The 90s in Poland were the years of disco polo music and jokes. Today’s 30-40-year-olds have fond memories of their youth, when they would go to the newsstand to buy small newspapers filled with jokes and funny drawings. One of these newspapers was the Super Dowcipy (SuperJokes) monthly.
Cartoonist Sadurski and magazines with jokes
It was the third and not the last magazine with Polish humor published by Wydawnictwo Humoru i Satyry Superpress. Although the owner did not emphasize his participation in the editorial work, everyone in Poland knew that it was Szczepan Sadurski.
In the mid-1980s, his satirical drawings were published by the leading Polish press titles. It was joked that drawings signed with the signature: SADURSKI would soon start popping out of the fridge for everyone. He was the most frequently printed cartoonist of Szpilki – a famous satirical magazine, he was also awarded the prestigious award – Zlota Szpilka’87 (Golden Pin’87).
The press wrote that he was a young press caricaturist who had achieved everything in Poland. Then he decided to do something else. He founded a company and in 1991 he started publishing Dobry Humor, a now cult magazine with jokes. A few years later its circulation exceeded 200,000. Two years after Dobry Humor, a monthly magazine, the book 103 Best Jokes, hit Polish newsstands. After another two years, in 1995, the third magazine – Super Jokes – debuted on sale.
Super Jokes and readers
This title had to be different from previous titles, and it was. Readers became not only fans, but also creative collaborators. Own ideas were sent to comics with punk Franek (after changes, they were drawn by Sadurski, and punk Franek became a popular cartoon character to this day). A three-frame, witty comic book about a rebellious teenager was what readers most often started reading the newspaper with, right after buying it.
Readers sent their drawings or ideas for drawings, because not everyone has artistic talent. The best ones over time became collaborators and provided drawings for specific topics of issues that were planned for printing. They sent their photos to the “Your mug in the newspaper” column, many answers were sent to competitions. Back then, postcards and letters in envelopes were sent by post, because there was no Internet yet.
Such close contact with readers was not accidental. Sadurski responded to readers’ letters in a special column, and on Sundays he telephoned and talked to those who provided their telephone number. Sadurski received suggestions on what the Super Jokes newspaper should print, and the fans felt that they were really important. This is a unique example of how a newspaper’s editors can be so close to their readers.
Sadurski, once visiting many editorial offices as an author of humorous cartoons, saw that newspaper editors were far from readers. If anyone read letters to the editor – it was the lowest person in the editorial hierarchy. It was different in Super Jokes. It was the publisher (and at the same time the editor-in-chief) who treated readers as friends and co-creators of a small, cheerful newspaper.
Jokes on the Internet and Sadurski
Today, Super Jokes and other newspapers edited and published by Szczepan Sadurski are no longer available for sale. However, he did not stop cheering other people up. In recent years, a large part of his work has been devoted to creating portrait caricatures. He is an event caricaturist.
He draws on a large number of various events, not only in Poland. The press in New York in 2012 wrote that Sadurski is “one of the fastest caricaturists in the world”. This is not accidental, because it takes him 100 seconds or less to create a witty portrait.