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Diario de Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico
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Diario de Oaxaca: A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico

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3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  125 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Painting a vivid, personal portrait ofsocial and political upheaval in Oaxaca, Mexico, this unique memoir employs comics, bilingual essays, photos, and sketches to chronicle the events that unfolded around a teachers' strike and led to a seven-month siege. When award-winning cartoonist Peter Kuper and hiswife and daughter moved to the beautiful, 15th-century colonial town ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by PM Press (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 328)
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Michelle
Diario de Oaxaca opens during a teacher’s strike in a southern mexican town. Apparently the teachers strike every year for a week. The strike always ends after a week because the teachers always get what they want. Until 2006, when they didn’t.

The descriptions of the strike seemed mainly observational. At first I wondered why the author didn’t ask questions like “Why is a yearly strike necessary? Why can’t the teachers just negotiate yearly instead?”. Then I realized that the author didn’t trave
...more
Raina
Don't be freaked out if your library shelves this book in the spanish section. My library does, and I was a bit worried when I opened it to see entire pages full of spanish text.
This book is entirely bilingual. Virtually every caption, and all the bodytext is in both spanish and english.

Something about Peter Kuper's art speaks to me. I don't always enjoy his aesthetic (maybe because he works in almost every style and medium on the books - all on one page!), but every once in a while his imagery
...more
Liliana
Hace poco empecé a leer novela gráfica y me he convertido en fan. La novela gráfica a diferencia del comic es una historia de extensión larga, ilustrada por viñetas y escrita por un solo autor (apuesto a que hay muchas más diferencias, pero esta definición me pareció muy práctica).

Hay alguien del que me he enamorado perdidamente Peter Kuper, él ha colaborado en publicaciones como Newsweek, Time, The New York Times y MAD (revista en la que dibuja la tira Spy vs.Spy) además de ser autor de numeros
...more
Andrea
Mar 31, 2010 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Pure. Happiness. And not just because I'm listed in the acknowledgments which I should disclose (though I'm hardly deserving), and not just because I have been a fan for a long time, but because it is beautiful, deeply personal, and brings joy. It is a sketchbook not a graphic novel, it does not pretend to be a deep analysis of the teacher's strike or Oaxacan history or etymology or even a regularly written travel journal. It is a series of impressions accompanied by art in Kuper's idiosyncratic ...more
Daniel
This book was beautiful. Originally, I bought it for the first 60 pages documenting the Oaxaca Commune, a seven month struggle that temporarily replaced a fascist police state with a socialist, anarchist, and indigenous inspired series of assemblies. But the book is a travel journal of two years, and after some annoyance that this section was over, I adapted to the style and pacing of the rest of the travelogue.

