2022 has been an intense year for the Spanish comics industry, not without controversy, but in which it has also become clear that comics are a living language and a medium full of talent and creativity. The precariousness of comic artists, at the center of the debate this year, does not prevent them from being at the creative forefront.
2022, the year museums came back to life
Illustrators and cartoonists demand labor improvements
In recent times, comic book artists have intensified their demands regarding their employment situation, an elephant in the room whenever there is talk of the health of a sector that, despite everything, has weathered the crisis well. pandemic and that even seems to have come out stronger. The authorial part continues to be, however, the weakest, with a meager 10% of the total sale price as the most common percentage.
2022 has been a year of struggle that began with the public presentation of APCómic, an association that became known with a campaign that focused on precariousness and that, throughout the year, it has served to make certain situations visible and to seek debate with other agents of the publishing market. The recent victory of French authors, who have succeeded be paid for the signing sessions of the Angoulême Festivalseems to mark the way forward.
The activity of the Comic Sector, created in 2020, seeks to improve the position of the sector in the institutions and, this 2022, has managed to approve the implementation of the comic day, whose first edition will be held on March 17, 2023, and is working on the preparation of a White Paper on comics. The possibilities of improving the sector, and especially the working conditions of the authors, are constantly in public debate and have been the subject of articles and round tables, and have even influenced the direction of the Comic Barcelona show, which was held this year under the shadow of the controversy of the previous one, for the awarding of the Grand Prix to Antonio Martín. But it has also made it possible to review unfair situations from the past, as evidence the struggle of the heirs of the authors of the Bruguera publishing house to recover the originals of their parents.
A disappearing generation and other cycles that come to an end
2022 has been bitter for the Spanish comic, which has lost names as illustrious as those of michael gallardo Y Juan Mediavillathe parents of the mythical Makoki, symbol of underground. Also Carlos Pacheco has left us prematurelya pioneer in the American market and a great cartoonist of superheroes, a genre that has also lost two other great artists: Neal Adams and George Perez. It has also been a year in which the closures of three major Spanish comic series have coincided: coincidence has wanted that during 2022 Jan will end superlopez, Calpurnio will close good old cuttlas Y Carlos Giménez will culminate neck guard. This year tastes like the end of an era.
The awards underpin the prestige of the medium
In its constant vindication of its artistic condition, for years the comic has reached a certain normality, and its presence in the media and institutions attests to it. 2022, however, seems to be a milestone, not only because of the continuity of the National Comic Award, which this year has gone to Paco Sordo and his graphic novel The pact —a critical exercise in recovering Bruguera’s memory—, but also because of the National Illustration Prize awarded to Sergio Garcíaan author who also stands out in the making of comics.
Museums pay attention to comics
Museums are one of the cultural spaces that have been most receptive to comics in recent years, and 2022 has left good examples of this, among which, without a doubt, the exhibition Comic. dreams and history at CaixaForum in Madrid and Barcelona, a journey through original pages through the canon of comic history, and the recent Constel lació gràfica of the CCCBan explosive display of the work of nine young Spanish comic book authors.
The manga, supported by anime and merchandising, reaches the stratosphere
It is not a news that the manga does well commercially, but unprecedented heights have been reached in 2022with the presence of several manga on the best-seller lists and major publishing phenomena, such as the madness unleashed with Tokyo Revengers by Ken Wakui.
Especially among young audiences, the manga is achieving very high sales figures, relying on the anime and the merchandising. But, in addition to the more commercial titles, this boom allows cult works to reach Spain, such as the classic joe of tomorrow by Asao Takamori and Tetsuya Chiba, or the increasingly large collection of gekiga (sleeve underground) by Gallo Nero, with titles such as Red flowers by Yoshiharu Tsuge.
Among the highlights of the year, as far as national production is concerned, is The fire by David Rubinthe first work he has done directly for the Spanish market in many years, after a season of intense work in the American market.
The creative couple formed by Santiago García and Javier Olivares, delivers a curious twist to the work of HG Wells in War of the Worlds. And another of the scriptwriter Santiago García’s tandems, this time with Luis Bustos, has seen how his comic Garcia! has jumped to television success with the adaptation that HBO has made. The mistake confirms the good harmony of another couple, the one formed by Guillermo Abril and Carlos Spottorno in their mixture of photojournalism and comics, while Goya. Saturnalia by Manuel Gutiérrez and Manuel Romero, an inquiry into the painter’s psyche in his last days, is one of the most interesting debuts of the year.
Another is undoubtedly Today everything starts, by Josune Urrutia, a narrative essay on the relationship between art and disease. With jackalsNadia Hafid confirms why she is one of the most interesting voices of her generation, while other authors, such as Begoña García-Alén (Goodbye friends) and Anabel Colazo (Sword) reach a remarkable level. A veteran like Carlos Giménez has put an end to neck guard with its ninth installment, while Juan Díaz Canales and Rubén Pellejero continue with their version of the mythical Corto Maltés in berliner nocturne.
The return of Charles Burns
Among the sea of foreign novelties that have reached bookstores in 2022 we find old acquaintances, such as Charles Burns, who begins a new series with the enigmatic mazesor Rutu Modan, who has published what is surely his best work, Tunnels.
There is also room for new voices, like that of Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, who addresses in Herb the traumatic past of sex slaves during the Pacific Waror Anneli Furmark and the intimate story of mature love that she narrates in Take me with you.
Dog Biscuits by Alex Grahama story underground y macarra de amor en tiempos del coronavirus, is another interesting debut by an author previously unpublished in Spanish, while Revelryby Brecht Evens, confirms that there is no one like him to capture the colors of the night. my supplication table by Keiler Roberts, with his humorous vision of the everyday, and the absurd fantasy of Anne Simon in Boris the potato boy confirm that there is room to innovate in humor as well. But, if there is only one foreign title of 2022 to be left with, this would surely be the disturbing one. acting class by Nick Drnasopossibly the author who is best recounting the United States of the post-Trump era.