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Milan Rastislav Štefánik

Introduction

Milan Rastislav Štefánik is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most important figures of the modern history of Slovakia. Nevertheless, there is still so much we still don’t know about his incredible life story. Usually, it’s just the basic facts - he was an astronomer, soldier, diplomat, and founder of the Czechoslovak state. Therefore we decided to narrate his story in a whole new, unconventional way. We commenced with a comic book, created by Lenka Mičúchová (text), and Nina Abramovičová (illustrations).

THE STORY OF THE COMIC BOOK

Lenka and Nina are two young women, connected by:

  • courage, joy, and zeal to create,
  • respect to Milan Rastislav Štefánik,
  • the Milan Rastislav Štefánik museum in his birth house, where they both worked,
  • last, but not least the Košariská-Priepasné Lutheran congregation, whose members invited Pavel Štefánik from Krajné to become their first pastor more than 140 years ago. If it wasn’t for him, the village wouldn’t be connected with general Štefánik up to this day.

While working in the museum, encouraged by the people around, they decided to create a comic book, and thus narrate the extraordinary life story of one of the most significant Slovaks in a new, fresh way.
The whole work took about two years. It was their first experience with this kind of work, therefore they needed to find a common way of cooperation. Lenka divided the whole story into several parts and started to write. Nina’s task was to fit these texts into the pictures. It was everything but easy, as she had to re-create some of the pages as many as three times. She did everything by hand, herself. She cut the script into individual scenes and sketched everything with a pencil. Afterward, she used ink and watercolor to finish all the pictures. She worked incessantly days and nights, even during vacation and weekends.

Description of comic book

Title: Milan Rastislav Štefánik, the incredible life story of a commander from Košariská.

The book is a full-colored A4 publication consisting of 82 Wire-O bound pages, originally issued in Slovak. The book is colored by hand and tells the story of Milan Rastislav Štefánik from cradle to grave. The fact-based plot narrative describes Štefánik’s life in a gripping way, meant to enthrall all age categories, but is mainly meant to attract children and youth.

The book begins with 18 portraits of the most vital personalities Štefánik met during his life. Many of them helped him to fulfill his goal. A short description of each gives the reader an idea of their role in history, and also in Štefánik’s life. The first part of the actual story focuses on the family background, childhood, and studies to familiarize the reader with the historical situation that formed Štefánik’s personality, namely his national awareness. The second part of the comic book describes his scientific work, and especially his numerous achievements in this field. The story includes his military and diplomatic career, too, and wraps up with the achievement of his highest goal – the creation of the common state of Czechs and Slovaks. Naturally, the narrative also gives an account of his activity in the legions, as well as his tragic end.

The last page of the comic book consists of a big A3 map which depicts all Štefánik’s travels around the globe. The next page describes his monument on the Bradlo hill and gives numerous interesting facts about the monument, as well as Štefánik’s life and achievements.
The comic book was translated into English and French.

Gallery

Autors

Mgr. Lenka Mlčĺchová

TEXTS

I live in a little village called Priepasné, right next to Košariská. I studied history and psychology at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. I’ve worked in the Museum of the Slovak National Councils in Myjava since 2013. The Štefánik Museum in Košariská is a branch of this institution.

Nina Abramovičová

ILLUSTRATIONS

I’ve lived in Košariská, the birthplace of Štefánik, nearly all my life. I am studying at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Although I focus on metals and jewels, I’m also very interested in other branches, such as statues, painting, or illustrating. I’ve also been working as a guide in the Museum of M. R. Štefánik in Košariská during summer vacation. I’m fascinated by his life, so I considered the comic book not only a challenge but also a fulfilled dream. …

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