Czech Scouts publish comic book that explores concept of bravery

Photo: Archive of the publishing house Argo

In collaboration with the publishing house Argo, the Czech Scouts have released a new comic book that depicts a plethora of stories from key periods in modern Czech history. Titled Odvaha je volba (Bravery is a Choice) the publication features drawings from several leading Czech illustrators.

Tomáš Vovsík and Marek Steininger,  photo: Czech Radio

What does it mean to be brave? And what is the cost of upholding this virtue in difficult situations? Those are the questions explored in a new book published through collaboration between the Czech Scouts and Argo.

The 128-page book consists of seven stories spread over various important periods in Czech history, starting from the Habsburg era and ending with a story from the contemporary period, chief script writer Marek Steininger, who co-authored the book with his colleague Tomáš Vovsík, told Czech Radio’s Radiožurnál.

“The book is inspired by the history of scouting. The stories are fictitious, but are based around Scout values and real Scout events that took place around that. All of these stories are in turn connected through one overarching story.”

Source: Publishing house Argo

According to the duo, it is the first proper comic book to be produced by the Czech Scouts. Previously the organisation had produced only cartoon Scouts jokes, or illustrations depicting Scout practices.

The book features the work of several leading cartoonists, each of them picked out to illustrate a specific story. They include Kateřina Čupová, who holds the Muriel comic illustration award, and Štěpánka Jislová, the author of a comic book depicting the life of Communist show-trial victim Milada Horáková which was published earlier this year. Co-author Tomáš Vovsík, who served as the chief mastermind behind the project, also got to illustrate one of the stories.

He told Czech Radio that the publication is the fulfilment of a long held dream.

Source: Publishing house Argo

“Since my twenties I really wanted to modernise scouting, to make it more attractive and cool for young people. I thought it was a terrible shame that there was no Czech Scout comic. I had been following the Czech underground arts scene and knew people who could be included in the project.”

It took five years to finish the project, which was financed via a crowdfunding campaign that raised CZK 230,000. The book is intended for all age groups.

Scouting has a long history in the Czech lands. As of 2019, there were over 64,000 members of Junák, which is the internationally recognized organization of Scouts and Guides of the Czech Republic.

Authors: Tom McEnchroe , Lucie Výborná
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