Old and Out of Touch

Today on the site:

Morten Harper joins us to write about Spanish cartoonist Paco Roca.

Even though English translations are few and far between, graphic novels from Spain have lately become increasingly more visible across the main European comics markets in France, Germany and Italy. The poignant Wrinkles, about Alzheimer’s disease and day-to-day life in a retirement home, is at the crest of this new Spanish wave.

Wrinkles (in Spanish: Arrugas) was a huge commercial breakthrough for Paco Roca when it was published in Spain in 2007. The protagonist is a retired bank manager who has Alzheimer’s disease and moves to an institution. Roca convincingly portrays the rituals of the retirement home, and how this man gradually recognizes and attempts to handle the disease. The book has been adapted to an animated feature movie, with an award winning script by Roca himself.

The book became a bestseller, acclaimed by critics and has won all there is of Spanish comics awards.Wrinkles became in many ways larger than itself, and was received as the frontrunner of a new wave of Grafica Novellas. To quote a newspaper headline: “The new superheroes are elderly with Alzheimer.”

Roca together with Miguel Gallardo released a book, Emotional World Tour, about the fuss surrounding the original releases of Wrinkles and Gallardo’s autobiographical María y yo (Maria and I) about his daughter’s autism. The two books were promoted with the slogan “cartoons and social reality”, and Roca and Gallardo jointly travelled on countless festivals and book signings.


I have mentioned this before, but hey, tonight is the opening: Victor Moscoso: Psychedelic Drawings, 1967-1982 is opening tonight. I co-curated the show, which features over 30 examples of Victor's work, including the complete original art for classic Zap strips like Luna Toon, Camel and Hocus-Pocus. These are among the finest original drawings for comics that I have ever seen (I'd rank them with McCay and Panter in terms of ink-on-board precision and power). Straight-up masterpieces of comic art, and never open to public viewing until now. There will not be a better comic and poster art show in New York this year, and probably not this decade. Oh yes, and there is a catalog which will be available at better bookstores and online in a couple of weeks. Anyhow, the opening is 6 to 8 pm. Victor will be in attendance. So will I. Ask for "the cone".

Deb Aoki has a good summary of, and take on, a web comic controversy that blew up yesterday.

Hmmm, what else can this old and out of touch person think of? I know, more from the past! If I have done nothing else in my life, I did publish the best Batman comic of the 21st century (other than DK2).

Smoke Signal is having a fun-sounding release party on Saturday night in NYC.

17 Responses to Old and Out of Touch

  1. Craig Fischer says:

    With all due respect to CF, I think Josh Simmons’ “Mark of the Bat” is my favorite 21st century BATMAN comic…

  2. I don’t think your old and out of touch Dan. You can do this with dash and derring do.

  3. Tucker Stone says:

    It goes Jim Aparo’s “Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels”, Josh Simmons’ “Mark of the Bat” and then CF. Anybody who says different hasn’t done their research or is named Dan Nadel.

  4. Dan Nadel says:

    Well, Tucker has me beat with Jim Aparo. Anything Jim Aparo is going to win. But while I do LOVE Josh Simmons’ Batman comic, CF’s is, for my money (and it was my money) a better comic strip. Not as horrific, but funnier and, y’know, more beautifully cartooned. So, I’ll go Aparo, CF, Simmons. I wish Frank Robbins was still alive and drawing Batman as a 100-year-old human. My name is Dan Nadel!

  5. Dan Nadel says:

    Wait a minute Tucker, after further, uh, research, that Aparo story was published in 1991. I said 21st century, not 20th century. Duh. Why are you trying to silence my voice? I’m hurt! You’re appropriating my identity as a fan of bootleg Batman stories! Help. So, let’s be gentle and say that DK2 is tops, then Simmons and CF are tied for 2nd place. Thank you for hearing me.

  6. Tucker Stone says:

    I should admit that I am wrong and wrong because I did not read your full comment and realize that Jimmy book didn’t qualify, but instead I will say fuck. you.


    *When did that Paul Pope story where Batman is one of the Swing Kids come out? I didn’t like that comic.

  7. Dan Nadel says:

    Tucker, when you say “fuck. you” I feel that you are appropriating my gender to imply a kind of gender bias I find not only gender-phobic but also love-making-phobic. You are denying my life essence. Why do you fear love, Tucker? And why are we not talking about this on Twumbter? Anyhow, Tucker, I hate your dumb haircut!
    Oh, and I vaguely remember that Swing Kids Pope story. Was it in one of those “Black and White” comic books? Or was it a back-up in an old issue of Hollywood Reporter?

  8. Tucker Stone says:

    Batman comic was in Batman Chronicles, there’s a wikipedia entry. “The Berlin Batman”. That being said….

    The Haircut comment is unacceptable! We’re being silly and you’re goofing around and then you say something like that, and you KNOW it brings up personal, outside-the-journal (Hodler) conversations, and not even a CONVERSATION I HAD WITH YOU, just some shit that is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Oh sure, it’s minor, it’s just a money thing, it’s just a joke, and I get to be the one who looks like a crazy person!

    This is such classic shit Dan. Here’s an inch, you take a mile. Fuck you man. So done with this shit! P box more like D box d for Douchebag

  9. Dan Nadel says:

    Tucker, as I’m sure you know, Tim and I share a bond. Everything you to say to him is repeated to me, and I repeat it to Frank who repeats it to Sammy who repeats it to Kevin who repeats it Jog who repeats it to Chris who repeats it to you. There is a technical term for that, and it doesn’t start with a D, you dummy.

  10. Tucker Stone says:

    Whatever dude. You should take a correspondance course in not being a piece of shit


  11. Dan Nadel says:

    Mic. Drop.

  12. Craig Fischer says:

    I guess it’s too late to mention Neal Adams’ BATMAN: ODYSSEY here…?

  13. Mark Mayerson says:

    So glad you guys are moderating comments now.

  14. Max West says:

    Wrinkles sounds like an interesting read; I may have to check the local library for it. It’s great to show others that comics are not all superheroes, but can deal with reality and other subject matter.

  15. Hey Dan

    What publication was the CF Batman comic in?

    Also I think Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin is one of the great Batman comics of the 21st century. Especially the first three issues with Frank Quitely.

  16. Also, although I disagree with what they did to Shounen Breakfast Club, I think that only Japanese comics can be called manga. Brandon Graham and Brian Lee O’malley make manga inspired work yet they don’t categorize it as manga.

    A problem with a lot of people is that they only read manga and close themselves off to the comics from other places than Japan.

    What do you think?

  17. Andy says:

    I remember when people were convinced Usagi Yojimbo was manga, because it was created by a man of Japanese ancestry, was about Japan, and featured funny animals, and became hostile when I pointed out otherwise.

    That period where Peter Milligan was writing Batman was pretty good

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