The meaning and the origin of the term are obscure. It was found in the journals of T___ a Polish writer / artist who lived between World War I and World War II, that is, during the time of great instability and upheaval in Europe. The old aristocratic order vanished during WWI, and the new post WWII consensus had yet to come into being. On every front, economically, culturally, and psychically, the world underwent a spasmolytic existential event. The reverberations are still felt today. T___ was a friend of Bruno Schulz, a somber Polish/Jewish/Writer/Artist/Prophet. Schulz’s work has never been fully assessed in the west. His lyricism is justly renowned, but it is only the tip of a mystical iceberg that is his Work. His series of drawings and prints point to a new developments in his work that were never realized.
The exact nature of Schulz’s final art and writing are unknown, but we know some of their contours. The work was called THE MESSIAH. Most scholars think that it was a novel; his first full length work (all his other surviving writings are short stories). It was smuggled by one of Schulz’s friends out of Nazi occupied Poland (now Ukraina) into the Soviet occupied zone. There, the friend was stopped by Soviet troops, who confiscated the Schulz manuscript.
From that point on, the precise whereabouts of THE MESSIAH have been unknown. There were several instances over the last few decades where various individuals have claimed to possess the lost Work, however none of them have yet to produce the real thing. The last ‘sightings’ claim that the manuscript exists in the KGB Archives. However, it was archived under the name of the Soviet soldier, not according to who carried the manuscript, or who wrote it.
Schulz mentored T____, who was much younger. T____ contracted tuberculosis, and was sent to a sanatorium in Zakopane. There, cut off from the Polish literary society, he was creating a new Work using a new language/medium called komicxs. The exact contours of it are unknown. The work itself was destroyed when T____ died of complications. The standard operating procedure for dealing with personal items of tuberculosis patients was to burn them. This was a precautionary health measure, though entirely unnecessary.
The only artists of note to visit T____ in the sanatorium were Schulz and Witkacy (Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz). Witkacy at the time was experimenting with various drugs and hallucinogens, and may have introduced T___ into that world. T___ may also have posed for one of Witkacy’s famous Metaphysical portraits. None of the these items survive. Witkacy reported that an English patient of the sanatorium was fan of American comic strips. His discarded newspapers were devoured by young T___ who, despite being unable to read English, was mesmerized by the melding of words and images.
Under the influence of Witkacy’s drugs, and Schulz’s prose and art, and his deteriorating health T___ endeavored to create a new kind of revolutionary art using comics as a starting point. Only Witkacy and Schulz have seen all or part of this work. Both perished. Nazis invaded Poland Sept. 1, 1939. 17 days later Soviets invaded Poland from the East. Witkacy—realizing the prophesies of his last novel, Insatiability, came true—committed suicide. Schulz was shot by a Nazi officer in the streets of his home town a couple years later. The Nazi officer was taking revenge against his commanding officer who had previously shot his ‘favorite Jew.’
Most scholars agree that ‘komicxs’ is an amalgamation of English ‘comics’ and Polish ‘komiks’. The insertion of the ‘x’ into the composite word is a mystery. What was the ‘x’ factor? What made T___’s ‘komicxs’ different from ‘comics’? It is speculated in certain marginal and heretical corners of the Slavic Philological Society that Schulz (a Polonized Jew) in his final and lost work, THE MESSIAH, was attempting to continue the artistic discoveries he made with T___ and Witkacy. THE MESSIAH is ‘written’ in a new ‘language’; a hybrid of Polish/Yiddish/Hebrew spliced with narrative imagery. The titular ‘Messiah’ is the Work itself, a generative UR-text of a new way of writing and communicating… a prototype… the first komicxs… a path to a new world…
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