Brazilian comic book Angola Janga is published in the USA
After its release in France, Portugal, Spain and Austria, Brazilian comic book “Angola Janga – Uma história dos Palmares” (Angola Janga – A History of Palmares) is published in the United States by publishing company Fantagraphics. The work tells the story of old dwellings of Brazilian fugitive slaves known as ‘Palmares’, located in Serra da Barriga, in the region of the state of Alagoas. “The book is an attempt to go beyond the character of Zumbi dos Palmares and tell the story of many other characters who were also important in that history, such as Ganga Zumba, Ganga Zona, governors, among others”, explains Marcelo.
To create the comic book, the artist undertook several historic researches on the slavery period, Colonial Brazil and the conflicts among Portuguese explorers, Indigenous people and African slaves brought from Congo and Angola. “Understanding better these characters is important if we want to comprehend the diversity of Palmares, the strategic attempts of such people and the proximity and direct connection among Brazil, Portugal and Angola”, says Marcelo. “Some battles that were taking place in Angola that time had a direct effect on the what would happen in Brazil, since many of such Africans would end up here”, adds up the artist.
In 2017, Angola Janga was chosen as one of the best works of 2018 by French magazine Les Inrocks, one of the most important publications worldwide related to creative economy.
Marcelo D’ Salete also called the attention of the international market with his comic book “Cumbe” (2014), for which he won the Eisner Award 2018. The Eisner Awards are granted annually at Comic Con San Diego, in California. “Cumbe” (2014) was developed in 2004 during a Brazilian History course focused on the black population and presents stories of enslaved Africans and their culture and customs. The comic book was published in Portugal, France, Italy, Austria and the USA.
“I believe people from Brazil and other countries are interested in this type of story, which many times we learn from History books only. Many readers go after this kind of book because they understand that it is not a work destined for comic book fans only. These stories deserve to be known and discussed. Talking about slavery is still a taboo in many circles. The art is an excellent tool to break down this taboo”, says Marcelo.
Other works of Marcelo include “Noite Luz” (Night Light) (2008), published in Brazil and Argentina, about urban stories involving a night club, and “Encruzilhada” (Crossroad) (2016), addressing violence, black youth and discrimination in big cities.