Issue 27, May 2019:
Science Fiction in Comics
Table of contents
Science fiction has been present in comics since inception. In fact, this art form fits it perfectly:
image allows fantastic visions to become a tangible reality, and production costs are significantly
lower than in the case of cinema.
We begin this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” by closely examining several Polish SF comics.
Artur Nowakowski writes about SF elements in zines from the 1980s. Paweł Chmielewski takes a closer
look at science fiction comics of Jerzy Ozga. Piotr Klonowski reminds our readers of
Ósmej czary, an early work of Prosiak. Finally, Jerzy Szyłak writes about
theoretical aspects of science fiction comics. Then, we go abroad. Gostyński and Kikiewicz cover
SF comics in France and Gracz analyzes Alita: Battle Angel.
Interviews with Daniel Odija and Joe Haldeman complete this section of the magazine.
Aside from the block focused on SF, we also briefly come back to the subject of the previous issue:
Michał Madej writes about religious elements in Peanuts. Finally,
Michał Czajkowski analyzes anti-hero aspects of Scrooge McDuck.
As always ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe” are not only about articles. The issue contains many great illustrations
and short comics as well as several reviews.
We hope you will enjoy this issue of ‟Zeszyty Komiksowe”,
Krzysztof Lichtblau, Hubert Możdżeń and the Editing Collective
Table of Contents
Design: Dennis Wojda
Cover art: Marcin Rustecki
Science Fiction in Comics
Polish Club Comics of the 1980s
This article offers a review of Polish ‟club”
publications (zines and non-serial publications)
containing comics related to science
fiction and fantasy. The late appearance of
Polish SF fandom (second half of the 1970s)
resulted in a much more limited experience
of Polish fans as compared to Western
SF communities. The article’s author
presents the most important publications
that came out during the 1980s, describing
their content and style, and focusing on
the end of the period when most of SF and
fantasy comics were printed. The author
also discusses the popularity of comics
among fandom members of the era.
GŻEBYK, ADAMS, KLOTZ, AND A FEW OTHERS
The article presents the body of work of
the comics artist Jerzy Ozga. From Misja rozpaczy
and Salut bohaterom all the way to
the collection of stories about Yorgi Adams,
in collaboration with several writers (e.g.
Tomasz Ozga, Zygmunt ‟Zeke” Kowal
and Dariusz Rzontkowski), Jerzy Ozga
creates a unique and unmistakable world of
postmodern grotesque. The article focuses
on cultural and pop-cultural (literature,
film, TV) context of these works.
and the New Visual Order After the Fall of Communism
It is All Because of Our Human Curiosity
Daniel Odija is a novelist and the writer of
the comics tetralogy entitled Bardo (with art
by Wojciech Stefaniec). In this interview,
he discusses SF comics, his collaboration
with Stefaniec, and how his visions of the
future are connected to social and economic
changes taking place in the world today.
Kitch, Comics, and Science Fiction Movies
This article was originally published in
1997 in a collection of essays entitled
Niedyskretny Urok Kiczu. Problemy
filmowej kultury popularnej (The Inconspicuous
Attraction of Kitsch. Problems of
Popular Movie Culture edited by Grażyna
Stachówna). The author discusses the
relationship between cinema and comics
and points out the frequent equating of
words ‟kitsch” and ‟comics” in the context
of movies and of film adaptations of comics.
He poses that the source of this attitude
can be found in the derivative character of
comics as compared to other art forms as
well as in an inadequate level of theoretical
reflection about comics. He also stresses
that film and comics, despite of a certain
affinity due to the fact that they both operate
with images, have distinct goals which is
causing the difficulties of translating the
language of comics onto the movie screen.
