Acclaimed comic book author dies at 97

One of Poland’s greatest comic book artists Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski died at the age of 97. Several generations of Poles were brought up on comics by Papcio Chmiel, by which sobriquet he was widely known. Several million copies of his series of comic books about the adventures of Tytus, Romek and A'Tomek - an adventurous trio of two teenagers and a chimpanzee with the ability of human speech have been published.

In 1943, Chmielewski joined the Home Army. He also took part in the Warsaw Rising. Together with his companions, he was to take over Okęcie district, but unfortunately on August 1 he was arrested by German soldiers from the air services and taken into captivity. In the 1950s, he graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.

Papcio Chmiel started his graphic career in the army, being responsible for the newspaper. Then, from 1947, he worked as a cartoonist. The first black and white picture story about Tytus, who in the following years became one of the most popular characters from Polish comic books, was printed in October 1957.

Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski was also the author of a comic book about WWII, because he believed that thanks to the graphic form it would be easier to interest younger generations in history. In 2009, he painted a mural at the Warsaw Rising Museum.

He received many awards, such as the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He was also a Knight of the Order of the Smile, and in 2007 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis.

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