Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cuba My Revolution

Cuba.  My Revolution by Inverna Lockpez & Dean Haspiel with Jose Villarrubia

Cuba, My Revolution opens on New Year's Eve, 1958.  Sonya is 17 years old and a supporter of Fidel Castro.  Batista is the current president of Cuba and the people feel betrayed by him.  Batista was supported by the Americans, he suspended the constitution, censored the media and was known for having his opponents tortured by the secret police.  In 1959, Batista flees Cuba in the middle of night and Fidel Castro comes to power.

Sonya immediately decides to become a doctor to support Castro and to put off her dream of being an artist.  She is in love with the revolution and the idea of change.  She hopes for justice, equality and a new era for Cuba.  What she gets is long hours at the hospital with dwindling supplies.  Then Sonya volunteers to work the front line of the war.  Here she becomes a victim to Castro's suspicions as she is arrested for helping a dying man, who was an enemy of the state.  Only her father can save her.

Sonya is a true revolutionary and you get a sense of her strong dedication to the cause she believes in.  Her friends and family leave Cuba as their rights dwindle and Sonya refuses to be swayed.  Sonya's transformation from a young, naive girl to a women, changed by politics, is poignant and memorable.  Sonya's story is based on Inverna's Lockpez's life and it teaches you about Cuba's history and people.

Dean Haspiel has drawn a work of graphic art that captures the heart of Cuba, it's people and the revolution that sparked hope and ended in dissolution.  Some of the art contains nudity and torture.  The whole book is drawn in black, white and red.  Red stands out against the background of black and white.  It's vivid, stark, powerful and unforgettable.

Cuba, My Revolution is a graphic novel that will help you to view the Cuban revolution from multiple perspectives.