Welcome to City Stories Site. City Stories is an international comic project, carried out annually since 2006. The idea came from Adam Radoń, director of the International Festival of Comics and Games, however the project is conducted by the Association of Artists CONTUR, together with the City of Łódź Office, Łódź Cultural Center, Łódź Special Economic Zone and Art Zone with cooperation of foreign embassies and other diplomatic institutions and cultural institutions within the partner country.
The main purpose of City Stories is to create short comics about Łódź or, in some way or another, connected to the city. The artists from Poland and another country – writers and drawers – cooperate with each other in international teams, getting to know each other during a week of workshops in Łódź, when they also get to know the city – its history, traditions and culture. The result of their work are stories showing Łódź from many different angles. They are later presented at the International Festival of Comics and Games (and also at many other expos, in Poland and abroad) and published in bilingual albums.
In 2006, during the first edition of City Stories, Polish-Russian teams of comic artists created the album ‘First Stories’. The artists involved in it were Hihus, Askold Akishin, Alim Vielitov and Konstantin Komardin from Russia together with Grzegorz Janusz, Krzysztof Ostrowski, Przemysław Truściński and Jacek Frąś from Poland.
In 2007 the second album was created – ‘Legends of Łódź. A Tribute to Księży Młyn’. It was a result of cooperation between Polish and British artists, who told the legends about the most historic part of the city – the Księży Młyn in a new ways. The artists were: Tomasz Tomaszewski, Marek Skotarski, Robert Olesiński, Paweł Marszałek, Michał Będkowski and Paweł Kwiatkowski together with Jenika Ioffreda, Humayun Mirza, Tom Humberstone and Warren Hutchison.
In 2008, the result of the third edition was the album ‘Recontruction’ created by a Polish-French team. The stories are built around the reconstruction of the city, both physical, as well as mental. The comics were done by: Berenika Kołomycka, Kamila Pawluś, Krzysztof Gawronkiewicz, Ireneusz Konior and Marek Skotarski together with Gregory Demange, Florian Bovagnet, Pierre-Marie Grille-Liou and Jerome Dupre La Tour.
The 2009 saw the cooperation between Polish and Italian artists. They were: Carolina Cutolo, Susanna Raule, Armando Rossi, Michele Petrucci and Daniel Gembus, Daniel Baum, Gabriel Kołat, Michał Janusik, Jakub Matys, Wojciech Prokop. The project’s theme was ‘Łódź in thirty years’ and the album was full of visions of the city from the near future.
In 2010 a special edition of the project was released – a tribute to the Grunwald battle from 1410. As usual, the album was bilingual and this time it was published in Polish and Lithuanian. The artists involved in this project were: Marek Szyszko, Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, Grzegorz Janusz, Przemysław Truściński, Tomasz Piorunowski, Paweł Timofiejuk, Wojciech Birek, Marek Skotarski and Bartłomiej Kuczyński together with Igor Baranko (Ukraine), Gintars Jacius (Lithuania), Vital Voranau (Belarus), Włodzimierz Bludnik (Belarus) i Oleksij „Shakll” Chebykin (Ukraine). The anthology, entitled ‘Grunwald 1410 – 2010’, had its premiere on July 15, 2010 on the battlefield.
In October, 2010, the International Festival of Comics and Games will feature the premiere of the 6th City Stories edition. This time the stories about Łódź were created by Polish and Portuguese artists. They are: Michał Śledziński, Bartosz Sztybor, Balbina Bruszewska, Filipe Andrade, Rui Lacas, Filipe Pina and Ricardo Cabral.
In 2008 the City Stories project won the 1st prize in the ‘best publication’ category of the ‘Złote Formaty’ competition, during the Festival of Promotion of Cities and Regions, organized by Ströer. The festival awards the best advertising projects for cities and regions.
City Stories – the Project’s Milestones:
Finding the partner city for the project. Choosing the artists from both places. Organizing the meeting of the artists in the theme city – travel and accommodation costs, guided tour of the city. Working together in international duos, first concepts and ideas, getting to know the city. Back home: Working on the stories and completing them. Translating the comics (partners’ language and Polish language) Designing the exhibition and the bilingual album.
Printing and production of the exhibition and the album.
Paying the remuneration to the artists. Distributing the album.
The whole cycle lasts for about five months (stories about one city).