Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek
Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek (eng. Tytus, Romek, and A'Tomek) is the longest-published and one of the most popular Polish comic book series, created by Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski (aka Papcio Chmiel) in 1957 and concluded in 2009. It centers on Romek and A'Tomek, two Boy Scouts, and Tytus de Zoo, a chimpanzee with the ability of human speech. Many adventures in Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek have speculative or Science Fiction elements, some are outright parodies of the established genre.
The subjects and background themes in all of the books reflect the culture and atmosphere of the time they were drawn and printed. For instance, the early books are dominated by Scouting-related themes and community service, while the 1990s-era books subtly point out the social, economic and cultural changes that occurred in Poland at that time. The dialogues often feature a unique mix of youth slang, slang from the pre-World War II Poland, words from other European languages as well as Chmielewski's humorous neologisms which contain political themes and satire. After 31 volumes and around 10 special issues of the series, Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski announced in May 2009 that the main Tytus, Romek i A'Tomek series will no longer be published, but special albums, including new adventures, are still published periodically.
- Tytus de Zoo – a chimpanzee and the main hero of the series. Tytus speaks and thinks like a human being and even attends public school together with his two human friends. However, his animal heritage clearly shines through—he is presented as wanting to attain humanity, but usually falls short during the hilarious adventures. In the first story drawn by Chmielewski for the Świat Młodych (Youth's World) magazine, Romek and A’Tomek find Tytus in a rocket (which at the time was part of the communist anti-American propaganda) as Tytus tells them he was abused by the foreign scientist. In the book version, however, Tytus came to life from a blot of ink the creator Papcio Chmiel accidentally spilled on the floor (this unusual origin fits the slightly surrealistic nature of the books). Tytus, however, many times mentioned (as well as visited) his "homeland" Trapezfik (which is a reference to Tytus' love for physical activity and a combination of the words "trapeze" and "tumble").
- Romek – a tall, blond and slim Boy Scout. He often teases Tytus with ever-more creative and insulting comments and is pessimistic about Tytus's attempts to gain knowledge and attain humanity.
- A'Tomek – the leader of the trio. A short, overweight boy in glasses. He is very intelligent, mature and often the most honorable and well-mannered one. A'Tomek is the leader of the group and the source of most ideas on how to approach the process of "humanizing" Tytus. His name is wordplay, suggesting atomic energy and in fact is nicknamed "A'tom" for short by others (there is a Polish name Tomek, a diminutive form of Tomasz (Thomas)).
- Professor T. Alent – a helpful scientist and one of few recurring characters in the series beside the main trio. He designs and builds various inventions, often flying machines that help the boys during their adventures. Also, he has many lab mice, which are often seen playing in his hair. His name is a wordplay, suggesting talent.
- Papcio Chmiel – the creator of the series often appeared in the books portraying himself as a fatherly figure to the boys and Tytus and is often shown to have God-like powers (he has been shown making paintings come to life or appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the story and intervening in the adventures). The name "Papcio Chmiel" literally means "Papa Hops", however in this case "Chmiel" is an abbreviation of his last name.
- Szympansia – Tytus's wife (a chimpanzee as well) brought to life from a painting by Papcio Chmiel. She appeared only in four stories.
In other media
- In 1989 and 1990 two episodes of an animated series were made for Polish public broadcaster TVP but they aired only once. Jerzy Chmielewski disliked this series because of very poor animation and showing his characters in very unsympathetic way.
- A Polish band "Blenders" made a music video about Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek and used the original animated footage of the characters in it.
- In 2002 an animated movie premiered entitled Tytus, Romek i A’tomek wśród złodziei marzeń (Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek Among the Thieves of Dreams). The film features one of the most acclaimed Polish actors Marek Kondrat as the voice of Tytus and was directed by Leszek Gałysz. The movie wasn’t based on any of the comic books and it had an original plot. Critical response was generally negative. Many fans criticized the movie for lacking the humour and the spirit of the original material, as well dumbing down the characters for the younger children and focusing too much on the main villain Prince Saligia (who wasn't character from the original stories) pushing Romek and A'tomek to the roles of secondary characters 1. Colonel Sanders makes a cameo in this movie as KFC was one of main sponsors of the production.
