Che: A Graphic Biography

Overview

Since his death in 1967, Ernesto “Che” Guevara has become a universally known revolutionary icon and political figure whose image is among the most recognizable in the world. This dramatic and extensively researched book breathes new life into his story, portraying his struggle through the medium of the underground political comic—one of the most prominent countercultural art forms since the 1960s. Spain Rodriguez’s powerful artwork illuminates Che’s life and the experiences that shaped him, from his motorcycle ...
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Overview

Since his death in 1967, Ernesto “Che” Guevara has become a universally known revolutionary icon and political figure whose image is among the most recognizable in the world. This dramatic and extensively researched book breathes new life into his story, portraying his struggle through the medium of the underground political comic—one of the most prominent countercultural art forms since the 1960s. Spain Rodriguez’s powerful artwork illuminates Che’s life and the experiences that shaped him, from his motorcycle journey through Latin America, his rise to prominence as a leader in Fidel Castro’s revolutionary movement, his travels in Africa, his involvement in the insurgency that led to his death in Bolivia, and his extraordinary legacy.
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  • Spain Rodriguez
    Spain Rodriguez  

Editorial Reviews

Art Spiegelman
“Spain's take on Che is brilliant and radical.”
Joe Sacco
“Spain is one of the true giants of the comics medium. He is a singular artist; his work is unmistakable.”
From the Publisher
“Spain is one of the true giants of the comics medium. He is a singular artist; his work is unmistakable.”—Joe Sacco

“Spain’s take on Che is brilliant and radical.”—Art Spiegelman

Publishers Weekly

There are few members of the 1960s underground comics wave whose names inspire more awe and respect than that of Rodriguez (Zap, Nightmare Alley). Unfortunately, relatively little of that class's avant-garde flash or humor shows up in his worshipful graphic biography of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Rodriguez tracks Guevara's development from adventurous but asthmatic middle-class Argentinean medical student to messianic revolutionary with aplomb. Guevara's by-now legendary motorcycle and hitchhiking wanderings around South America are portrayed with some levity, while the Cuban revolution and its aftermath are covered with an impressive command of the event's sociopolitical context. By folding Guevara's biographical narrative (already well-traveled by multiple other sources) into one that draws out his growing political awareness, Rodriguez keeps Guevara's beliefs front and center throughout this eventful but thickly worded book. While Rodriguez allows hints of criticism to seep in here and there, this is for the most part unalloyed hagiography, which can seem more like something produced by revolutionary committee than an artist. His art is muscular and unfussy, though oddly square, as if Mark Trail had suddenly discovered the genius of Karl Marx and Simón Bolívar. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844671687
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,385,334
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Spain Rodriguez is one of the most well-known artists in the comix underground. He (along with Robert Crumb) was one of the original members of Zap Comics and has a reputation as an outstanding political artist. He is the author of several other graphic novels, including the highly acclaimed Nightmare Alley. His work is prominently featured in BLAB!, an annual comic anthology that has also featured Charles Burns, Mark Mothersbaugh, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware.

Paul Buhle,formerly a senior lecturer at Brown University, produces radical comics. He founded the SDS Journal Radical America and the archive Oral History of the American Left and, with Mari Jo Buhle, is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of the American Left. He lives in Madison.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A fictional portrayal or a real monster

    Imagine a comic book about Hitler written by a neo-nazi or one about UBL written by a Jihadist painting either of these monsters in a most favorable light possible. That is what this is about Che. The author goes out of way to portay U.S. and U.S. army in a very bad light just to glorify the man who killed ar had killed thousands of innocent people - glossing over the racism, the violence and the adultry. I don't know what the author has in the game but I have never read a biography this 'original' or this 'romantic'.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    A Good Primer

    "Che" by Spain Rodriguez, Paul Buhle (editor) serves well to introduce the basic biographic information about Che in a balanced presentation. The notion that a graphic novel makes his intellectual, philosophical, and political passions easier to grasp is well worth this effort. And this book succeeds admirably. The premise that illustration can be used to illuminate the deep spiritual motives behind his actions is original and daring. A good book and a fine effort all around.

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