Colouring The Spirit Journey

Perhaps you noticed, now that you are following The Spirit Journey, that the illustrations recently switched from good ol’ black and white, into colour.

Folks in Poland who are familiar with Christa’s cartoons, would remember when his black and white drawings changed to colour. However, new fans in other parts of the world may need a little background information.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s, colour was rarely seen (if ever) in newspapers, so Christa illustrated in black and white only. Christa’s original artworks for Zyg-Zag, from 1961.

When duotone was first introduced in the Wieczór Wybrzeża newspaper, Christa’s fans were astonished by the new effect. A world of exciting possibilities opened with the addition of colour.

When Wieczór Wybrzeża printed a tiny part of Kajtek and Koko’s logo in duotone for Christmas 1968, my faith in Santa was renewed.

As if foreseeing the future, Christa began experimenting using colour in his strips. Around 1970, I acquired some rare illustrations from W kosmosie in which Janusz used watercolours over his pen and ink art. The quality of his work was impressive and showcased his amazing talent as an illustrator and as a colourist!

What followed was a kind of a renaissance. As full colour publications swept across the country, a new era in cartoon publishing had begun… but, by that time I was preparing to leave for Canada.

A few years ago, I came across an info-packed website devoted to Christa’s cartoons: I shared a few early ideas with one of the creators of Na plasterki and eventually, he urged me to go online with my project. Since then, he and I have become cyber buddies and he has enthusiastically offered to translate parts of The Spirit Journey to Polish!

Go to the link below, from Na plasterki, to read their research on Christa’s early efforts at colouring cartoons:

As the saying goes: “Art imitates life”, and so my ‘spirit journey’ began in black and white in Poland, just as this adventure does. For me life truly became colourful during our night flight over the Atlantic. From then on, everything became more vivid and alive and continues to be so to this very day! From here on, colour will saturate the pages of The Spirit Journey. Enjoy it!