Sunday, August 25, 2013

a short piece about Raczkowski

Here is a short, somewhat poorly translated piece that introduces Raczkowski to English speakers. Some interesting information in it, including more background for the 2 + 2 = 5 cartoon. I've updated that post to reflect the new information. Let me say again I am sure I am missing political references in the majority of his cartoons. Please don't take my translations and explanations as definitive.

Friday, July 26, 2013

#62 - Like father, like son

Not sure if he's getting at something larger here but the image of a child knowing his father's routine so well he can mimic it perfectly, down to the second, is pretty amusing. Notice the extra searching for the door key.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

#61 - Irrational

The man is dressed in Polish national clothing, particularly his hat. He mistakes a plus sign for a cross and kneels to it instead of working out the equation and seeing the error. Polish nationalism is heavily tied up with Catholicism. Raczkowski makes a clear point about the ability of mental fixation, especially of the national and religious varieties,  to blind us to obvious falsehoods. The reference to Orwell implies that the end result of this can be totalitarianism.

UPDATE: According to [an article that was either moved or deleted from the site] the above cartoon is referring to a controversy over the installation of a cross in front of the Presidential Palace. Once again we see Raczkowski's great skill in drawing a wider, almost universally applicable point from a local and contemporary event.

UPDATE 19 Mar 2015: Replaced image with larger version I found.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

#60 - Superstition

A dig at the persistence of superstition in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Monday, April 1, 2013

#59 - The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many

The tyranny of the minority, a well known problem of democratic organisation. The image of a triangle stabbing a circle recalls El Lissitzky's famous "Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge" poster from the Russian Civil War. Even though Raczkowski's wedge is blue, the reference is likely deliberate and concerns some recent event in Polish politics, perhaps some agitation by ex-Communists.

Monday, March 25, 2013

#58 - Seasonal.

Spring seems to have been mugging some parts of the world with snow, though I think Raczkowski is more likely expressing the Polish bleakness that I've mentioned before. Hell could be better, and Spring could be your enemy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

#57 - English Protest

It's finally here: the first English version of the famous "Kurwa mać!" Thanks a million to M@ who handled the image manipulation. 

#56 - Junior executive

This is one of the first cartoons of R's I ever saw and it struck and still strikes me as deeply funny for reasons I don't fully understand. I particularly like the little boy's outburst in panel five, with its "sześć! sześć lat tato! jestem maluchem, szkrabem, malym chlopczykiem" - I've tried to get across the funny (to me) sound of szkrabem with tyke.

I don't know if the cartoon is a reference to contemporary events or just another riff on Raczkowski's theme of children encountering an adult world that is insane.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

#55 - Group dynamics

Illustrating Freud's observation that "It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive manifestations of their aggressiveness."

The "you" is plural, which is marked in Polish grammar but not in English.