Here is one gem that I found at convention Viñetas Sueltas in
A paragraph from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road including the line “I didn’t know who I was” introduces the story opposite the splash page. While Kerouac transformed travel into a lifelong journey of searching for "It" or finding Enlightenment, this adventure is a road trip with which middle-class Americans may be more familiar (though both trips certainly share the virtue of being doused with more than enough booze). As the opening line states: "Simon feels that all this is a parenthesis. Parentheses are like boomerangs, he believes. They even look like them. They enter your life suddenly and cut off your past from your present with a clean precise blow."
Subtly using characters' experiences to hint at a broader social context, Road Story is a telling window into both the pan-American dream and its dark side. After a failed marriage, protagonist Simon sold his business and left his home in
While Jessica Abel’s La Perdida reveals the misguided entry into Latin America of a half-Mexican girl born in the United States, Road Story (the original title of the Spanish-language comic) shows how oddly comfortable a Chilean is in the United States. Indeed, Simon thinks that the
The story works because of poignant prose narration complimented by austere drawings. There are also a number of moments, like the illustrations at right and below of how Simon met and married Natalia years earlier, in which images alone communicate key developments.
As Simon travels, Road Story concisely takes the reader through a process of healing, a very human process with painfully real moments, expressed in ways that are both blunt and naked while also subtle and understated. While wandering, Simon links up with a Bolivian woman, Adriana, who was “made in the
The art is straight-forward and utilitarian, if at times uninteresting. By the end of the story, the reader may tire of looking at Simon's frowning mug. The entire work stays true to the mood of parenthesis. Ultimately, Simon closes the parenthesis. But does he really acknowledging the cause of his problems? While Road Story critiques consumerist culture, it is the nuanced perspective of someone ingrained in it, enjoying its benefits.
For the first 10 pages translated into English, check out: http://wordswithoutborders.org/graphic-lit/from-road-story/