Interview for ActuaBD and Europe Comics

Mateusz Skutnik: Embracing multimedia

Still in Poland, a reader from the West flipping through the science-fiction series Rewolucje (Egmont Polska/Timof; Revolutions, Europe Comics) by Mateusz Skutnik can sense a touch of surrealism reminiscent of Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. The reader might not realize that, in fact, such stories were also common across Communist Europe, the most notable being Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek by Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, which remained popular after the fall of the Berlin Wall. “When I was 8 years old, Tytus made me want to create my own comics,” recalls Mateusz Skutnik, born in 1976. “I gained the acceptance of my peers through my stories. In 2004, I was published by the Polish branch of Egmont [editor’s note: a Danish publishing group]. Revolutions became a success and I continue this series today.” Skutnik, however, is active across other fields as well: “Becoming a professional comics artist gave me access to video games. Europe has played a major role in this field. I was an architecture student, and while the art in Revolutions is generally made up of buildings from my hometown, I also get inspiration from my travels abroad. I created a game series called 10 Gnomes based on photos taken in European cities. At the same time, some of my books are being translated into English and my two worlds are starting to intertwine. My video game fans are increasingly becoming interested in my comics…”

Mateusz Skutnik, l’Insolite transmédia

Toujours de Pologne, le lecteur occidental qui feuillette la série de science-fiction Rewolucje (Révolution) par Mateusz Skutnik peut y trouver un parfum de surréalisme et songer aux univers de Terry Gilliam ou Jeunet et Caro. Ce lecteur ignore souvent que ce type de récits était également courant en Europe communiste et notamment avec la bande dessinée Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek de Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, restée populaire apres la chute du mur de Berlin. « A 8 ans, Tytus m’a donné l’envie de créer mes propres BD, se souvient Mateusz Skutnik, né en 1976. Grace a mes premieres histoires, j’ai pu épater mon entourage. En 2004, j’ai eu la chance d’etre publié par la branche polonaise d’Egmont (un groupe d’édition danois, ndlr). Revolucje a connu un certain succes et je poursuis cette série aujourd’hui. » Skutnik est cependant actif dans plusieurs domaines : « Devenir dessinateur professionnel m’a permis de franchir le pas vers le jeu-vidéo. C’est la que l’Europe a joué un grand rôle. J’ai étudié l’architecture et si les décors de Revolucje sont généralement constitués par les bâtiments de ma ville natale, je voyage aussi a l’étranger pour m’inspirer. A partir de photos que j’ai prises dans les villes européennes, j’ai créé une série de jeux, 10 Gnomes. Parallelement certains de mes livres sont publiés en anglais et mes deux univers commencent a s’entrelacer. Les amateurs de mes jeux s’intéressent de plus en plus a mes bandes dessinées… »

by Laurent Mélikian



raw interview source:



How did you come up with the idea of becoming a comics artist (and a game creator)?

This one is an unanswerable question, because it was so long ago, that at the time it siply had no reason. I don’t mean – I don’t remember, I mean that at the age of 8 what are the reasons and ideas of doing something that I could possibly relate to you now at the age of over 40. I just started drawing comics, because from what I saw in books my parents bought me – I figured I could do something like that as well. My go-to answer is I always wanted to awe people by telling them stories. Comics seemed to be the right medium for me. The no-man’s land between books and movies, telling stories without actually having to get on stage.

Me becoming a game creator is a completely different story. It was, once again a childhood’s dream, however at that time it as completely impossible to create games. Mainly because it was still 1980s and I didn’t have a computer. And all you had to do have create comics was a pencil and piece of paper. I came back to the idea of creating games years later, once I established myself as a comic book artist. I was working as a flash animator and just naturally picked up the ability to script events and objects. The rest is history.

What is your background in comics?

My books are being released by different publishing houses in Poland since 2004. I got lucky, because in those early years my main publisher was Egmont Polska and my main series, “Revolutions”, took off. It’s still active today with most recent eleven’t book released in 2018. I also have two more series, “Morfolaki” and “Blaki”, The former is closed, but there will be another book in Blaki series in a year or so.

How does Europe affects your creations if it does?

I’m an architect, at least on paper, as I’ve graduated from Technical University of Gdansk, so I have an eye for urban and architectural styles of my surroundings. I have lots of architecture of my hometown in my comic books, but I also look abroad for inspiration. I also travelled Europe creating one of my game series – 10 Gnomes. These games are built from photographs of interesting locations that have lots of nooks and crannies and hideouts for titular 10 gnomes that you have to find. It’s a hidden object style of game series. So Europe is, in fact present in my art.

What type of books did your parents give you?

I assume we’re talking about comics, as a kid I read mostly polish books, like “Tytus”, “Kajko i Kokosz” or “Kapitan Kloss”. That epifany of me being able to do something similar came after reading one of the books in “Tytus” series.

Do you attend to comics events in Europe?

Yes, I do, if timing is right and I’m not in the middle of some time-consuming project like a big game or something.

Do you have feedback from readers out of Poland ?

Concerning comic books – I had some feedback when “Blacky: four of Us” was published in english in UK. Also fans of my games are reaching for my comics more often nowadays, especially since my games and books are kind of intertwined a bit. Those separate worlds start to come together more and more.