Ondřej Sekora is perhaps best-known as the author of the beloved cartoon character Ferda Mravenec or Ferdy the Ant. But Sekora was more than just an illustrator and comics author. He was also a journalist, an amateur entomologist, and one of the first propagators of rugby in Czechoslovakia. The Moravian Museum in Brno will mark 120 years since Ondřej Sekora’s birth with an exhibition and a new monography.
‘Laydeez do Comics’ is an international organisation that promotes female comics artists and their work. I spoke with the co-founders of the Czech branch shortly after the publication of their new book Komiksodějky. This anthology of essays and interviews about the genre, its history and specific Czech development, features a wild, eclectic mix of comics and illustrations by local female comics authors, many of whom poke fun at stereotypes.
Čtyřlístek or the Four-leaf Clover, a legendary Czech children’s comic magazine, marks its 50th anniversary this week. The comic series was named after its four human-like animal characters – Myšpulín the cat, Bobík the pig, Pinďa the rabbit and a dog called Fifinka. The first issue of the magazine was published on May 15, 1969. Since then, Čtyřlístek has enjoyed a cult following among generations of Czech children.
The Czech Republic’s annual Muriel Award for the best comic book of the year was given to Svatá Barbora or Saint Barbara, a graphic novel about a highly publicised child-abuse case. The novel, a joint endeavour by writer Marek Šindelka, screenwriter Vojtěch Mašek and illustrator Marek Pokorný, also won the prize for best illustrations.
Rychlé šípy or The Rapid Arrows, a legendary Czech comic series by Jaroslav Foglar about the adventures of five boys in the city, marks its 80th anniversary this week. The first strip was published on December 17, 1948 on the back-page of the New Herald children’s magazine. Since then the comics have enjoyed a cult following, despite being banned several times first by the Nazis and then by the Communists.
Historians rarely publish comic books, but Martin Nekola is an exception. In cooperation with illustrator Jakub Dušek he has just published a comic book about the fate of Czechs who were forced to flee from their homeland after the 1948 communist coup and who found themselves in a foreign country, torn from their friends and family, having to start anew without a home, job or any kind of security. The comic book, which came out in Czech two weeks ago, is called Do švestek jsme doma or “We’ll be home by the time the plums ripen”, reflecting emigres
Palacký University in Olomouc has issued a comic book portraying two
milestone periods in Czech history – the events surrounding the birth of
Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the Soviet-led invasion of the country in 1968.
The comic book, created by university students on the occasion of the country’s 100th birthday,, was presented to the public within this year’s Street Art Festival in Olomouc and copies of it have been sent to schools around the country. It can also be viewed online.
With the right springs, would somebody really be able to leap over buildings like Czech WWII urban legend Pérák? Which superhero’s powers are the most credible? And just why are there so many superhero movies today? Recently I discussed those questions and more with James Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes, who was in the Czech Republic to give a talk at Colours of Ostrava’s Melting Pot forum. But the US scientist first explained how he had come to use superhero stories to teach physics.
The annual international book fair and literary festival Book World Prague got underway on Thursday at the city’s Výstaviště grounds, featuring over 400 exhibitors from 22 countries. I spoke to Radovan Auer, the head of Book World Prague and asked him to tell me more about this year’s main topics, comics and the revolutionary 20th century.
The legendary comics Rychlé Šípy, or Rapid Arrows, by Jaroslav Foglar are making a comeback. Albatros is set re-publish all of the major works by the late writer and youth movement activist, including some previously unreleased texts. The edition is being prepared in cooperation with the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar.