Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paracuellos, Volume 1” as Want to Read:
Paracuellos, Volume 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paracuellos, Volume 1

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  38 reviews
With a preface by Will Eisner.
Paracuellos is a work of great courage, created at a time when telling the truth about Spain's political past could get one killed. It is arguably the most important graphic memoir ever created in comics.
Carlos Gimenez s autobiographical account of the plight of children in post-World War II Fascist Spain has won virtually every comics awar
Paperback, 136 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by IDW Publishing (first published 1975)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paracuellos, Volume 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paracuellos, Volume 1

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  38 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Paracuellos, Volume 1
Greta G
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Greta G by: Jon Nakapalau

Carlos Giménez's autobiographical comic series of stories about boys who were reared in State and Church-run Social Aid Homes after the Civil War in Spain, gets a very high recommendation from me.

Gimenéz entered the Social Aid system when he was about six year old, and spent the next eight years in five different Homes. Everything that is told in his stories, is taken from real events. His friends at Social Aid helped him to bring the book about, by providing an infinity of anecdotes, names and
Jon Nakapalau
Heartbreaking look at the church-run "homes" for "orphaned children" under Franco. The abuse and neglect these children were subjected to has not been widely known outside of Spain. With powerful vignettes (focusing on a single boy) Carlos Giménez shows us what happens when children are left at the mercy of the state without ethical oversight.
Spain was not a pretty place during the reign of General Franco, especially for his opposition. This graphic novel describes the plight of their orphaned children, like the author himself, Carlos Giménez. He recounts numerous vignettes, in various church-run schools, where kids were routinely abused, physically and mentally and starved. Unfortunately, the stories were too similar, one to the next, and utterly depressing in respect of the nasty things adults do to children in their care. Also, th ...more
Wayne McCoy
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Paracuellos, Volume 1' by Carlos Giménez is a staggeringly difficult graphic novel to read. The stories are tough to fathom. The fact that they are true makes this an extraordinarily powerful work.

The stories take place during Franco's reign in Spain. With a grown up population fallen in battle or executed or imprisoned, the children are left in the "care" of Church-run "homes" like Paracuellos. One of the children in the stories is young Carlos Giménez. Given little to eat or drink, the childr
Stewart Tame
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
After the Spanish Civil War, there were many children left orphaned. The Fascists set up what eventually became known as Obra Nacional de Auxilio Social (National Works of Social Aid), basically a system of orphanages, though not all children were parentless. Some were simply the victims of familial poverty--their parents were unable to provide for their care, or imprisoned. Paracuellos is a series of stories of orphanage life. Giménez avows that all incidents depicted in the book are 100% true, ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In February 1936, Spain elected a Republican government supported by parties on the left. In July of the same year, a military uprising of the right began led by General Francisco Franco and supported by the fascist governments of Germany and Italy. The Civil War lasted until 1939, ending with Franco’s victory. The death toll is estimated to have been approximately 500,000 not counting deaths from malnutrition, starvation and illnesses related to the war. Franco’s Nationalists would hold power u ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

The digital edition I received via Netgalley was very hard to read; however, it was well worth the time.
This is one of those comics that prove that comics are simply more than a medium. It chronicles the lives of young children who are missing a parent or parents due to the Spanish Civil War. It is Dickens, basically.
What is the word the comes to me, if I were to tell you about this book? Disturbing. Deeply disturbing.

This is the autobiographical story of the cartoonist who had to go to a "children's home" in the 1950s. This was when Spain was ruled by Franco, and the "homes" were places to torture the children, and make them obey. There was absolutely no love there.

Carlos does not pull any punches. He shows all the gore and horror he experienced. From being forced to sleep in the sun, in summer, to only get
Online Eccentric Librarian
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Paracuellos is a stunning achievement - a book of humor on the surface covering the true pathos and heartbreak underneath. The drawing style feels like something out of a vintage Mad Magazine but gives us a story of deprivation and hardship from the point of view of orphans during Franco era (1960s) Spain. Told at a dangerous time (1970s) when the author could have been put to death for what he was (almost) saying, th
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this is not the kind of comic book that will make you laugh to tears or give you warm fuzzy feelings, let's be clear. This one will more punch you in the guts and leave you horrified. Yet it's one of the best and most interesting comic book/graphic novel I've ever read, and I read a lot of them.

