The fellas at RORSCHACH – COMICS READING GROUP (a book club, really, but aimed at comic books and graphic novels) have just finished reading Peter Kuper’s (Franz Kafka’s) The Metamorphosis.
That’s ‘We, the fellas’, by the way. I got late to the meeting, though, so I had no time to write a full text like the others. Still, here are my notes.
Spanish-only link, but I’ll post it for the sake of symmetry: My friend Bruno Percivale shed a light over a matter that was really bugging me: Why are some genres so much flexible than others? Why do some genres have dozens of subgenres while others don’t?
You can see the transcript of our brief Facebook chat on http://hablemosdehistorietas.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/escenas-de-la-vida-feisbuquera-disquisiciones-sobre-los-generos-una-teoria-de-cafe/
(Written on Sunday Nov 14, 2010)
I went to see Los Talentos last night, the play by Agustín Mendilaharzu and Walter Jakob. I was told I was especially going to like it and it was true: the main characters are twentysomethings who are a cross between intellectuals and nerds.
The first time I watched “Kill Bill 2” I jumped out of my seat at the scene where the characters discuss Superman and superheroes. In a story so full of references and homages, a superhero one felt like a puzzle piece taking its place. It was an element that engaged me in the ultimate way; that made feel the world of the story was part of my own background. Last night I felt the same during one scene.
A few years ago, Argentine newspaper Clarín published Biblioteca Clarín de la historieta, a collection that made fundamental episodes of classic comic books available at a fair price. The range of the selection was as diverse as Patoruzú or X-Men, but Clarín published them all in a format that wasn’t proportional to almost none of them. In the local comic book circles (¿the historieta circles?), the Biblioteca gained a reputation of grotesque, the panels on its pages always alternating the subsized with the augmented.
A few months ago, Clarín published a much more beautiful Biblioteca Corto Maltés. (I’m not sure that’s what they called it, but let’s roll with it.) These adventures of the sailor Corto Maltese appeared in colour, elegantly sized, with synergy between all the elements; some of them never before published in Spanish. It was sad to read Ballad of the Salt Sea again to realize it could fit perfectly: after all, both
collections had the same page size. Yet everything worked perfectly on the second one, and horribly on the first. Now I haven’t measured the actual page size in numbers (sorry), but as far as internal layering goes, the other adventure from the first collection. Tango: Y todo a media luz, is composed of up to six panels per page, in three rows of two. It was one of the few comics that fit the page well the first time around.
To recap, Tango should appear exactly the same on the Biblioteca Clarín de la historieta and the Biblioteca Corto Maltés. That’s theory; in practice, let’s take a look at the final page on each.
Last night (this was written on May 24, 2010) I shared a few beers with former gradeschool schoolmates. (Beers are not frequent for me.) There were three of us, actually; we listened to DVDs of La Renga and Led Zeppelin, caught up to recent events like which of the girls had become a mother, discussed ancient events like where was it that the Kid Olympics were held on the 1990s. But on my mind lingers the presence of a book that I had not seen in a long time and had forgotten. It’s called “Ellos también cuentan” (‘They Also Tell/Count’) and most of my schoolmates have one of them, but I don’t. (Kinda like when just a couple guys on the classroom don’t order the class uniform when they go on the final course trip.) It’s an anthology of short stories, poems, books, jokes and sometimes simply phrases submitted by 6-14 year old students from three different La Plata schools, including mine. (Are there more volumes from the same year, featuring more schools from the city?) I wish I had submitted something; I guess I skipped school that day? (More probably I begun a short story and just didn’t finish it.)
So, I brought a list of the then-young authors whose works interested me. I’m eager to type their names up in Facebook and see what shows up. Meanwhile I’ll put up my impressions here. I was 12 at the time of this book, so that means it’s been a bit over ten years since the time of publishing. I wonder if some of them have become writers by now?
THREE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND I’M SHELTERING FROM THE RAIN BESIDES A KIOSK, I write on my notebook, IN BÉCCAR. IN BÉCCAR, I repeat: “LA PLATA” IS WHERE I LIVE. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN BECCAR.