Gar­cía’s car­toons con­sis­tently speak truth to power, weav­ing a nar­ra­tive of fierce and con­tin­u­ous re­sis­tance.

Pasatiempo - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Along the way, Gar­cía pays trib­ute to his in­flu­ences. One car­toon de­picts Lib­erty read­ing Howard Zinn’s book A Peo­ple’s His­tory of the United States in bed next to Un­cle Sam. She grips its pages tightly as she frets to her­self, “I’ll never look at Sam the same way again.” Other in­spi­ra­tions cited by Gar­cía in­clude African-Amer­i­can graphic artist El­iz­a­beth Catlett, who worked in the rev­o­lu­tion­ary Mex­i­can print artists’ collective Taller de Grá­fica Pop­u­lar; and José Mon­toya, a pi­o­neer­ing art ac­tivist in the Chi­cano move­ment.

Gar­cía’s mes­sag­ing is crys­tal clear, though the bru­tal hon­esty of his im­ages may be dis­turb­ing. The his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive threaded through the car­toons is cen­tered on the story of the con­quest of the Amer­i­cas, with its en­su­ing prob­lems of cap­i­tal­ism and racial in­equal­ity. His eas­ily rec­og­niz­able fig­ures — ci­gar-chomp­ing fat cats, a blind­folded Greco-Ro­man Lady Jus­tice, Lib­erty and Sam, piggy po­lice­men — would be equally at home in a news­pa­per from the Gilded Age. The sit­u­a­tional vi­o­lence and glut­tony he im­bues th­ese char­ac­ters with, how­ever, is woe­fully con­tem­po­rary. As a col­lec­tion, Gar­cía’s car­toons con­sis­tently speak truth to power, weav­ing a nar­ra­tive of fierce and con­tin­u­ous re­sis­tance.

In his fore­word to the book, ed­i­tor Fred­er­ick Luis Al­dama praises the in­ten­sity of Gar­cía’s im­ages, call­ing them “pre­cisely the kind of one-panel

car­toons that I seek out to ex­pe­ri­ence dis­com­fort more than com­fort. Gar­cía’s geo­met­ric eye for art and sharp ear for di­a­logue and commentary clear the space for us to per­ceive, think, and feel anew about the world we in­habit.” The weight of the world may rest on Gar­cía’s pen as he dis­tills and ex­or­cises painful truths on pa­per. But as long as he con­tin­ues draw­ing on his anger, read­ers can ben­e­fit from the cathar­sis his work pro­vides. — Molly Boyle

Eric J. Gar­cía presents Draw­ing on Anger at the Na­tional His­panic Cul­tural Cen­ter in Al­bu­querque at 6 p.m. on Thurs­day, Jan. 10. The NHCC is at 1701 4th St. SW, 505-246-2261. There is no charge for the event.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.