‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”
Issue 21, May 2016:
Comics Behind the Scenes

Zeszyty Komiksowe #21

Table of contents

Dear Readers,

It would seem that there can be nothing simpler that comics, but giving readers the opportunity to enjoy every new album requires coordinated efforts of a small army of people. And the number of albums published in Poland grows every year. The aforementioned small army sometimes consists of a single person (please read Paweł Panic’s interview with Rafał Szłapa to get a better idea of how that works) but typically someone other than the artists is responsible for editing the final work and yet another group handles publishing, printing, and marketing. The role of those people in the process of producing a comic book cannot be underestimated even if their contributions are becoming visible only if they make a mistake.

In this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” we are proposing a collection of articles and interviews that clearly shows how difficult yet satisfying is the job of an artist or writer, of the person responsible of placing text in balloons, of the font designer, printhouse manager, publisher, and even - comic store owner. Our goal is to peek behind the curtain and to show our readers a world that is usually hidden from them - but one that makes comics possible.

As usually, the issue is completed by articles unrelated to the main subject matter, focusing on analyses of interesting comics and portraits of long-forgotten artists, as well as by comics and illustrations.

It is also worth mentioning that our magazine has been formally recognized as a peer-reviewed scientific journal by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Finally, we won’t hide the fact that Tomasz Żaglewski helped greatly with putting this issue together. Thank you!

Please enjoy this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”,

Michał Błażejczyk and Michał Traczyk

Media Partners

Aleja Komiksu
Radio Afera / Prosto z Kadru

Table of Contents

Design: Dennis Wojda
Cover art: Rafał Szłapa

Comics Behind the Scenes

Comics: Comics: Instruction Manual By Mikołaj Tkacz
To Be a Comic Book Writer in Poland Daniel Gizicki Daniel Gizicki, a comic book writer himself, sheds some light on this occupation and provides a number of useful hints and tips. How to begin? How detailed should a script be? How to work with artists and publishers? How to promote the comics once it was published? How to react to criticism?
Illustration: Incredible Stories By Magdalena Rucińska
Getting Comics Ready for Print: A Practical Guide Jarek Obważanek, Dymkołamacze; consultation Wojtek Grzegorek The author goes over recommendations and best practices related to preparing comics for print. It covers topics such as layout, margins and bleed, scanning, resolutions and quality, color separations, placement of text in balloons, and finally – hints and tips with regards to working with print houses.
Comics: EEG By Tomasz Niewiadomski
Inconsequential? Arek Hinc This article talks about text. It’s one of the structural elements of comics – often seen as trivial but in reality quite the opposite: responsible for binding the entire story together. Particular points discussed include the placement of speech balloons on a page, their form and visual aspects, onomatopoeia, and finally the choice of font. The author goes over common caveats related to typography in comics – and even describes in detail how to make your own font!
Illustration: Incredible Stories By Magdalena Rucińska
Five Hundred Shoelaces Artur Wabik The author spent over a decade running a print house specializing in comics. In this article he tells his story from beginning (his dad also operated a print company) to end (printing comics made him stop reading them) through a series of anecdotes. How to choose paper with the right absorption parameters? How to deliver special orders, e.g. comics inside boxes that look like shoes? Etc.
Scenario Is Key Interview with Rafał Szłapa conducted by Paweł Panic Rafał Szłapa, a well-known Polish comic book artist, has been auto-publishing his Bler series (5 volumes published so far) for a couple of years now. In this interview he talks about the origins of the series and explains his reasons for choosing auto-publishing and challenges that come with it.
Comics: Bler’s Story By Rafał Szłapa
Locating the Author Interview with Leszek Kaczanowski conducted by Michał Błażejczyk Leszek Kaczanowski runs a small but dynamic publishing house specializing in reprints of older Polish comics. Here he talks about various practical issues related to his occupation: the question of licenses and locating authors (which is sometimes impossible and often quite hard), publishing strategies, preparing comics for print, etc.
The Last Niche Interview with Anna Andrzejewska conducted by Dominika Gracz and Magdalena Leszczak Yumegari is a relatively new independent publishing house in Poland, specializing in manga – more specifically in Korean and Chinese comics. They were also the first publisher in our country to propose hentai comics to their readers – with success. The interview circles around subjects such as licenses, collaboration with Japanese publishers, operating a small publishing outfit in Poland, contacts with fans, , controversies around publishing hentai in Poland, etc.
There Were No Spectacular Failures Z Szymonem Holcmanem rozmawiał Tomasz Żaglewski Szymon Holcman is one of the owners of kultura gniewu, one of the oldest Polish independent comics publishers. In this interview he talks about the past, present and future of his outfit, about licensing and distributing comics, and about changes on the market over the years.
Illustration: Incredible Stories By Magdalena Rucińska
We Don’t Regret Any Decisions Interview with Paweł Timofiejuk conducted by Tomasz Żaglewski Paweł Timofiejuk a.k.a. Timof is the owner of Timof i cisi wspólnicy, a small independent comics publisher in Poland, specializing in ambitious comics for adults. In this interview he presents his work as a publisher an the evolution of the comic book market in Poland in more detail.
Entertainment & Enlightenment Marcin Herman ‟Esensja” was one of the first full-fledged on-line magazines about culture (including comics) in Poland, and Marcin Herman was one of its pillars for several early years. In this article he describes the creation of ‟Esensja”, the evolution of its publishing model, and discussions around its content. He lists the many important authors and comics artists who contributed to the magazine, and mentions the participation of the editorial board in comic book conventions.
Comics: The Created: Prologue By Artur Hejna
We Sell What We Like Interview with Paweł Olejniczak conducted by Tomasz Żaglewski KiK is a small independent comic book store in Poznań, and Paweł Olejniczak is its owner. In this interview he talks about relationships with publishers and fans, promotional strategies, and ways to grow the comic book market in Poland.
New Comics Publishers in Poland (After 2013) Maciej Gierszewski The last three years on the Polish comic book market were very unusual, with the appearance of several new, small, independent publishers who are getting into hands of readers titles that are often very interesting.
Comics: I Never Know What I Will Draw By Mikołaj Tkacz


