Among the novelties of San Jordi comics and graphic novels there are stories for different palates and that come from all over the world. From South Korea comes one of the titles of the year, Grass (Reservoir Books), a breathtaking graphic novel by Keum Suk Gendry Kim that through almost 500 black and white pages denounces the abuses suffered by thousands of women who became sex slaves of Japanese troops before and during the Second World War. A story based on the testimony of one of the victims and told with great sensitivity and tact through a design halfway between Franco-Belgian tradition and manga.
In the field of manga, in fact, Yoshiharu Tsuge stands out as one of its cult authors thanks to titles such as the man without talent, where he practiced autofiction when this concept was not yet in fashion. He was one of the cornerstones of the avant-garde magazine Garo and there he published the fourteen short stories which are now collected in Red flowers (Black Rooster), in which he tells, with a disillusioned look, small scenes capable of transmitting a story of enormous depth and narrative strength. Authentic, emotional and far from any commercial approach.
The new titles are combined with reissues of modern comic classics
From Israel comes the latest work of Rutu Modan, tunnel (Salamandra Graphic in Spanish, Finestres in Catalan), a fun adventure that, as the title seems to imply, contains a much deeper underground story: a look at the conflict in the Middle East and relations between Jews and Palestinians. With a postmodern Tintin aesthetic, it introduces subtle touches of humor and a captivating gallery of characters who come together to find the Ark of the Covenant.
Writers and painters are the protagonists of the funny proposal of one of the most interesting cartoonists of the current French market, Catherine Meurisse. In The bridge of the arts (Impedimenta), weaves juicy anecdotes that allow him to introduce reflections on art and an irreverent but affectionate look at great figures of culture such as Delacroix, Picasso, Baudelaire, Proust or George Sand. An extensive biography with the title has just been translated into comic form on the latter George Sand, daughter of the century (Garbuix books), from Severine Vidal Y Kim Consignya vindication of the validity of this exceptional women’s rights fighter who had to hide under a male pseudonym to publish her novels.
Continuing with the biographies in cartoons, it is necessary to highlight a national production, The three wounds of Miguel Hernández (Planet), written and illustrated by Carles Schembre. A very personal journey into the life of the Orihuela poet drawn with a hyper-realistic style, especially in the backgrounds, and a great use of symbolic games and visual metaphors that exploit the narrative and plastic potential of the cartoon. The work introduces poetic fragments and more or less explicit quotations such as that of the title, evocation of the poem He came with three wounds.
Among the national works, three other prominent titles. The first is the posthumous work of Miguel Gallardothat together with his wife, Karin Du Crootells the process of adopting the dog Cala en The big book of dogs (Astiberri) and transform it into a particular canine practical guide. By mixing classic comic pages with passages closer to illustration or collage, the album confirms Gallardo’s talent and freedom of expression. The second is The Circle of Loplop (Males Herbes), written by Sebastian Roig and designed by Toni Benages and Gallardwhich place the Catalan writer and philosopher Francesc Pujols at the center of a surrealist plot in Barcelona in 1931. An accelerated and imaginative story through which the esoteric sects, the comedians, writers like Ramón Gómez de la Serna and a suitcase full of relics with alleged Magic powers.
The third title is a graphic report – or, better to say, photographic – on the Tyrol area located between Austria and Italy: The error (Astiberri) is an extraordinary and beautiful reflection on the border and European unity in a territory where the scars of the First World War are more present than one might think. The photographer Carlos Spottorno and the reporter William April They sign a story that scrutinizes one of the most paradisiacal places in Europe and from which they know how to extract, literally entering the subsoil, a lesson on what unites us and what separates us.
In the block of reprints mention for three titles. chicken with plums (Reservoir Books, in Spanish and Catalan), by marjane satrapia brilliantly put together story by the author of Persepolis which speaks of a musician who loses the will to live; Giorgio Sprott 1894-1975 (Salamandra chart), from Setauthor of Clyde fanswhich on this occasion offers the tragicomic portrait of an old-fashioned television presenter in the last days of his life, and the reprint of nine short stories by a key figure in the emancipation of comics, The spirit (Oberon), of Will Eisnerin a commented edition that mixes color episodes with others in which the expressionist black and white of the American cartoonist stands out.
In the comic key
more graphic novels
In these first months of 2022, other novelties were also highlighted in the comic reviews section of the supplement Cultures.