counter create hit Cuba: My Revolution - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Cuba: My Revolution

Availability: Ready to download

Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs — where she encounters he Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs — where she encounters her mortally wounded high school sweetheart as an enemy fighter, then is arrested and tortured for treating another CIA-trained brigadier.  Scarred, yet clinging to her revolutionary ideals, she seeks fulfillment in an artists’ collective, only to be further disillusioned by increasing repression under Castro. Finally, she flees to America where she has been a painter and influential arts activist.


Compare
Ads Banner

Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs — where she encounters he Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs — where she encounters her mortally wounded high school sweetheart as an enemy fighter, then is arrested and tortured for treating another CIA-trained brigadier.  Scarred, yet clinging to her revolutionary ideals, she seeks fulfillment in an artists’ collective, only to be further disillusioned by increasing repression under Castro. Finally, she flees to America where she has been a painter and influential arts activist.

30 review for Cuba: My Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    I 'bumped' this book to the top of my reading list because of the current events happening in Cuba. I find that history is often skewed; that we tend to insist on telescopes to see the 'stars' (world leaders) and neglect the microscope to see the 'organisms' (common people) in the 'lab of history.' Seventeen-year-old Sonia is torn between becoming a doctor or a painter when Castro comes to power. At first she supports the new policies of the revolution...but behind all the speeches she finds tha I 'bumped' this book to the top of my reading list because of the current events happening in Cuba. I find that history is often skewed; that we tend to insist on telescopes to see the 'stars' (world leaders) and neglect the microscope to see the 'organisms' (common people) in the 'lab of history.' Seventeen-year-old Sonia is torn between becoming a doctor or a painter when Castro comes to power. At first she supports the new policies of the revolution...but behind all the speeches she finds that there is a much darker agenda for those who do not believe that "A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past." That is the lesson of all dictatorships - while looking to the heavens we forget to look at the ground we are standing on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Galluzzo

