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The Eternaut

The Eternaut

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By Héctor Germán Oesterheld & Francisco Solano López, translated by Erica Mena. Published by Fantagraphics.

Hardcover, 368 pages, B&W, 2015 (originally published 1959) 

2016 Eisner Award Winner for Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips! Seminal Argentinian science fiction graphic novel whose main character is still viewed as a symbol of resistance in Latin America.

This originally appeared as weekly installments from 1957-59. Juan Salvo, the inimitable protagonist, along with his friend Professor Favalli and the tenacious metal-worker Franco, face what appears to be a nuclear accident, but quickly turns out to be something much bigger than they had imagined. Cold War tensions, aliens of all sizes, space—and time travel—this one has it all.

"In Argentina, The Eternaut is a cultural milestone ... López draws the massive adventure in a sharp-edged, high-contrast, varyingly detailed manner... [A] fascinating and exciting work." — Ray Olson - Booklist

"A sense of hope underlies the series, and it can be read as the struggle of the everyman to shirk off the yoke of oppression and to circumvent the cycle of slavery that war begets." — Shea Hennum - Paste

"...The Eternaut is a particularly compelling work, and it occupies an interesting point in Latin American literature. ... In much the same way that Tarantino spins poetry from trash cinema, Oesterheld constructs a political allegory out of sci-fi serials and adventure novels. ...[I]ts apocalyptic lens facilitates its argument that anything can be overcome by unity, by refusing to accept oppression; it is, at the end of the day, a paean to the human spirit." — Shea Hennum - The A.V. Club

"Oesterheld and López's Argentinian classic from the 1950s [is] newly translated by Mena with a deftness and energy befitting the Borgesian, literary quality of the narrative... Elsewhere, López's vigorous and occasionally terrifying drawings bring us from one hair-raising moment to the next, one part R. Crumb, one part Goya, one part Edvard Munch. ... These two stories, of course, point to a larger one: that of how we deal with the daily catastrophes and pitfalls of human existence, with or without extraterrestrials." — Max Winter - The Boston Globe

"...[T]here is more to [this] brilliant comic than meets the eye. It is at once both science fiction and political allegory. But fear not. Although Fantagraphics' magnificently luxurious edition comes with all the necessary historical information, you need know nothing of Peronism to enjoy it. This is one of the most exciting comics you'll ever read." — Rachel Cooke - The Guardian

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