Snippet: Roberta Vázquez, illustrator

“Anodino en un cuadro de Hopper” (C) Roberta Vázquez


Roberta Vázquez (Santiago de Compostela, 1989) is an illustrator who lives and works in Barcelona. Her “main character” is called Bobby Patata.

In March 2016, Marie Claire magazine listed her as one of seven Spanish illustrators one needed to follow on Instagram and characterized her as follows:

Her little animals are anything but naïve, they are badass, sarcastic, and they reflect the worst of contemporary life. They are very funny.

On September 20, 2016, she had 3,133 followers on Instagram.

This blogger discovered her through a short documentary made by “Página 2” literary [Spanish state RTVE] TV magazine [around 4 minutes, in Spanish, showing her at work].

Vázquez is a self-publisher, and some of her works can be acquired online.

[A google search leads first to a blog on where Vázquez hasn’t posted anything new since November 2015, which this blogger fully understands who also started there and left it due to the limitations as to the domain name, formats, etc.]


BCN Comic & Manga fairs 2016 (post factum)

The 34th edition, poster by Francisco Ibáñez, took place in Barcelona May 5-8, 2016. According to the organizers, this year’s number of visitors, 118.000, beat another record, 5.000 more than in 2015.

As always, the Comic Fair awarded some prizes:

The 2016 lifetime achievement award went to Josep Maria Blanco (Barcelona, 1926), the last surviving member of a group of cartoonists who published a magazine called TBO (Wikipedia).

The prize for the best work by a Spanish author published in Spain in 2015 went to El Fantasma de Gaudí [Gaudí’s ghost; Dibbuks], created by El Torres (Juan Antonio Torres, Malaga, 1972; more info) and Jesús Alonso Iglesias (1972, personal blog).

The prize for the best foreign work published in Spain in 2015 went to Una aventura de Spirou. El botones de verde caqui [A Spirou adventure: the groom in olive green; original title: le groom vert-de-gris ; Dibbuks; the Wikipedia on the series] by Yann and Olivier Schwartz.

The prize for the best emerging talent went to Javi de Castro (León, 1990; blog; tumblr)

The prize for the best Spanish fanzine went to Nimio (facebook; tumblr; twitter).

The prize of the general public went to Ekhö. Mundo Espejo 3. Hollywood Boulevard by Arleston and Barbucci (Norma).

Turista accidental

A newspaper recommendation that looked interesting to this blogger is Miguel Gallardo’s Turista accidental [Accidental tourist, Astiberri]: “Gallardo went all over the world to present his comics, and he didn’t stop watching it with his usual sense of humor. This funny travel logbook passes through Prague, Frankfurt, Warsaw, New York, Tokio, Mexico, and a lot of airports.” (La Vanguardia)

SOURCE: Saló del Còmic; La Vanguardia, May 7, 2016, pp. 38-40 [printed edition]

33 Barcelona Int’l Comic Fair: award winners

The Comic Fair (April 16-19, 2015) awarded different prizes. The “great prize” [lifetime achievement] went to Enrique Sánchez Abulí (1945; Wikipedia). The prize for the best international work of the year went to Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples for the Space Opera saga. Las meninas [allusion to Velázquez] by Santiago García (1968; blog) and Javier Olivares (Madrid, 1964; blog) was considered the best Spanish work. The prize for an emerging artist went to Miki Montlló (blog); best fanzine to Thermozero Cómics (web); the public’s award for the best work went to Ana Oncina (Elda, 1989; web) for Croqueta y empanadilla [fried tapas].

SOURCE: La Vanguardia, April 18, 2015, p. 41 [printed edition]

Snippet: National Comic Prize 2014 for “Blacksad 5: Amarillo”

Juan Díaz Canales (Madrid, 1972) and Juanjo Guarnido (Salobreña, Granada, 1967) were declared the winners of the Premio Nacional del Cómic 2014 [National Comic Prize] for their album Blacksad 5: Amarillo [Yellow].

It is one of a number of prizes, endowed with 20,000 EUR each, awarded by the Spanish ministry of culture; this year, already two of the laureates, Jordi Savall (music) and Isabel Steva Hernández, Colita (photography) have declined the prizes in protest of the Popular Party government’s cultural policy, which mainly consists of cutting funds for culture, e.g. the teaching of music in high school, etc.

For more information on the Blacksad series and its authors, please visit this 2013 post. Spanish national radio and TV channel RTVE offers special pages dedicated to comics.

SOURCE: RTVE, Nov. 11, 2014

Snippet: Ñam, international comic and graphic novel festival

It was held for the first time in Palencia (Castilla y León; Wikipedia) between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5, 2014, funded by different local and regional governments. “International” refers to the invited authors, among them Scott McCloud, Matt Madden, Chloé Cruchaudet (Lyon, 1976), David Aja (Valladolid, 1977; Wikipedia), David Rubín (Ourense, 1977; blog), Jorge González (Buenos Aires, 1970; blog), Juan Berrio (Valladolid, 1964; blog) or José Jajaja (Campo de Criptana, 1984; website); the festival’s webpage is Spanish only. The main events were held at the cultural center housed in a former prison. Two exhibitions accompanied these: one on Juan Berrio’s project Cuaderno de frases encontrados ([Notebook of encountered phrases], blog); the other on Oxfam‘s graphic novels on development aid (cf. this snippet).

Centro Cultural Antigua Cárcel (c) Ñam

This was a welcome contrast to a recent piece of news that talked about the disappearance of the Asturias Salón del Cómic after 37 editions. With it disappeared the Haxtur awards and the journal El Wendigo (homepage).

SOURCE: El País, Oct. 5, 2014

Snippet: National Illustration Award to A.J. Gonçalves

The illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, scenographer, and teacher António Jorge Gonçalves (Lisbon, 1964) won the 2013 National Illustration Award of the Portuguese Direção-Geral do Livro, dos Arquivos e das Bibliotecas [General Directorate for Book, Archives and Libraries (DGLAB), a public body under the auspices of the Secretary of State for Culture; website] for his illustrations of the book Uma escuridão bonita [A beautiful darkness]. The illustrator’s personal homepage is here, the project page Subway Life here, the Moleskine contributor’s page here.


SOURCE: Destak, June 25, 2014

Asturias Award to “Quino”, creator of Mafalda

The cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón (Guaymallén, Argentina, 1932), a.k.a. Quino, has been bestowed with the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, as made public on May 21 in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

More information on the Prince of Asturias Foundation’s homepage and in the Wikipedia article.

El País listed ten of Mafalda’s most memorable phrases:

  1. It’s not true that the past was better. What happened was that those worse off hadn’t realized it yet.
  2. As always: the urgent doesn’t leave time for what matters.
  3. Start the day with a smile, and you will see how funny it is to walk around being out of tune with everybody else.
  4. They say that man is an animal of habits. Rather, habitually man is an animal. [Works better in the Spanish original: “Dicen que el hombre es un animal de costumbres, más bien de costumbre el hombre es un animal”]
  5. To admit that one is wrong is pride’s harakiri.
  6. It would be nice to wake up one day and find out that one’s life depends on oneself.
  7. Could it be that this modern life includes more of modern than of life?
  8. Life should not deprive one of childhood without giving one a good position in youth.
  9. Life begins at age 40 (she reads in a newspaper). So, why do they make us come with so much anticipation?
  10. Half of the world likes dogs, even though until today nobody knows the meaning of “woof” (she tells Manolito when he criticizes her for liking the Beatles though she doesn’t understand what they say).

There are at least ten volumes of Mafalda&Friends that have been translated into English.

Sources: Prince of Asturias Foundation, El País May 21, 2014