Mickey Mouse Joe Nazi

Mickey Mouse Joe Nazi

Better luck, but no less hardship, befell the young republican Vicente Jiménez Bravo, who before surviving an astonishing journey across Europe in the war and ending up as a forced laborer in Mallorca in Franco's Spain, arrived in exile in Sant Cíbria de Rosselló Platja, another one From those concentration camps in the south of France. “There were wholesome and honest idealists,” he explained in his three memoirs, “but there were also cowards, mediocrities, and the worst of Barcelona’s Chinatown, spontaneity, murderers, thieves, rapists…” The Senegalese gendarmes guarding them wore their uniforms. “Human ear necklaces” and were known to rape and “castrate the dead and wounded.”

“Cartoon” style.

Jiménez Bravo's history is revealed by his grandson Pau Rodríguez Pau (Palma, 1972), in the first volume of the quintet Las cinco banderas (Escápula Comics), a well-documented comic in which the sketch artist remains faithful to his cartoons. The style and use of animals as characters, influenced by Disney and mangaka Osamu Tezuka, as shown in La Saga d'Atlas & Axis, published in 15 countries, or Curtiss Hill.

He explains that Manacor's Pau also drinks from French cartoonist Edmond François Calvo, the so-called French Disney, who was more than four decades ahead of Art Spiegelman's Maus by telling shades of Nazism in comics using animals as characters. Publishing house Renaud de Cordelia, which is now rescuing Rosenthal's three cartoons in Mickey in the Gorge Field, did the same two years ago with ¡La bestia ha muerto!, in which Calvo reflected on his experience of World War II and settling scores with the Third Reich. In his story, published in 1944, during the German occupation of France, by Victor Dunsit and Jack Zimmerman, the wolves are the Nazis; French rabbits. Bones, Ross…

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In the revolutionary Mouse, from 1991, the first comedy to win a Pulitzer Prize, Spiegelman expounded on the drama of his father, an Auschwitz survivor, drawing Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. “I tried not to do the same thing as him. His story has a more tragic tone,” says Paw, who spent nearly 30 years as a comic strip artist for Diario de Mallorca and who portrayed his grandfather as a lively, cheerful little dog. “I prefer the cartoon aesthetics of Disney and Calvo, because being beloved characters, when a lot of misfortune happens to them, you identify more with them. I prioritized the elements of adventure, the introductory journey, that my grandfather faced, and his sense of humor, which was one of the keys to survival.” alive, and I helped them not to drown.

Jesús Ejido, editor of Reno de Cordelia, agrees, stating in the introduction to Rosenthal's book that it “takes the world of Disney into a Kafkaesque phase dominated by absurdity and uses the Disney Mouse as a symbol of innocence in the face of absurdity.” Hostile reality, which is therefore absurd and disproportionate (…) The presence of a cartoon, a symbol of imagination, in a malicious environment, provided its author with an escape from reality, a song of optimism that took him away from the darkness. Ideas and omens that beset the Jewish population.”

Mickey, who has to use a magnifying glass to see his small portion of food, exists only in a Rosenthal cartoon; In the other two prisons, he is a prisoner who travels in the countryside, like a comfortable hotel, he says sarcastically, where there are “attractive leisure activities” such as peeling potatoes or cleaning toilets, which invite him to spend the summer. He mimics a tourist brochure ad: “If you want to lose weight, go to Gurs! Its cuisine is famous!”.

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“The Republicans who arrived, like my grandfather, in French fields did not expect to be treated so badly,” says Pauw. “They saw France as an allied democratic republic and found themselves afraid of them because the half million who arrived were treating children and women equally badly.” Contempt. Their color was red. “They were fleeing war and famine, like many of the refugees today who we believe are coming to steal our jobs.”

“Las cinco banderas,” a title that alludes to the banners that marked his fate for 10 years — Republican, French, British, Nazi, Francoist — will go on to explain how Pau’s grandfather, who volunteered for the Civil War when he was 17, lied about his age, He was sent to cut stone in an underground quarry, how he survived the Battle of Dunkirk by stealing a tank, how the Germans arrested him and forced him to work in another mine, and how he ended up in Spain avoiding the death penalty.

A story that his grandson confirmed in various archives over the years and that his grandfather was never afraid to remember in the midst of Francoism. “He was never silent. He always told us that. And if he left us his memories when he died, it was because he did not want us to forget. On the other hand, his brother-in-law, who had been sentenced to death three times, was so affected that he always thought that observer”.

Minor care

“Las cinco banderas 1”, in an elegant cloth-column edition, can be ordered from any bookstore or online and will be published in March in France, where the project was presented at the last festival in Angoulême with an exhibition in a private room .

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It has the peculiarity that, like all of Bao's comics, it is a project published by the author himself in the publisher he created himself, Escápula. As in previous campaigns, he chose small sponsorships to fund it.

The “crowdfunding” on the Verkami platform had an amazing reception and was able to raise three times more than expected. It hopes to release one volume a year (the second around November) after a campaign each summer. “I've seen brokers earn more than the author. That way you put yourself directly in the hands of readers and know whether what you're going to do will interest them or not.”

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