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Diario De Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico

Diario De Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico

"[Kuper's] attempt to escape the last years of the Bush Administration led him to relocate to a town that turned out to be under martial law, in an area plagued by riptides, ecotourists, and stray dogs, all faithfully—and hilariously—documented here."  —New Yorker

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Painting a vivid, personal portrait of social and political upheaval in Oaxaca, Mexico, this unique memoir employs comics, bilingual essays, photos, and sketches to chronicle the events that unfolded around a teachers' strike and led to a seven-month siege. 

When award-winning cartoonist Peter Kuper and his wife and daughter moved to the beautiful 16th-century colonial town of Oaxaca in 2006, they planned to spend a quiet year or two enjoying a different culture and taking a break from the U.S. political climate under the Bush administration. What they hadn't counted on was landing in the epicenter of Mexico's biggest political struggle in recent years. Timely and compelling, this extraordinary firsthand account presents a distinct artistic vision of Oaxacan life, from explorations of the beauty of the environment to graphic portrayals of the fight between strikers and government troops that left more than 20 people dead, including American journalist Brad Will.

Praise:

"Kuper is a colossus; I have been in awe of him for over 20 years. Teachers and students everywhere take heart: Kuper has in these pages born witness to our seemingly endless struggle to educate and to be educated in the face of institutions that really don't give a damn. In this ruined age we need Kuper's unsparing compassionate visionary artistry like we need hope."
--Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  

“Peter Kuper is undoubtedly the modern master whose work has refined the socially relevant comic to the highest point yet achieved.”  --Newsarama

“An artist at the top of his form.” --Publisher’s Weekly

Oaxaca Diary reveals to us how so many aspects of a city can be combined on the same page by an adept artist; poetry, magic, beauty, mystery, fear, as well as the different faces that protest can assume when politicians hold a city hostage…”
--Martín Solares from his introduction

About the Author:
Peter Kuper is a co-founder and editorial board member of political graphics magazine World War 3 Illustratedand a teacher who has taught at New York's School of Visual Arts and Parsons The New School for Design. Best known for drawing Mad magazine's Spy vs. Spy comic since 1997, he has also illustrated covers for Newsweekand Time magazine. He is the author of the graphic novel Sticks and Stones, which won the New York Society of Illustrators gold medal, and his autobiography, Stop Forgetting to Remember. He lives in New York City.  

Product Details:
Author: Peter Kuper with an Introduction by Martín Solares
Publisher: PM Press and Sexto Piso Editorial
ISBN: 978-1-60486-071-9
Published Sept. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 208 Pages
Size: 9.25 by 6.5
Language(s): English and Spanish
Subjects: Art, Politics

 

Starred Review. Kuper has long been among the most politically engaged and stylistically distinctive artists working in comics, and both qualities take center stage here. This dazzling annotated sketchbook recounts two years Kuper and his family spent living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Anticipating a sojourn from American politics, Kuper instead found himself in a city roiled by a teachers' strike that was violently suppressed by the regional government. He recorded his observations in his sketchbook and in illustrated letters home, crisply reproduced in this bilingual (English and Spanish) book. Kuper's facility with diverse art media shines in early pages covering political action, as colorfully penciled protestors stand against rigidly inked military barricades set against the lush backdrops of Oaxaca. As the populist forces are rapidly suppressed, Kuper records a panoply of further visual impressions: beaches, stores, dogs, vendors, ancient ruins, street art and many, many insects. Throughout, Kuper's letters, rooted in personal observation but clearly intended as eyewitness reports for public consumption, provide helpful context. And if his increasingly profuse style mixing suggests a departure from earlier visual in the book, the final observations about a beautiful, merciless natural order obliquely ratify the political convictions that open the book. (Sept.)