    In Cuba: My Revolution, Inverna Lockpez gives us a perfect example of the Miami Anti-Castro mindset, fifty years after the event, although she does her best to cloak this agenda in "liberal" trappings, by depicting Sonya, her protagonist, as a dedicated revolutionary. While the nature of Sonya's commitment is never explained beyond an overtly sexual attraction to Fidel's "bold and dominating figure," an early representation of Sonya, mostly sans pupils, entranced zombie-like at a Fidelista rally In Cuba: My Revolution, Inverna Lockpez gives us a perfect example of the Miami Anti-Castro mindset, fifty years after the event, although she does her best to cloak this agenda in "liberal" trappings, by depicting Sonya, her protagonist, as a dedicated revolutionary. While the nature of Sonya's commitment is never explained beyond an overtly sexual attraction to Fidel's "bold and dominating figure," an early representation of Sonya, mostly sans pupils, entranced zombie-like at a Fidelista rally tells the reader all he or she needs to know: this is an irrational passion on our misguided bourgeois heroine's part. But she learns the hard way, accused of working for the CIA after tending to her Batistiano ex-boyfriend during the Bay of Pigs invasion, she is subsequently tortured in a sequence that includes an inadvertently comic vision of multiple Fidels marching out of her pregnant mother's vagina--it's all about sex and madness. Reducing revolutionary commitment to sexual pathology is, of course, an old counterrevolutionary trope, originating with Burke's depiction of the French revolutionaries as lascivious thugs sexually menacing Marie Antoinette (and Sonya at one point references Robespierre: good job, Inverna). Apparently there weren't any legitimate reasons to support the revolution nor was there repression under Batista: at least if you happened to be a member of the Cuban upper classes, as Lockpez's family clearly was. Sonya's mother is a revealing character in this regard, since she consistently gives voice to an unapologetically Batistiano and bourgeois perspective, e.g., wanting to shop in Miami or send her children to a "good," "private," and Catholic school in the States. Although Lockpez seemingly wants the reader to identify her "revolutionary" protagonist with the author, despite the chronological and historical improbabilities of such an identification (and despite her refusals to say if and to what extent the character's experiences are autobiographical), it is in Sonya's mother that we find a more ideologically accurate version of the authorial position, if we consider the work in its entirety. Why, then, is this position cloaked in the guise of two familiar liberal figures and narratives: the disillusioned revolutionary, albeit one without any discernible political commitments,and the frustrated artist, fighting state censorship? One of the story's subplots ironically revolves around Sonya's frustrated artistic desires, since she wants to pursue abstraction (amazing how the old Cold War cultural signifiers linger on here), but she's forced to paint heroic portraits of Fidel and Che in the vein of socialist realism; it turns out that Lockpez learned those lessons well, as Cuba: My Revolution is the clumsiest piece of Soviet-style agitprop that I've seen apart from late Stalinist-era Soviet film, and in the service of cartoonishly bourgeois notions--such as the pop Freudian cast of the heroine's "political" attachments--to boot! Illustrator Dean Haspiel, of Spider Man and X-Men fame, reveals in his crude appropriation of said agitprop iconography (lots of red!)the affinity between comic books and the kitschy-heroic mode of socialist realism against which daring artiste Sonya rails. While this graphic novel is a veritable beastiary of Miami anti-Castroisms (he was Soviet from the start; it was all personal ambition, etc.), they are married to a select number of critical representations that could be described as "left," or at least as appealing to the kind of progressive readership who, while anti-Castro, would reject the reactionary world-view of the Miami gang. For example, a historically unbelievable because openly gay character named Oscar is shipped off to a UMAPS reeducation camp because of his homosexuality, in a direct echo of gay dissident artist Reynaldo Arenas's experience in seventies Cuba. The autobiographical fiction breaks down here and elsewhere, as Lockpez uses dissident narratives as camouflage for an older agenda, in the same way that Sonya's a-political commitments distract from her mother's class loyalties. That older agenda is on view in several ideologically telling characterizations, such as Lockpez's representations of the popular CDRs as an angry and significantly Afro-Cuban mob driving the revolution's supposedly vindictive turn, or how, in a climactic meeting with Cecilia Sanchez toward the end of this comic book, Sanchez is described as the power behind Fidel and the revolution. These symptomatic aspects of Lockpez's histrionic narrative reach their apotheosis in Willi, the Afro-Cuban street-side florist. This offensively one-dimensional character responds to a "disillusioned" Sonya's claim that he (poor, black) at least--AT LEAST!--should support the revolution, since it was made for people like him, in a way that is redolent of antebellum and anti-abolitionist southern fiction, with its various "good slaves": "I only ever feel equal at your house,when your mother asks me to sit down and brings me water." Willi--the benevolent and grateful black man--naturally delivers this funny book's set-piece denunciation of Fidel the tyrant in a curiously programmatic English that is more in keeping with official US anti-Castro rhetoric than that lame "dialect," which the character uses up until this point. There are many legitimately critical accounts of the revolution and its failures from once committed revolutionaries, but this is not one of those accounts, as evinced by Lockpez's dedication, where she offers her cartoon to those "who still fight for the return of freedom once enjoyed"...presumably during Batista's corrupt dictatorship. Lockpez should get out of Miami and onto the island and see how many dissidents she can find who long for Cuba pre-1959. What's even more depressing is the fulsome praise this schlock elicits from people for whom this latter-day exercise in anti-Jacobinism functions as a "realistic"--ideologically resonant?--depiction of Cuban history (thirty years of which are inaccurately sandwiched into the first two years of the revolution here). Perhaps Lockpez does work for the CIA. No, I wouldn't want to indulge in conspiratorial fantasies, since the more likely scenario is that she left Cuba with her bourgeois family early enough in her life to internalize the Miami fantasies on view in her graphic novel, without the inconvenient intrusion of fact or ambiguity.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Spallone

    This was a deeply personal look at the Cuban Revolution. I actually like how Lockpez created a character through which to tell the story, although every event that occurred in the book actually happened to her. The experiences were painful and traumatizing, and it makes sense for her to need a small step away from it. Books like this are necessary as the US is reopening relations with Cuba, as a reminder of the oppression that the Cuban people are still living under.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This beautifully drawn graphic novel tells a personal story about the Cuban Revolution that is often overlooked by broader histories. Sonya's journey is a difficult one and if the ending felt slightly pat, it's only because the rest of the story was so deep and complex. It is very clear that all of the characters are drawn from life, they are too conflicted to be fictional. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in comics or history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Basma

