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I have recently acquired some digital copies of 6 issues of the Witcher comics that were published from 1993 to 1995.

Cover

Sadly, they were in Polish, so more digging was required to find a Russian (fan-) translation (English translations don't seem to have ever existed).

The first of them is an adaptation of The Road With No Return short story (about Visenna, Geralt's mother, and Korin, a mercenary). This one doesn't add anything new to the lore, save perhaps for this lizard guy:

Lizard dude

The other stories, however, appear to describe Geralt's past before the Trials of Grasses (or maybe after, hard to tell when you don't know Polish).

From the fan translation it seems that those comics also introduce some new witchers, most notably Geralt's mentors and some witchers from the School of the Cat.

Those stories could be an invaluable addition to the lore (if someone actually translates them); however, I am wondering whether those are considered canon.

  • Firstly, by the author himself - this guy claims Sapkowski doesn't consider them canon, but he cites no source.

    Sapkowski is credited as the co-writer of those comics, but it wouldn't be the first time he denies something he's written is canon (see Something Ends, Something Begins)

  • Secondly, do those comics contradict anything established previously in the novels?

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    I think that lizard guy is an artistic interpretation of a bobołak, introduced in The Road With No Return short story and appearing a whooping one (1) time in the saga as an off-hand remark about some noble's grandfather fighting with bobołaks. (Then again, the only thing Sapkowski told about bobołaks is that they were inspired by some sci-fi book that had an alien with big red eyes on its cover.) – Dragomok Mar 27 '17 at 14:17
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    @Dragomok I almost punctured a hole in my screen trying to scratch that speck of dust off the "ł" in "bobołak", before I realised what's going on. Thanks for the info, my recollection of that short story is very foggy. – Gallifreyan Mar 27 '17 at 14:20
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    @Gallifreyan Tip for the future: always scroll before attempting to remove dust. – wizzwizz4 Mar 27 '17 at 18:07
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All of the 1993–1995 comics are based on short stories by Sapkowski, (except the last one, Zdrada/The Betrayal). List from Wikia:

  1. Droga bez powrotu (A Road with No Return, based on the short story Droga, z której się nie wraca)
  2. Geralt (based on the short story The Witcher)
  3. Mniejsze zło (based on the short story The Lesser Evil)
  4. Ostatnie życzenie (based on the short story The Last Wish)
  5. Granica możliwości (based on a short story The Bounds of Reason)
  6. Zdrada (The Betrayal, not based on a short story, but on an outline by Andrzej Sapkowski)

This is the reason Sapkowski is credited as co-writer – he did write the source material for all of them. As far as I know they don't condradict anything established in the novels.

Regarding canonicity, Sapkowski does not seem to consider anything canon beyond the books. Excerpts from an interview about the Witcher video games:

"Adaptations - although they can in a way relate to the story told in the books - can never aspire to the role of a follow-up. They can never add prologues nor prequels, let alone epilogues and sequels.

"If we level the field between books and their adaptations in other media, only the former can be the ones telling a story," he stated. "There can never be a different relation between a book and its adaptation, other than the one that without the book the adaptation would not exist at all.

"I realise that current times accustom us - which I find terrible - to the strange convergence of media and the freedom of mixing them. To me as a writer, the idea to write 'adjuvant content' and create something 'complementary' to a game or a comic is an absolute pinnacle of idiocy."

"I will definitely skip any 'alternative ideas'," Sapkowski promised. "It'll come easily to me anyway, as I don't know any of them. And even if I knew, it would be funny and silly were I to write based on the game's suggestions. I suppose I have made myself clear when I said that I will never accept any ideas and concepts of 'complementarity plots' and 'building coherent stories'. A story can only be contained in a book."

And from another interview in Polish:

All adaptations - movies, comics or games, including "The Witcher" - are only adaptations, they are completely separate feature films, the work of their creators . I have no references to Geralt's witchcraft, and they can not be treated as any canon, because they are the only ones I have printed in printed form. Therefore, if the story of the witcher is actually taken up - whether in the form of a prequel, a sequel or a spin-off - will not be the least adaptable to any adaptation, the elements of these adaptations will be completely overlooked - in the actual canon of the witcher's tales.

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    I've seen the interview you cite before, but it seems to me that he was mainly addressing the games and the games' tie-ins. I hoped he would've given an interview about those old comics at some point. – Gallifreyan Mar 27 '17 at 12:15
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    @Gallifreyan I added another interview and emphasized his mentions of "comics". IMO it's pretty clear that he specifically only considers his written work canon (unless he states otherwise like with Something Ends, Something Begins). – tobiasvl Mar 27 '17 at 12:18

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