Marta Morice (b. 1971) is a painter and photographer, who has lived in Brittany since the late 1990s. She studied in Brno at the Masaryk University’s Faculty of Education and then at the University of Technology’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Her paintings often stem from photographs and explore social themes. Rozvědčík (Secret Agent, 2017) is Marta Morice’s first comics.
April 2017, 120 pages
Available material: French sample
This biography of a Czech secret agent and diplomat looks at the overarching and personal histories of the Cold War through the lens of a graphic novel.
This comic book was written and illustrated by Marta Morice, an artist who has been living in France for many years. It is based on real events of the Cold War, focusing on the backstage that was inaccessible to the public and has since been forgotten. Although after November 1989 the protagonist, socialist spy Miroslav Polreich, the author’s uncle, joined the new, non-communist Czech(oslovak) diplomatic services, he operated in the background there as well. Earlier, in the 1960s, he worked in the foreign department of the Czech secret service – and is one of only a few who has no reason to be ashamed of it. A key event took place in June 1967, when an important Soviet-USA summit was held in Glassboro, USA, dealing with disarmament for the very first time. Polreich, an inconspicuous man at the Czech embassy in the US, with good contacts to, both, the CIA and Soviet diplomats, had an important role during its preparation. Morice follows her uncle from his childhood, to joining the Czechoslovak Communist Party in 1947, until his change of allegiance after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. She uses the typewritten script and a yellow-hued background, evoking the days of the plot perfectly. Like Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert, Secret Agent also shows how important a small, personal history can be in the scheme of global history.
“Morice constructs her comics intelligently to increase the suspense.”