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Wednesday, February 23, 2022 

Czech Republic's Muriel Award won by comic about co-founder of combination with Slovakia

Radio Prague International reports the annual Czech Muriel award was won by a graphic novel titled Stefanik, spotlighting one of the founders of the Czechoslovakian joining with Slovakia, which lasted until 1993, following the fall of the Soviet Union:
The Czech Republic’s annual Muriel Award for the best comic book of the year was given to Štefánik, a graphic novel about one of the founders of Czechoslovakia. The novel, a joint endeavour by writer Michal Baláže, Gabriela Kyselová and illustrator Václav Šlajch also received the Czech Academy of Comics Award.

I discussed the book with the head of the academy, Pavel Kořínek, who explained what makes it stand out from the abundance of biographical graphic novels published in recent years:

“It is a graphic novel about a huge historical figure, one of the founding fathers of modern Czech state, but it is also a graphic novel that does not offer that typical one-dimensional image of someone famous.
Something tells me this could be a lot more informative than the biographical comics produced by Tidal Wave and Bluewater Productions back in the USA. A country like the Czech Republic is less likely to be bound by political correctness than way too many American publishers are binding themselves into, though the worst part is that, not only are graphic novels like Stefanik unlikely to find an audience in the USA, no American educators will try to promote a comic like this either. So of course, it takes something like homeschooling and buying it from overseas stores to read it stateside. With any luck, there'll be parents in the USA/Canada who'll take the challenge of purchasing a GN like Stefanik, and teaching their families all about this past alliance of 2 countries and cultures in eastern Europe.

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