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COMIC LEGEND: Julio Cortázar wrote a comic book.
Awhile back I wrote about whether the great Argentinian author Julio Cortázar had ever written a comic book.
Julio Cortázar (famous for his role in the so-called “Latin American Boom” of the 1960s and 1970s, when writers like Gabriel García Márquez and Cortázar gained much critical acclaim) was well-known for how experimental he was a as a novelist. His most famous novel, Hopskotch, is notable for the way that it deconstructs the very structure of a novel (it has multiple endings and you can literally “hop” around the plot in the book and create your own unique story from choosing which chapters to read in what order)…
I discussed how he did a work that used comic books but that they weren’t original comics, so I didn’t think he actually wrote any comics himself. As it turns out, though, he actually DID!
Titled “La Raiz del Ombú” (Ombu’s Root), the book was a story of political oppression in Argentina and was drawn by Alberto Cedrón.
Since it was critical of the Argentinian government, it was not published at the time in Argentina. Instead, a few hundred copies were made in Venezuela in 1980. They were then promptly forgotten, especially since Cortázar died four years later. However, in 2004, twenty years after Cortázar’s death, as part of a celebration of the author, Alberto Cedrón was tracked down and he helped the book finally see publication in Argentina…
and soon, a French translation (Cortázar lived in France for the last few decades of his life) will be released…
Has anyone had the chance to read this book? I’d love to hear about it (and if anyone has a copy that you wouldn’t mind scanning a couple of pages to let us know what it looks like, that’d be swell, too)!
Thanks to Juan D. and Sira for their information about this book! And thanks to reader Rufiniano M. for asking me about whether Cortázar wrote a comic book in the first place!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Was Clair Huxtable in the Cosby Show originally intended to be a female version of Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy?
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
Here’s my new book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).
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Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).
The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…
See you all next week!
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