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March 2019 Comic & Graphic Novels

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Goya
The Terrible Sublime: A Graphic Novel
By (author): El Torres Illustrated by: Fran Galan
9781643130163 Hardcover English General Trade COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Historical Fiction Mar 05, 2019
$34.95 CAD
Active 7.7 x 11 x 0.5 in 120 pages ILLUSTRATED IN COLOR THROUGHOU WW Norton Pegasus Books
Celebrated artist Francisco de Goya confronts demons real and imagined in this vivid portrayal of the end of his life.

Francisco de Goya is considered one of the most important Spanish painters of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, last of the Greats and first of the modernists. But his sumptuous images stemmed from a mind in torment, especially later in his life.

Goya: The Terrible Sublime is a graphic novel inspired by Goya’s life, in particular focusing on his final years, as he struggles with assorted physical ailments that threaten to take his mind, as well. Recovering from a serious illness in Cadiz, Spain, which has left him deaf, Goya suffers from terrible headaches, high fevers, and hallucinations, beset by visions of death that will become all too real with the advent of the Spanish War of Independence. Still, the monsters in his delusions are not real—but his friend Asensio Julia is, and he belongs to another world.

From the mind of the terror master El Torres and the art of Fran Galán comes a terrifying story that brings readers into the artist’s world of madness and dark paintings, a historical miasma populated by recognizable figures like Manuel Godoy and the Duchess of Alba and swathed in an aesthetic of cobweb-shrouded palaces and beautiful grotesques living in the shadows. This unique graphic novel tells a horror story, melding the artist’s unique style and vision with the story of a man plagued by unreality. Yet even as the artist faces dreadful images of witchcraft and pure evil, he knows that he must not fall into what lurks beyond the dream of reason.

El Torres is one of the most prolific Spanish writers of recent years. His work has been published in several countries, most recently in the US by Image Comics, IDW, and by his own company, Amigo Comics. His success with horror comics, such as The Veil, The Forest of Suicides, and Nancy in Hell, has earned him the label of “Master of Terror.” He is also the creator of Bribones and The Ghost of Gaudí, for which he received the Best Writer Award at the Madrid Comic Fair 2015 and the prize for Best National Work at the Barcelona Comic Fair 2016. In 2017, he received the award for Best National Writer at the Heroes Comic Con Madrid. He lives in Málaga, Spain.

Fran Galán does not remember his life without a pencil in his hand. Though he studied art in school, he considers himself self-taught. In 2014, he met El Torres, and created several covers and illustrations for his company, Amigo Comics. Additionally, he contributed to The Forest of Suicides. He lives in Seville, Spain.

Torres and Gala´n use the graphic novel format to their advantage: Torres, as if writing horror, reflects on the people and places that affected Goya’s life and how they fed into the terrifying images he saw. Gala´n keeps the illustrations dark in both palate and style. This title will appeal equally to fans of gothic horror and biographical fiction.—Booklist

This graphic novel, like some of Goya’s work, is grotesque and surreal—Fran Galán’s illustrations play off of Goya’s paintings in a sumptuous composition and color palette that offers a Rococo sort of horror singularly appropriate to the subject matter. The story itself is likewise engaging in its ability to unsettle.—Historical Novels Review

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