A Flexible Character

A Flexible Character

The Protectorate-era phantom with springs on his feet obtained his first visual form which was soon to become well-known, in the animated film Pérák and the SS in 1946. Jiří Trnka dressed a smiling chimneysweep into a tight black outfit and, together with Jiří Brdečka, bestowed the elegance of a slapstick rascal on him. Pérák provoked the invaders with his dexterity that helped him to free his fellow citizens from Nazi prisons.

Číst dál: A Flexible Character

Politics of Cartoons

Politics of Cartoons

At the start of the sixties, among the faces of ordinary people, athletes, film actors and popular musicians, photographs if Nikita Khrushchev appeared on the cover of magazine Mladý svět. Compared to the carefully retouched portraits of his predecessor, these were remarkably civilian portraits, presenting the Soviet statesman in a good mood at a meeting with American journalists or "at a friendly lunch" in the company of Hollywood filmmakers. [1]

Číst dál: Politics of Cartoons

The Pre-Christmas Discipline

The pictures of the yolka (New Year fir or spruce tree) that were imported from the Soviet Union into Czech illustrated magazines, did not differ greatly from the traditional image of the Christmas tree. As before, glass decorations hung from the branches and a star sat on the top of the tree.

Číst dál: The Pre-Christmas Discipline

How to get a robot into the kitchen

How to get a robot into the kitchen

In 1962, one in four Czechoslovak families bought themselves a new electrical appliance: a boiling spiral, an iron with temperature control, a vacuum cleaner or a blender produced in the workshops of the Elektro-Praga Hlinsko state enterprise. It was only five years before that an audit revealed the company had been producing goods without any sales for a full eighteen months. There were serious debates about cancelling the production of the blender, which had been produced from 1955 as Pragomix Special, type 030, designed by Miloš Hájek.

Číst dál: How to get a robot into the kitchen

Humor sells

Humor sells

The currency reform that took place in Czechoslovakia in the early June of 1953 provided for a huge paradigm shift in advertizing. The reform put an end to the 14-year-long ration stamp system and unified ration-based distribution and free distribution into a single market for all types of goods.

Číst dál: Humor sells

The Contour and Smudge

The Contour and Smudge in Animated Film

In the early 1960s, making an animated film still required contour drawing that was considered by Jiří Brdečka nothing less than “an iron principle” [1]. His colleague Eduard Hofman [2] indeed claimed that anything could be given life in an animated film, and that the result had to look as if “the graphic artist had made the film all by himself”, but at the same time, he admitted that while drawing movement, it was often necessary to “simplify the artist’s style if it was not simple by itself” [3].

Číst dál: The Contour and Smudge

NEPRAKTA 1949–1970

Neprakta 1949–1970

Drawings with the signature "Neprakta" appeared on the pages of newspapers and magazines, books and even on television screens for half a century. They accompanied advice to married couples by Doctor Plzák and the popular stories and novels by Miloslav Švandrlík, who was also an author of comics and cartoons. The originals were relatively frequently displayed in galleries and exhibition halls, while reproductions hung above the workbenches of factory workshops, on metal locker doors and in the cabs of trucks. Particularly popular were the pictures of "bosomy nymphs", which Bohumil Hrabal called the original Czechoslovak pin-up girls.

Číst dál: NEPRAKTA 1949–1970