Legendary Czech children’s comics and novels make comeback


The legendary comics Rychlé Šípy, or Rapid Arrows, by Jaroslav Foglar are making a comeback. Albatros is set re-publish all of the major works by the late writer and youth movement activist, including some previously unreleased texts. The edition is being prepared in cooperation with the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar.

Jaroslav Foglar’s comics and adventure books have developed a cult following among generations of Czechs and to this day he remains one of the most popular childrens’ book authors.

Besides the legendary Rychlé šípy comics about the adventures of a group of five boys in the city, which started to come out in 1938, he has also authored more than 15 novels for children.

The writer, who was persecuted by the Nazis as well as by the communists, also founded his own youth organization which attracted tens of thousands of members across the country during its heyday.

This week the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar announced a plan to put out a brand new edition of the popular author’s work. None of his books have been released in recent years due to a dispute over his heritage. Roman Šantora of the Jaroslav Foglar foundation outlined the details of the new print run:

“The books will be released by Albatros publishing house as of September this year. The new edition will start with Hoši od Bobří řeky and later, Chata v Jezerní kotlině. Within the next five or six years, all of his novels, which is about 15 books, should be released.

“Along with the novels, which have all been previously published, we also plan to release texts that are linked to Foglar, for instance his summer camp games or excerpts from his diaries that he kept throughout his whole life.”

With the new edition of Foglar’s books, the publishers hope to attract a new generation of readers. The books will also be released in audio form to reach those kids who don’t like reading.

While the texts will remain more or less the same, the presentation will change quite significantly. Roman Šantora again:

“We have approached contemporary generation of mainly comic books illustrators, because Foglar was a comic book author. So all of the books will be accompanied with new illustrations.

Jaroslav Foglar’s apartment,  photo: CTK
“Hoši od Bobří řeky will be illustrated by excellent young comics author Ester Kuchynková and Chata v Jezerní kotlině by the award-winning author Pavel Čech. Záhada hlavolamu, which is to be released in spring next year, will be accompanied by the talented illustrator and author Pavel Grus.”

Along with the plan to release a new edition of his work, the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav Foglar will also open to the public the writer’s apartment in Prague’s Žižkov, where he has lived for over 20 years, for residential stays by young authors, both from the Czech Republic and abroad.