Once upon a time in the land of Akuku there was a charming little town called “Mamoko”. Everyone is welcome to meet its inhabitants and discover what has happened to them. Find out whom detective Simon is following, why Philip is so much in a hurry, what occurred to Olaf and help Gerwazy the tortoise in finding all of his lost apples. Use your eyes and discover many more characters and hidden objects.
The concept for a textless book with dozens of stories hidden in detailed illustrations is nothing new. Not always there was any narrative continuity from spread to spread, but in some books it was already established. It wasn’t as popular as it is today, but back in 2009 it was not a new idea, too.
We wanted to add consistency, density, and some our own humour and style to the old formula. More stories, more objects to find, more twists and turns and interactions between different storylines. When we started working on the second part we also weaved in some retconning and added back stories to characters, places and one monument.
The word “Mamoko” is a play on words in Polish language. “Mam” means “I have” and “oko” means “eye”. The literal translation of Polish edition title is: „The City of I Have an Eye”. We had a hard time figuring the title of the first book and Ewelina Godlewska-Byliniak saved us with this brilliant idea. “Mamoko” sounds good enough in other languages so most foreign publishers have kept it for their titles. We are not sure if they are aware that it has a meaning.
Making of Mamoko
We start with some sketches of key characters just to know who are we going to write the stories for.
Then we create a table with 7 columns – one for each spread in the book. Rows represent characters and in cells we write what this character is going to do on specific spread.
When the planing is finished we use pencil to draw a quite accurate drawing. It’s a little big bigger then the one printed in the book.
We use thin layout paper to trace the pencil sketch using fine liners, adding details and patterns that are not relevant to the story but add style to the drawing.
We scan the drawing and add colors in Photoshop.
After Maciej Byliniak (editor in Dwie Siostry) checks every single story there’s only one step to take care of – printing. It’s boring, far from home, you have to eat some disgusting food but without it all your hard work could be ruined in a single day.
The first attempt at making this book work was very different from the final result. We tried mixing people with animals and using real life brushes and watercolours. The outcome was too colourful and chaotic. It has to be toned down and we decided that instead of using very bright and different colours we would have a colour theme for every spread.
After creating the current version of the book, we made several attempts on the cover. One of the first ones was used to print a mockup. It wasn’t used in the original edition, but later we made use of it in some of the foreign editions. To be honest, we think it’s the worse cover of all. Especially in the context of the series.
Serbian, Градић Мамоко, Козикас издаваштво, 2018, ISBN: 978-86-6028-001-7
Chinese Traditional, 奇幻小鎮大發現 : 現代世界, Acme Publishing Group, 2017, ISBN: 978-986-940-8141
Czech, Městečko Mamoko, Albatros Media, 2017, ISBN: 978-80-00-04775-1
Thai, Mamoko ดูดีดี เมืองนี้มีอะไร: วันนี้ มีอะไร, Nanmeebooks, 2017, 390001-001609-1
Chinese Simplified, Mamoko 妈妈看！龙的时代, Ronshin Group, 2016, ISBN: 978-7-5417-6025-9
Catalan, Benvinguts a Mamoko, laGalera, 2014, ISBN: 978-84-246-4875-6
Norwegian, Velkommen til Mamoko, Fontini Forlag, 2014, ISBN: 978-82-52584-27-1
English (Universal), Welcome to Mamoko, Big Picture Press, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-84877-555-8
Korean, 작은 도시 마모코, Dourei Publication Co., 2013, ISBN: 978-89-91550-47-6
Russian, Однажды в Гляделкине, Самокат, 2013, ISBN: 978-5-91759-200-8
Danish, På titelsiden fejlagtigt, Turbine, 2012, ISBN: 978-87-7090-815-3
German, 50 Geschichten aus Mamoko, Kinderbuchverlag Wolff, 2012, ISBN: 978-3938766-32-3
French, Mamoko, 50 histoires dans la ville, Didier Jennesse, 2011, ISBN: 978-2-278-06746-6
Dutch, Welkom in Mamoko, Clavis, 2010, ISBN: 978-9044812763
Italian, Scovalo, Didier Jennesse, 2010, ISBN: 978-88-6503-038-7
You can find a Google Sheet with a list of all our foreign editions here.