22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022


Portrait Berliac
© Ciro Hernandez

Berliac was born in 1982 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the author of six graphic-novels published in Argentina and Europe, several self-published zines, and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies such as »KUŠ!« (Latvia), »Franky et Nicole« (France), and »Stripburger« (Slovenia).

His first publications followed the western comic tradition and were rooted in the Argentine school of high-contrast black and white as in the works of Alberto Breccia and José Muñoz. »Playground« (2013), Berliac’s first European publication after relocating to Berlin, is an art comic as well as an essay about art comics, and marks an important turning point in his creative work. After this, Berliac radically changed his style of illustration into »Gekiga«, realistic Japanese comics for adults from the 50s and 60s. While Tokio’s mainstream manga industry primarily produced comics for children, Osaka was creating more experimental comics for adults, from which Gekiga eventually evolved. Berliac seized upon this genre and developed his own style, which he called Gaijin (foreign) Gegika: »With manga, the point is precisely to repeat oneself by using very limited, traditional methods, as well as to copy others and to completely lose oneself in a tradition that is the exact opposite of the ego-driven, Western cult of individuality.« Berliac’s characters’ interactions reflect our modern world, its rootlessness and lack of certainty, and domination by digital technology and money. His images are highly symbolic; his stories break with classical narrative structures and sometimes consciously avoid a climax. »I really believe that comics are one of the last media which allows you to work outside capitalist production standards, and even to subvert them.« One his latest works is a collection of short stories titled »Desolation.exe« (2017) that examine the urban, post-industrial angst of the Western world in the 21st century: the alienation of work, obsession, fleeting pleasures as well as human isolation. Such topics are also present in his most recent graphic-novel »Sadbøi« (2016), published in Norway, Italy, Spain, Poland and Argentina, a bildungsroman about a teenage refugee in Europe, who after a life of crime decides to become an artist.

Berliac’s weekly comedy comic »Asian Store Junkies« appears regularly online on Vice.com. He worked as the editor of pariascomix.tumblr.com, a platform for web comics from Latin America, and as the co-editor of »KUŠ!« issue 25: »Gaijin Manga«.