Despite its original episodic publication, The Eternonaut is a carefully mapped single narrative, framed with the insertion of Oesterheld himself as the comic writer at the beginning and end of the story. Its literariness is part of what has made this a lasting story, capturing the imagination of readers, writers, and artists for over fifty years. Oesterheld, writing about the development of these characters, talks about the idea of heroism: "The true hero of The Eternonaut is the collective hero, humanity. At the end, the comic writer wonders, is telling the story enough?
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Despite its original episodic publication, The Eternonaut is a carefully mapped single narrative, framed with the insertion of Oesterheld himself as the comic writer at the beginning and end of the story.
Its literariness is part of what has made this a lasting story, capturing the imagination of readers, writers, and artists for over fifty years. Oesterheld, writing about the development of these characters, talks about the idea of heroism: "The true hero of The Eternonaut is the collective hero, humanity.
At the end, the comic writer wonders, is telling the story enough? Perhaps not, but then again, it might be. Oesterheld uses the vehicle of the story to engage with many of the pressing global political issues of the time, but from a distinctly Argentinian point of view. There are references, overt and implicit, to the Cold War. But the perspective is unfamiliar to readers in the U.
In the opening card-playing scene, after hearing about a cloud of radioactive dust moving south after U. They ironically call it a "hobby" and wonder when the U. As the story develops, the U. At points, the protagonists hope for rescue from the U. As the story moves from bad to worse to catastrophic, the characters fight, and win, correspondingly escalating battles.
The contrast between the oppressive hopelessness of the situation and the near-miraculous survival and triumph of the protagonists is pointed and political. That the worst brings out the best in humanity is perhaps trite, but it is an observation worth making over and over.
When faced with unspeakable disaster, human ingenuity is our greatest asset. And, beyond all of that, treasuring the living Earth, our own diverse cultures, the complexity and beauty of life is only possible when faced with the alternative. In the vein of classic science fiction, this story posits an enemy so terribly unimaginably other in order to force the realization that we have much in common. Argentina in was at the beginning of the Dirty War, a period of especially cruel repressive measures taken by the military government in Argentina against its own people.
Violent oppression, torture, and "disappearances" of left-wing activists and those who opposed the military government were common. Two of them were pregnant. In late Oesterheld was also taken by the government, held and tortured for a period of months, before finally becoming one of the more than 30, disappeared. Oesterheld by this time was well-known throughout the country, and the Spanish-speaking world, as the creator of The Eternonaut.
This translation of the original version of The Eternonaut is only one version of this story. Such is the lasting power of the characters introduced in The Eternonaut, and such are the expansive possibilities introduced in the original version. By arrangement with the estates of the authors. All rights reserved. Oesterheld worked with the best artists and illustrators of his time, including Alberto Breccia and Francisco Solano Lopez.
There is no information about what happened to them, but they are all presumed dead. The Eternonaut was published in Hora Cero, edited by Oesterheld, in weekly installments beginning in It is widely considered one of the most important Latin American texts in both science fiction and comics.
Perhaps best known in the U. He produced artwork for a number of publishers in Madrid and London after fleeing from Argentina to avoid potential arrest.
His range of subject matter, and distinctive illustrating style, has earned him international renown as one of the most inventive illustrators in Latin America. He died in August from a cerebral hemorrhage. Translated from Spanish by Erica Mena Erica Mena is a poet, translator, and editor, not necessarily in that order. She is the founding editor of Anomalous Press.
This version featured artwork by Alberto Breccia , who drew the story in an experimental and unique style diverging from the original expression. It was first published on May 29, in the weekly Gente. Disturbed by the Dirty War and political repression of the period, Oesterheld criticized the dictatorship. He placed himself as a narrating character within the story. Having joined the banned leftist organization Montoneros with his daughters, Oesterheld wrote the chapters from hidden locations. He disappeared in His daughters also disappeared, as were their husbands.
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