THOUGHT BUBBLE 2023! Stepping aside from her normal fantasy comics focus, the difference between Kry Garcia’s Salmorejo and her previous practice is abundantly clear from its subtitle ‘A Travel Journal About Going Back Home’. It’s not simply the change in narrative focus that marks this out as something different from Garcia though. This piece of autobio is presented with a kind of “warts and all” honesty; deliberately unpolished with spelling mistakes uncorrected, raw candour unedited, and with a sketchy visual approach that gives it a very personal authenticity.
Salmorejo (the title is a name of a Spanish dish we learn more about in these pages) is an account of a trip to Garcia’s hometown in the south of Spain with her partner Gonzalo and their friends Brunella and Gurvane; one that had an element of catharsis to it given the pressures of recent times. While this short comic adopts the standard scrapbook style that many such travelogues do (scattered imagery of places visited, meals eaten, events experienced) it’s Garcia’s contemplative reflections on identity, a sense of belonging, and the ghosts that can sometimes surround us on returning home again that gives it a deeper level of meaning.
As atour of Cadiz, in the company of Garcia’s friends and family, Salmorejo is packed full of the requisite sightseeing and local customs, then, but it’s also a visual essay on wellbeing and self-care. There’s something very endearing about this comic’s unrefined nature and the way we experience it as if flicking through the doodles in an artist’s sketchbook. Diary comics have their detractors, particularly given their almost ubiquitous nature on the small press scene a few years ago, but the added elements of mental health awareness here elevate Salmorejo to another narrative level.
Those interested in Garcia’s genre fiction comics work should look out for her new webcomic Guide to the Oblivion, debuting very soon…
Kry Garcia • Self-published
Kry Garcia is at Table D29-A in the Dstlry Hall at Thought Bubble 2023
Review by Andy Oliver