Life of Che: An Impressionistic Biography (Fantagraphics) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022  

Life of Che: An Impressionistic Biography

Fantagraphics

Alberto Breccia, Enrique Breccia, and Héctor Germán Oesterheld

Apr 15, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The name Che Guevara means different things to different people. Aside from his pop-culture draw, Che Guevara remains a polarizing figure 57 years after his execution. Regardless of your take on the revolutionary, one thing can be agreed upon; his cause and persona will forever remain a hot-button issue. Guevara’s story is an addictive one. It doesn’t matter that our copies of The Motorcycle Diaries or A Revolutionary Life are tattered and torn; when there’s a new version on the shelves, like clockwork, we flock to them like loyal subjects; but what if Guevara was immortalized in comic book form?

The Life of Che by artist Alberto Breccia, his son Enrique Breccia, and writer Héctor Germán Oesterheld produced an explosive look into the life and times of Che Guevara. Set aside the term “comic book” as there are no capes, superheroes, or underground lairs. What there is, is a comprehensive look at Guevara’s life shortly after his passing. Oesterheld’s voice comes through brilliantly when recanting Guevara’s multi-layered life. From university to his famous life-changing motorcycle trek to his fully-bloomed revolutionary status, The Life of Che is a fast-paced look at the man, the myth, and the legend; while the book is not extensive and overblown, it gives the reader just enough to tell the story. Honestly, this is a phenomenal starting point as an introduction to the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

The art is moody and dark and sets the perfect tone for the story. A story that depending on who is behind the pen, may or may not treat Guevara’s tale as someone who was not only an educated man but sincerely loved his people and the cause he preached. That’s not to say every work on his life has to be pro-Che; however, you rarely see works on the revolutionary that tell his story while leaving the glamorization out of it until now. The Life of Che was originally published in 1969 and was highly controversial and censored by the government, but that didn’t stop the people from making it a bestseller, and copies sold out. It wouldn’t until 1987 that the book would be restored and, in 2022, printed in English for the first time. The book is a must-read not only for fans of his movement and message, and for historophiles, but for anyone looking to see how a great story is told. (www.fantagraphics.com/products/life-of-che)

Author rating: 8/10

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