My debut as a comic artist/writer, A Lullaby for Dziunia was awarded 4th place in the 2008 comics competition organized by the Warsaw Rising Museum. It was later published in the anthology Powstanie 44 (Egmont 2009).
A year later, I wrote my second comic on the Warsaw Uprising, called I Dream of You Every Night My Boy, which also got the same award.
This is my mommy. And this is my big brother Andrzejek. And this – is Dziunia! Dziunia’s my doll. She used to have two shoes but she lost one when we were last hiding in the cellar. Such a scatterbrain… and easy to scare, too.
“Mommy, why’re you crying?”
“Just slicing onions, baby…”
Back in the day mommy would laugh much more than now… but that was before Andrzejek went away to fight with the Germans. When Mrs. Michalska comes to visit she always sighs and says my brother was as handsome as an actor. But mommy then gets angry and says “not ‘was’, ‘is'”, and that “he’ll come see us soon”.
But instead of Andrzejek, we get letters.
“My Dearest Ones! I have this moment to write to you…” “…Irenka is all right, Janek too, and I’m also healthy as a horse…” “…but we didn’t have any wood left to make him a coffin …” “…we all pray for…” “…hugs and kisses to my little Lidusia…” “…I am proud that I can fight for…” “…God please forgive me I killed a m…” “Mommy” “…and please pray for us too, my Dearest Ones…”
[authentic song from WWII, sung to ridicule Hitler] “I’m eating bad bread, and you’re eating cookies… you’re saying you bought them, but I bet you stole them…”
“Baby, what are you doing under that table for so long? LIDKA?!”
“Lidusia… oh God, I thought…”
“Mommy, please don’t cry, I was just playing! I took your lipstick… painted my dress… please don’t be angry!”
“I’m not, baby, I’m not…”
“Mommy, I want Andrzejek…”
“I know, baby, me too…”
“Mommy, not that I’m scared, but Dziuna is…”
“I’ll sing her a lullaby then:
[authentic lullaby from a movie made in the 1930s]
The gate’s closed now, lully, lully, la… the people are asleep, the birds are asleep, and kitties are… and dogs… close your eyes then, baby, lully lully la… EVERYONE’S ASLEEP… so you go to sleep, too”