The struggle never went away, it's just sort of bubbling under the surface, and there
...more
W M
Mar 18, 2016 W M added it
I have to be honest. I was not a big fan. I thought the book would cover the teacher strikes more. I do not know if Kuper is really apart of the movement to bring justice to the world, or just an artist who had the luxury of going on a sabbatical. I know I am being too harsh, but I just wished every internationalists was like the wobblies and zapatistas. Note: I do not know Spanish.
Erok
Jan 04, 2015 Erok rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. a journal-like book describing one of my fav political cartoonists accidental life in Oaxaca Mexico during the teacher's uprising a few years ago. from the perspective of a sympathetic outsider (who is very reluctant to get involved), the book serves as a good overview of what happened during the uprising, although lacks any real details, as you'd imagine if reading someone's journal. for instance, the murder of brad will was only mentioned in passing. regardless, his writing ...more
Annika
Jul 15, 2014 Annika rated it it was amazing
This is a keeper. Thanks l'il bro. I read this whenever I need a "Oaxaca " fix. We have been there several times and this book puts a return trip on the top of the to do list. Gorgeous cartoons. Witty language. Explore the Spanish version. You will be pleasantly surprised how much is added to your experience of the book.
Jennifer
Feb 03, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok
hm, seems like most people really love this book. and generally I am a fan of graphic/sketchbook travelogues, but maybe i am pickier about drawing style than I even knew. and honestly i was annoyed with how enamored kuper was about he and his family living in oaxaca for two years and how lucky he was to catch the teacher's strike. there is one passage where he talks about walking past tourists who have no idea all the strike madness that had just past and how awesome it was that he and his wife ...more
Hol
Feb 19, 2012 Hol added it
Diario de Oaxaca offers the singular pleasure of browsing an artist's sketchbook, a beautifully curated one in this case; my only complaint is that I wish it were longer. Kuper combines colored pencil and black ink drawings with occasional photographs and other ephemera, plus narrative diary in both English and Spanish, and this additive approach is well suited to both the breadth of his interests and the eclectic beauty of Oaxaca. Like any really engaging sketchbook, it left me wanting to be a ...more
Myla
Mar 25, 2013 Myla rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. It seemed to have all of the things I like - travel experience in Mexico (in my favorite city of Oaxaca), lots of drawings because the author is an artist, and even a parallel translation into Spanish. I also liked the author's relaxed point of view on spending time in an area that was going through a crisis, and his descriptions of how the crisis did and did not affect his stay. But I cannot give it 5 stars, because there just was not enough content for a "Journal ...more
Benjamin
Mar 15, 2010 Benjamin rated it liked it
Shelves: recentreads
A charming little book about the author's experiences living in Oaxaca amid protests, scorpions, wild dogs, ancient ruins, and amazing beauty. I would not ordinarily have selected this book to read, given that the majority of it is the author's often surreal water colors. But the paintings really added something magical to the book, which if it were published alone would have been quite boring. The text is often repetitive and is certainly not intended to provide a deep analysis of Oaxacan life. ...more
Travis
Mar 11, 2010 Travis rated it really liked it
I was more familiar with Peter Kuper's political stencil work so this full-color sketchbook from Mexico was a real surprise. It's a way more personal work than his strident, overtly-political pieces, and appealing in the way that drawing is such an intimate human endeavor. Of course there's still a huge teacher strike going on that he documents but we also get pages of nature sketches, insects & him geeking out about butterfly migration. The comic at the end is so good!
Michelle
Jan 16, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This is mostly a picture book, so it's funny to say that I've "read" this book. Beautiful sensitive and thoughtful book. Peter Kuper obviously respects the culture he was lucky enough to be immersed in for two years. It's thoughtful, funny, and beautiful.I also really appreciated that it was in English and Spanish.
Chris Shaffer
Jun 10, 2010 Chris Shaffer rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Amazing art work, gives a feeling of being in Oaxaca and seeing just how bad things have gotten (and how beautiful things are). His little short stories within the journal are pretty darn funny.
Pascale
Aug 07, 2012 Pascale rated it it was amazing
Best illustrated sketchbook ever! The author on a sabbatical in Mexico keeps a lavishly illustrated sketchbook where he records street scenes, architecture, as well as everyday moments.
P.
Jul 23, 2010 P. rated it liked it
Shelves: en-español, art, nonfic
As one of the few Americans around Oaxaca when the big strike action was happening, this journal is a valuable, casual firsthand account for us in the EEUU. And it's pretty.
Carol Hunter
Mar 04, 2010 Carol Hunter rated it really liked it
Peter Kuper, the well known artist, reports on his stay in Oaxaca with his family during the Teachers Strike. I loved his insights and his art.
Kim
Mar 25, 2010 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
The idea of the sketchbook/graphic novel itself was inspiring, but the writer didn't have much to say.
Whitaker
Dec 10, 2010 Whitaker rated it really liked it
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Julio Marquez
Feb 02, 2010 Julio Marquez rated it really liked it
A wonderful companion to a trip to the amazing city of Oaxaca.
kdj
Dec 11, 2010 kdj rated it really liked it
Wonderful view into Oaxaca through words & sketches
Aisha
Sep 28, 2012 Aisha rated it it was amazing
Awesome
Laura Padalino
Laura Padalino marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
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Locus marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
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Casey is currently reading it
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Jun 17, 2016
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Jun 26, 2016
Megan C
Megan C rated it it was ok
Jun 12, 2016
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Bridgid marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
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5128
American alternative cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his autobiographical, political, and social observations.

Kuper's work in comics and illustration frequently combines techniques from both disciplines, and often takes the form of wordless comic strips. Kuper remarked on this, "I initially put comics on one side and my illustration in another compartment, but over the years I found th
...more
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