October 20, 2020

‘1892’, a graphic novel by Antonio Becerra and Alberto Hernández about Galdós

Comic cover 1892

He illustrator Alberto Hernández and writer Antonio Becerra as screenwriter are the authors of the graphic novel ‘1892’, (second of their collaborations in common) a fiction that is set in the year in which Galdos publishes ‘Tristana’ and ‘La loca de la casa’. On the first tour the plot of this installment, through which episodes of the biography of the Canarian novelist are shown and a dialogue is established with the second title.

The work, edited by the Pérez Galdós House-Museum, is illustrated throughout its hundred pages and is completed with an epilogue of correct notes proposed by both authors in which they advance keys of some of the characters such as Saturna, José Echegaray, María Guerrero, Lorenza Cobián, Emilia Pardo Bazán or Concha Morell, among others.

Initially the Cabildo proposed to the authors to carry out a work that would revolve around the biography of Perez Galdos, but the company was discarded due to the titanic dimension it implied and the time limitations that the project presented since the idea was to present it within the framework of the Centennial of the death of the author of the ‘National Episodes’.

“This is when Becerra comes to approach the character through his stories,” says Hernández, known as illustrating ‘Ezequiel Himes, Zombie Hunter’ by Víctor Santos ten years ago. “It was impossible to propose an illustrated biography based on the works published by Armengol and Yolanda Arencibia. Galdós is a versatile character, with many edges and perspectives,” adds Antonio Becerra, professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria . “For this reason we resort to ‘Tristana’, which has biographical elements of Galdós and we titled the work ‘1892’, a crucial year in the life of the famous Canarian novelist, who is in the years of creative plenitude. ‘Tristana’ ends as the life, without a great ending, as in Cortázar’s stories. In 1892 Galdós managed to carry out his dream: to enter the world of theater “, explains Becerra.

Hernández explains that the development of the work of this graphic novel is based on the structure. A graphic that, in the words of the illustrator, “has three types of lines that will allow the reader to better follow the story: the references to ‘Tristana’ reflected in an old brochure format, the most minimalist iconography of what has to do with ‘The madwoman of the house, and the touch of color for the references to Galdós’s life. We worked little by little, page by page, day by day … I sat down to develop the graphics in such a way that the reader always had Clear the three watertight sections of the work: ‘Tristana’, ‘La loca de la casa’, which was the most complex part to undertake, and Galdós’ biographical elements. I used a digital palette of dry brushes. Madrid is recreated and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from the 19th century based on rigorous documentation work “, explains the illustrator, who is currently drawing ‘Shamrock’, a Fantasy Scroll Mag serial, with scripts by Josh Brown, and erotic albums ‘Roojie Ortjes’, with texts by Ron Harren and Engels for the Dutch market. “Galdós when he writes is very visual, you see his images while you read. This has made my work much easier. The methodology allows me to trace the phases well in order not to end up frightening you about the size of the company in which you have committed” .

“We had to be very careful. It is a work of fiction but it must convey a truth“, adds Becerra, who insists on the documentation work undertaken after the edition of ‘1892’.” Some texts of the graphic novel are by Galdós himself and we documented ourselves with the invaluable help of Yolanda Arencibia, “he says.” Galdós creates a universe populated by characters that are jumping from places, and that world, despite being extensive, turns out to be populated by the same characters, “says Becerra.

“We want the reader of ‘1892’ feel the urgent need to read Galdós“Hernández concludes.


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