55 years – the resurrection of an old illustration

In my second blog “Under the street light”, I’ve written how I started collecting Janusz Christa’s strips from the newspaper Wieczór Wybrzeza. The story that Wieczór was publishing then, was one of his longest-ever Polish comics, “W kosmosie”. For me, this story marked a switch for me from being one of the thousands of daily readers of “Kajtki”, to becoming a serious (and unstoppable) collector of Christa! 

I remember it was on July 29, 1968 (the very day I started collecting), that Kajtek and Koko got stuck in their little space capsule, empty of fuel, almost out of the air, and fast-diminishing hopes for survival. From that day on, I found myself sitting there with them, stuck in the confines of the mini-space vehicle, surrounded only by the silence of the empty space and… my vivid imagination.

A copy of a page from “W kosmosie” (In Space) story, which coincides with the day I started collecting Christy’s daily episodes from Wieczór newspaper.

Now, let’s go fast-forward, 55 years later, to a little town in central Australia. This week I came to a point in my story where I attempted to describe a terrible event from my real life (when I was in my early twenties living with my Indian guide – Kenneth in the Yukon). As I was pondering how to illustrate a particular moment so vividly embedded in my memory, I suddenly remembered that in my W kosmosie album, it was already (and always) there!  So in this particular instance, I decided to use most of Christa’s first illustration from strip #77 (and doing so, celebrate this uncanny 55 years full circle).

I hope that Christa is enjoying seeing his early heroes, Kajtek and Koko, still entertaining the whole new generation of readers. Thank you, Janusz, for your constant inspiration!

Excerpt from my journal, Yandoit, Australia 2023.