Marcin Podolec About His Debut in Gallimard [interview]
#photography & visual arts
small, Marcin Podolec About His Debut in Gallimard [interview], Marcin Podolec, photo: courtesy of the artist, marcin_podolec.jpg
A foreign consumer is interested in the realities of the Polish transformation, about the craziness of the nineties, said Marcin Podolec in an interview with Łukasz Chmielewski. The comics author, illustrator and animator spoke about his work to Culture.pl a day before his debut on the francophone market.
In March 2015, Marcin Podolec’s comic Fugazi Music Club was published in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Publishers from Italy, Germany and Spain have also bought publishing rights. Podgląd, a comic illustrated by Podolec and written by Daniel Chmielewski will be published in France in June 2015.
Łukasz Chmielewski: For two years, not a single Polish comic book was published overseas. This year, two comics authored by you will be published on the French-speaking market. How did that happen?
Marcin Podolec: Thanks to my Polish publisher, Kultura Gniewu, my album was given to Nicolas Grivel, a French comic book agent. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to present it to European publishers. Three French publishing houses expressed interest in Fugazi. Finally he presented an offer to Gallimard. Two days later Bao Publishing from Italy called, a little bit later – Egmont from Germany and Ninth Ediciones from Spain. In the meantime, the French La boîte à bulles made an offer for Podgląd. I believe it was easier for Nicolas to work out each subsequent contract, after Gallimard got interested in Fugazi, my works gained a mark of quality.
fugazi music club
You’re debuting for a prestigious publishing house. What do you think made them interested in this comic?
Music, which they strongly emphasise in their promotional materials. The realities of the Polish transformation, the craziness of the nineties. Fugazi also has a universal plot about a collision with reality. And they liked the drawings.
Creating comics in Poland is usually a hobby. Is a foreign edition a chance for artistic or commercial success?
Partly artistic, partly commercial, but first of all, the interest of the foreign press has persuaded me not to give up on comics, and I'd had thoughts like that. Suddenly it turned out that this path that I chose years ago has a destination. It was a pleasant surprise.
Supposedly, you’ve re-drawn some images from Podgląd for the purpose of the French-language edition?
Working on the foreign edition was lesson in humility – I’ve re-drawn the Fugazi cover, in Podgląd I’ve re-drawn single images. La boîte à bulles press had a sound approach towards the business and they made a list of issues – sometimes all I had to do is switch the order of the frames or simply underline an element of the scenography to spice up the plot. And it has some significance in an erotic comic book.
You’re about to graduate from the animation faculty of Łódź film school. Are those studies helping you to create comics, or are the comics helping you to animate?
Comics are helping me to work on animations, because for the last eight years I’ve managed to create my own style of drawing, I’ve learned to work quickly and systematically. Making comics is a great thing to do before animation studies. To me, these two worlds constantly intertwine. I started to draw Podgląd right after I'd completed a big animation order, and when we handed Podgląd to print, I began working on my animation called Dokument / A Documentary Film.
Reviewers of my albums begun to notice “the animator’s hand” in the comics – character sketches, where capture of a moment, a non-obvious movement, is important…
Your animated film Dokument will be showcased during festivals in Athens, Sofia, Kraków and Seoul. It’s a very private animation. Do you think it can follow the success of your comics?
I’ve been making animated films for five years but I’ve never been to a film festival before. This world is completely strange to me. I don’t know what to expect. Dokument is a portrait of a father whose adult children already have their own lives. I didn’t need to look far – I made my dad the main character. It’s probably the best thing I ever did – I mean the animations, comics, everything in general. If someone is touched by what I did, if it’s my family, and the film can reach strangers as well, to me that’s the greatest success.
Watch the trailer of Marcin Podolec’s Dokument / A Documentary Film
Author: Łukasz Chmielewski, transl. Agata Dudek, 30/03/15