    This part of history I am not very much aware of except for some snippets I read or see on the internet. I want to learn more and understand more of the underlying politics and what was/is at play. I also want to learn more of the revolution and it's principles and what essentially happened to it along the way. Oh and, beautiful illustrations.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael de_Zayas

    Easily one of the most interesting women in the world today is Yoani Sanchez, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Havana a couple years ago. (I smuggled her in a couple laptops and some t-shirts with her blog's logo.) Finding her wasn't easy. Eventually I made contacts with a woman who claimed to be her American translator, a woman named Mary. It took a while before Mary trusted me enough to provide me with a Havana phone number. After about a dozen calls I reached someone on the other end of Easily one of the most interesting women in the world today is Yoani Sanchez, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Havana a couple years ago. (I smuggled her in a couple laptops and some t-shirts with her blog's logo.) Finding her wasn't easy. Eventually I made contacts with a woman who claimed to be her American translator, a woman named Mary. It took a while before Mary trusted me enough to provide me with a Havana phone number. After about a dozen calls I reached someone on the other end of that phone line - Yoani's son. And eventually Yoani. Mary called me up out of the blue last October to let me know about a reading that was going on in Brooklyn, for this graphic novel that tells one woman's autobiographical story of her infatuation and final abhoration of the Cuban system. I passed along Mary's greeting to Inverna, we talked about Yoani, I bought her book, and then took it home where it sat for exactly a year on the shelf as I traveled around the world, had a baby, and so on. This week I found it again. I've read widely about Cuba so there could be little new here for me to expect to find. I have family stories that are quite similar; I've spent a great deal of time imagining those years in fiction; and yet Inverna is clearly a very special person, an artist and a person of passion and strong will. She's tortured. Again, I've read hundreds of pages of description of Castro-directed torture, but the illustrations do what they are supposed to here. It's shocking and new and raw again. Takes about an hour or two to experience this and I burned through it on a rare weekend morning when baby and mother were asleep. Thank you, Inverna. The book leaves off with your flight to the US - I hope you found here the expression and the love you strove for back home. Of note: the book's illustrator Dean Haspiel won an Emmy last year for his work with Jonathan Ames on Bored to Death.

  7. 4 out of 5

    alana

    Wow, so this was heavy and disturbing. Cuba: My Revolution is on a local Graphic Novel Reading Group's 2014 booklist, so I thought I'd get a head start. Having studied abroad briefly in Cuba, the country is on my radar (especially Cuban art), but my knowledge of its history is quite lacking. However, I do know that there are varying perspectives on Fidel's revolution and leadership. Lockpez portrays the disillusionment of an idealistic medical student and artist who endured torture, loss of love Wow, so this was heavy and disturbing. Cuba: My Revolution is on a local Graphic Novel Reading Group's 2014 booklist, so I thought I'd get a head start. Having studied abroad briefly in Cuba, the country is on my radar (especially Cuban art), but my knowledge of its history is quite lacking. However, I do know that there are varying perspectives on Fidel's revolution and leadership. Lockpez portrays the disillusionment of an idealistic medical student and artist who endured torture, loss of loved ones, sexual abuse, and failed careers at the expense of the revolution. The book is very hard to read. Told in black, white, and red, the illustrations show the steady decline of a young woman from 1958 to 1966. While displaying a patriotic love of country and a hope for the success of Fidel as a new leader, Sonia's plight also reveals paranoia, abuse of power, mismanagement, and the variety of problems associated with the redistribution of resources and wealth. By the end, flight to the States appears as a Godsend with the future of the Cuban people seemingly on course for poverty and demise. I would be curious to see the choices Sonia makes Stateside, and her view of Cuba from that distance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    A powerful graphic memoir of a Havana-born artist who was formerly an ardent pro-revolutionary Cuban medical student. The graphic novel is the perfect vehicle for this heart-breaking coming-of-age true story. Highly recommended — especially for those who want to understand what happened in Cuba.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    An inside story of the decay of life in Cuba after the revolution by a revolution supporter. She becomes more disillusioned until she flees Cuba. A startling and revealing story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Malbadeen

