The gun of an anonymous hand points to his head, face to death. The glow as a timid background of a cautious sunrise does not erase the blackness of the night. Olive trees, boulders and the shadow of the poet surround the pit in the surroundings of Alfacar (Granada). On the back cover parade the rest of victims who accompanied Federico García Lorca in the final hour. At a slow pace, he is followed by Dióscoro Galindo, the republican and lame master of Publiana. In the background, an assault guard held atop the vehicle to one of the anarchist banderilleros – Francisco Galadí or Joaquín Arcollas – who also fell on that day of hatred, blood and gall …
It is the chosen drawing on the cover of Life and death of Federico García Lorca (Editions B), the comic that Ian Gibson and the cartoonist Quique Palomo have created together. It shows Lorca without taboos or taboos. His childhood in the Vega de Granada and his youth in Madrid as a tenant of the Student's residence. Family and clandestine loves; global triumphs – Spain and America – and the failures of their intimacies. The protein of his work and the waste that was his fall at the hands of a murderous squad. An immolation, with signs of warning, at hand, says Gibson, "of which the poet had shortly before called the worst bourgeoisie in Spain: Granada."
It is not easy to draw a myth. Everybody keeps in memory any gesture, a photograph, the phrase of a smile. "There is a Lorca iconography," says Palomo. "Within those circumstances there are things that are easy and others not so much. The first is that you can caricature it. There is a relationship between the eyebrows and the very characteristic brow. Something happens with his chin, too. "
"His obsession with social injustice, visible from his initial writings and his public and notorious anti-fascism," says Gibson
But it must match 600 images. "With variations on these elements, you can try," says the cartoonist. And between different scenarios that lead you to an intense life. "Tracing him and studying him you realize that he was someone who took advantage of his life and his circumstances to go for everything." And that in certain aspects did not have it easy. "Being gay in the first decades of the twentieth century involved too many restrictions. But, on the other hand, that produces in him some revelations and questions that enrich his work ".
His sexual identity was one of the main engines to squeeze in his creative zeal. "A whole axis for work," says Quique Palomo. His crime, too: "That situation of chaos and repression should be reflected in our comic." Also the derision, caged in a frozen choreography of shadows, at the same level as the joy of living.
As the one that transmits to us from its childhood, where it alternated the street games with its liking to represent misas. His fascination with the comedians of the league, the puppets and popular music together with an attachment to the mysticism of the earth and the plows, infected by his father. Or his youth in Madrid, with his inseparable Dalí and Buñuel. He was in love with the first, with whom he shared flirtations and real passion, but often flirted with the other, due to the effort that the Aragonese had in walking him through brothels to scare away -or confirm- his suspicions that he was homosexual.
"Tracing him and studying him you realize that he was someone who took advantage of his life and his circumstances to go for it", according to Palomo
Along with them also other great accomplices of the author parade through the pages: Manuel de Falla, Andrés Segovia, Margarita Xirgu, their more or less contemporary poets … Also crucial lovers, in the case of Emilio Aladrén. Or the places where he transformed and triumphed: New York, Cuba, Buenos Aires. A complete tour of the light of his magnet before he was thrown into martyrdom.
The complicity between Palomo and Gibson has not failed from the first moment: "We empathize immediately," says the expert Hispanist in the figure of the poet. "Quique already admired Lorca, so nothing to start from scratch. I passed him a synopsis of his life and work and read my biography. In our first sessions we decided to put a lot of emphasis on the long childhood of the future author in the Vega de Granada, root of his world. And on the extraordinary creative vitality that allowed him to elaborate in just twenty years (1916-1936) a very varied literary corpus today admired and studied universally ".
Apart from the aforementioned issues, Gibson emphasizes others: "His obsession with social injustice, visible from his initial writings and his public and notorious anti-fascism. The identification with the mestizo Granada lost since 1492 and on which Lorca believed that it had pushed him to feel close to the persecuted. His commitment to the cultural program of the Republic and an incomparable combination of gifts, including music. The extraordinary mixture of the popular and the most contemporary characteristic in its production … ", points out the author. With that perpetual desire to continually approach readers from all walks of life and his love of drawing, Lorca would no doubt have loved this nod to popular culture in the form of comics.