The Electrifying Chair Marek Starosta Review of the exhibition of Polish comic book artist Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz, entitled ‟A Chair in Hell” and presented in several art galleries in South-Western Poland since last Summer.
Healing Panels. An Essay about Autotherapeutic Comics Michał Siromski The author postulates the existence of a specific sub-genre of autobiographical comics: autotherapeutic comics. It started with Robert Crumb and is quite popular in the USA; less so in Europe. The purpose of autotherapeutic comics is to help their authors deal with traumatic or difficult events from their lives. This approach is not far from classic therapy when it comes to form and outcome.
Comics in the Classroom Tomasz Żaglewski The author advances the opinion that comics will never be treated seriously as an art in Poland unless it is included in school curriculum in a serious manner. He then proceeds to go over recent methodological reflection of the use of comics and graphic novels in the classroom – in Poland and abroad.
Comics: By Dream Team
How Comics Conquered Tractors. The Comics of Andrzej Krajewski Adam Rusek Andrzej Krajewski is completely unknown in Poland, and yet he was a prolific comics artist in the post-war era. Aside from his main job as an illustrator, he drew educational comics for many years, mostly for the ‟Tractor” magazine. They were not particularly refined in style or message but they are examples of early comics for adultsin our country.
Josef Beránek Tomáš Prokůpek and Michal Lamprecht; translation: Paweł Adamiak Josef Beránek was a Slovenian illustrator of Czech descent who was one of key figures of early comics (or rather, illustrated stories) in this country. Sadly, his career in this area fell entirely during the war period, first in Catholic periodicals, and later in fascist ones. This choice ultimately cost him his life, cutting short his promising career.
Comics: The Tiny Fox & The Big Boar: Loss By Berenika Kołomycka
Memory and Matter. Tu és a mulher da minha vida, ela a mulher dos meus sonhos by Pedro Brito & João Fazenda Magdalena Rucińska How does the process of creating comics look like? Where does it begin and where does it end? Can it be documented and studied, or does it lie outside of the reach of our cognitive tools? In theory it’s simple: notes, scenarios, storyboards, character design – we are well accustomed to these elements of the ‟making of” of comics. The authors of Tu és a mulher da minha vida, ela a mulher dos meus sonhos point our attention to another, less tangible component of the creative process – everything related to inner life of artists, their feelings and memories. This angle forces us to look at comics through the lens of Bergson’s theory of matter and memory as well as Dewey’s theory of art and experience.
Man in A World of Rain, Fog, and Cold. Lauren Redniss, Thunder and Lightning... Katarzyna Smyczyńska In her book Thunder and Lightning... (2015), Lauren Redniss offers her readers a visual feast and moments of meditation on the beauty of living in harmony with nature. The article traces back the artist’s possible sources of inspiration and reconstructs her intellectual pursuits to emphasise the impact they have had on the form, aesthetics, and the conceptual sophistication of the book. Redniss’ intellectual and artistic background has allowed her to create a visual masterpiece that through its hybridical form and artistic appeal not only effortlessly fuses the apparently disparate worlds of art and science, but also becomes a powerful ethical statement.
Illustration: Postcard By Michał Rzecznik
Mangaka’s Life Is Not So Bad If He’s Not Out of Breath Przemysław Zawrotny Review of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s comics entitled A Drifting Life
Such T.Alent! Przemysław Zawrotny Review of Jacek Świdziński’s comics entitled Great Escape from Community Gardens
List of Comics Published by Polish Authors Tomasz Kontny
Comics: A Sad Drawing Pretending to Be Happy By Mikołaj Tkacz
Data utworzenia strony: 9 I 2016
Ostatnia modyfikacja: 3 XII 2018