    This goes on my short list of graphic novels I'll buy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lanter

    I hate to admit it but this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I think it is an average entry into the graphic novel memoir genre because of the writing/plot. The protagonist is a middle class girl who supports Fidel Castro during and after the Revolution and My Revolution focuses on her and her family's struggles in Cuba. I won't spoil how she changes and grows over the course of the plot but the narrator is frustrating to read about because of her privilege and naivete. That is always I hate to admit it but this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I think it is an average entry into the graphic novel memoir genre because of the writing/plot. The protagonist is a middle class girl who supports Fidel Castro during and after the Revolution and My Revolution focuses on her and her family's struggles in Cuba. I won't spoil how she changes and grows over the course of the plot but the narrator is frustrating to read about because of her privilege and naivete. That is always a risk in this genre since it is so deeply personal and I know this is true to who the writer was at the time but that does not make it fun to read. There are a few powerful moments in the story telling but overall, I felt disconnected from the characters and not overly engaged in the plot like I hoped to be. The back half of the book is where things really get bad because there are lots of jumps in time and the narrative momentum is kind of lost as a result. The main draw this book has is fantastic art. Some of the best I have seen in this style of graphic novel. It is just a shame that it is beautiful to look but lacking the true power of the written word for the majority of the story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ondine

    I was worried that this story would feel like typical Miami-Cuban anti socialist propaganda-- but it didn't at all. What I like the most about this story is that it's a perspective I don't hear from the narrative about Cuba's revolution. People talk about that time, Fidel, etc. In one of two ways; it was all awful and terrible, everyone lost everything and the regime is a dictatorship masquerading as socialists-- OR, the Cuban revolution was a perfect story about standing up against imperialism I was worried that this story would feel like typical Miami-Cuban anti socialist propaganda-- but it didn't at all. What I like the most about this story is that it's a perspective I don't hear from the narrative about Cuba's revolution. People talk about that time, Fidel, etc. In one of two ways; it was all awful and terrible, everyone lost everything and the regime is a dictatorship masquerading as socialists-- OR, the Cuban revolution was a perfect story about standing up against imperialism and lifting oppressed people out of poverty and illiteracy and cultivating a truly egalitarian society. All of that might be a little hyperbole, I admit. My point though is that Sonia's story is different. She is all for the revolution and supports Castro. She enthusiastically joins the militia and even when shit goes south, she remains loyal to the principles of the revolution. Overtime though, the toll of the trauma she witnessed and survived, the contradictions and broken promises, the loss of friends and family it is all too much-- too scary, too heavy. This story just felt super real. Like, real people experience conflict. The story of the Cuban revolution (and it's continued story) is nuanced and I felt like that complexity was present here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    The Laughing Man

    Anyone feeling romantic about Cuban revolution and communism should read this comic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Stafford

