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Warsaw. Papcio Chmiel’s 100th birthday

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Exactly 100 years ago, the creator of comics about Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek – Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, known more widely as Papcio Chmiel, was born. On this occasion, a plaque dedicated to the famous cartoonist will be unveiled in Park Powstańców Warszawy.

Chmielewski began his career as a comic book artist by drawing for Świat Przygód a continuation of the story of Sergeant King from the royal cavalry (1947), and then humorous cartoons for Świat Młodych, such as Half-year of absenteeism (1951) or Witek Sprytek (1955). -56).

Papcio Chmiel – creator of Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek

In 1956, he came up with the idea of ​​a comic book about Romek, A’Tomek and a monkey sent into space – i.e. Tytus. This story was not appreciated by the editorial office of “Świat Młodych”. It wasn’t printed until a year later, when the Russians launched the first Sputnik. From that time until the 1980s, the adventures of the three heroes were systematically published in “Świat Młodych”.

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The popularity of the comic exceeded the author’s expectations. Readers constantly demanded information about Titus. In January 1971, in the 2000 issue of “Świat Młodych”, the entire newspaper was edited by Tytus de ZOO. In 1973, in connection with the 25th anniversary of “Świat Młodych”, Papcio presented the characteristics of Tytus: average weight, height 90 cm or 130 (depending on whether he stood on his feet or on his hands).

From the second half of the 1960s, when Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek appeared in booklets, the adventures published in the magazine increasingly became fragments of new albums. The first of the series of books was published by Wydawnictwo Harcerskie “Horyzonty” in 1966. It was entitled “Tytus becomes a scout”. It immediately gained immense popularity, selling a total of 660,000 copies. It was the same with the following volumes. Based on the comics, a full-length animated film “Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek among thieves of dreams” was created.

Chmielewski was also the author of an autobiography entitled “I was born in the Barbican” and the book “Tytus zlustrowany”, which is the second volume of this biography.

He was a Knight of the Order of the Smile. In 2007, he was awarded the Gold Medal “Zasłużony Kulturze Gloria Artis”, and in 2009, during the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for outstanding contributions to the independence of the Republic of Poland.

Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski – Warsaw insurgent

He belonged to the Home Army, secret meetings of the underground took place in his house. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, he became an artilleryman in the Polish Army. In 2009, he placed the heroes of his comic book – Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek – in the uprising.

– For 50 years, i.e. since the creation of Tytus, I have been following this topic […] But how to show Tytus with his monkey jokes against the backdrop of tragic martyrdom events, uncertainty of life every second, dying friends, tears of mothers, collapsing houses and German murders? What I have drawn cannot, of course, serve as a historical document, but even though it is a fantasy, it is based on real events of the uprising – said Papcio Chmiel after the comic was published.

In the same year, Chmielewski painted at the Warsaw Uprising Museum mural, depicting Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek as participants in the Uprising. On the mural, Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek work in the scout field post office. Tytus is a postman, in Papcio Chmiel’s painting he happily tramples on the Nazi flag. – For me, this mural is a personal revenge on the Germans, I could be happy that Tytus is trampling on the Nazi flag, especially since, unfortunately, I belong to a generation that still has the occupation in front of my eyes – Chmielewski told journalists.

Despite the end of creative work announced in 2009 (after 52 years), the author of the cult Tytus in 2010 drew another album. The new comic included 36 completely premiere boards in which the three heroes participate in the Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920.

In 2019, President Andrzej Duda awarded him the Medal of the Century of Regained Independence.

Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski died on January 22, 2021 in Warsaw.

A tree with a plaque and a “Long live Papa” party!

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, the Warsaw Uprising Museum invites you to unveil a plaque by the tree commemorating Papcio Chmiel. The ceremony will take place on June 7 at 2 pm in Park Powstańców Warszawy in Wola. It will be attended by the daughter and son of the illustrator Monique Lehman and Artur Chmielewski, and the director of MPW Jan Ołdakowski.

This is another edition of the museum’s action entitled “Roots of Remembrance“, thanks to which the descendants of the insurgents can share the stories of their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.

The event “Long Live Papcio Chmiel!” is planned for this Saturday at the headquarters of Komuna Warszawa (Emilii Plater 31). The program included an exhibition, meetings, workshops, a film screening, and a city game.

The exhibition will present over a hundred exhibits related to Papcio Chmiel and his most famous work. They come from one of the largest private comic book collections in Poland. Will be shown, among others period toys, comic boards, sweets, posters, figurines, illustrations, books, gadgets.

Workshops and an urban game await children, discussion panels and meetings for adults: – Papcio collected, meeting with Mateusz “TeO” Trąbiński, a collector, owner of one of the largest collections of comic books, comic gadgets and memorabilia in Poland (11.30) – “Papcio Chmiel domesticated “, or a meeting with Artur Chmielewski, Monique Chmielewska-Lehman and Karolina Prewęcka around a book with the same title (13.00) – Tytus Uekranowiony, or a meeting with Rafał Skarżycki, Michał Śledziński, Maciej Kur, the creators of the film adaptation of the adventures of Tytus, Romek and A ‘Tomka (15.00) – Tytus encyclopedized, or about the emerging unique Tytusopedia (16.30) At 17.30, the documentary film “Papcio Chmiel” directed by Petro Aleksowski will be shown. There will be a meeting with the director before the film.

Admission to all events is free. Registration will be required for the workshops. Details on the organizer’s website>>>.

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP

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