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Detail of the cover of the graphic novel 'El olvido que seremos'. Salamandra Graphic.
Detail of the cover of the graphic novel El olvido que seremos. Graphic: Salamandra Graphic.

'El Olvido que seremos' the comic book that arrived amid Colombia's violent crisis

The Spanish cartoonist has created a graphic novel of the best seller El Olvido que seremos, by the renowned writer Héctor Abad Faciolince.

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Spanish cartoonist Tyto Alba has adapted into a graphic novel El olvido que seremos, a book that Colombian writer Héctor Abad Faciolince dedicated to his father, who was murdered by paramilitaries. The publication comes at the same time as violence returns to the streets of Colombia.

"It's a book that talks about many things not only filial love, but delves into social issues, and the fear was to condense, without abusing to put too much text, but respecting it as much as possible."

In a virtual press conference, Alba confessed that when the project was proposed to him, he was not familiar with the "non-fiction novel" that Abad Faciolince published in 2006.

It was written with the intention of preventing the memory of his father, a doctor and human rights activist who was gunned down when he was a candidate for mayor of Medellín in 1987, from falling into oblivion.

"When I discovered it, I loved it," said the cartoonist, who accepted the challenge after reading the book and learning that filmmaker Fernando Trueba had a movie in the works.

For his part, the Colombian writer said he was very grateful for the multi-format interest that the novel still has and with which he hopes to reach a younger audience, especially in Latin America.

"When they proposed it to me the reaction was to say yes, but my wife thought I could trivialize it, caricaturize it, but I had seen some graphic novels and I knew that the comic can reach the summit of great drawing that replaces words," said Abad.

The novel, published in 2005, tells the life story of Héctor Abad Gómez, a doctor who fought for human rights in Colombia and a strong advocate for universal access to health care, who was assassinated by paramilitary groups in 1987.  

It has a film adaptation made by Fernando Trueba in 2020 and winner of the 2021 Goya for best Ibero-American film. Now it arrives in comic book adaptation and edited by Salamandra Graphic.

At a time of political and social upheaval not only in Colombia but throughout the region, this publication comes as a memory pill for many.

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