Jan Novák is a leading Czech writer and documentary maker. He has won the Chicago Maroon’s short story contest, as well as the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation. His novel So Far, So Good was the Magnesia Litera Awards Book of the Year in 2005, and in 2020 he published a controversial literary biography entitled Kundera, His Czech Life and Times. Novák has already collaborated with Jaromír 99 on two graphic novels, Zátopek (2016) and So Far, So Good (2018). Both have been translated into six languages.
Jaromír 99 is a Czech singer, songwriter, and artist who divides his time between the worlds of music and comics. He collaborated with Jaroslav Rudiš on the comics trilogy Alois Nebel (2003, also working as co-screenwriter and artist on its film adaptation (2011), which was awarded Best Animated Film by the European Film Academy. He won a Muriel Award for his comic strip, Bomber (2007). He was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award in recognition of his graphic novel adaptation of Kafka’s The Castle (2013), produced for SelfMadeHero.
October 2020, 176 pages
Available material: English sample, German sample
The story of an extraordinary woman – the great Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská
Mexico City, a mental health asylum in Prague, world championships and communist state police investigation rooms: This comic book adaptation of the life of the extraordinary Věra Čáslavská takes its readers on a ride.
Čáslavská, the most successful Czech sportswoman of all time and once the second most famous woman on the planet, is a national symbol of courage. With seven gold medals and four silver ones, she ranks among the most memorable personalities in the history of the Olympic Games. Still, she faced several setbacks in life that nearly brought her to her knees. Strong as she was, her marriage was hell: Her husband was jealous of her fame, cheated on her constantly, and treated Čáslavská herself with aggression.
After the Soviet invasion of 1968, Čáslavská refused to withdraw her signature from the Two Thousand Words manifesto, which called for political reforms. The Olympic champion essentially opted to clean apartment buildings in accordance with the regime’s punishment for dissent. And that is by no means the end of her story… Věra Čáslavská was a strong, loyal person who never gave up the fight against lies.