‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”
Issue 18, October 2014:
Komiks dla dzieci

Zeszyty Komiksowe #18

Table of contents

Dear Readers,

Comics are not for children, but at the same time – they are. Everybody knows this even if the knowledge of most of the society on the subject of comics is limited to the adventures of Donald Duck. In this issue we remind you that children’s comics have been studied for many years, and that research conclusions arrived at many years ago still hold (Birek). We also show that opinions regarding this branch of comics are far from unanimous.

This issue does not contain well-known stories of well-known artists of the bygone era. We hope that new perspectives regarding their works will be produced by future generations of researchers, thanks to new editions of the classics that are being published these days. In contrast, this issue covers what is happening in Polish children’s comics today. We write about new authors who are gaining prominence (how similar are the life stories of Tomasz Samojlik and Pau!); about readers who enjoy a steadily broadening selection of children’s comics (if should be mentioned that those readers are not necessarily children themselves); and also about school that is slowly but surely getting more comfortable with the art of comics.

We are also coming back, once again, to the 90’s – a period that played a fundamental role in the development of modern comic book market in Poland.

We would like to thank Maciej Gierszewski for his help in persuading many young artists to contribute their comics and illustrations to this issue, and to apologize to Luo RongRong for publishing her article with such a long delay.

Please enjoy this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”,

Michał Błażejczyk and Michał Traczyk

Table of Contents

Design: Dennis Wojda
Cover art: Tomasz Samojlik


‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” 2004-2014: 10 Years with Comics, 10 Years About Comics Michał Błażejczyk In this article the editor-in-chief of the magazine revisits its first ten years of existence, from a one-man-army show it was at the very beginning to the semi-professional publication with a greatly improved layout, distribution, financing, and community support it has become. And English version of this article will (eventually) be published on ‟Zeszyty”’s web site.

Children’s Comics

Comics: Riding Hood By Agnieszka Świętek
The Ordinary Toil of a Supervillain Interview with Tomasz Samojlik conducted by Michał Traczyk Tomasz Samojlik is a raising star of Polish comics for children. The captivating stories featuring anthropomorphic animals such as shrews, otters and cuckoos manage to teach young (and not so young) readers many facts about nature while being entertaining and drawn in a very accessible and expressive classic style. In this interview he talks about his early experiences as a comic artist, about how he became popular, and about the secret of combining married life and research work with creating comics.
Comics: Sorek and Fiodor By Tomasz Samojlik
Comics for Children in Poland (an excerpt) Wojciech Birek This article, originally written for teachers as the target audience, is a fragment of a longer piece from 2008, soon to be published in book form along other texts by the author who is one of the most prominent Polish researchers focused on the art of comics. It describes in detail several classic Polish comic books for children, focusing on the way reality is depicted inside them.
Comics: Life Is Awesome By Mikołaj Ratka
The Three Pigs and Other Comics of David Wiesner Jerzy Szyłak David Wiesner’s Wikipedia entry doesn’t mention comics at all, and yet many of his children’s books clearly fall within the realm of sequential art. Jerzy Szyłak analyzes in detail several of them (The Three Pigs, Tuesday, Free Fall, and Flotsam) in order to convincingly show that there are no reasons why they should not be considered comics.
Comics: Ojej’s Adventures By Hubert Ronek
The Birth of Czech Children Comics Tomáš Prokůpek This article is a summary of the first ever research project to study the history of Czech children’s comics, completely forgotten until now. Pre-comics forms evolved during the second half of the 19th century from short illustrated stories created for educational purposes to standard entertainment genres of that time. Authors such as Karel Ladislav Thuma had significant impact on future developments of the Czech cultural scene.
Comics: Om By Piotr Nowacki
Comics: Pepe By Piotr Nowacki
Comics in the Curriculum Karol Sus Comics has a lot of (unfortunately – underutilized) potential as a curriculum element in schools. The author discusses in detail three of them: the introduction into visual storytelling by adding comics masterpieces onto the reading list; the use of historical comics in class; and pupils’ participation in comics competitions for children and teenagers.
Comics: The Gang Of Short-Haired Poets By Ola Szmida
I Like It when Comics Is More Than Entertainment Interview with Pau conducted and translated by Kuba Jankowski Pau, the author of the Saga of Atlas & Axis, talks about his early career in Spain, the international breakthrough of his comic series, his linguistic inspirations, his current and future projects, and the realities of the Spanish comic book market.
A Few Words about Atlas & Axis Kuba Jankowski The Saga of Atlas & Axis is the most important project of the Spanish comic book artist Pau. The adventures of two anthropomorphic dogs in prehistoric times are a mix of good entertainment and mild educational purpose, all of it very expertly drawn. Saga’s author sprinkles interesting linguistic games into his creations making them more intriguing for adult audiences.
Comics: Auntie Borowa Written by Marzena Sowa, art by Berenika Kołomycka
Comics: Legenda o Królu Popielu Written by Dennis Wojda, art by Berenika Kołomycka
Meet the Fearless Guards Maciej Gierszewski Dave Peterson’s Mouse Guard series is set in a world of sentient mice who live in a medieval era and is based on the same period in human history. Several volumes will soon be published in Polish and make for a great read for the younger audience - and not only.
A Feast at Rutu Modan’s Maciej Gierszewski Rutu Modan is mostly known in Poland for her serious graphic novels such as Exit Wounds. However, in Israel Modan is mostly known as an illustrator of children’s books. Her Maya Makes a Mess, recently published in Poland, is a much lighter and funnier comic book aimed at a younger audience.
Illustrations: By Anna Krztoń
Comics Are NOT for Kids Michał Traczyk The thesis that comics are for children causes this entire genre to be seen as infantile and lacking artistic value. The author shows that the definition, name, history, and canon of comics all point in a completely different direction.
Comics MUST Be for Kids Michał Błażejczyk In contradiction to the previous article, the author suggests that the discussion around the issue of comics being for children should be more nuanced. In particular, it is the strong performance of comics as an art form destined primarily for children and teenagers that led to a gradual evolution of the genre into other subject matters and audiences. A strong children’s comics market seems to be essential to a healthy comics market in general.
Comics: By Katarzyna Kaczor

