Art Comics and Graphic Novels

Review – Os Regressos (The Returns)

This Portuguese graphic novel, published by Polvo [Octopus] in 2018, was written by Pedro Moura (1973-) and drawn by Marta Teives (1977-). This 64 black and white pages hardcover book has won a seal of approval and recommendation by our Plano Nacional de Leitura [National Reading Plan]. This is a book that every library in Portugal should have on their shelves.

Pedro Moura, comics scriptwriter, is a professor and investigator and one of the few scholars in Portugal with a Ph.D. on Comics Studies. His thesis is available online, in English [01]. He is also one of the few Portuguese comics critics [02]. Marta Teives, illustrator and comics artist, works mostly in animation and advertisement; her work can be seen at her internet address [03]. She is also a member of The Lisbon Studio, since 2012 [04]. Although both authors have been working on other shorter comics projects this was their first album.

The book – The Returns – is an amazing piece of art; the layout, the shots, and the raccord are very good, allowing a cinematic feel to the story. The plot, rhythm, and visual storytelling are at its best in this book. The attention to detail and the overall quality of this graphic novel elevates the Portuguese comics. The book itself is very good due to the paper quality and the warm texture of the cover.

The story revolves around a woman who returns to the place of her childhood after the death of her grandmother. Old memories come into fruition and she has to deal with them. The story is quite realistic but the fantasy genre shows its beautiful face.

In 2018, the album won the prize for best drawing in a Portuguese album at the Amadora International Comics Festival [05], the oldest and biggest festival in Portugal. The book has been translated into Polish (Timof Comics). I hope the French and English versions are being prepared. This is one of the best ‘business cards’ the Portuguese comics industry has to offer to the world. If the Portuguese sequential art has a ‘voice’, this is surely one of the best examples.







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