In this autobiographic book, the author takes you to the 'homes' for kids, during the 50s, in Franco's
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was hard to get through: the format wasn't optimal and, well, the story isn't the kind you read to relax. This wasn't happy, it was disturbing and horrible yet so, so good. I wasn't a big fan of the art, but the story itself makes up for that.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Laughing Man
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this comic crushed my soul, had no idea what those little kids had to go through to all those years in those concentration camps they call homes... So many crimes went unpunished...
Héctor S. Martínez
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
History from the saddest point of view.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Paracuellos Volume 1 collects Carlos Gimenez's autobiographical graphic stories about the years he spent in orphanages in Franco's Spain. From the stories, the political aspirations of the regime and the people who run the child welfare institutions are made very clear, but very little of that seems to matter to the children, who are mostly concerned with food to eat, water to drink, and getting out. There is some serious abuse depicted in these pages. The adults in charge of the children are of ...more
Paracuellos shows us a very different Spain and sometimes it's hard to remember that this wasn't so long ago. No wonder the comic has won many prizes for being one of the first ones to tell about what happened to the orphan kids under Franco's rule, and it's not pretty I can tell you that. Giménez himself is one of those children. Basically the comic presents us different kids in different church-run schools, where the kids had to stay. The kids were abused, malnourished and disgraced. It was ha ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you'd asked me, hey, how interested would you be in reading a documentary book about the daily life of children of political prisoners & targets of Franco's post-Spanish Civil War Falangist government in a state-run group home? I probably would have said, meh, not so much. Once I started, however, it was difficult to put down. The cruelties inflicted pale in comparison to neighboring fascist governments treatment of children, but have a noticeably sadistic bent in their application: taking no ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
via NYPL - Goddamn outstanding. Gimenez tells the stories of his time in the "Social Aid Homes" for war orphans after Franco won the Spanish Civil War. Every page is designed to break your heart. Masterful cartooning, a little childhood whimsy, and a whole lot of human tragedy make for an unforgettable reading experience.
The book was so moving, so infuriating, so powerfully drawn, that I had to own a copy. And reread it. It only gets more intense and more tragic with a second reading. I
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Paracuellos is, no doubt, a work of outstanding workmanship. The graphic memoir tells the stories of children living at Social Aid "Homes" run by the State and the church during Franco's regime, as experienced and/or witnessed by the author himself. Some of the children were orphans, some others were taken away from their family as their parents were considered failing to meet "the moral conditions" set out by the regime.

There are bits in the stories which will make you smile (the innocent conve
Oh my god. I almost didn’t get through this.

With sequential art and prose, Carlos Giménez portrays life in orphanages during the Spanish Civil War in the middle of the 20th century.

It is heartbreaking. And horrifying.

The picture Giménez paints shows how these children experienced life. The awful conditions they experienced.

Being “taken care” of by people spouting prayers and hymns.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Worth reading, as difficult as it is to get through.

Derek Royal
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, another in the EuroComics series that IDW is putting out. This volume includes translations of the first two collections of Paracuellos originally published in Spain. You can see a marked style shift between the first and second halves, both in terms of the format and the narrative progression. This is a heartrending text, although Giménez falls prey to maudlin displays or melodrama. We reviewed this on a recent episode of The Comics Alternative: ...more
Bradley R. Homer
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One word. "POWERFUL". This graphic novel was quite a page turner to read and get through. I can only hope that this will someday be turned into an animation cartoon because it deserves it! Going into his world and him going through this with actual events you can definitely tell that his heart and soul went into these comics.
Kristin MB
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Unbelievable how evil people can be towards each other, especially adults to children in their care. Though the boys are creative and resilient and find ways to survive, what they had to endure, was deeply disturbing to say the least.
Elle Markov
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a moving read about the plight of the children in fascist Spain. Carlos Gimenez does a great job in recounting these events of a past he lived through.

Rating 5 out of 5
Mateen Mahboubi
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking slice of often forgotten history which unfortunately was fairly prevalent in many different countries.
Mills College Library
741.5946 G491p 2016
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This wasnt an easy read for me. The children orphaned and abandoned by the Spanish Civil War were mostly raised in State run institutions aligned with the Catholic Church. Gimenez grew up in such an institution and Paracuellos is an autobiographical work centered on incidents from his time there.

It was simply heartbreaking to read some of the stories around their despair, torture and sheer cruelty of the caretakers. What's astounding is to wonder how Gimenez managed to bring all of this togethe
Nick Smith
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Obviously a lot of skill went into this work - not to mention a lot of terrible experiences. But the episodes become numbing and rote after a while, as you can be sure any hint of something good happening to one of the children is going to be crushed 2-4 pages later. Still, Gimenez is an incredible cartoonist and well respected for this and other works. I can both appreciate the monumental task he is undertaking here while proclaiming myself uninterested in reading further.
Sasha Boersma
The stories in this book are emotionally heavy. Exploring life in the social "homes" in Spain in the 40s and 50s. Astonishing what was considered care for children during that time (which if I understand correctly, was when Spain was run by a dictatorship under the label of communism).

Beautifully done, buy a very difficult read.
Marsha Altman
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, history, comics
A brutal book about the author's childhood in one of the "homes" set up in Fraco's fascist Spain for children with parents who were ill, in prison, or dead. I haven't encountered a comic so moving about the brutality of life since Maus. Recommended.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #23 Paracuellos Volume 1 by Carolos Giménez 1 1 Feb 06, 2016 10:03PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After
  • Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
  • Total Jazz
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good
  • The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
  • The White Rose (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #3)
  • A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories
  • Shadows Linger (The Chronicles of the Black Company, #2)
  • The Finkler Question
  • Munch
  • Corto Maltese: The Secret Rose
  • The Sky is Blue with a Single Cloud
  • Corto Maltese:  Tango
  • No Longer Human
  • Dementia 21 Vol. 2
  • Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power (Verso Futures)
  • Venus in the Blind Spot
  • Super-Dimensional Love Gun
See similar books…
Madrid, 1941,
es el autor más importante de la historieta española de las últimas tres décadas. Cronista de la transición política en la trilogía España Una, España Grande y España Libre (1976-1977) y autor del mejor retrato interior del mundo del cómic español en la serie Los Profesionales. Asimismo, es el máximo exponente del tebeo autobiográfico con la serie Paracuellos y en obras como Barrio o

News & Interviews

In most historical romances, love and marriage go together like...well, a horse and carriage. But what if the girl part of the girl-meets-boy...
37 likes · 15 comments