I Just Want to Write Good Novels
Joe Haldeman is a renowned military
science fiction author whose famous Forever War
novel (1974) was also published as
a comics (1988; with art by Marvano). In
this interview he talks about his inspirations,
his experience with comics, and ways in
which his SF vision became reality. Aside
from Forever War, Haldeman’s other comics
series, Dallas Barr (art also by Marvano) is
The Bodies of Battle Angel Alita
This article presents an analysis of the manga
Battle Angel Alita focusing on the topic
of the body. Bodies of manga’s protagonists
play several distinct roles: the basis for constructing
the identity of an isolated ‟I”; the
place and way of exercising power; the tool
for resistance; and the possibility of gaining
freedom. A key frame of reference used in
the article is the idea of the cyborg body.
Postapocalyptic Science Fiction of Snowpiercer.
Social Inequalities on a Dystopian Train
Snowpiercer is a three-volume graphic novel
with art by Jean-Marc Rochette, written by
Jacques Lob (vol. 1: The Escape),
Benjamin Legrand (vol. 2: The Explorers),
and Oliver Bocquet (vol. 3: Terminus).
The comics tells the story of the last train on Earth, plowing
through the snow-covered planet (a climate
catastrophe had frozen the globe), doomed to circumnavigate
the globe until the end of time
– or until the engines fail. The train’s inhabitants
– last humans on Earth – are divided
into classes, with the poorest ones struggling
to survive. The train is capable of producing
all the necessities of life – and quite a few
luxuries – but not all passengers can access
those resources. The article discusses
economic, social, egalitarian and posthuman
aspects of the Snowpiercer series.
Śmiech się niesie we wszechświecie
A World Bled Dry
This article attempts to describe contemporary
crisis of imagination which is related to
technologocial and environmental changes.
The question about possibility of creating
utopia in new conditions is posed to the
series of comics of Enki Bilal – Animal’z,
Julia&Roem, The colour of the air.
Bilal creates dystopias in which he deconstructs
the human as a rational, corporeal and
historical being. However, it allows him to
sketch a new way of thinking about human:
as a subject with disturbed affects and
uncertain about his own identity. From
this point (which means new perception
and therefore different kind of ontological
awarness) Bilal create another possibilities
for creating post-human community.
Religion in Comics
The Spirituality of Charles M. Schulz
and His Peanuts
This paper tries to analyse the spirituality
of Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000) based on
his comic work Peanuts. Its author became
greatly interested in topics on religion after
the Second World War and became an
ardent reader of the Bible. The latter was
often a source of inspiration for him while
creating new comics. Despite contemporaneous
recommendations advising to omit
any religious reference in comics, Schulz
did not hesitate to raise important issues
in his strips like school prayer or abortion.
However, more of them contain references
to Christianity on a “teach and entertain”
basis. The humour and laughter coming
from them were not contradictory with
the religious spirit, according to Schulz.
One can mention e.g. Sally’s slips of the
tongue or some statements of Linus, who
in Peanuts represented the spiritual side
of his creator. For the above reasons this
series of comics that spanned nearly fifty
years has been used by various preachers to
bring people closer to Christian theology.
Citizen McDuck. Scrooge McDuck as an Antihero in Don Rosa’s
The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
This article discusses the antihero aspect
of the protagonist of Don Rosa’s
The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
The authors begins his analysis of the antihero
with the classic theory by Aristotle before
moving on to more current analyses, e.g.
by Victor Brombert and Vladimir Propp.
Czajkowski places the works of Rosa on
the background of activities of various
socially engaged cultural and political
movements in the United States of 1970s.
Scrooge McDuck who is a deeply pragmatic
character, finds ways to pay back family
debts. Later on, however, his desire to
make money becomes an obsession and
a goal in itself. This goal signals a certain
corruption and it is combined in the comic
book with various adventures of McDuck.
Happy Birthday to You, Polish Comics!
One hundred years ago, on 9 February, 1919, the first episode of the first Polish ‟comics”
(Ogniem i mieczem, czyli przygody szalonego Grzesia)
was published in ‟Szczutek”!
Into the Unknown, with a Book
Exit Through The Emigracja, or Photostories Other than Those from „Bravo”
How Much Fatherland, Honour, and God Do We Need? And How Many Pages?