Sour Apple from Europe Comics is out now, here are 10 questions about digital comics with the artist Joanna Karpowicz
Who are you and what are you working on right now? (2 questions in 1, I know!)
My name is Joanna Karpowicz, I’m a painter and comic artist from Cracow, Poland. I work with acrylics on paper and canvas. As far I’ve published five comic albums on paper – Lipstick, written by Jerzy Szyłak, (Wydawnictwo Mandragora, 2003), Jutro będzie futro (Atropos, 2005), Postcards From Białystok, (Ludwik Zamenhof Center, 2013), Sour Apple, written by Jerzy Szyłak (Timof Comics, 2017), Anastasia (part I), written by Magdalena Lankosz (Kultura Gniewu, 2017). “Sour Apple”, story about domestic violence had debuted at Europe Comics this year and this is my first digitalised publication.
Currently I’m working on a second part of Anastasia – a story about dark side of Golden Era of Hollywood.
What drew you to digital comics?
Readers. Naturally, as an artist I’d love to get to as many people with my work as it is possible. So when my publisher, Paweł Timofiejuk from Timof Comics presented me with such a possibility I couldn’t say no. On the other side – I’m a reader too. And I have a very small flat – no more places for shelves.
Webcomics or digital comics?
As far as I look at it digital comics offer me more variety of choice if it comes about aesthetics. I like to observe how artists deal with their techniques and – being a person who works exclusively with traditional painting techniques – I mostly choose comics made on paper, or with a little help of CG. Webcomics are fun, but rarely offer me what I look for.
What do you think works with digital comics?
I’m completely not qualified to answer this question. I’m kind of an old fashion painter and before “Sour Apple” I never imagined that somebody can read my comics in a digital form. This comic was made to be printed on paper, but somehow people read it in a digital form – and it works. This is a very hardcore story, with a lot of violence, lot of sad content. Some say – you read it and you immediately want to forget it, it is so overwhelming. Well, maybe some comics are better to read in a digital version – it is easier to forget it when it is not on your shelf.
Can digital comics replace print comics?
God, I hope not, I love paper. But seriously – I think the medium will evolve. It has so much more to offer than just a simple translation – from paper to digital. I’m sure that, while I perceive this medium as a form of expanding my audience, some other artists explore it and use it in a way it becomes something more. And it’s wonderful.
How can print comics work with digital comics?
From a point of view of a reader – it’s like being in a candy shop. Obviously – the choice is wider, the prices are friendlier, the chance that you’ll stumble across with something totally surprising is bigger. From a point of view of a creator – I’d love to share more. Like maybe, with next digital publication, to expand beyond the story into the process. I know people are interested in “the making off” and I have a lot of things to show and tell.
What don’t you like about digital comics?
I can’t hear pages flipping. The lack of physical item can be frustrating.
What digital comics/webcomics do you read?
Right now I’m exploring the vast catalogue of Europe Comics, http://www.europecomics.com/. They present a great choice of authors and albums and I’m proud to be a part of it. As a reader I find a lot of cool stuff there. What can I say – superhero stories are not my thing, in comics I look for a story and artwork that will move my heart and soul.
Where do you see digital comics going from here?
As I said earlier – evolving. The lack of material limitations (print, paper, distribution) opens a range of wide possibilities in front of a publishers and artists. I’m curious what will future bring.
Who do you think we should look out for in digital comics?
If you are a parent, reach for a series painted by Berenika Kołomycka, “Tiny Fox and Great Boar”. Her stories are smart, fun and painted in the most awesome way, you can find it at Europe Comics (http://www.europecomics.com/author/berenika-kolomycka/). Another Polish artist, I’d love to recommend is Katarzyna “Panna N.” Witerscheim. Her comics are available on a Tapas platform, https://tapas.io/kwiterscheim. “Slavonica” gathers short fantasy stories inspired by Slavic mythology and culture – witches, gods and monsters. “Helena Wiktoria” is a story of an eighteen year old heir to a wealthy Silesian magnate, that returns to her hometown to face the lonely life of a rich socialite, full of sycophants and unwanted marriage proposals. Panna N. is a very talented girl, with a group of devoted online fans, soon her first album will be published on paper.
Sour Apple is available via Europe Comics