    A beautifully illustrated look at the Cuban Revolution and the rise of Castro and Che. I've been to Cuba only once (as a Canadian, we don't view the country the same way the Americans do because we don't have that hostile history) and I thought it was a beautiful and impoverished nation full of wonderful people. I walked through the streets of Havana, and was told by the person who was with me to haggle with everyone over everything, but when a poverty-stricken woman is offering me a hand-sewn d A beautifully illustrated look at the Cuban Revolution and the rise of Castro and Che. I've been to Cuba only once (as a Canadian, we don't view the country the same way the Americans do because we don't have that hostile history) and I thought it was a beautiful and impoverished nation full of wonderful people. I walked through the streets of Havana, and was told by the person who was with me to haggle with everyone over everything, but when a poverty-stricken woman is offering me a hand-sewn dress for $5, I'm not exactly going to haggle her down. It was an interesting trip, and the only place in the world I've ever been to where there wasn't a single McDonald's or Coca-Cola to be seen. But I did see where Castro lived, and it was extraordinary. So much for communism. This book is an account of one woman's journey from hating the reign of Batista and whole-heartedly embracing Castro and his politics, only to volunteer for the army and be mistaken for a traitor. But even after her torture she doesn't waver in her love of Castro until she begins to see her world — that of an artist — crumbling around her. It's loosely based on the life of the author, Inverna Lopez (she added the ck later), and I was lucky enough to do this for a book club where we had a guest come and speak about his own experiences not only growing up in Cuba, but knowing the author, being in the same literary and artistic circles as her, and his own personal experiences and meetings with Castro, Batista, Che, Celia, and even Allen Ginsburg. So perhaps I'm giving this book one extra star because of the illuminating discussion I had with someone else about it, but I still think this is an important book if you really want to have some insight into the difficulties of politics, and what it's like to be swept along in a wave of political passion, only to be let down by your own convictions. A wonderful book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura (booksnob)

    Cuba, My Revolution opens on New Year's Eve, 1958. Sonya is 17 years old and a supporter of Fidel Castro. Batista is the current president of Cuba and the people feel betrayed by him. Batista was supported by the Americans, he suspended the constitution, censored the media and was known for having his opponents tortured by the secret police. In 1959, Batista flees Cuba in the middle of night and Fidel Castro comes to power. Sonya immediately decides to become a doctor to support Castro and to pu Cuba, My Revolution opens on New Year's Eve, 1958. Sonya is 17 years old and a supporter of Fidel Castro. Batista is the current president of Cuba and the people feel betrayed by him. Batista was supported by the Americans, he suspended the constitution, censored the media and was known for having his opponents tortured by the secret police. In 1959, Batista flees Cuba in the middle of night and Fidel Castro comes to power. Sonya immediately decides to become a doctor to support Castro and to put off her dream of being an artist. She is in love with the revolution and the idea of change. She hopes for justice, equality and a new era for Cuba. What she gets is long hours at the hospital with dwindling supplies. Then Sonya volunteers to work the front line of the war. Here she becomes a victim to Castro's suspicions as she is arrested for helping a dying man, who was an enemy of the state. Only her father can save her. Sonya is a true revolutionary and you get a sense of her strong dedication to the cause she believes in. Her friends and family leave Cuba as their rights dwindle and Sonya refuses to be swayed. Sonya's transformation from a young, naive girl to a women, changed by politics, is poignant and memorable. Sonya's story is based on Inverna's Lockpez's life and it teaches you about Cuba's history and people. Dean Haspiel has drawn a work of graphic art that captures the heart of Cuba, it's people and the revolution that sparked hope and ended in dissolution. Some of the art contains nudity and torture. The whole book is drawn in black, white and red. Red stands out against the background of black and white. It's vivid, stark, powerful and unforgettable. Cuba, My Revolution is a graphic novel that will help you to view the Cuban revolution from multiple perspectives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    A superb graphic memoir of transformation from idealistic supporter of Castro's revolution to disillusioned expatriate, as the political frustrations build from merely trying the narrator's patience to bearing witness to atrocities.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Martin Jurča

