Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hector Germán Oesterheld's and Francisco Solano Lopéz's The Eternaut


Hector Germán Oesterheld (w), Francisco Solano Lopéz (a), The Eternaut, Fantagraphics Books, November 23, 2015 [Hora Cero Suplemento Semanal # 1, Editorial Frontera, September 4, 1957 - Hora Cero Suplemento Semanal # 106, September 9, 1959.] 

Fantagraphics will [...] reprint the series for the first time in English  (translated as The EterNOnaut because as Eternaut it sounds like "Eat her not"). 
Diego Cordoba on this Blog, December 5, 2014.
Oesterheld's work will never be published in any English speaking country.
Yours truly on this very blog on August 31, 2014.
Both quotes above are wrong, as you can see above. Kudos to Fanta! Now, if they only published Oesterheld's and Solano's masterpiece Amapola Negra - "Black Poppy"! That would be truly amazing...

7 comments:

nikay andrews said...

How good is Eternaut though? Is it at Oesterheld's second or third best? Do you think Fantagraphics will have an enthusiasm for Oesterheld like they did for Tardi?

Isabelinho said...

Answering your second question first: definitely not (but, as you can see above, I've been wrong before). Fanta didn't have any enthusiasm for Tardi, as you say, Kim Thompson did. Kim spent his childhood in Denmark, if I'm not mistaken, and grew up reading French-Belgian comics. He tried many times to publish Eurocomics (a no mean task in a country almost completely indifferent to other comics traditions), but his last effort publishing Tardi will remain, in my humble opinion, as his most important legacy.

Gary Groth was born in Argentina, but, as far as I know, he has no connection with Argentinian comics. So, again, definitely not.

To answer your first question: any Argentinian comics reader will tell you that The Eternaut is Oesterheld's masterpiece. Sociologically and politically it's Oesterheld's most important work, mainly because the Argentinian left took it as a symbol for class struggle against oppression.

My opinion (in ascending order):

5 - The Eternaut
4 - Sgt. Kirk (some story arcs)
3 - Randall "The Killer" (2d and 4th story arcs)
2 - Ernie Pike (some episodes - drawn by Hugo Pratt and others)
1 - Amapola Negra - "Black Poppy"

The Eternaut is the best Science Fiction comic of all time, but this doesn't mean that it is flawless. Oesterheld improvised as he went along provoking some narrative inconsistencies. Solano López is far from being my favorite draftsman, but, on the other hand, that doesn't prevent me from saying that Black Poppy is my favorite comic of all time. Maybe he was a far more mature artist when he drew the latter? But that deserves a closer look...

In spite of being truncated, I prefer The Eternaut's second version, drawn by an Alberto Breccia at the height of his powers.

Isabelinho said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure if The Eternaut is better than H. P. or I Labirinti (Aunoa in the French market) by Guido Buzzelli. Maybe They're tied for the best science fiction comics of all time.

nikay andrews said...

What was black poppy about?

Isabelinho said...

See here: http://tinyurl.com/qxu4pfy
And here: http://tinyurl.com/pdyj8t6
It was serialized in all these issues of Hora Cero [Zero Hour] and Hora Cero Extra!: http://tinyurl.com/o65xwx2

Diego Cordoba said...

Isabelinho, Fantagraphics announced this project as "The Eternonaut" which was the name the translator chose. I wrote them telling them how wrong they were choosing that name. I also wrote them to use the new French version which featured new scans from the original art, as opposed to the previous Spanish-language versions, which used the old Hora Cero magazines instead. I explain it all in the review I wrote on Amazon about this book.

To fans and non-fans, this is the best version to date, quality-wise. The artwork never looked better, since it's scanned from the original art (Fantagraphics even created a font to correspond with the original Spanish-language lettering).

Along with Mort Cinder (or after it) I consider this to be Oesterheld's best work.

Isabelinho said...

Hi Diego:

Thanks for the info!

Oops! Now that you mention it, I totally forgot Mort Cinder above. Where do I put it? Let's see...

6 - The Eternaut
5 - Mort Cinder
4 - Sgt. Kirk (some story arcs)
3 - Randall "The Killer" (2d and 4th story arcs)
2 - Ernie Pike (some episodes - drawn by Hugo Pratt and others)
1 - Amapola Negra - "Black Poppy"