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Comic award for a “Superrealist” artist

20 Novembver 2007

BARCELONA – Catalan comic Fransesc Capdevila, otherwise known as Max, was yesterday awarded the first ever National Comic Prize for a work that has been described by the jury as “marking a before and after for Spanish comics.”

The new prize, worth €15,000, was awarded by the Culture Ministry for the best graphic work published in any of Spain’s languages in 2006. Max’s ‘Hechos, Dichos’ ocurrencias y andanzas de Bardín el Superrealista’ (or Facts, Sayings, Notions and Wanderings of Bardín the Superrealist) compiles work featuring the eponymous hero from a number of publications since 1997, as well as some new material.

According to the prize jury, it constitutes “a graphically amazing work, with an original text, full of literary, philosophical and cinematic references. The author has reached the peak of his professional career with a work that marks a before and after for the Spanish comic.”

Max himself expressed his delight at the announcement, but also warned that the country’s comic industry is heavily marginalized.

“It was about time that the comic was put on an even keel with other artistic activities,” he said, adding that “young Spanish graphic artists often have to produce 80 pages of material on demand for publishing houses, without having the necessary experience.”

His work, he added, is influenced by Spanish surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, as well as American illustrator Robert Crumb.

Max’s work, he explained, “tackles reality, but not in a realist fashion.”

Capdevila started out illustrating for publications such as ‘El Víbora’ and ‘Nosotros Somos Los Muertos’, with the character Bardín first appearing in the latter.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news