He was missing in the first episode. In the second, “for good morning” he gave a fang on the nose of Romek, who thought he was the spirit of Mr. Twardowski. The story of Tytus, a cult figure created by Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, began in October 1957 in “Świecie Młodych”.
Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski had the idea of a comic book about Romek, A’Tomek and a monkey sent into space – that is Tytus, already in 1956. This story, however, did not find recognition in the editorial office of “Świat Młodych”. It was not printed until a year later, when the Russians launched the first sputnik.
The first episode was published on October 22, 1957, 16 days after Sputnik’s release.
Titus was not there yet. The first heroes of the comic were Romek and A’Tomek. The first ten episodes were released under the title “Romek i A’Tomek”. In the first, the boys explored the rocket and fired it by accident.
Titus appeared in the second episode. They meet him in a rocket, he is on board as an experimental monkey. The first thing he does is gives Romek a fang on the nose, who looks into his cabin. The scared one runs away, convinced that it is the spirit of Mr. Twardowski. In the next box, Titus explains to him that he thought it was some other professor who wanted to give him an injection.
A comic strip that Poland loves
From that time until the 1980s, the adventures of the three heroes were systematically appearing in the pages of “Świat Młodych”, and the popularity of the comic exceeded the author’s expectations. From the second half of the 1960s, when Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek appeared in books, the adventures published in the magazine increasingly became fragments of new albums.
Characters from the first comic books published in “Świat Młodych” differed significantly from those that had been printed in booklets since 1966.
A total of 31 have appeared of these. Plus 10 historical albums and countless adventures printed in “Świat Młodych”.
The last album, “Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek help Prince Mieszko baptize Poland, drawn from Papcio Chmiel’s imagination”, was released on January 28. Week earlier the author of his adventures, Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, or Papcio Chmiel, died.
He was 97 years old. His passion for drawing came from reading “Ferdek and Merdek”, “Pat and Pataszon”, “Flip and Flap” and “Tarzan” comics in “Świat Przygód” and redrawing them. Little Henryk did not expect then that he would find employment in this magazine. His first works were published in the September 1, 1947 issue.
One of his tasks was to put the translated text in … stolen comics “Sergeant King of the Royal Cavalry”, cut from a Swedish weekly. When, after a month, the foreign magazine ceased to be published, Papcio was given a task … to draw a continuation of comic book adventures. “Of course I agreed to pull the plot and finish off the sergeant effectively. To make my job easier, I had to reduce the number of heroes. In the scene where the policemen chase the bandits on a motorcycle, I throw a grenade and immediately less two characters to draw. With the story ending so much. I was in no hurry, because I had to pay extra from the episode. I managed to drag the series through six episodes. And end with purely Polish content – Sergeant King liquidates the secret moonshine factory. This is where the Civic Militia was successful. King’s author Zane Gray would be surprised if he saw the Canadian sergeant in such an unusual role! ” – Papcio wrote in his autobiography “Życie człeka małpiony”.
Later, he drew his heroes, albeit modeled on Flip and Flap as well as Pat and Pataszon – Feluś Szczudełka and Jędrus Sadełka. And also Witek Sprytek, Ace’s dog or Circus Bum! tarara. And in the editorial office he gained a pseudonym – Dziadzio Chmiel, which later evolved into Papcio Chmiel.
In 1949, “Świat Młodych” was created from the merger of “Świat Przygód” and “Na Tropie”. Soon after, the comics were deemed to be the work of imperialist Americans. And printing was discontinued until 1957.
Papa had to switch to satirical drawings and posters. With success. In 1954, he received a distinction in a satirical poster competition. A year later – the first prize for the poster “Ogólnopolskie Popisy Wyższa Szkolnictwa Artystycznego”, 1st and 2nd prize for the poster promoting the collection of waste paper. In 1957, awards were given – for posters for LOT and Totalizator Sportowy, and the third prize for the cover of the book Oświęcim-Brzezinka. Finally, in 1958, he received an award for a poster for the Congress of the Defenders of Peace. The adventures of TRiA were already printed in “Świat Młodych”.
Main photo source: Filip Czekała / from the collection of the Raczyński Library in Poznań