Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová

by Amy Elkins

The National Museum of Women in the Arts calls Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová “The First Woman Graphic Novelist.”  A Czech artist/writer, Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894–1980) wrote six novels, illustrated with exquisite woodcuts that detail both the domestic and cosmopolitan energy of the early-twentieth century. I’m quite enamored with her work, which levels a pretty stern assessment of capitalism, education, and war–all put in tension with women’s creative lives.


Z mého dětství (From My Childhood), 1931

To see more of Bochořáková-Dittrichová’s work, see this recent Huffington Post piece.

I’ve started (in a very preliminary way) to shape a project that explores Bochořáková-Dittrichová’s work alongside the more contemporary work of Marjane Satrapi.  Take, for example, a frame from Satrapi’s 2003 (English version) Persepolis and this 1934 Bochořáková-Dittrichová woodcut, Indiáni Jindy a Dnes (Indians Then and Now).