Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges published his short story “A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz” in 1949. The folk tale has been beautifully interpreted by Falmouth illustration student Christos Papakonstantinopoulos in a monochrome graphic novel– we think the bold black-and-white panels look brilliant printed in a digital tabloid newspaper. A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz is available in The Newsagent now for £7.25. Christos says about his project:
This illustrated newspaper was the result of my research on adapting short stories into the Graphic Novel format. It was part of my final project for the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice in Falmouth University. A limited edition of 22 numbered and signed copies was exhibited in the 2013 MA show in Falmouth, Cornwall.
The Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most significant writers of the 20th century, dedicated a lot of his writings to telling stories about the life of well known folk heroes of his country. His short story “A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz (1829-1874)” is an example of how one of these heroes lived. It’s a documentation of customs, habits, and traditions related to the gauchos: the South American version of cowboys.
Gauchos played an important role in Argentina ‘s struggle against colonialism, and became a symbol of courage and freedom. Living in the country’s wide plains (with sole companion a knife, a poncho, and a horse) was tough, and sometimes brutal. This explains, in a way, the reason why they were so popular among literature, and artistic circles all over Latin America. These features of the gaucho’s way of life, which reveal the unknown but very interesting world of the South American cowboys, are presented through the pages of this newspaper.
By telling the story through the Graphic Novel medium I hope it will reach a wide audience of all ages as, in my view, the narrative potentials and the special aesthetics of the medium redefine the limits of contemporary literature.
This visualized version of J. L. Borges short story was hand written, hand drawn and inked in Kathmor House Studios, based in Falmouth, and it is part of a collection of illustrated short stories under the title Kathmor Illustrated Series, which will be released shortly.
My tutors, fellow students, and me agreed that the most suitable print form for my work would be the newsprint. The expressive character of the black and white drawings are perfectly presented through the material qualities of the traditional newsprint paper. When I received the package with the papers I was surprised to see the final drawings printed, and eventually work as a total visual composition. The newspaper fulfilled our expectations completely, and it was a big success.
Thank you for printing with us, Christos!