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Work / Illustration

Illustrator Pepa Prieto Puy’s translates her grandfather’s haikus into four panel comics

Illustrator Pepa Prieto Puy’s first venture into comic illustration was a weekly magazine she exchanged with her friend at primary school. The friend was Roberta Váquez, now an illustrator in her own right, and making comics has been a key part of their practice ever since.

Pepa took a break from illustrating comics while studying a fine art degree, “until the last year of my degree when I started to collaborate with a fanzine, Firecream with illustrators from my generation in Galicia, Spain,” she tells It’s Nice That. “My stories usually include some kind of pathetic drama and are part autobiographical.” After Firecream came to end, Spanish publishers Cero Eficacia editions grouped the illustrators together, making their own fanzines and comics together. More recently these comics have been published in Tik Tok, a webcomic by Ana Galvan “where she gives visibility to the new and young wave of illustrators”.

Tik Tok is a platform where Pepa could display fuller narrative comics of her own. “It was there I published one of my first stories about Jessenia la Tenia (Jesenia the Tapeworm),” she explains. But in terms of influences, she says her taste is constantly evolving. “I admit I have a weakness towards everything to do with 1980s aesthetics (who doesn’t?). Maybe it was my father’s Iron Man posters and his old magazines El Vibora, Totem, or Cairo could have some connection with my fascination,” she says. “But I think my influences are changing everyday since I have internet, and I try to get ideas from everything.”

Now, Pepa is working on a comic translating haikus written by her grandfather into a drawing, then compiling them into four-panel comics. Each haiku-comic displays characters and environments but uses no words to leave it open to the audience’s interpretation. Often depicting agriculture or suburban areas, Pepa’s colour palette is a natural combination, hues of green, blue and yellow which she colours in digitally after drawing by hand and their own distinctive texture, which often jumps outside the lines.

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Pepa Prieto Puy: Haiku

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