- A Tytus Romek i A’tomek computer game was made in 2006.
- An audio book base on the book "Wyspy nonsensu" was published in 2010.
There are 31 published albums called "books" and 8 collective books entitled: "The Gold Book of Adventures", as well as "Book Zero" and "Book of the 80s" containing reprints from "Youth's World" and other newspapers, The TVP (Television Poland) Book, and a collector's release "Tytus, Romek, and A'Tomek as Warsaw insurgents of 1944, drawn from the imagination of Papcio Chmiel".
- Book I - Tytus Becoming a Scout (birth and humanization of Tytus by joining the Scouts)
- Book II - Tytus Gets His Driving License (the chief characters get a Rosalie (the figment of Papcio Chmiel) driving license, learning the traffic rules; vehicle - Rosalie the mechanic horse)
- Book III - Tytus Becoming a Cosmonaut (the chief characters hijack a rocket (a space shuttle) and travel to the outer space, getting to know alien forms of life; vehicles - two rockets and a cosmic animal - Karbulot)
- Book IV - Tytus Becoming a Soldier (the chief characters play army, as a reward for the pictures of the military they hold true military exercises; vehicles - a Rocketcar (conjunctive spelling deliberate, as in Polish version), a tank)
- Book V - A Trip to a Quarter Circle of the World (the chief characters take a trip around a quarter circle of the world getting to know such places as Sweden, England, the Arctic, Cuba, Africa, Artek (USSR); vehicle - Bathtuboplane)
- Book VI - Tytus Becoming an Olympian (Romek and A'Tomek decide to put Tytus up to Olympiad, for this reason they train him in various sport disciplines; vehicles - Hornoplane)
- Book VII - Tytus Improves on His D from Polish Geography (the end of the school year and Tytus is about to have to retake Polish Geography, so Romek and A'Tomek show him our country; vehicle - jetpack)
- Book VIII - Tytus Becoming an Astronomer (Operation Frombork, the chief characters help to clean one of the Copernicus cities, a magic apparatus takes them back to the past so they can meet the great astronomer in person)
- Book IX - Tytus on the Wild West (Tytus jumps into a film about the wild west and becomes a cowboy, Romek and A'Tomek go to his rescue)
- Book X - Nature Conservation ( the chief characters try out a new vehicle which lands on a desert island because of a breakdown. Lack of petrol forces boys to advance through all the ages of humankind's development and to produce it, it pollutes the island's environment; vehicles - Milloplane, and in 1991 version also Grinderoplane)
- Book XI - Monuments Conservation (stopping the ruins of a historic castle from being demolished, the chief characters meet a friendly ghost who takes them back to the times of old Poland, so they can steal the construction plans for this castle, taking part in an assault of Slygoldies on Jedzosław ( Pol.- Jedz- Eng.-eat; -sław - suffix in very many Polish old-fashioned names) vehicle - Ironoplane)
- Book XII - Operation Bieszczady 40 (the chief characters set off on a trip to the Bieszczady Mountains in the course of Scouting campaign to build a camp site; vehicle - Hummingtopoplane)
- Book XIII - Tytus on the Expedition to the Nonsense Islands (prof. T. Alent induces the boys to investigate the unknown Nonsense Islands inhabited by strange commonalty; vehicles - Slidoplane 1 and Slidoplane 2)
- Book XIV - New Teaching Methods (Romek and A'Tomek establish a school for Tytus and try to teach him the ordinary subjects, a professor's T. Alent teaching machine comes with help; vehicles - Whistleplane)
- Book XV - Tytus becoming a Geologist (Again, prof. T. Alent has the boys accomplish a mission - doing a research in the Earth's interior; vehicle - Screwer)
- Book XVI
- Book XVII
- Book XVIII
- Book XIX
- Book XX
- Book XXI
- Book XXII
- Book XXIII
- Book XXIV
- Book XXV
- Book XXVI
- Book XXVII
- Book XXVIII
- Book XXIX
- Book XXX
- Book XXXI