I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got four new comic plus a trade paperback collection:

  • Usagi Yojimbo – 132
  • Savage Dragon – 165
  • Fear Agent – 30
  • The Weird World of Jack Staff – 5
  • “Northlanders: The Plague Widows
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Cuba: My Revolution” by Inverna Lockpez and Dean Haspiel

    This is the latest graphic novel illustrated by my old college chum Dean Haspiel (though I haven’t seen or spoken to him in over half a decade, time flies). I generally buy all of Dean’s work not only because I know him but because he’s talented and his stuff is really up my non-mainstream alley.

    This book is either historical fiction or autobiography. I’m not really sure which. In the author’s note Lockpez speaks of the story as if its based on her life but the lead character has a different name than she does. Either way I found it an interesting story.

    The tale takes place in Cuba from 1958 until 1966. The lead character’s name is Sonja and she is 17 years old when the story begins. Sonja is a city girl and the daughter of Cuba’s middle class. She is idealistic and supports Fidel Castro and Cuban revolution in general. Though she has nothing directly to do with the revolution she decides to become a doctor to help the cause and joins the militia to serve her country after the revolution is successful.

    The rest of the book is about Sonja, her family, life in Cuba after the revolution, Sonja’s slow disillusion with the revolution, and her eventual emigration to the United States. I found it all very interesting. I’m a fan of history but I don’t think I’ve read much about this period in Cuba especially from the point of view of a young idealistic Cuban living through it all.

    Sonja had high hopes for the revolution and how it could finally bring justice to her beloved country. She even suffered a very painful and traumatic injustice at the hands of the new government but Castro was a hero to her and she believed in him. So it took a long time for her to see that he was flawed and wasn’t going to bring much justice to their society.

    Dean’s art was very lush and brought the era and location to life. His storytelling is also top notch and I especially liked the design and layout of a lot of his sort-of full and half splash pages. It’s all easy to follow and serves the story well. The grey and red color by José Villarrubia was also well done. I’m not sure about the publishers paper choice though. That may have softened things too much for my taste. I also didn’t think much of the design of the cover. But it is still a very well drawn book.

    Overall I liked this book a lot. The story was very involving and the art was excellent. So if you’re in the mood for a tale of human drama during an interesting period of history in an interesting place then check this on out.