Legendary comic artist turns 96

Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski, the author of one of the most popular Polish comic book series, “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek”, turned 96 on Friday.

Renowned cartoonist decorated by President

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Mr Chmielewski, known under the pseudonym “Papcio Chmiel”, is a living legend of Polish comics. His best-known work is long series of comic books which feature an adventurous trio of two teenagers – a tall, lanky even, long-haired Romek, and short, plump, snooty, smart and bespectacled A’Tomek – and a chimpanzee with the ability of human speech, named Tytus de Zoo.

The series kicked-off in 1966 with “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek – Book I: Tytus becomes a scout.” Since then, over 40 comic books featuring Tytus, Romek and A’Tomek were created by “Papcio Chmiel”.

The stories usually include the trio using various futuristic machines that help them during their adventure.

Over 11 mln copies of “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek” series have been sold.

Although Mr Chmielewski’s insurgent past is less known than his artistic accomplishment, it still deserves attention. In 1943, the future “Papcio Chmiel” joined Poland’s Home Army (AK), the main resistance organisation fighting during the WWII against the Nazi-German and Soviet forces that occupied Poland in 1939-1945.

Mr Chmielewski also fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 under nom de guerre “Jupiter” as a member of the 7th infantry regiment “Garłuch”.