Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Old Stories – Concerto para Oito Infantes e Um Bastardo (1982)

This story was conceived when I was living for a short while in Germany, with the title Fred? Fred is dead. A young taxi driver is involved in the troubles of an older friend, Fred, who ends up dead due to his line of work, dealing in cocaine. It was supposed to succeed another story I was publishing in a Portuguese magazine, specialized in comic strips -- a more lord-of-the-rings type of story -- and mark my return to the hard world of suburban hard drug of life.

But the magazine ended abruptly and I had to look for a new one if I wanted to survive in the scarce world of Portuguese publishing. I choose a weekly newspaper, at the time the only one that dealt with movies, theatre and mostly music. After some hesitation they finally decided to accept publishing a comic strip.
The taxi driver was transformed into a journalist, grew up in size and dressed in the last central European fashion, and part of the plot dealt around a pop star, Kiki Lavil, the sole purpose of which was to make the story even more fashionable. On the other hand I decided to give Fred a chance of surviving, for it is unclear, in the end, if he dies or not. It is a story of 23 pages titled Concerto para Oito Infantes e Um Bastardo (Concert for short, the rest of the title being very hard to translate properly).

Soon I realized that the usual reader of this type of newspaper had difficulty in following the rhythm of one-and-a-half-page-a-week black-and-white poorly-printed story and, after a second unsatisfying attempt to bring to life the characters from Concerto, I started a period of several years of short stories in that same newspaper, experimenting with a number of styles of text and drawing with irregular results, that lasted roughly till the end of the decade.

The pages you may see bellow are a version from 2002, partially published in a short lived magazine. Bottom you may see how they appeared for the first time to the reader.

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