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Che: A Graphic Biography Paperback – Bargain Price, October 17, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Spain is one of the true giants of the comics medium. He is a singular artist; his work is unmistakable.” (Joe Sacco, author of Palestine )
Top Customer Reviews
I was alive and reading in the 50s and 60s. In those days, newspapers provided frequent reports of US business interests---together with our Government's support---prompting a ruthless economic exploitation and its attendant human oppression in Cuba as well as several central american countries. Furthermore, Cuba's exploitation by US corporation and mob interests was well known by anyone who read the NY Times or Washington Post.
To my knowledge, there was not a word in this book that contradicted what was known by any well-read Americans who cared. What was commonly whitewashed in those days were the descriptions of the corrupt Batista regime's minions (aka "exiles"), who packed and fled to Miami with the arrival of Castro's forces in Havana. More common thereafter was TV's "redwashing", which frequently reported "news" of Russian weapons in Guatemala, Communist terrorists in Nicaragua, and the "international communist menace" in "enslaved" Cuba.
Perhaps Reader Paulik's "whitewash" refers to Guevara's personal life. If so, then he must know more about the man than I. In any case, Che remains a hero to millions including myself.
I must admit my former ignorance about Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s life and ideology. I feel that most people of my demographic (30-something Americans) probably don’t know much about him, either. From a teacher standpoint, I can say with surety that the US educational system under-emphasizes Latin and Central American history. As a people, we seriously underrate our southern neighbors (unless we’re talking about cruise destinations; at least this is how my Appalachian region perceives Latin America). Having said that, I could easily recognize Korda’s famous photograph of Che Guevara, but that was about it.
This is why I find it fascinating that Rodriguez opens his story with two men on a street discussing the iconic photo. “I keep seeing this guy’s face everywhere!” “You mean Ernetso ‘Che’ Guevara?” The story takes off from that point. I still didn’t understand the impact of the instantly recognizable photograph until the concluding essay by Sarah Seidman and Paul Buhle.
Because it has sparked such an interest in me, I would highly recommend this graphic story to anyone curious about Che Guevara.
Appropriate for gifting high-school-age grandchildren, your adult daughter and nephew. Beyond US propaganda, Spain Rodriguez's concept and drawing is exceptional--an heirloom in the making.
Another review mentions "Appropriate for gifting high-school-age" -- yes, and younger; the violence children are exposed to in quite mainstream cartoons is way worse than this, and the writing is very accessible. I do not mean to suggest that this is a kiddie book, just that it is a uniquely digestible (and thus important) history. Rodriguez and Joe Sacco (and Chester Brown, and &c) deserve a lot more mainstream attention and praise; it is no small feat to make history and politics into something so page-turning and accessible.
I have never been able to read Spain without kinda wincing at the rough edges -- a Spain Rodriguez breast is a sight to behold -- but his bold style works well here; a Che biography with soothing visuals would not have made the same impact.
I'll wait a bit on passing down my other comix but this is a great addition to my library for homeschooling my young daughter, and I will be amazed if it does not inspire great interest in Latin American politics; I am off to find myself a history of Cuba. Che's life and work is fascinating stuff, and I feel sorry for people unable to see past their own politics far enough to realise as much. There is plenty to criticise about Che, but also much to love.