The fourth annual Czech-German comics symposium, held in Klenová. The organizers chose “Mother Nature” as the overarching theme for the entire project. Interest in our home planet, as well as the space that surrounds us, is one of the fundamental characteristics of humanity. The original, simple human curiosity about the origin of things was later joined by the desire to benefit from the knowledge gained, and gradually led to the need to take responsibility for one's actions.
The manner in which such a multifaceted topic was approached by all participants was highly diverse. It has been a consistent feature of previous symposia that the organizers refrain from intervening in the emerging stories. Aside from assigning the annual theme, they allow authors to work at their own discretion, letting them delve into subjects that resonate with them, stir their emotions, and captivate their interest. The result is nine original stories that do not entertain anthropocentric ideas. They are the stories of million-year-old green superheroes who silently endure the excesses of their younger human co-inhabitants, waiting for them to grow out of their childishly naïve selfishness and stop behaving destructively towards their surroundings and themselves.
Lukáš Komárek (1995 Hradec Králové) is a recent graduate of the study programme Illustration and Graphic Design, specialization in Illustration at the Ladislav Sutnar University of Fine Arts in Pilsen. His work is inspired mainly by great stories of mythological and legendary characters. His fascination with the legacy of early medieval stories from Nordic or Slavic cultural circles has been a constant feature of his artistry since the beginning of his studies. In 2018, he and fellow students from the studio collaborated with his teacher Renata Fučíková on the comic book Good 100, his comics have been featured in the magazine Aargh!. Additionally, in 2018, he collaborated with his classmate Jakub Heyduk on the exhibition “Maxmilián Lobkowicz, Diplomat in the Service of Czechoslovakia,” which was displayed at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague.
Tomáš Motal (1987 Olomouc) is a graduate of the Painting Studio at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ostrava under the guidance of František Kowolowski. He currently lives and works in Prague. While Motal initially studied classical painting, comics, due to its primarily narrative nature, has become the most suitable medium of expression for him. This was also reflected in his thesis work, the author's book titled Death, Love and Pissing. In his comics, which blend of reality and fiction, the author does not shy away from violent or otherwise visually repulsive scenes. Apart from his work on comic books (including the Traum comic book series), he is actively involved in music as part of the Ostrava music formation Schwarzprior.
Anastasia Stročkova (1988 Pskov) is a graduate of the Illustration and Graphic Design Studio at The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (2017) and a creator of conceptual illustrations for a wide range of projects. She works in the field of print and digital illustration, her portfolio including artworks for newspapers and magazines, fiction covers and children's books, and various visual styles samples. In her spare time, she passionately crafts a series of original illustrations and prints. Among her notable achievements is a prestigious selection at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. She collaborates with renowned publishers such as Albatros, Běžíliška, Meander, Argo, and 65. Field. Currently, she resides and works in Prague.
Karolina Chyzewska (1986 Göttingen) graduated from the Kunsthochschule Kassel, specializing in animation, comics and graphic storytelling. She currently lives in Berlin and works as an independent comic artist, animation filmmaker and graphic designer. In 2015, she published her first comic book Almost Like Home (Fast wie zu Hause), drawing inspiration from her own experiences in the quest for cultural identity. Karolina is a member of the art collective Die Goldene Discofaust, which publishes comic magazines. Her work has been featured in various exhibitions, including a current one at the Museum für Kommunikation in Berlin. She has been awarded a residency in Paris for her upcoming project, where she will embark on a six-month internship starting in November.
Moritz Stetter (1983* Stuttgart) is a graduate of the Academy for Communication and the Animation School in Hamburg. He currently resides in Hamburg and works as a freelance illustrator, comic book artist, portrait artist and comic book workshop lecturer. In 2010, his first book, Bonhoeffer, was published, inspired by the life story of the German Protestant theologian and anti-Nazi fighter Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He is also the author of the comic biography Luther (2013) and a comic adaptation of Kafka's short story The Judgement (2015). His most recent work is the thrilling unveiling of the musical genius of The Myth of Beethoven (2020).