Through her smilingly light, artistically pure drawings, Božena Plocháňová tried to bring relief to the reader from the mundane and difficult carousel of life. She perceived it encouragingly and positively, without embellishment, and she laughed at the period shortcomings of us all, including herself. She understood that with a smile on her face, mind and soul, one could survive everything in the stereotypical life in what was then Czechoslovakia. In 1952, as one of the first academically educated female artists, she was invited to work for Roháč magazine by Štefan Bednár, acad. painter, well-known artist and cartoonist and Roháč’s first editor-in-chief. For four long decades, she was his stalwart employee, drawing icon and art pillar. Her unforgettable characters Bill and Mary, from the most famous cartoon of the same name, depict the lives of ordinary “happy” people and still survive in the memory of several generations. Upon Roháč’s demise after 1990, they appeared the crossword magazine Veľký Šibal in the cartoon entitled Bill and Mary after years. Her pleasing drawings won the hearts of children and she took great pleasure in illustrating all of the children’s magazines at the time with humorously tuned pictures. She admitted that while cartoon humor was her work and livelihood, it was also a form of relaxation. She considered drawing for children and illustrating children’s books as a great holiday, and that’s why she approached this work with humility.
Božena Plocháňová (née Bauerová) was born in Prague on January 2, 1929 and grew up in the Vinohrady district. She attended the renowned Prague State Graphic School (1946-1950) and went on to illustrate many children’s books including Bola raz jedna trieda (Krista Bendová, 1956), Cibuľkove dobrodružstvá (Le avventure di Cipollino, Gianni Rodari, 1959), Hrdinský zápisník (Klára Jarunková, 1960), Danka a Janka (Mária Ďuríčková, 1961, 2010), O Štoplíkovi (Hana Ponická, 1961, 1991, 1999, 2013), Opice z našej police (Krista Bendová, 1966, 1993, 2011), Osmijanko rozpráva... (Krista Bendová, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973), Meduška (Elena Čepčeková, 1970), Štvornohé rozprávky (Jozef Pavlovič, 1975), Slávnosť u Pipi Dlhej Pančuchy (Pippi Långstrump har julgransplundring, Astrid Lindgren, 1985) and Osmijanko sa vracia (Krista Bendová, 2010).