Issue 24, September 2017:
New Generation of Polish Comics Artists
Talking about generations in art may seem suspicious. A couple of decades ago, this concept made it easier for scholars to organize research material and to propose syntheses. Today, in the era of Internet and lightening-fast information flow, rapid turnaround in trends, and significantly broader publishing opportunities than 15-20 years ago - and, what goes with it, opportunities to raise to prominence, if not on mass scale, than at least in the comics community - this concept seems to be more of a hinderance. Why? Because everything that we listed above causes the obvious elements of generational changes of the past (birth date, common aesthetics, ideological struggle with predecessors) to be replaced by a far-reaching individualization of experiences. Everything mixes together and overlaps; lasts for a short while and then goes away. What never changes is the fact that new artists continue to appear, and that - in our opinion, at least - there is still the need to compare, contrast, and group them, the goal being synthesis which seems to have less and less value in the research community.
In this issue, we decided to stop short of theorizing and give artists a voice. We reached out to those who, in our opinion, can be labelled ‟The New Generation”, even though they all have very different approaches to art and to publishing strategies. Some can be considered ‟mainstream” and are more (Podolec and Kucharska) or less (Skrobol) active; one artist bridges the mainstream with the alternative (Krztoń); finally, one artist has strong underground roots (Okrasa) and one more publishes online (Witerscheim). This section is concluded by interviews with Wojciech Szot (publisher of the ‟The Polish Comics” collection) and with the young collaborators of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” who are roughly the same age as the young artists we interviewed and who, by their mere presence and engagement in our editorial collective, are also proofs of changes that were unthinkable just a few short years ago. What many of our readers will probably find striking is the strong representation of female artists, quite atypical of the quite mysoginistic Polish comics scene. We decided to turn the typical gender proportions on their heads to underline the growing numbers of women comics creators in our country.
This issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” is not, however, devoid of analytical articles - there is a strong bloc of such features, unrelated to the main topic. We are also publishing, for the first time in our history, a work of fiction! The issue is completed by several illustrations and comics, including one by Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz, one of the most prominent Polish artists.
We hope you will enjoy this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”,
Michał Błażejczyk and Michał Traczyk
Table of Contents
Design: Dennis Wojda
Cover art: Marcin Podolec
New Generation of Polish Comics Artists
Beginnings of Czech Adventure Comics This article is a slightly corrected version of one of the chapters from Dějiny československého komiksu 20. století (History of Czechoslovak Comiks in 20th Century) published by Akropolis in 2014.
Regards From Serbia – Aleksandar Zograf’s Comics Diary When creating his comics about war in Serbia, Aleksandar Zograf took an approach profoundly different than that of Joe Sacco: subjective, emotional, often full of black humor. His work does not form cohesive stories - it’s a collection of fragments through which we get a glimpse of horrors of war. This article is a reprint from ‟Images” 2012, issue 19, vol. X, pp. 57-65.
Dying in the Eyes of a Child This article attempts to describe a child’s experiences in dealing with death of a beloved person. Based on studies from the field of tanatology, the text analyzes Burying of Lucia by Benoît Springer and When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael. The author tries to describe how these works show and tame the concept of death and dying.