    “Look at that crowd. Columbia has never been open to the public before. He really believes democracy!” “As soon as possible, I shall take the rifles off the streets! Arms for what when elections will be called in the shortest time possible?” “He is right. The crowd can feel it. He has no personal aspirations.” “Keep an eye on the neighbors? Isn't that spying?” “Fidel has closed the brothels and put the prostitutes to work as bank tellers. They don't know how to count, and give the wrong change.” “The “Look at that crowd. Columbia has never been open to the public before. He really believes democracy!” “As soon as possible, I shall take the rifles off the streets! Arms for what when elections will be called in the shortest time possible?” “He is right. The crowd can feel it. He has no personal aspirations.” “Keep an eye on the neighbors? Isn't that spying?” “Fidel has closed the brothels and put the prostitutes to work as bank tellers. They don't know how to count, and give the wrong change.” “The school is full of dead bodies. Use them as your pillows.” “I want Cuba for the Cubans. I fought for a...” “...communist country? The Russians are everywhere. Their women don't know how to walk in high heels and don't wear deodorant. They also wear silly babushkas while they drive those filthy garbage trucks. What kind of country is that?” “Leaving Cuba is not easy. The regime makes you quit working as soon as you apply for a Visa even if it takes years to get it. An inspector inventories your belongings. When you leave all bills must be paid, your house left fully furnished, and your car turned in to the police station. Money is tight, it's almost impossible to leave.” “I have been wanting to sleep with you since you were a child. Anytime you need some cash, you know you can come see me... but don't get greedy with your daddy.” “Our peasants would not understand if we were to treat men and women alike.” “Coke? Ham sandwiches? Chiclets or M&M's?”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    Modern Cuban history, from a personal point of view, is very interesting to me. The struggle that the Cuban people have gone through is so intense and this book is no different: intense is the right word. Sonya is 17 at the beginning, she is smitten with Fidel and his revolution and while she is studying to be a doctor to make her father happy, she also wants to be an artist and a soldier. As Fidel takes power Sonya slowly grows up, realizing that revolutionary dreams and revolutionary reality ar Modern Cuban history, from a personal point of view, is very interesting to me. The struggle that the Cuban people have gone through is so intense and this book is no different: intense is the right word. Sonya is 17 at the beginning, she is smitten with Fidel and his revolution and while she is studying to be a doctor to make her father happy, she also wants to be an artist and a soldier. As Fidel takes power Sonya slowly grows up, realizing that revolutionary dreams and revolutionary reality are two very different things. Promises are broken, society breaks down and for Sonya, who truly believed that a bright new future was coming - it's a very emotional journey. Let me give you fair warning: no pun intended, but there are some graphic scenes. There is torture and interrogation, wartime violence and suffering. Because we are seeing it through Sonya's eyes, it's not only upsetting but terrifying. I cannot imagine having to live through some of her experiences and it is apparently based on the life of the author. To live in fear, every day. To watch people you live disappear, some to safety in America and some into the hands of the people who told you they would make your country better. So, if you are prepared to see a few disturbing images, this account has something very important to say.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike Aragona

    An unbelievable story. I spent time speaking with a friend who shared with me her travails in getting out of Cuba and was able to compare what Inverna felt with what she went through as well. It's incredible to think how deep the devotion to Cuba and Fidel ran that even after the horrible tortures she endured, it could not be broken. Shocking and brutal, this story of survival is one that stays with you for a very long time after you close that back cover.[return][return]As for Haspiel's artwork An unbelievable story. I spent time speaking with a friend who shared with me her travails in getting out of Cuba and was able to compare what Inverna felt with what she went through as well. It's incredible to think how deep the devotion to Cuba and Fidel ran that even after the horrible tortures she endured, it could not be broken. Shocking and brutal, this story of survival is one that stays with you for a very long time after you close that back cover.[return][return]As for Haspiel's artwork and storytelling craft, I can't ever find any flaws to it. I love his work whole-heartedly and always look forward to his next opus.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robin Gane-McCalla

    A short story with minimal artwork, Cuba: My Revolution tells a great story. The illustrations are focused on the emotions of the characters rather than action, most of the art is black and white but occasionally red is splashed into notable objects. Sonya's story begins in 1958 and ends in 1966. She joins Fidel's militia, trains to be a doctor and eventually becomes an artist. Initially she is supportive of the revolution, despite the opposition of several supporting characters, including her m A short story with minimal artwork, Cuba: My Revolution tells a great story. The illustrations are focused on the emotions of the characters rather than action, most of the art is black and white but occasionally red is splashed into notable objects. Sonya's story begins in 1958 and ends in 1966. She joins Fidel's militia, trains to be a doctor and eventually becomes an artist. Initially she is supportive of the revolution, despite the opposition of several supporting characters, including her mother. Eventually, she comes to question the Revolution and makes the risky decision of attempting to leave the country.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I love graphic memoir as a rule, and Dean Haspiel's art is simply phenomenal. But the dialogue and narration are so clunky and awkward that it's hard to really get into the story. I appreciate the glimpse into the life of someone who lived through the Cuban revolution, but compared to Maus or Persepolis, it doesn't stack up on the artistry scale.

