(W) Paco Roca (A/CA) Paco Roca
The celebrated Spanish cartoonist's most
ambitious work yet is a touching homage to
his mother and a bittersweet depiction of life
in post-war Spain.
It all starts with a photograph: an ordinary scene of a
young woman and her family picnicking at a Valencian
beach in 1947. Now in her twilight years, Antonia
cherishes this photo dearly; it holds the memories of
her upbringing, her family - the key to her Eden. Taking
off from this routine family outing, cartoonist Paco
Roca paints a heartfelt portrait of his mother's formative
years. This delicate portrayal of a humble family is
at once an intimate biographical story and a broader
reflection of the hardscrabble existence many faced in post-war Spain. Antonia and
her family soldier through constant hunger, the shady dealings of the black market,
traumas of war and parental abuse, and the oppressive atmosphere wrought by the
Catholic church and Franco's authoritarian regime - and yet, they find oases of joy
and wonder in cinema, imagination, and small acts of kindness.
Roca is known the world over for his quietly powerful graphic novels, from
Twists of Fate to The House, and this latest masterwork may just be his magnum opus.
In Return to Eden, Roca manages to charge quotidian life with rare poignancy, in
all its daily struggles and daydreams, and readers will come away deeply affected.
Paco Roca is an award-winning graphic artist and a cartoonist from Valencia, Spain.
Fantagraphics has published English editions of many of his graphic novels, and
several of his works have been adapted to TV and film.
In Shops: Feb 28, 2024
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