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 2005, and in 2020 he published a controversial literary biography, entitled Kundera, His Czech Life and Times. Novák 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). He also worked as a 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) and he adapted Kafka’s The Castle (2013) as a graphic novel for SelfMadeHero, and received the nomination for the prestigious Eisner Award.
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 had to face several setbacks in her life that nearly brought her to her knees. And as 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.
Věra Čáslavská was a strong, loyal person who never gave up the fight against lies. After the Soviet invasion of 1968, she refused to withdraw her signature from the Two Thousand Words manifesto, calling for political reforms – though an Olympic champion, she preferred the humiliation of having to clean apartment buildings, which was the regime’s punishment for her dissent. And that is by no means the end of her story