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The story of the Mexican author, Mario Bellatin, was adapted by the "Succubus Liniers" into a very small graphic novel. A weird and strange object that one can not miss
What is it about?
Bola Negra is a story by Mario Bellatin initially published in the book Obra reunida of Alfaguara in 2005 and reissued in 2013. The story tells the story of a Japanese entomologist named Endo Hiroshi who woke up one day with the decision to stop eating after having had a strange dream in which he consumed himself until he had no limbs at all. This story is extremely strange because of the relationship it has with food; it seems that Endo Hiroshi lives surrounded by rituals, people and beings that die of hunger or gluttony, that eat themselves or that celebrate the starvation of others.
Leer en español: Latam Booklook: "Bola negra" de Mario Bellatin y Liniers
In 2017 the story was adapted into a small graphic novel by the Argentine cartoonist Ricardo Siri 'Liniers'. The result was a beautiful Sexto Piso edition that is divided into three parts: the first part is a prologue written by Bellatin that works as a sort of writing diary, in which the author tells us how the story came about; in the second part is the story in the form of graphic novel adapted by Liniers, in which the drawings generate a sense of discomfort, confinement and impress by a style that seems to be childish at first sight, but which has some very grotesque features between its lines; finally, the third part is an epistolary correspondence: the author and the storyteller held conversations by letters during the adaptation process.
This last part allows the reading cycle to close, since we not only enjoy the story and its adaptation, but we humbly approach a process of creation that is as fascinating as its result, as well as being an emotional part of the story as it is a correspondence between friends.
Who wrote it?
Mario Bellatin was born in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1960. He is the son of Peruvian parents and, being a victim of Thalidomide, was born without his right arm: a characteristic he has adopted as a form of performance in which he plays with acceptance towards himself and with the sarcasm. He himself affirms that art filled the place that did not fill the orthopedics and from then on he accepted himself as he was.
He studied Theology and Cinema and was director of Literature and Humanities at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. He has published more than forty books and has been translated into fifteen languages. He is one of the most internationally recognized Latin American authors and has been awarded the Xavier Villaurrutia 2000 Prize for his novel Flowers ; the Guggenheim Scholarship, 2002; the Mazatlán Prize for Literature 2008 for his novel The big glass; the José María Arquedas Narrative Prize 2015 for The Uruguayan Book of the Dead, awarded in the framework of the Casa de las Américas Awards and the José Donoso Ibero-American Literature Prize, 2018.
Who adapted and illustrated it?
Ricardo Siri 'Liniers' was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973. He is a cartoonist, illustrator and editor recognized above all for his Macanudo series that is part the La Nación newspaper's publications since 2002 and was also published by Sexto Piso in serial editions. His characters have become famous around the world and he represents himself as a rabbit with glasses.
He has collaborated with publications such as Mad, Virginia Quaterly Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Folha de Sao Paulo, Spirou, among others. In 2018 Liniers was awarded the Eisner in the category of Best Publication for Early Readers for his book Buenas noches, Planeta in the Comic-con. He has also participated with the cartoonist Alberto Montt in a stand-up comedy called Los Ilustres, in which they are drawing while they are presenting. He is also a close friend of the singer Kevin Johansen with whom he went on tour and made several concerts in which they sang together or he drew while Johansen performed.
Do I read it or not?
Having the opportunity to read Bellatin and enjoy the adaptation of Liniers is something that can not be missed. Not only because the content is an incredible thing, but because the edition is so well done and taken care of that the relationship that you have with the book/object during the reading process also generates sensations as strong as the story itself.
Of course, to read this book you have to be willing not to read it as a linear text, but to allow the form of the graphic novel to guide you, dislocate you and replace you and leave you with that feeling of discomfort, that unique feeling left by good books, good stories, good illustrations. Remember: illustrations can also be read. We could be discussing the above for a long time, but it will on another occasion. For now, I recommend you to approach this book and allow Bellatin and Liniers to teach you how to engulf yourself.
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Translation from "Latam Booklook: "Bola Negra" de Mario Bellatín"