Diary by veteran artist named Czech comic book of year
Czechia’s annual Muriel Awards for best comic book of the year went to a comic diary by the respected Czech comic author Lucie Lomová. The book, called Každý den je nový or Every Day Starts Anew, also won the prize of the Czech Academy of Comics. I discussed the book with the academy’s director Pavel Kořínek:
“It started as her own work that wasn’t supposed to be published, but five years after the 2017 experiment, she decided, together with her publisher, to present it to the audience.
“So in her new book, the Czech comic reader gets a really interesting piece of autobiographical fiction or autobiographical comics, something that is not written beforehand, something that is not based on well-prepared script, but that keeps evolving, just like our lives are.”
Lucie Lomová is very well known here in Czechia, especially for her children’s books and I know several books by Lucie Lomová have appeared in French translation. Unfortunately, none of her books have yet been translated into English. Why do you think is that?
“It is always so difficult for Czech comic artists, but also for novelists and poets, to be translated into English. It is maybe the most difficult point to reach. But as far as I know there is one book in preparation.
“I heard that Lucie Lomová’s book Divoši or Savages about Alberto Vojtěch Frič, the Czech adventurer, writer and traveller from the start of the 20th century, is being translated to English by Julia Sherwood and is supposed to be published over the next few months. So hopefully Lucie Lomová will be represented in English translation already this year.”
The main award went to a veteran comic author, but the nominations suggested the emergence of a new generation of comic authors. Is that right?
“I think so. There were several authors, writers and artists from the younger generations. Czech comic scene is still quite a small one, so nominations are always based on who managed to publish something in the preceding year.
“In 2022 we had several books by artists, who started publishing over the past five years. There was even one book made by students as a school project. So we can definitely read Muriel 2022 Awards as a promise for better comic future in Czechia.”
Also, for the first time in the history of the Muriel Awards, the nominations were dominated by comics for children…
“Yes. Muriel Awards have a dedicated category aimed at comics for young readers but in this year’s edition, these books somehow spilled over to the Best Script, Best Art and even Best Book categories.
“I think that in the past ten or fifteen years Czech comics for kids has been slightly overshadowed by comics aimed at adult audience but in recent years comics for children is getting more new impulses and is growing once again, so that’s a great message for the future of Czech comic scene as well.”