September 2nd, 2010


Portland Mercury reviews CUBA: MY REVOLUTION

Cuba: My Revolution

by Inverna Lockpez, Dean Haspiel (Vertigo)

With black and white and shocking blasts of red and pink, Cuba: My Revolution tells the story of Sonya, a teenager in Havana who strongly believes in change for her country. It's December 31, 1958 when Sonya goes from New Year's Eve sangrias to cheering about Fidel Castro taking over the Cuban government. In her idealistic fervor, she joins the new militia and trains to be a doctor, forgoing her dreams of being an artist. In 1961, she's sent as a medic to the Bay of Pigs, where the atrocities are numerous and she's imprisoned for treating a prisoner, despite her adamant loyalty. Sonya undergoes days upon days of interrogations, torture, and starvation, yet she still believes in Castro's revolution.
This is writer Inverna Lockpez's real-life story about growing up in the Cuban revolution, fleeing to the US in the late '60s, where she became a renowned artist. Her writing is full of her initial hope and subsequent disillusion, fear, and persecution after five short years of living in the revolution. Lockpez's powerful story is all the more heightened by Dean Haspiel's (The Alcoholic, The Quitter) beautiful art—it's crisp, Cubist, propagandized, and evocative—with surprising coloring by José Villarrubia. Cuba: My Revolution is a memoir full of passion and doubt, with exceedingly well-done artwork—a fine comic book, indeed.



Book trade review publication BOOKLIST reviews CUBA: MY REVOLUTION

Issue: September 15, 2010

Cuba: My Revolution.

Lockpez, Inverna (Author) , Haspiel, Dean (Illustrator), Villarrubia, Jose (Illustrator)

Sep 2010. 144 p. Vertigo, hardcover, $24.99. (9781401222178). 741.5.

This graphic-novel memoir depicts one young woman’s changing political views as a middle-class Cuban artist who came of age during Castro’s revolution. Sonya experiences the excitement of Batista’s overthrow, shortages in the medical clinic where she works, the early thrill and later torture of army life, her own willingness to create dissident art, and a couple of well-depicted affairs of the heart. Concise text and stylish art combine to make the whole both accessible and moving: Sonya, her parents and friends, her dying lover, and her new husband—as well as protesters, Castro’s commanders, and astute neighbors—are all well realized in both image and action and come to life on pages that flow with carefully and creatively designed panels. This is sound political fiction, with a definite point of view but without an axe to grind.

Teens interested in the Cuban revolution will also find the book to be essential and accessible reading about life during that time.

— Francisca Goldsmith