsically-painted RV, one of my kind-hearted Bosnian readers (thanks!) told me that the pictures were not only not random but also a very central part of Bosnian, and Yugoslavian, popular culture. They pictures were of characters from Alan Ford comics.
Originally an Italian comic strip, it was only mildly successful in Italy, but the Serbo-Croatian translations were wildly successful. The spoofs of James Bond and Western culture appeal to the Yugoslavian sense of humor. Alan Ford characters (like crotchety old Number One), phrases, and jokes are part of the language and the culture here. I asked our tutor about Alan Ford, and she told me she has a painting of an Alan Ford character hanging in her house!
This site allows you to read the comic strips online. My favorite part of it, though, is the gorgeous cover art.
I'm either going to have to quickly improve my Bosnian language skills or wait for the English translation.