XRXMAG is a self-published comics magazine that has been published since 2014 and in the spring of 2023, its final issue with serial number 13 was finally published. It was published and kept alive by the duo Josef Sedlák and Tomáš Staněk. One of the authors will briefly summarize the history of XRX and talk about what it is like to publish a comics magazine and what led to the decision to end such activity.
The comic book captures the main character and his two-month holiday after graduation. During this time, he joins the graffiti scene, becomes a part of a group, and experiences adventurous, formative, and intense situations in Prague’s city centre at night. The story describes the euphoria of freedom, feelings of solidarity with a tribe, and the adrenaline from creative criminal activity. It also delves into the dark side of living on the edge, including violence, drugs, and moral dilemmas that the graduate from a good family faces in the shadowy world of the Prague 'scene.' What starts as a summer adventure soon turns into a tale of internal struggle, escalating relationships, a thickening atmosphere, and a breaking character.
In addition to the psychological dimension, Prázdniny can be seen as a modern reinterpretation of Foglar's “Stínadelská trilogie”. The central five-member gang finds themselves in conflict with a rival group, behind which a menacing force known as the “Vonts” forms – representing hooligans in contemporary Prague. Messages on walls, nighttime brawls and chases alternate with the romantic exploration of urban nooks and crannies or excursions into nature. The book captures the unique atmosphere of a “no adults allowed” collective, which, like in the First Republic era, compels its members to take responsibility for their actions.
The entire story unfolds against the backdrop of real Prague in 2013, in an environment where the author was active at the time. Many of the heroes' adventures are inspired by actual events. Each panel takes place in a very specific location, making the story a guide to the focal points of the youth scene of that period. Another authentic element is the graffiti styles of the main characters, created by real graffiti artists.
*Tomáš Staněk (1994)** is a graduate of the illustration studio at FDU LS in Plzeň. He is an editor for the comic book magazine XRXMAG, in which he contributes regularly. His comics and illustrations have appeared in Rychlé Šípy And Their Amazing New Adventures and other books. In 2018 he self-issued an original comic book called METRO, which was his bachelor thesis. In addition to comics he also pursues painting, graffiti, muralism and rap.