What is Żużel and the Fox ?
Żużel and the Fox is a graphic novel I’ve been working on since 2011. I wanted to tell a good World War II story that hadn’t been told before. And because I believe in the emotional effectiveness of anthropomorphism, I wanted to tell this story through talking animals.
In a nutshell, Żużel and the Fox is the story of a Polish kitten living in the Free City of Danzig in 1939. She’s an orphan hell-bent on showing the Germans that Danzig—or Gdańsk, as it’s known to Poles—is a Polish territory. But her plans are disrupted by a fox. Żużel, as the fox calls her, must decide who to trust as the Nazis close their grip on Poland.
Creating this graphic novel has been an amazing journey of artistic growth, over almost a decade. So, I created this website to share what I’ve created so far, and what I’ve learned along the way.
The doodle that started it all – February, 2011
Why Am I Writing a Graphic Novel?
I love graphic novels, but I am picky. I guess I’m a snob. I don’t want to be like Anton Ego from Ratatouille, honest I don’t. But I can’t help but have his attitude when it comes to comics: I don’t like comics, I love them. And if I don’t love them, I don’t read them.
That’s one of the main reasons I started working on Żużel and the Fox. I wanted to make a graphic novel that stood up to my own standards, because there aren’t enough out there that do. I wanted to make a graphic novel I would want to read. I wanted to do my part to raise the bar. Because shouldn’t a graphic novel be a labor of love? Shouldn’t its art be composed and color-schemed with care? Shouldn’t its story ask important questions?
Creating a graphic novel that stands up to all that snobbery is obviously easier said than done. And that’s why after seven years, this book is still under development. But, as another Pixar character said, “you can’t rush art.”
What Will You Find on This Site?
If you’re interested in seeing this project develop, stop by this website for updates and news.
If you’re fascinated by the processes of character design and refinement of visual style, check out my webcomic, Rudek and the Bear. It’s a sort of prequel to the graphic novel. My update schedule is very irregular, but I’m posting new comics when I can. My main goal is to help myself learn more about the art and craft of graphic narrative, and hopefully entertain a few readers along the way. With each comic, I’ll also write a little about what I learned while creating it.
Maybe you like to discuss scripting, page layout, character design, traditional vs. digital art workflows, and other related topics. If so, I invite you to read and comment on my Re:Comics articles. Here’s a good article to check out:
Finally, you’ll notice sharing buttons throughout the site. Żużel and the Fox needs you. If you want to help this graphic novel become a reality, you can. Spread the word! Share this site on social media. Or just shoot me an email and say hi.
I’m probably being dense here but I’m not finding an easy way to support your Żużel and the Fox efforts without getting involved in web groups. May I pre-purchase a copy of your graphic novel?
Thanks for your interest! I’ll add you to a mailing list I’m putting together, if that’s okay. And for the time being, if you’d like, you can purchase a copy of Rudek and the Bear: Volume 1
I am interested in your writing as I am of Polish decent and my father was very involved with tracing our family ancestry in the Silesia area of Poland. Please keep me in the loop and good luck with your endeavor.
Thanks for your comment! I can add you to my mailing list for big news when it comes :)
Looking forward to having you as a guest speaker if you would be interested. What a treat for the students (and me of course).
I’m still deciding how to order the Rudek and the Bear comic. Any suggestions?
Talk to you soon.
Hi Chris! Thanks for checking out the site. Looking forward to talking to your design students.
 Rudek and the Bear books are now available for purchase on the site!
I don’t know if you’re still checking this website, but I would love either a digital or physical copy of this specific work! I’m very polish and foxes are my absolute favorite animal. I love your drawing style too, so I’d love to have a read at it. Thank you!
Hi! Thanks for your note – just seeing it now. Copies of vol 1 and 2 are still available in print. The links to buy are on the main page of this site :)