Pavel Čech

Pavel Čech

Writer, painter and author of artist’s books and comics for children. He was awarded the Magnesia Litera in 2013 for Velké dobrodružství Pepíka Střechy (The Great Adventures of Pepík Střecha), two comic-book prizes, Murial and the Golden Ribbon, for the first comics from the series Dobrodružství Rychlé Veverky (The Adventures of the Fast Squirrel). He was born in Brno on 5 November 1968.


Title Publisher Year Selected published translations Awards
A Book for Two (Knížka pro dva) Petrkov 2015
Almost a Dozen (Skoro tucet) Petrkov 2015
The Great Book Mystery (Velká knižní záhada) Petrkov 2014
About a Key (O klíči) Petrkov 2014
The Adventures of Spider Čenda (Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy) Petrkov 2014
The Saltwater Sea (Moře slané vody) Albatros 2014
Treasure (Poklad) Petrkov 2013
The Adventures of the Fast Squirrel (Dobrodružství Rychlé Veverky) Petrkov 2013  2014 Golden Ribbon Award – Comics for children and youth
The Great Adventures of Pepík Střecha (Velké dobrodružství Pepíka Střechy) Petrkov 2012  2013 Muriel – Best original comics
 2013 Muriel – Best script
 2013 Magnesia Litera – For children and youth
The Adventures of Spider Čenda (Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy) Petrov 2011
Grandfathers (Dědečkové) Plus 2011  2011 Muriel – Best drawing
The Mystery of the Island Outside the Board Fence (Tajemství ostrova za prkennou ohradou) Petrkov 2009  2010 Muriel – Best original Czech comics
About a Key (O klíči) Literární čajovna Suzanne Renaud, Havlíčkův Brod 2007
About a Little Cloud (O mráčkovi) Literární čajovna Suzanne Renaud 2005
About a Garden (O zahradě) Brio, Praha 2005 FR
About a Little Devil (O čertovi) Sursum 2001
Ruddy: A Very Unusual Story From the Life of Ruddy (Ruddy: přepodivný příběh ze života Ruddyho) Netopejr 2000
A Book for Two
Knížka pro dva
Skoro tucet
Almost a Dozen
Skoro tucet
The Great Book Mystery
Velká knižní záhada
About a Key
O klíči
Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy
The Adventures of Spider Čenda
Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy
The Saltwater Sea
Moře slané vody
Poklad
Treasure
Poklad
Dobrodružství Rychlé Veverky
The Adventures of the Fast Squirrel
Dobrodružství Rychlé Veverky
The Great Adventures of Pepík Střecha
Velké dobrodružství Pepíka Střechy
Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy
The Adventures of Spider Čenda
Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy
Dědečkové
Grandfathers
Dědečkové
Tajemství ostrova za prkennou ohradou
The Mystery of the Island Outside the Board Fence
Tajemství ostrova za prkennou ohradou
About a Key
O klíči
O mráčkovi
About a Little Cloud
O mráčkovi
About a Garden
O zahradě
O čertovi
About a Little Devil
O čertovi
Ruddy: přepodivný příběh ze života Ruddyho
Ruddy: A Very Unusual Story From the Life of Ruddy
Ruddy: přepodivný příběh ze života Ruddyho
Award Year Country
Golden Ribbon Award – Comics for children and youth 2014 Česká republika
Magnesia Litera – For children and youth 2013 Česká republika
Muriel – Best script 2013 Česká republika
Muriel – Best original comics 2013 Česká republika
Golden Ribbon Award – Literary section: Literature for children 2012 Česká republika
Muriel – Best drawing 2011 Česká republika
Muriel – Best original Czech comics 2010 Česká republika
Praise
A really fantastic piece of work. An original, sensitive, almost royal treatment of the established modern literary genre. Pavel Čech is a confident and unmistakable creator of contemporary Czech comics, and I would dare say he will become a master.
—Bohumila Adamová
iLiteratura

Pavel Čech is a freelancer who trained as a locksmith and then worked for 15 years as a fireman at the Královopolé Engineering Works. While his colleagues were working out during their breaks, he found stimulus from his childhood love of drawing. Within a few years he could “draw” well enough to make a living from freelance illustrating and writing books. In his books he brings children’s dreams to life in the form of Native American Indians, adventure stories, winding streets and overgrown gardens. Inspired by Jules Verne, Karl May and Jaroslav Foglar’s Scout books, he creates kind worlds where not only is adventure important, but also honour and friendship.

His literary debut was in 2001 with the short story O čertovi (About a Little Devil), where love and a kind word reform a devil who has come to the world to hurt people. The book’s artwork already reveals Čech’s idea of Brno with the roofs from the old town and partly-imagined streets. O zahradě and O Mráčkovi (About a Garden and About a Little Cloud) were published in 2005. The first of these was translated into French, and by coincidence the publisher Petr Novotný from Havličkův Brod came across it in a bookshop in France. Since then his publishing company, Petrkov, has been publishing and promoting his works, particularly his artist’s books.

O klíči (About a Key) was published in 2007 and tells the story of an imaginative young boy who finds a key on his way to school and starts to wonder what treasure chest or what door it might open. This was followed by the comic Tajemství ostrova za prkennou ohradou (The Mystery of the Island Behind the Wooden Fence, 2009) for which he was awarded the Muriel Prize for the best Czech comic album. There was later published Dobrodružství pavouka Čendy (The Adventures of Spider Čenda, 2011, then two other follow-ups in 2014 and 2015) and the collection Dědečkové (Grandfathers), which was in honour of all grandfathers and was published on this occasion by Albatros.

Čech’s creative breakthrough with the general public came with the large comic album Velké dobrodružství Pepíka Střechy (The Great Adventures of Pepík Střecha). The thin, timid, stammering anti-hero finds Captain Fragoramise’s book and together with his ethereal schoolmate, Elzevíra, who is the only one who wants to share in Pepík’s world, sets out on an adventure. It isn’t clear if he is only dreaming everything, if it is a world of fantasy or magic. In any case, with the help of these great trials in that world, he learns to accept himself and his introverted nature, and discovers that even those who are not part of the crowd can feel strength and determination. Čech was awarded the Magnesia Litera in 2012 for Velké dobrodružství Pepíka Střechy.

There then followed two comic books about the Native American Indian Rychlá Veverka (The Fast Squirrel, both in 2013) and Velká knižní záhada (The Great Book Mystery), in which the author combined his illustrations with the great names of Czech illustration – and again he reminds us of the popular heroes from Foglar, the drawings of Zdeněk Burian and the ink-drawings in The Three Musketeers. Skorotucet, a collection of eleven illustrated stories, was published in 2015.

Notable awards
 2014 Golden Ribbon Award – Comics for children and youth
 2013 Magnesia Litera – For children and youth
 2013 Muriel – Best script
 2013 Muriel – Best original comics
 2012 Golden Ribbon Award – Literary section: Literature for children