The Big Boat of Humour is an international cartoon contest. The idea came from Jakub Wiejacki from the Association of Artists 'Contur'. The first edition of the Big Boat was held in 2006. The main idea of the project is to illustrate a famous paradox of the city of Lodz - the word 'lodz' in Polish means 'a boat' and the city has a yellow boat in its crest. However, Lodz lies nowhere near the sea, a lake or any big river. Every edition has a different slogan though (2006: 'Lodz', 2007: 'To go over the horizon', 2008: 'Go fishing in a boat', 2009: 'City in Reconstruction').
Every year the organizers receive a few hundred works from all over the world. Beside Polish artists, drawers from Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Ukraine, Cyprus or Germany fight for the Grand Prix award (10 000 PLN). Some artists are from such exotic countries as China, Nigeria, Thailand, India, Iran, USA, Uzbekistan, Canada, Australia or Brazil. The submitted works are rated by a jury led by a famous Polish cartoonist - in 2006 it was Edward Lutczyn, in 2007 - Janusz Stanny, in 2008 - Jacek Fedorowicz, in 2009 - Grzegorz Szumowski.
The works are published in a catalogue and exhibited in Piotrkowska, the representational city street, where every Lodz citizen can see them. The chosen illustrations are published as postcards and distributed in Lodz pubs, clubs, hotels and institutions where they are given out to the guests. What is more, the organizers, together with 'Gazeta Wyborcza' (local newspaper) prepare a series of mugs with chosen images that are for sale and the money is later given to charity.
The competition is announced at the beginning of the year and the deadline is April 31. In May, during the annual city of Lodz celebrations, the Grand Prix is awarded at the gala conducted by famous Polish comedians (in 2006 and 2008: Andrzej Poniedzielski, in 2007 and 2009: Artur Andrus). The previous winners of the Big Boat of Humour contest are Paweł Kuczyński (2006), Jacek Frąckiewicz (2007), Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz (2008) and Jerzy Głuszek (2009).
The Big Boat of Humour is organized by the Association of Artists 'Contur', the City of Lodz and the Lodz Cultural Center. The project is also supported by the 'Gazeta Wyborcza'.