Walking into Prague’s Batalion Comic Book Museum and Club, one might be forgiven for thinking that they’ve wandered into a bar decorated from Roy Liechtenstein’s sexual nightmares, but this museum/club is actually a love letter to Czech comics pioneer Kája Saudek.
One of the leading voices in the underground Czech comics scene of the 1970s, Saudek took inspiration from a number of American artists such as Robert Crumb. His works often depicted large-breasted women in lurid situations, but contained pointed satire and criticism of Czechoslovakia’s communist regime. After having a number of his works outright banned during their initial release, much of Saudek’s works were not made available in full until the 1990s.
Saudek passed away in June of 2015, but his work continues to live on in the permanent gallery above the Batalion Bar in Prague. The space is owned by a father-son team, the elder of which was a friend of Saudek’s. The gallery located on the second floor of the club holds a number of Saudek’s original pages under glass. The bar space itself is also decorated with enlarged color versions of his panels. The sensational figures of half-naked women and angels popping out of nearly every surface. Unsurprisingly, this also adds to its raucous atmosphere. (Make no mistake, this is also a standard crazy-weekend bar).
Should you fall in love with the late artist’s work, the Batalion also sells reproductions, shirts, mugs, and the lot for visitors to take home. Fans of comics, rebellion, drinking, or simply unknown artists could well do for a visit to this bar that certainly would have been banned in an earlier age.
Update January, 2018: The museum is temporarily closed for technical reasons.