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Comica Argentina

Posted: February 27, 2010

Comica returns this summer with a special Comica Argentina season hosted by Canning House and King’s Place in London devoted to the astonishing comics of Argentina. There will be an exhibition and a series of related events between June 7 and July 4, to tie in with celebrations of the bicentennial of independence from Spain.

With co-curator and cartoonist Sylvia Libedinsky, I’ll be exploring Argentina’s unusually rich culture of cartoons and comics. We’ll be tracing some of the key creators, characters, magazines and books that have reflected and shaped this nation’s psyche and spirit from Patarozú and Rico Tipo to Hora Cero and Fierro and many more.

You will find geniuses of satire and humour like Quino, creator of the fiercely witty Mafalda strip, and Oscar Grillo, master cartoonist and animator who recently adapted Shakespeare’s The Tempest. And these will sit next to some of the world’s most dramatic graphic novelists: Héctor Oesterheld and Solano López, whose El Eternauta came to symbolise resistance against oppression; the masters Alberto Breccia and Hugo Pratt (an Italian but a major contributor to Argentine comics); Carlos Sampayo and José Muñoz, the duo behind the New York noir classic Alack Sinner; the prolific scriptwriter Carlos Trillo and his many varied series; and Oscar Zarate, who has collaborated with Alexei Sayle, Alan Moore and now Sampayo too.

El Eternauta by Héctor Oesterheld & Solano López

In 1994 I helped curate the exhibition El Humor Grafico Argentino with the Argentine Embassy for the Cartoon Art Trust, and this only confirmed my admiration and excitement for this country’s cartooning and sequential art. So I am delighted that several of the 1994 show’s brilliant cartoonists will also be featured here, such as Dante Quinterno, Lino Palacio and Di Vito. I also plan to touch on the impact of Argentine artists internationally, from Bruno Premiani on Doom Patrol for DC Comics in America to Solano Lopez on Kelly’s Eye and Janus Stark here in Britain. Just as important to me is to spotlight the new generation of talents that has been flourishing since, such as Liniers, Saenz Valiente, Alejandra Lunik and Eduardo Risso, with huge help from Thomas Dassance and the Viñetas Sueltas Festival in Buenos Aires.

The full Comica Argentina programme can be found here…

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