Latino Novel Becomes Comic Book

Swedish illustrator takes on United States of Banana

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: December 25, 2017

Latino Novel Becomes Comic Book

The unlikely pairing of a Puerto Rican writer and a Swedish cartoonist resulted in a new comic book, just published by Cobolt. Joakim Lindengren rendered the dramatic characters of Giannina Braschi's heady text "United States of Banana" into comic figures.

His comic book (by the same title) is ripe with tragic and comedic heroes, spanning cartoons of Hamlet, Segismundo, Giannina, Zarathustra, and the Marx Brothers on urban adventures together in the 21st century. Cameos by Latin American and American political figures include Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Obama, and Donald Trump.

The work deals with trends in migration and the power dynamics between North and South America.

More about the Cartoonist:

Joakim Lindengren, the comic book creator, studied fine arts at Västerås Konstskola and Konstfack in Stockholm. He made his comic album debut in the early 1980s and soon became a cult favorite in Sweden due to his crude style and burlesque humor. His has created more than a dozen comic albums. He and David Nessle collaborated on the hit series John Holmes & Sherlock Watson.

Lindengren created the superhero parody Kapten Stofil (translated as Captain Fogy or Captain Geezer) about an old, grumpy hero whose sole "power" is 1950s and 60s nostalgia; the strip is drawn in a deliberate Silver Age pastiche. Kapten Stofil's alter ego is Joakim himself, who is a huge nostalgia buff, obsessed with old cars, clothes, and gas pumps. Lindengren co-founded Svenska Småbil- och Rusdrycksförbundet, a club devoted to toy cars and booze. Based in Gothenburg, he smokes from an old pipe, stitches his own fly fishing lures, and drives a hearse.

More about the Novelist:

Giannina Braschi wrote the poetry epic EMPIRE OF DREAMS and the Spanglish classic novel YO-YO BOING! She is widely considered one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today. She writes in Spanish, Spanglish, and English to explore the cultural and linguistic journey of millions of Hispanic immigrants to the USA and to challenge the three politic options of her native Puerto Rico: "Nation, Colony or State" (or in the words of the poet: "Wishy, Wishy-Washy, or Washy").

With a Ph.D. in the Spanish Golden Age, she has published on Cervantes, Becquer, Garcilaso, Lorca, and Machado. She was a singer, tennis champion, and model during her teen years in San Juan.

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