Saturday, October 25, 2014

O poderoso Enlil VIVE!

Foi com surpresa e agrado que tomei conhecimento da nomeação do meu livro "THE MIGHTY ENLIL" para os prémios do Festival de BD da Amadora na categoria de melhor álbum de autor português em língua estrangeira. Deixo aqui os meus agradecimentos ao editor Pepedelrey e ao André Oliveira, sem os quais esta edição do livro e a sua nomeação não teriam ocorrido.

Aproveito para informar que estarei presente no Fórum Luís de Camões, na Amadora, hoje, Sábado, dia 25 e amanhã, Domingo, dia 26 de Outubro, entre as 15h00 e as 17h00 para sessão de autógrafos.

Esta edição do meu livro também já está disponível nas livrarias. Ficam aqui algumas ligações onde podem obtê-lo por via de compra online:

Conto estar igualmente presente no Festival de BD da Amadora para a sessão de apresentação do fanzine Efemérides nº6, editado por Geraldes Lino, no próximo dia 1 de Novembro, Sábado, pelas 17h00.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - Mafalda by Quino

Previously I wrote about how sometimes you can clearly remember when you first bought or read a particular comic and how that can trigger all sorts of memories beyond the actual reading experience; memories from the "real" world, not the fictional one reads. Argentinian cartoonist Quino's much celebrated creation, Mafalda, is another of those comic book characters that I can place in that category.

I first met her on my Portuguese Grammar manual, when I was around ten years old. Man, how I loved that book! It was a school book, yes, but it was filled with samples of great comics used to teaching grammar! Judging by how Portuguese school has been going to hell for the last decade or so - and I should know it, being a teacher - I don't think they do that anymore. You see, I'm from a generation where kids still read books and comics were seen as a good teaching tool to get kids to read... but I digress.  Back to Mafalda, for awhile that book was my only source of her incredibly funny and lovingly drawn comic strips. The jokes were great, the characters were super cute but, as usual, it was Quino's superlative drawing line and cartooning ability that held my attention. There was a sort of pleasant humming that came across his ink lines that felt so spontaneous and yet perfect. Then, one day, I fell ill with a sore throat and high fever and had to remain in bed for a few days. Guess what? Mom and dad offer me a wonderful anthology with hundreds of Mafalda's comic strips - I went to heaven that evening!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

MY FAVORITE COMICS - QRN sur Bretzelburg

It's interesting how the memory of some books entering one's life remains clear even decades after the fact, while the memory of others goes straight into oblivion. I can still clearly remember how QRN sur Bretzelburg entered my life. One day when I was around seven years old, my mom took me out to have lunch and go to the movies along with a fellow coworker of hers, a young woman who, while having a husband, my mom had told me, couldn't have any children of her own. At that age I couldn't still quite grasp the whole workings of that (latebloomer that I have always been, perhaps I was still under the impression that babies were brought by storks to married couples), but my empathy was already well-developed enough to find this whole situation sad. The woman gave me this Spirou album as a gift and I immediately found her quite charming. The story had many layers that would take many readings and many years for me to digest and understand, but even then I could still find it fun and captivating - it was that well crafted that it could be enthralling on different levels according to the reader's context. The characters were awesome; Marsupilami becoming an instant favorite! The even better part though, were Franquin's drawings, which were unlike anything that I'd ever seen before, with a verve, energy and attention to detail uniquely their own. Little did I know then that this was one of the most celebrated and highly imitated european cartoonists ever. It would be quite a few years before I had the luck of coming across another comic by this author, but when I did, boy, I immediately grabbed it!
It's been many years since that fateful day when I first crossed paths with the work of Franquin. My mom left that job about a year later to remain at home and take care of me. She ended up losing contact with that coworker. Like so many, many other people who have touched my life (friends, foes, strangers), I have no idea where her path took her. I guess that's part of life: no neat answers, lots of unsolved questions and lose ends too. Still, her simple gesture of offering a comic book, still ressonates within me. Whenever I pick up QRN sur Bretzelburg or any of Franquin's bande dessinées, I still wonder about whatever happened to her, how she's doing and hope that she ended up having a child of her own, either biological or adopted, someone with whom to share such fun comics. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014


   My relationship with Lucky Luke is similar to what I have with Astérix, although I'd say that the later is closer to my heart than the former simply because I've read more Astérix books than Lucky Luke. Both are pretty much synonymous with comic books on Europe, yet they've also managed to transcend the medium to the point where they've become popular culture icons, which makes it hard to have some degree of objectivity analising them. Again, just as with Astérix, my contact with Lucky Luke came via my uncle and cousins who had most if not all of the character's albums. As a kid, the only Lucky Luke comics I was lucky enough to get were "Western Circus" and "La Caravane", both of which, coincidentally enough, I'd rank as different from what the popular perception usually equates with Lucky Luke books - no Daltons, no Rantanplan...
While this is french-belgium bande-dessinée, I can't help but think that if there's anything worthy of being called "comics", it's these books. Morris and Goscinny's mastery of the medium exudes with caricature and humor of the finest kind. Another of the lasting impressions I was left with from these two particular books were the unforgetable secondary characters. To this day I can't help but smile whenever I remember Nelson the one-eyed vegetarian lion, the drunk Ringmaster (a caricature of W.C. Fields) or Ugly Barrow the constantly cursing wagon driver. Fun stuff!