Paracuellos

Carlos Gimenez. IDW, $24.99 (136p) ISBN 978-1-63140-468-9
Giménez's powerful autobiographical work, a renowned classic in its native Spain (where the first issue was published in 1975), looks at the miserable lives of orphaned children and the offspring of the defeated during the regime of Franco. In short episodes set in the titular state home for boys, Giménez pulls no punches, depicting the unrelentingly bleak day-to-day existence of wide-eyed children who are harshly punished punishments—withholding of food, bullying, and sadistic Catholicism-flavored torture—by the home's cruel matrons for the most minor or nonexistent of transgressions. Fleeting moments of happiness are invariably dashed by an ongoing cornucopia of gross unfairness, but nonetheless the boys endure, their small shoulders bearing the weight of a world that cares nothing for them. Scripted with the right note of childhood speech and illustrated in a stark black-and-white style reminiscent of a gene-splicing of Alex Toth, José Ortiz, and Jack Davis, the collection is a pitiless look at the human collateral damage of conflict. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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