Tuesday 20 September 2011

I intended to write about Paco Roca's Arrugas before long, but circumstances have encouraged an early post, as I'll explain in a minute. Arrugas means 'Wrinkles', is Published by Astiberri, Spain, 2007,now in its seventh printing, and is the story is of Emilio and his fellow residents in an old people's home. Specifically, the narrative looks at the effects Alzheimer's disease, sensitively but not without a lot of humour. There is great charm in the way characters are in and out of each other's delusions as in the following scene, in which we see Senora Rosario permanently on the Orient Express.

Emilio is befriended immediately upon his arrival by Miguel, who practices an unending number of wheezes to separate his fellow residents from their cash, as you can see in the fifth and sixth panels below, to the horror of Emilio, who in his workaday life was a bank manager.

Compare the above samples with my previous look at Roca and notice how he devises a particular style for each new project. Observe the shapes of the balloons and their tails for instance, and though you can't see it in these scans, each of his books is printed on a different choice of paper. I discussed his work in the context of the 'novela grafica' which the artist has said he sees as a concept that offers a liberation from ready-made conventional formulae of format and approach. Each project defines its own.

With El invierno del dibujante and Arrugas, Paco Roca has shown himself to be a graphic novelist of the first order. In an ideal world, Drawn and Quarterly would be publishing him in English Language editions. Tell them I said so.

Yesterday's issue of the Spanish daily, El Pais has a report on an the premiere of the full length animated film based on Arrugas, first announced I think in 2009 : (we're back in GoogleSpain I'm afraid. I'll try to fix it):

'Wrinkles', a unique comic book, an outstanding film
At 87 minutes the session ends. Applause. The first spectators run out and lose a gift. Rosa Lema, 101, senile dementia, sang a song, a treasure found by a sound engineer who visited the residences.
I think they're saying there was a surprise after the end credits got rolling.
As the lights cam e back on, Roca breathed a sigh of relief, "Of course things change, even the characters [there are even different nationalities among the players], but the spirit's there. They got what I wanted to tell." He turned right and embraced Ferreras (the producer or director I think), who was eyeing him with some caution. "Congratulations."

A frame from the film.

Santiago Garcia argued recently that Roca is even better when he is being casually funny than when he is trying to draw the great graphic novel, as in a new collection of his weekly strip titled Memoirs of a Man in Pyjamas



Blogger TEBEOBIEN said...

check out 'emotional world tour', there's the funny paco roca said Santiago!

21 September 2011 at 02:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger TEBEOBIEN said...

big paco hard as a rock!

21 September 2011 at 02:41:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Loris Z. said...

The cover of "Arrugas" must be one of my favourites, ever.

21 September 2011 at 05:44:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Destabbio said...

Paco is great:)

22 September 2011 at 02:04:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Another one to look for.
I loved El invierno del dibujante.

22 September 2011 at 11:04:00 GMT-5  

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