Polish Comics in the 90’s

Łódź Was an Eldorado of Comics Interview with Wojciech Birek conducted by Przemysław Mazur and Michał Błażejczyk Wojciech Birek is not only one of the most prominent Polish scholars of comics, but also a publicist, a translator, and a creator - he’s drawn and written several short and long comic stories. In this interview he revisits the turbulent times of the 1990s, so full of promise and disillusionment, success and disappointment.
Comics: Gas Vegas By Tomasz Niewiadomski
I Started as Editor in Chief of ‟Donald Duck” Z Tomaszem Kołodziejczakiem rozmawiali Przemysław Mazur i Michał Błażejczyk Egmont Polska is the biggest publisher of comics in Poland. Tomasz Kołodziejczak has worked there since 1995 and is now the Publishing Manager of Comics there. He has been responsible of the phenomenal growth of the comics offering of Egmont who has published many masterpieces of world comics as well as reprinted many beloved Polish classics over the years. In this interview, he revisits his history with Egmont as well as his involvement with the Polish science fiction scene (he is a published and award-winning author).
After the First Issue It Was a Piece of Pie Interview with Łukasz Zandecki conducted by Przemysław Mazur and Michał Błażejczyk Łukasz Zandecki was the co-founder of ‟AQQ”, the most important comics magazine in Poland in the nineties. Here he talks about the origins of his interest in this art form, about the beginnings of ‟AQQ”, and about his decision to stop being involved in the comic book scene.
Comics: Payout By Tomasz Mering
The Dark Age of Comic Books Kajetan Kusina and Bartłomiej Gajdzis The Dark Age of Comic Books, beginning in the late 80s and lasting for decade, was the grittiest and gloomiest era of comic books, born out of fascination with dark, deconstructive works, like Alan Moore’s The Watchmen or Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Characterised by abundant crises, crossovers and apocalyptic storylines, pointless anti-heroes, over-the-top machismo and lazy execution, it was also particularly immature. In this article, the authors explore some of the Dark Age’s absurdities, introduce one of its most prominent authors, discuss the Great Comics Crash of 1996, and try to understand how it all influenced the comic book industry.


I Am Not a Hardcore Fan Interview with Adam Rusek conducted by Rafał Wójcik Adam Rusek, the chief historian of Polish comics, is actually a librarian by profession (he works at the National Library in Warsaw). As he explains in this interview, his first research articles devoted to the subject of comics revolved around readership. He also discusses the difficult relationship between libraries and comics, be it at the level of maintaining a coherent and rich offer of comics, or in relation to cataloguing practices which are often of very poor quality. Rusek’s interviewer, Rafał Wójcik, is himself a librarian making this text a very insightful exchange.
Comics Collection Rafał Wójcik The author describes the comics collection of the university library of Poznań that he is the curator of.
The Interdysciplinary NarrAkcje Meeting Maja Starakiewicz The text is a brief introduction and invitation to NarrAkcje - a scientific conference devoted to the narrative techniques in comics.
Comics: Short History of Breaking the Rules By Nikola Kucharska
Alternative Comics in a Country Without Mainstream - Independent Manhua in the Era of Globalization Luo Rongrong, translation: Ewa Lipińska The author, herself an independent Chinese comic artist, gives an overview of the comic book scene in the PRC in early XXI century. Her focus is on „independent manhua”, i.e. groups who do not bow to commercial pressures and create works that are often similar in style to alternative Western comics but profoundly interested in the social realities of China.
List of Comics Published by Polish Authors Tomasz Kontny
Data utworzenia strony: 13 V 2015
Ostatnia modyfikacja: 3 XII 2018