New comic by Alfonso Zapico, “The other ocean”

El País recently informed on a new comic by Alfonso Zapico (Blimea, Asturias, 1981), author of the acclaimed Dubliners, a graphic novel based on Joyce.

His new work, El otro mar [The other ocean], is a historical novel that recreates Vasco Nuñez de Balboa’s expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific – the idea came from an initiative by the Mare Australe Foundation [Panama, Spanish only] that invited artists from Spain and Panama to emulate this event of 500 years ago. “Very interesting but it was a disaster. We got away from the rain but suffered everything else: a horrible heat, river walks, nights in hammocks in the open. I didn’t enjoy it at all and would have gone back if I could have, but later back home I began to see it differently and to think that it had been a singular experience”, he narrates on the 12 days it took him to make the 110 km that separate the Atlantic and the Pacific. Zapico’s Núñez de Balboa is at intervals bloodthirsty and at intervals heroic. “The personality is very contradictory, and I didn’t want to create an idealized history. I have drawn an epic history, but I also speak about the devastation of a country and of peoples that disappeared a few years after Balboa’s arrival.”

Sources:  Tereixa Constenla, El País; Astiberri (Spanish publisher)

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