July 12, 2022

Overview of Comic Books

The cult comic book "Captain Kloss" was based on the novel, TV series, and television play titled "More Than Life at Stake". More than 20 albums were issued in Poland and in the countries where the TV series was broadcast.

The main character wasn't typical of communist propaganda; Kloss was brave, handsome, confident, and intelligent. The dialogues were lighthearted and modern, which made the plot lively. In the comic book, Kloss' name is Stanisław Moczulski pseud. "Janek". He is a Polish patriot who, during the war, on reaching the Soviet side, becomes a Soviet agent, taking advantage of his resemblance to the captured German officer of the Abwehr, that is, the military-intelligence service – Hans Kloss. Pretending to be Kloss, he operates as agent J-23, providing key intelligence information to the Russians and cooperating with the communist Polish underground army. His character was created by two brilliant artists: Andrzej Zbych (author of the script) and Mieczysław Wiśniewski (illustrator).


Szarlota Pawel recalled that she was inspired by the comic "Tytus, Romek, and A'Tomek" when creating the series about the adventures of Kleks. She developed three characters: Jonka, Jonek, and Kleks - two kids and one hero from the world of fantasy. The surreal, grotesque, and, above all, fantastic adventures were published for years in the "Świat Młodych" magazine. The first album was issued in 1980. For more than 20 years, the artist had published over a thousand illustrated stories. By 2010, the total volume of her comics and albums exceeded four million copies. Szarlota Pawel's work is distinguished by the absence of violence and vulgarity, as well as intelligent, timeless humor and great imagination when depicting the characters' extraordinary adventures. She managed to provide didactic, satirical, and caricature material in an unobtrusive way, which captivated many readers. In 2011, on the occasion of the 22nd International Festival of Comic Books and Games in Łódź, the Association of Artists "Contur" published the anthology "W hołdzie Szarlocie Pawel" ["Homage to Szarlota Pawel". It included one-page stories about the artist and the characters she created, made by numerous comic illustrators. 


Maciej Pałka is known for his caricatural, casual style. The artist's first works were published in 2001. Pałka also issues zins, which are fan magazines, and creates computer games. His comic, co-created with Tomasz Pstrągowski, titled "Jak schudnąć 30 kg? Prawdziwa historia miłosna" ["How to Lose 30 kg? True Love Story"] was nominated for the award for the best Polish comic book published between September 2016 and August 2017. Maciej Pałka was nominated in the category of "comic book of the year" and won the Golden Chicken Award in 2020 for his album  "Cykl kozła" ["Cycle of Goat"], created together with the American comic book creator Lance Ward. "Golden Chicken Award" is a Polish comic book festival dedicated to independent productions, which has been held in Wrocław since 2014. The event was initiated due to the growing popularity of independent publishing houses on the Polish comic scene.  


Hubert Ronek collaborated with writers such as Dominik Szcześniak and Jerzy Szyłak. He published his works in anthologies issued by famous Polish publishing houses such as Egmont Polska and Timof i cisi wspólnicy. His works were published in "AQQ", "Znakomiks", "Świat Komiksu", "Katastrofa", "Krakers", "MixKomiks", "Hop i Siup", and other magazines. He received an award for his drawing in the second competition organized by "Świat Komiksu" and Tenbit, a distinction in the competition "Magia i Technika" ["Magic and Technology"], and the main prize in the competition "Oswoić Hulka" ["Taming Hulk"] organized by TVP Polish Television and Universal. Ronek is an illustrator for the nationwide Polish program "School Without Violence" under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland. He participated, among others, in the exhibition "Polish Comics Behind the Great Wall" in 2018 in Guangzhou, China, with the most important creators of Polish comics.  

Łukasz Godlewski recalls that he grew up with superhero comics. He was most taken aback by Alan Moore's comics, particularly "Watchmen." The artist observes the people, things, and environments carefully as he draws them; he studies them to create their comic image. In this way, Godlewski rediscovers what he draws. The artist collaborated with the comic book theorist and scriptwriter Jerzy Szyłak on the comic book "Benia Dampc i pewien ambitny prokurator" ["Benia Dampc and Certain Ambitious Prosecutor"]. The illustrator, on the other hand, prefers to work using analogs and creates his works on a computer. For Godlewski, the most important aspects of illustrating are willingness, learning, and drawing inspiration from masters and favorite creators. In this sense, it is good to create short stories on a given topic - it allows an illustrator to learn how to draw longer stories. Godlewski defines his style as diverse, which depends, among others, on the medium he uses. He deals with horror stories and likes crime novels from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the most.