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No Pasaran! Vol. 1 (Max Friedman) Paperback – August 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Max Friedman
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: NBM Publishing (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561632619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561632619
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Giardino's (A Jew in Communist Prague) newest Max Friedman spy adventure takes this reluctant spy, former soldier and successful businessman away from his comfortable home on the outskirts of Geneva into the thick of the Spanish Civil War in 1938. Friedman's old friend Maj. Guido Treves has disappeared while fighting with the anti-Franco Loyalists, and his wife implores Friedman to go to Spain and find him. Narrowly escaping an aerial bombing of his Barcelona-bound train, Friedman next faces a gunman's attempt on his life. As the International Brigades depart Spain, allowing Franco and his Nazi-Fascist allies to advance, Friedman is intent upon making the perilous journey to the front, where Treves was last seen. His inquiries about his missing friend arouse the suspicions of the local police, the Communist Party and Franco's spies. Giardino's characters tend toward rugged, brave men and beautiful, dark-haired women. Drawn in a stiff but realistic style originally made popular in Europe by the Belgian cartoonist Herge, his renderings of dark, war-ruined streets, art nouveau interiors and austere military offices, faithfully recreate wartime Barcelona. The next volume of No Pasar n! takes Friedman to the front, where the danger, intrigue and action can only increase.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Giardino puts off concluding the suspenseful A Jew in Communist Prague to delve into the past of Swiss businessman and spy Max Friedman, the hero of a couple of Giardino's earlier works. The prequel-equivalent is set during the waning days of the Spanish Civil War, when the wife of Guido Treves, a Republican loyalist officer and a friend of Max's, asks Max to find Guido, whom she hasn't heard from in two months. Readers already know that Treves is in danger for flouting the Communist apparatchiks trying to run the loyalist forces for Stalin's sake. Max sets off for Barcelona, where covert infighting between the Communists and other loyalists makes his life quite interesting. At this volume's end, Max is bound for the front and some definite information. Giardino's cinematic drawing style and realistic narrative and character development are sophistications that account for why graphic novels such as Giardino's enjoy huge cross-generational popularity in Europe. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2002
I first discovered Italian cartoonist Giardino through his series A Jew in Communist Prague and was thrilled to see him tackle the Spanish Civil War in this new volume. Apparently it continues the story of spy Max Friedman from earlier volumes, which I have not seen. Set in the waning days of the Civil War in 1938, disillusioned former International Brigade officer Friedman returns to Barcelona to track down an old friend who's gone missing. Whether this is at the hands of Franco's secret police, Communist apparatchiks trying to control the anti-fascist forces, or some other unknown force is not disovered by the end of the volume. More interesting than the plot is Giardino's strong artwork, which beautifully captures the battle-scarred art noveau buildings of 1930s Barcelona. I look forward to the plot thickening in the next volume.
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Very interesting and well done. Good story and good art. Can only hope that volume two gets re-issued to join volumes one and three.
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No Pasaran! returns the comic illustrator's Max Friedman series of spy graphic novels to new audiences with a tale set during the Spanish Civil War. The complexity of plot and presentation will appeal to adults who like a dose of history and intrigue with their graphic novel.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carlos R. Garcia on July 22, 2010
Vittorio Giardino, who is one of the most interesting artists and writers in the graphic novels medium, started on a great project. Like the overwhelming ma-
jority of the people in his profession, Giardino is a decided lefty when it comes to
politics. He has always wanted to hate Franco.It is the politically correct thing to
do, where he comes from.
He runs into big problems. He, like his peers, refers to the fighters ag-
ainst the Spanish Republic as "the Fascists". While it is true that they received help from the other fascists in Europe, the Generalissimo actually ran a free-market
economy. That is why it was so successful. Spain was the only country in western Europe to rebuild its economy without the Marshall Plan welfare handouts. It rose to
being the 8th largest economy in the world (only behind those of countries far more
populous) before its recent relapse into socialism (under Zapatero).
And the biggest argument for Franco (and against the Republic)is: what was
the alternative at the time (1939)? The Republic, under leaders like Negrin, had al-
ready passed from Euro-Social-Democracy into hard-line Marxism. I was born, raised,
educated in Cuba, and can swear that life in Spain from 1960-2003 was a hell of a lot better that it was (and still is) in Cuba during those years.
The outcome of the Spanish Civil War was the best it could have been, given the time and place and circumstances. The people Giardino admires were fight-
ing for the wrong side. Giardino, even now, pulls for the wrong team.
In the first book he mentions that many of the world's most famous think-
ers were involved, and he cites Hemingway, Orwell and Dos Passos.
Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles E. Reisen MD on May 16, 2002
Giardino's work is unique for his historical accuracy and the breadth of his knowledge. No Pasaran captures, among other episodes, the tensions between the Stalinists and the Anarchists and Trotskyists in the Spanish Civil war. There are wonderful renditions of the incredible architecture of Barcelona. His work is so rich on many levels. I can't wait until part two.
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