Marcin Podolec (born in 1991 in Jarosław), student of the faculty of cinematography at the PWSFTViT film school in Łódź, specializes in animated films and special effects. Despite his young age, he is already an author of a few valued and awarded comic books, and is considered one of the most talented comic book creators of the young generation.
Basketball is his second passion next to drawing. As a teenager he played professionally for the club Znicz Jarosław. When he went to high-school he had to make a choice: sports or drawing. He chose the latter and began attending private lessons given by Wojciech Birk, a translator and comic book creator, who also deals with comic books scientifically. Birk talked about narration and technique and showed Podolec the canon of drawn stories. Podolec didn’t try to get into the Academy of Fine Arts, because he is chiefly interested in telling stories. He admits however that making drawings for his own scripts is stressful. He feels comfortable visualizing other people’s stories, because that is when he doesn’t have to worry about the content and can focus on the graphic sphere. When he makes a comic book, he tries to think of the entire process of the album’s creation as of sketching - as if this process was a very intuitive, onetime painting gesture.
When he was 17 he debuted with an educational comic book “Ser-ce” (“He-art”) about circulatory diseases (the drawings for this book were made together with Anna Miśkiewicz). Two years later under the title “Kapitan Sheer” (“Captain Sheer”) he published an anthology of one-page comic strips (Robert Wyrzykowski wrote the scripts for a few of the episodes). Both of the abovementioned works were interesting juvenilia, which showed the great talent of the novice artist. Podolec lived up to the expectations that followed. It wasn’t long before he created such noteworthy works as: “Czasem” (“Sometimes”; script by Grzegorz Janusz), which was deemed comic book of the year 2011 at the International Festival of Comic Books and Games in Łódź and by The Polish Comic Book Society, the authorial “Wszystko zajęte” (“Everything Taken”) and “Fugazi Music Club”. Each of these albums is formally mature. Podolec has a feel for the medium, and he can tell stories with pictures very well. His comic books are interesting and visually impressive and the narration is intelligently led, which compensates, when necessary, for the minor flaws in the scripts. The creator simply knows how to captivate and enchant the reader. To a large extent this is achieved by the author’s use of easy, stout and characteristic lines that are maintained in the style of authorial realism. Podolec also knows how to choose appropriate colour schemes for the stories he works on. In 2013 Podolec participated in the project “City Stories” – a workshop at the International Festival of Comic Books and Games in Łódź, which resulted in the creation of international anthologies.
Presently Podolec draws chiefly digitally. “Wszystko zajęte” and “Fugazi…” were made entirely on a tablet. The creator is however interested in the effect of contingency in art. Working on a computer gives full control over the creative process and eliminates such accidents as for instance making ink stains. Podolec tries to recreate these imperfections so that the readers cannot recognize which technique he used (digital or traditional) to make his works.
Apart from making comic books Podolec also creates animations, illustrations and functional graphics. He co-created the animations for the television program “Wszystko o kulturze” (“Everything on Culture”), which is aired by the TVP2 channel. He prepared drawings and animations for the “Młodzi w Łodzi” (“Young Ones in Łódź”) campaign, which was created by the City of Łódź Office. He also designed the cover of the album “Achtung, Polen!”, which was recorded by a band named Skowyt. He exhibited in Tel Aviv, Strasbourg, Kraków and Łódź. He admits however that he doesn’t really enjoy his own exhibitions. His works are meant to be published as comic books and the author prefers it when his drawings reach the audience in the book form. Apart from being interested in comic books he is also interested in literature and film. He collects comic books and books. He runs a list of books he has read, which is a personal diary to him – this register reminds him about events from his life that are inextricably linked to the read publications. He runs an authorial blog http://kolec.ownlog.com/.
Author: Łukasz Chmielewski (September 2013)
Translated by: Marek Kępa