Kája Saudek

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Kája Saudek
Kája Saudek.jpg
Kája Saudek in 2006
Born Karel Saudek
(1935-05-13) 13 May 1935 (age 79)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Nationality Czech
Area(s) Writer, penciller, inker

Kája Saudek (born Karel Saudek, 13 May 1935) is a Czech comics illustrator. He is one of the most important exponents of the Czech comics since the late 1960s.[1][2] He is the twin brother of the photographer and painter Jan Saudek.

Biography[edit]

His father Gustav Saudek was a Jew,[3] and the family was persecuted by Germans during World War II. Kája and his brother Jan were imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp Luža in Poland.[4] Many of his family members died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, but both brothers and their father survived the imprisonment and came back to Prague.

Kája Saudek in his atelier in the mid-1980s.

Saudek became familiar with the American comics in his early years. He was inspired mainly by the works of Walt Disney and later he was influenced also by Robert Crumb and Richard Corben.[1] He became a technical writer and in 1950s worked as a scene-shifter at the Barrandov Film Studios. In 1966, the film director Miloš Macourek used some of his drawings in the film Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?) and Saudek's works gradually became more popular in the Czechoslovakia. In the 1960s he created comics drawings for the magazine Popmusic Express (Underground Com-comix),[5] as well as illustrations to the scripts by Jaroslav Foglar, Ondřej Neff and others. In 1969 he published a part of the comic series Muriel a andělé (Muriel and Angels). The album depicts the story of a young physician Muriel, who meets an angel Ro, coming from a distant future. Ro attempts to introduce her to a world without hate, evil people and death. The communist censorship considered the story potentially dangerous and banned its publishing.[6] Saudek's style was considered as too "American", some of his critics labelled his work as an example of bourgeois kitsch.[7] The complete cycle was published later, in 1991.[6] The actress Olga Schoberová served as a model for Muriel and Saudek's brother Jan was depicted as the main negative character, general Xeron. In 1971 he contributed to the film Čtyři vraždy stačí, drahoušku (Four Murders is enough, Honey) with his drawings.

At the beginning of the 1970s Saudek made his living as an illustrator for the Czechoslovak magazine Mladý svět. His series Lips Tullian, inspired by adventurous stories from 19th century, was banned by censorship. Saudek's collaboration with the popular magazine became more troublesome for the official communist critique; it was gradually restricted and in the middle of the 1970s it was completely banned.[8] From 1976 to 1978 he has created a comics series to the theme of Thirty Cases of Major Zeman, a popular Czechoslovak action-drama television series. The original TV series was intended as a political propaganda to support the official attitude of communists. Saudek's work didn't correspond with the original intention of the series and was refused by the Ministry of Interior.[9] The album was published in 1999 under the title Major Zeman and Six of His Cases.

In 1979 Saudek began his collaboration with the Czech Speleological Society, the Society enabled him to publish several comics series in the following decade.[1] In the 1980s he also co-created a popular TV series Okna vesmíru dokořán, together with Vladimír Železný and Jiří Grygar. The series was produced by the Slovak Television.

Many of his works were republished at the beginning of the 1990s, following the fall of communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He cooperated with the comics journal Kometa (The Comet) and also with the erotic magazine NEI Report.

Saudek continued his work, however in April 2006 he suffered an accident which resulted in the coma.[10] He is (as of June 2013) hospitalised in the Prague hospital Motol.[11]

In September 2009, three of his works appeared in the top five of the Czech comics in the poll organized by the newspaper Mladá fronta DNES.[12]

Works[edit]

Film[edit]

Comics[edit]

  • Honza Hrom (1968) – 7 parts, own script, published in the Pop Music Express magazine)
  • Pepík-Hipík (1969) – 4 parts, script by Rudolf Křesťan, Karel Hvížďala, Karel Šmíd, published in the Čtení pod lavicí magazine)
  • Muriel a andělé (Muriel and Angels) (1969) – published in 1991, script by Miloš Macourek
  • Muriel a oranžová smrt (Muriel and the Orange Death) (1970) – published in 2009 by Albatros, partially lost[13]
  • Čtverylka (1971) – 22 strips, script by Rudolf Křesťan, Haiduková, Tikalová, Pacovský, published in Mladý svět
  • Výprava ze Sixie (Expedition from Sixia), (1971–72) – script by Miloš Polášek, published in the Ostravský Kulturní Zpravodaj
  • Lips Tullian, nejobávanější náčelník lupičů (Lips Tullian, the Most Redoubtable Leader of Bandits) (1972) published in Mladý svět
  • Diamantová šifra (The Diamond Code) (1972) – unfinished, 12 parts, script by Svatopluk Novotný, published in Mladá Fronta
  • Fantom opery uvádí (Phantom of the Opera Presents) (1973) – published in Mladý svět
  • Černý Filip (Black Phillip) (1974) – script by Jaroslav Weigel, published in Mladý svět
  • Major Zeman (1978–1979) – script by Jaroslav Weigel, published in Pionýrská stezka
  • Tajemství zlatého koně (The Secret of the Golden Horse) (1979), own script, published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Po stopách sněžného muže (1980) – script by Josef Nesvatba, published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Trať se ztrácí ve tmě (1980) – published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Stříbrný poklad (Silver Treasure) (1982) – script by J.Weigel, published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Studňa (The Well) (1984) – published in Film a Divadlo)
  • Modrá rokle (The Blue Ravine) (1984) – script by Jaroslav Foglar, published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Peruánský deník (Peruvian Diary) (1984) – published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Konec Sahrbergovy bandy (The End of the Sahrberg Bunch) (1985) – published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Ztracený kamarád (The Lost Friend) (1987) – script by Jaroslav Foglar, published by Czech Speleological Society
  • Arnal a dva dračí zuby (Arnal and Two Dragon Teeth) (1988) – script by Ondřej Neff, published by Czech Speleological Society[14]
  • Jeskyně Saturn (The Saturn Cave) (1990–1991) – script by J. Foglar, published by Czech Speleological Society

