22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Alfonso Zapico

Alfonso Zapico, born in 1981 in Blimea, Asturias, is a Spanish comic author, illustrator and graphic designer. After studying art and design at Oviedo Art School, he has mainly worked since 2006 as an illustrator. In addition to commercial illustration projects, he also works on educational projects in cooperation with the school authorities in Asturias; he teaches classes in illustration and publishes cartoons in Spanish regional newspapers.

He has also published several longer comic tales, which are successful mainly on the Franco-Belgian market. The biography »Dublinés«, which recently appeared in German titled »James Joyce« (2014), is his third graphic novel and it received the 2012 Premio Nacional del Cómic, Spains’s big cultural award for comics. He mainly worked on this book in France, where he had a scholarship from the Maison des Auteurs living in Angoulême from 2008 onwards. Using a realistic, slightly caricaturing drawing style, he conveys the life story of Irish writer James Joyce (1882–1941), who attempted to establish himself as a literary man in several European cities during the world wars. The book brings together many personal anecdotes with historical background. n-tv praised Zapico’s book as a »successful introduction to the life and works of the author«, calling it »a biography well worth reading of one of the most fascinating intellectuals of the first half of the 20th century.« Zapico »portrays the life of this man authentically and without glorifying the writer who produced some of literary history’s greatest works« was how the reviewer from the literatourismus.net website put it. This graphic portrait »makes Joyce somewhat more tangible to people and is an ideal entry point to his work«. Zapico’s first longer comic story was »La guerra del profesor Bertenev« (2006). This graphic novel takes place in the Crimean War in the middle of the 19th century and tells the story of a friendship across the front lines. Zapico’s multi-prizewinning book »Café Budapest« (2008) looks more closely at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And Zapico has also been involved as one of many illustrators on Javier Cosnava’s »Un buen hombre«, which deals with the everyday life of SS officers outside of the concentration camp. His most recent book »El otro mar« (2013) tells the story of Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who was supposedly the first European to have laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean from the American continent. For this project, Zapico traced Balboa’s footsteps through Central America.