Exploring possible human knowledge


Paul Vjecsner



Simultaneously with the preceding war story I began drawing for the magazine a what would here be called comic strip, but was there called a serial and held at higher esteem, as a respectable way of telling an illustrated story for young people. The present one is about a three-day outing by a group of six boy scouts, and selected in the following are a few pages for variety. I was also allowed to write the copy for the strip, letting me organize it as I saw suitable.

19 February 2003



PHOTOGRAPHY, continued1, 2, 3, 4

PORTRAITURE, continued1, 2, 3

COMMERCIAL ART, continued1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25


AUTOBIOGRAPHY, continued1, 2, 3, 4

The serial appeared on the back covers and, like the above, included a design for the title, which may be translated as "Secret of the Swamps".

The outing group went by train, at the destination to room in a former cloister, and as pictured, the trouble of one of the boys with a swamp indicates why the title.

My name was not printed on these pages, but in places I affixed my signature, here at the bottom left of the last frame.


In the cloister the boys thought that its devious keeper acted suspiciously, locking their door before they went to bed. This began their mystery adventure.
The adventure evolved for them into aiming to solve a crime and led them to clues in the surrounding countryside, where they found a small boat to assist them.


In the course of doing the serial I was, as in the previous case, asked to draw a cover for one of its episodes. I did not have it completely my way, because I wanted to use balloons for the dialog, to remain in style, but they were held too unconventional for a cover, the material instead moved to the bottom.
This page shows some of the boys locked in again, to keep them from meddling, and they are looking for a Morse signal by one of them, who had gone to find the authorities.
The last episode, with a crime of arson after theft prevented, and an old man freed having been bound to stop interference.

The preceding serial was followed by the one below, which had as its content an English explorer's expedition into Tibet, back in the colonial days. I could not complete the job, because I was at last enabled to emigrate. Nevertheless, I finished over a dozen pages, a few of which are included here.

This page, appearing on the back cover like the serial, announced it. I again had a design to furnish for the title, which would translated be "In the Land of Wonders and Dangers". Pictured in front is the explorer and his Indian helper he hired.
An early episode, before entering Tibet from India. The explorer tries to photograph his experiences, offering results and other items as gifts to somewhat hostile inhabitants.
The expedition reached Tibet, with increasing severities of climate and landscape.
Further adventures inside Tibet. This was the last page I did in color, subsequently only being able to finish some of them in black pen and ink.

The editor was understanding, and I managed to leave just after the Soviets took control of Czechoslovakia early in 1948.

21 February 2003

As mentioned earlier, I did black & white line illustrations before by design, for a book published in the magazine as inserts in separate parts, some of the pages shown below. Using pen and ink alone lent itself to techniques like cross-hatching for darker places. The title, "Zelené jezero" means "Green Lake", and it is of a novel about young people from different social strata.


Viewing the last reproduction, the author of the novel, Jaroslav Novák, was then editor of this weekly; the words "Obrázky a obálka" before my name mean "Pictures and cover"; the book was in its 3rd edition, and it happens that as a child I had a previous bound copy of it, a fact making my later participation the happier for me.

2 March 2003, my 77th birthday

The next two pages are the last ones I illustrated that appeared in this magazine. The short story is a translation of "Cannon Ball" by J. Atholl, concerning a boy and a horse he tamed unwittingly.

4 March 2003

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