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Saudek exhibited his works at more than 300 single exhibitions in the Czechoslovakia and abroad. His drawings are included in the significant Czech art collections (i. e. Moravian Gallery in Brno).[1]

  • 1997 – Konstanz, Rosengarten Museum. "Czech Posters of the '60s from the Collections of the Moravian Gallery Brno"
  • 2002 – Prague, Czech Museum of Visual Arts. "Czech Comics (?) and Visual Arts"
  • 2003 – Prague, Mánes. "Film Poster"
  • 2011 – Opening of the permanent exhibition in Kája Saudek museum, 28. října 3, Prague 1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Malá (2004), p. 268.
  2. ^ "The "four-leaf clover" comics". Czech Radio. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Asiedu, Dita (16 December 2001). "Saudek Brothers Documentary". Czech Radio. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Mrázková (2005), p. 475.
  5. ^ "Czech Pop Music in 1968". Portal of Prague. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Čechlovská, Magdalena (9 November 2009). "Pražský Komiksfest udělil ceny a skončil. Výstavy ale pokračují" (in Czech). iHned.cz. Retrieved 22 March 2010.  "Příběh o lodní lékařce, jež zachrání anděla, který jí představí svět bez nenávisti, zlých lidí i smrti, vystrašil dobovou cenzuru, a tak komiks Muriel a andělé, nakreslený podle scénáře Miloše Macourka, nakonec vyšel poprvé až v roce 1991."
  7. ^ Farná, Kateřina (9 December 2009). "Komiksový svět Káji Saudka na výstavě i knižně" (in Czech). Novinky.cz (originally Právo). Retrieved 22 March 2010.  "V komunistickém Československu se Saudek cítil jako cizinec ve vlastní zemi, jeho tvorba byla příliš "americká", její kritikové ji označovali za buržoazní kýč."
  8. ^ "Život s komiksem. Rozhovor s Kájou Saudkem" (in Czech). Revue Dialog. Retrieved 22 March 2010.  "Spolupráce s českými časopisy však byla napadána "oficiální kritikou" (to je kritikou s níž bylo zakázáno polemizovat) a postupně příkazy "shora" omezována, až v polovině sedmdesátých let byla zlikvidována úplně."
  9. ^ "Život s komiksem. Rozhovor s Kájou Saudkem" (in Czech). Revue Dialog. Retrieved 22 March 2010.  "Společně jsme to nosili na ministerstvo vnitra do kachlíkárny na Letné ke schválení. Nakonec to zakázali."
  10. ^ "Kreslíř Kája Saudek bojuje v nemocnici o život" (in Czech). iDNES.cz. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Odpojit? Neodpojit?" (in Czech). Reflex. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Kubíčková, Klára (5 September 2009). "Nejlepší český komiks nakreslil Kája Saudek, určili odborníci". Mladá fronta DNES. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  13. ^ "Druhý díl Muriel Káji Saudka konečně zacelí letitý vydavatelský dluh" (in Czech). iDnes.cz. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  14. ^ "Arnal a dva dračí zuby" (in Czech). Almanach Labyrint. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 

References[edit]

  • Malá, Alena (ed.) (2004). Slovník českých a slovenských výtvarných umělců XIII. (Ro-Se) (Lexicon of the Czech and Slovak Visual Artists, part XIII.) (in Czech). Ostrava: Výtvarné centrum Chagall. p. 268. ISBN 80-86171-19-1. 
  • Mrázková, Daniela (ed.) (2005). Jan Saudek – fotograf český (in Czech). Prague: Slovart. ISBN 80-7209-727-X. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Diesing, Helena (2009). Kája Saudek (in Czech). Prague: Arbor vitae societas. ISBN 978-80-904534-0-1. 
  • Who is Who in the Czech Republic (1994–95). Prague: Modrý jezdec 1995. (Czech)
  • Březina, V.: Lexikon českého filmu. 2000 filmů (1930–1996). Prague: Filmové nakladatelství Cinema, 1996. (Czech)
  • Saudek, K.: Jak a proč jsem kreslil Majora Zemana. In: Lidové noviny, 1 July 1999. (Czech)
  • (ed.) Třeštík, M.: Who is Who in the Czech Republic. Prague: Agentura Kdo je kdo, 2002. (Czech)

External links[edit]