This exhibition, which can be visited until 2 December, looks back over a decade of democracy and graphic humour. The exhibition reviews the different groups and authors who promoted this form of expression and their motivations.
It was inaugurated yesterday in the exhibition space of the UGR in the Palacio del Almirante in Granada and presents a journey through the comics published in Granada during the first decade of democracy in Spain.
The arrival of democracy in Spain brought with it the appearance of new formats of expression or the transformation of some of the existing ones. In the case of comics, this process of change in format, language and subject matter began in the 1960s, a phenomenon that accelerated with the arrival of democracy. From children’s comics, a model was adopted that made it possible to talk about politics or other subjects far removed from childhood. Viñetas en Transición. Comics in Granada (1976-1986), the exhibition that can be seen from today until 2 December at the Palacio del Almirante, in the Albaizín, reviews that decade of new democracy and comics in Granada.
The rooms of the Palacio del Almirante offer visitors a tour of 102 originals and 185 publications and photographs that cover a decade of comics that began with the initiative of an Andalusian comics team (f.d.), organised by Fernando Guijarro and José Tito in 1976 and which was joined by a group of fans with the initial idea of giving an outlet for their passion for comics. The celebration of the tribute to García Lorca in 1976 was the spark that led to its first publication, 81 viñetas para Federico García Lorca, the product of a large and deliberately anonymous collective. José Tito recalled the relevant role of the University of Granada, through its Secretariat of Publications (today Editorial UGR) and its then head, Montserrat Rubio, in giving visibility to that project.
Vice-chancellor Víctor Medina explained that “it is an exhibition full of attractions, which offers a magnificent vision of the period and which joins the current moment of splendour of comics at the University of Granada, with exhibitions at the Madraza dedicated to Martínmorales and at the Royal Hospital with the retrospective of Sergio García, as well as other spaces in the city that also dedicate spaces to this theme”. José Tito said that the exhibition is “the recovery of a history, or rather, of an adventure”. Tito, founder of the original group, recalled the beginnings, full of illusion and the result of chance “at a time when comics were something rare or frowned upon”. With no money and little editorial knowledge, he acknowledged, they set their adventure in motion and “we brought out quite a few publications in the three years that we lasted”.
Enrique Bonet, curator and cartoonist, told how “in the 80s, comic publications became integrated products in the cultural life of the city”, referring to magazines such as La Granada de papel, Olvidos de Granada, Don Pablito or Zumbayá. These authors, he said, “opened the way for the cartoonists who followed them, who followed them, and served as a reference point for us”.
Ricardo Anguita explained that the first “countercultural initiatives” in the world of comics – the Barcelona-based Butifarra and the Granada-based un equipo andaluz de tebeos(f.d.) – were born with a strong “critical approach to the speculative urban planning practices” of the Franco regime and the early years of the Transition, “the usual subject of their publications, highlighting the denunciation of the environmental conditions of the peripheral neighbourhoods born of developmentalism, characterised by a lack of infrastructure and basic facilities”.
Barely three years later, this collective experience came to an end. Since the 1980s, the history of comics and comic strips in Granada has not stopped growing. At first, thanks to more personal adventures and, later, thanks to the fundamental role of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UGR which, since its foundation in 1986, has become a particularly interesting environment for comics and from which many successful authors have emerged on the international scene.
Source, text and photos: UGR, University of Granada
From 11 October to 2 December. Almirante Palace. Placeta Almte, Granada