Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Reader's Diary #1956- Isabel Quintero (writer) and Zeke Peña (illustrator): Photographic

A blurb written by Lilliam Rivera, on the back of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña's Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, states that "it is a rare feat when a writer and illustrator are able to capture the creative magnitude of an iconic photographer."

It was a rather odd declaration. I would say it's just as rare that writers and illustrators even try. And it isn't to suggest one art form is superior over another, it's just that they are usually content to be their own beasts. So, I think kudos are in order for Quintero and Zeke Peña for even attempting a graphic novel approach to a photographer's biography.

Unfortunately, I'm not convinced that it worked.

I wasn't familiar with Graciela Iturbide or her photography before now, photography not being an art form I've paid a lot of attention to. I did enjoy the few photos of hers that made it into the book, as well as quotes from her about her craft and perspective (why, for instance, she chose black and white). But I'd rather have had more photos and more words. Peña's line work, capable as it was, didn't really add much in my opinion, and Quintero's sparse poetic take, seemed clunky and lacking.

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