“In her debut graphic novel, Mapa returns to Manila, her childhood home, for her father’s funeral. Her past rushes back to her, not at the taste of a madeleine but with the rhythms of the ’80s pop songs she grew up with. Her memoir of life in the Philippines is both touching and joyous, with vivid recollections of food, matriarchy, family, and politics told in an Hergé-inspired style that’s deceptively simple but apt for its subject. As she assembles the jigsaw puzzle of her Filipino life, Mapa recollects both pop culture touchstones and her upbringing against the turbulent background of the 1986 Fernando Marcos/Corazon Aquino “Snap Election” and its resultant People Power Revolution. As with Sonny Liew’s more complex The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, Mapa uses the directness of comics to introduce a history and culture most Americans are unfamiliar with.”
Bill Young has written an article about “Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos and Me” in the April 12, 2017 edition of the Montreal Gazette. I hope the book lives up to his glowing praise!
Here is an excerpt:
It is (an) unforeseen accident which shapes the story, and largely defines her life going forward. When she attends her father’s funeral, this return to roots releases a host of memories, both of her early days in the Philippines, and of more recent times.
The result is an extraordinary odyssey, but one I leave for the reader to discover. It is enough to underscore the degree to which her striking illustrations throughout fit impeccably the many tones of the narrative, from the boldest strokes to the most delicate of touches.”
Here’s a review by Dan Brown (a writer, but not that one) of the London Free Press.
“This energetic, enjoyable, easy-to-read tale vibrates with youthful passion as Mapa tells the story of growing up in the Philippines of the 1980s.”
Read more for the full review.