Josef Lada was a Czech painter, illustrator and writer, and is considered one of the founding fathers of Czech comics. Born in the small village of Hrusice, he headed for Prague at the age of 14 to become an apprentice binder. He was a contributor to the satrical magazine Kariktatury and is best known for his illustrations for Jaroslav Hasek's World War I novel 'The Good Soldier Svjek'.
He made 540 sequential black-and-white illustrations in 1923, and added 212 color illustrations in 1953. He also wrote and illustrated the adventures of the talking black cat 'Mikes'. He furthermore painted landscapes and did costume designs for plays and films.