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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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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Painting a vivid, personal portrait of social 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 his wife and daughter moved to the beautiful, 15th-century colonial tow ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by PM Press (first published 2009)
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David Schaafsma
In 2015 cartoonist Peter Kuper published Ruins, about an artist and his wife taking a couple year sabbatical in Oaxaca. It focuses on his relationship with his wife, and with his life as an artist, and his drawing of bugs. And there’s some mention of political activity. I read it a couple years ago.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Now I come to read Kuper’s journal/sketchbook of those couple years, which would work as a nice companion to Ruins, of course. It is multi-genre, and gets less
...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
Raina
Don't be freaked out, english-only-speakers, 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 onc
...more
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
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
Andrea
Mar 31, 2010 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
Oscar
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: français, journal
Peter Kuper, ilustrador, caricaturista y autor estadounidense, llega a Oaxaca durante su año sabático buscando paz y tranquilidad lejos del alboroto de la actualidad internacional. Lo que encuentra es todo lo contrario. Kuper llega a la ciudad de Oaxaca durante el conflicto magisterial del 2006 contra el gobernador Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, uno de los gobernadores más corruptos y sanguinarios que haya tenido esta región pobre de México.
En su libro, Kuper mezcla anotaciones y reflexiones de su diario co
...more
Stephen
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The Oaxaca Diary is a lovely book filled with the author's own illustrations and photographs. It begins with a description of the teacher's strike of 2006 and the political situation in Oaxaca but then moves on to more personal experiences. Among these are a trip to Michoacan where millions of Monarch butterflies go in the winter, a trip to Puerto Escondido and another to Chiapas. Kuper also writes about street art/graffiti, dogs of the street, and the insects in his own back yard. Text is in bo ...more
Erok
Nov 14, 2009 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
Jennifer
Jan 30, 2013 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 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
Benjamin
Mar 04, 2010 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
Myla
Oct 22, 2011 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
Travis
Mar 11, 2010 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!
Annika
Jul 15, 2014 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.
W M
Mar 18, 2016 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 a part 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 internationalist was like the wobblies and zapatistas. Note: I do not know Spanish.
Michelle
Jan 16, 2010 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.
Julio Marquez
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
A wonderful companion to a trip to the amazing city of Oaxaca.
Chris Shaffer
Jun 10, 2010 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.
Carol Hunter
Mar 04, 2010 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.
Vi
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
force of nature. truly. it's like kahlo's diaries. drawings everywhere.
kdj
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Wonderful view into Oaxaca through words & sketches
Kim
Jan 31, 2010 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.
Cee Spind
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sorta went on a kuper's binge... Should def read ruins handinhand with this.
Pascale
Aug 07, 2012 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 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, en-español, 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.
Aisha
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Awesome
Whitaker
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Michael
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loeg-archives
Kuper's sketchbook and journal entries during the two years he spent living in Oaxaca, Mexico, during the time of a major political upheaval connected to a teachers' strike. Intelligent, well drawn, and full of great images of the many facets of Mexican life. Very good, although there is less "story" content than most people will probably expect from it. Most of the pages are sketchbook material, but I enjoyed Kuper's great collages of Mexican culture.
Sj
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Peter Kuper, his wife, and his daughter took a 2 year sabbatical in Oaxaca. Kuper chronicled his time there in a sketchbook journal. He ended up there during a teacher's strike when the military was called in. His first account of that ordeal was a great read. As someone who loves Mexico, it was fun to read about someone else who really loves it too.
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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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