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Graphic Lit

from the December 2019 issue

St. Barbara

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From Svatá Barbora. © 2018 by Marek Šindelka, Vojtěch Mašek, and Marek Pokorný. By arrangement with the authors. Translation © 2019 by Julia Sherwood and Peter Sherwood. All rights reserved.


Marek Šindelka

Marek Šindelka (b. 1984) studied Cultural Studies at Charles University and screenwriting at FAMU. He won the Jiří Orten Prize (best work of prose or poetry by an author thirty or under) for his book of poetry Strychnin a jiné básně (2005; Strychnine and Other Poems). He has published three books of prose: the novel Chyba (2008; Mistake) and two books of short stories, Zůstaňte s námi (2011; Stay Tuned), which won the Magnesia Litera Award for Prose, and Mapa Anny (2014; Map of Anna).

Vojtěch Mašek

Vojtěch Mašek is the author and illustrator of a dozen graphic novels, including Elephants in Marienbad, Look for Doc. Woman in Everything, Pandemonium, St. Barbora, Sisters Dietl, The Dragon Never Sleeps, and more. Most of these were awarded the Muriel Prize of the Czech comic festival KomiksFEST! for best story or best graphic novel. He has also written many screenplays: the feature film Tomík (1999); the short Fricassé (2003), which was selected as Quinzaine des réalisateurs in the International Film Festival in Cannes; the short I’m Bigger and Stronger (2007), co-written with Džian Baban and nominated by the Oscars for a Student Academy Award; and Little Crusader (2017), co-written with Jiří Soukup and awarded a Crystal Globe for Best feature film in the 52nd International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. He is also the author of three plays: Off Record (co-written with Ivana Uhlířová), Black Honey and Fred Brunold’s Monster Cabaret (co-written with Džian Baban), and a theater comedy series, Jožkalipnikjebožíčlověkaneumílhát! (co-written with Džian Baban). 

Marek Pokorný

Marek Pokorný started creating comics after discovering an internet community around the website, where he published a slightly autobiographical comic strip series. He took part in a figural drawing workshop lead by Boris Jirků and Radek Petříček and later studied classical animation at the Film School Zlín. He's the author of the Gobius Capito series, the second part of which he published as a webcomic on the True Lovers art group website. With the group Ašta šmé he authored a comic book, Silnější než někdo (Stronger Than Some), and with writers Vojtěch Mašek and Marek Šindelka created Svatá Barbora (Saint Barbara). He also works as a 2D character animator.

Translated from Czech by Julia Sherwood and by Peter Sherwood

Julia Sherwood was born and grew up in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. After studying in Germany she settled in the UK, working for Amnesty International and Save the Children. Since 2008 she has worked as a freelance translator of fiction and nonfiction from Slovak, Czech, Polish, and Russian. Her translations into English (jointly with Peter Sherwood) include book-length works by Balla, Ivana Dobrakovová, Jana Juráňová, Daniela Kapitáňová, Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki, Uršuľa Kovalyk, Peter Krištúfek, Petra Procházková and Pavel Vilikovský; and into Slovak, books by Tony Judt and Hamid IsmailovShe has co-edited the anthology Into the Spotlight. New Writing from Slovakia with Magdalena Mullek, with whom she also runs the website She is based in London and serves as the editor-at-large for Slovakia for Asymptote.

Peter Sherwood is a linguist and translator. He taught Hungarian language, linguistics and literature at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (now part of University College London) until 2007. From 2008 until 2014 he was László Birinyi, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Hungarian Language and Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His translations from Hungarian include the novels The Book of Fathers by Miklós Vámos (2006) and The Finno-Ugrian Vampire by Noémi Szécsi (2012), as well as stories by Ádám Bodor, Dezső Kosztolányi, Zsigmond Móricz, and many others, along with works of poetry, essays, and philosophy. With his wife, Julia Sherwood, he also translates from Slovak and Czech.

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