October 26, 2020

Lorenzo Silva and Manu Marlasca unmask “El Solitario”



Aware that a “country is also known for its criminality”, the journalist Manuel Marlasca has created, together with the writer Lorenzo Silva and the cartoonist Cristóbal Fortúñez “el Solitario”, a 100% real graphic novel about “all” the protagonists of history from which Spain’s number 1 enemy left.

More than 30 bank robberies and three deaths, this is the balance of the criminal life of Jaime Giménez Arbe, “the Lonely One”, the criminal who for 14 years was the target of the Police and Civil Guard in our country and the protagonist of this Chronology of the events carried out with mastery to the language of the graphic novel by these three authors with the help of two of the best in criminal information.

A book that was born as an editorial commission from Random Comics and has become the first installment in a series that will focus on the so-called “True Crime”, in that genre that addresses the facts as they were, as does both the journalist Marlasca in his information, like the writer Silva to build his novels.

“Recovering criminal cases gives us an x-ray of what criminals are like in Spain and it is very important because a country is also known for its criminality,” Marlasca told Efe, who also confesses that both he and Silva clearly saw that “El Solitario” it was the case that “more easily” could be taken to the illustration for being a “very caricaturizable” person.

But above all for a reason of greater weight: both handled “a lot and very good information”.

Summaries, investigations, statements, videos, listening, all kinds of material to build a story not centered on the character itself, but on those who hunted him and those who suffered his evil.

Because yes, because Giménez Arbe is the bad guy in this movie that Spain lived through and that’s why both authors have been very careful to treat him as such.

“We both think about this story not because Solitaire seems to us an exemplary character or that it gives rise to a myth. To me, his story seems little epic because he stole so as not to work, he seemed to me to be 3 days in Social Security and the deaths it produced have little ethics “, recognizes Silva.

That is why the novel begins with the testimony of one of the director of the first branch that landed back in 1994 in Viveiro (Lugo), the first of many that splashed throughout Spain and panicked those workers of banking entities that were attacked at gunpoint always at noon, his preferred time.

“I work with reality,” says Marlasca, “and in these 32 years that I have been dealing with criminal reality, you realize that they have no fascination. For me, the history of the victims or of those who persecute these monsters is more fascinating. I have seen many robberies and they are terrible situations and in which the tragedy is about to be unleashed because they are made by people who have nothing to lose. “

With that point of view as the backbone, the rest of the comic develops chronologically, robbery after robbery, through the four-handed texts and illustrations by Fortúñez, who has drawn Giménez Arbe and the rest of the protagonists and elements of the investigation with precision, but using black, and not red, to mark the blood that this criminal spilled.

Specifically, the death in 2004 of the civil guards Juan Antonio Palmero and José Antonio Vidal, who died in cold blood in machine guns in Castejón (Navarra) when they stopped him. A double crime with which Operation Marietta started and “El Solitario” became the number one public enemy.

The same weapon, a submachine gun built by himself, with which he killed in Vall D’Uixó (Castellón) in 2010 a municipal police officer when he robbed another branch.

Assassinations that Marlasca and Silva remind us again to pay tribute to those members of the Police and Civil Guard who finally, thanks to a confidential report, caused Giménez Arbe to be arrested on July 23, 2007 in Figueira da Foz (Portugal) by Spanish agents. and Portuguese.

Pilar Martín

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