  22. 4 out of 5

    BCPL Youth Services Librarian

    Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark Allard-Will

    Whilst a compelling read and a thoroughly harrowing true story of survival and grit in the face of the oppressive Fidel Castro regime, the story is told as broken fragments of situations and times, which ultimately works against its overall pace, leading even the most cognizant reader to look back a few pages every now and then with the question of "wait, who is this guy again?". The thought bubbles from Inverna (fictionalised as Sonya) are exposition-heavy and this actually detracts slightly fr Whilst a compelling read and a thoroughly harrowing true story of survival and grit in the face of the oppressive Fidel Castro regime, the story is told as broken fragments of situations and times, which ultimately works against its overall pace, leading even the most cognizant reader to look back a few pages every now and then with the question of "wait, who is this guy again?". The thought bubbles from Inverna (fictionalised as Sonya) are exposition-heavy and this actually detracts slightly from the otherwise very compelling, very heart-wrenching story. There are a few things that really bring the Book back from the brink of literary disaster, however; largely, this is the undeniably beautiful Artwork and the striking, and almost unbelievable, story of what happened to this poor girl and her family under such cruel, wicked leadership. The story really is told in passionate tone, putting us in Inverna's (and the Cuban peoples) shoes with just how confusing Fidel's cult of personality was and how that moral dilemma lead to such conflicted inner turmoil for both individuals and their families. Hate and dissidence can be confused for love in such trying, confusing times and amid the aforementioned cult of personality; at least that's what I took away from this Book, because it told that perspective so very well. If it wasn't for the choppy structure of the narrative, I would have rated this Book so much higher, as it is otherwise a great story of a subject that, without memoir, we know such little truth about outside of hearsay, gossip and, of course, the dreaded propaganda and words of the brainwashed many. A Book full of such vivid imagery that really places upon the reader the sense of just how horrific things were in Cuba in that time. A worthwhile read that helps us in the West understand a demystified, unsaturated view of Castro and one that I'd recommend to anyone whom wishes to understand more of that time in Cuban history. 100% not for Children!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This autobiographical graphic novel is a laudible work that ends up bizarrely suffering from the sheer talent of its artist Dean Haspiel, who illustrates the (slightly fictionalized, I assume) story of an old family friend, Invera Lockpez. All throughout this book, Haspiel's cartooning is top notch, involving, and dynamic. The writing on the other hand never truly rises above straightforward and unadorned. The book follows Sonya, who firmly believes in Castro's revolution from the start, to the p This autobiographical graphic novel is a laudible work that ends up bizarrely suffering from the sheer talent of its artist Dean Haspiel, who illustrates the (slightly fictionalized, I assume) story of an old family friend, Invera Lockpez. All throughout this book, Haspiel's cartooning is top notch, involving, and dynamic. The writing on the other hand never truly rises above straightforward and unadorned. The book follows Sonya, who firmly believes in Castro's revolution from the start, to the point where she openly celebrates the firing squads ("Paredon! Paredon! Paredon!") as she casually walks down the street. But as time passes, she slowly falls disillusioned with the regime, with the book's centerpiece a horrifying series of torture sequences in jail. The book hints at the deep wells of cognitive dissonance and tension that comes with living in such a society, but it can be tough to get past the protagonist's stubborn naivety which shades into stupidity (at one point Sonya, a trained doctor, has to be told that her mother is seven months pregnant, and I'm still not certain if this is done to illustrate how single-mindedly she's dedicated to the revolution). There's a way to make a young misguided character sympathetic, but this book never quite gets there. Still, Cuba: My Revolution is worth a look to get a quick sense of the insanity that was Cuba in the 60s not to mention to enjoy page after page of gorgeous Dean Haspiel storytelling.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Stoy

    Divorced from the historical question of Cuba, this is a very intense coming-of-age story with stark, memorable art. Of course you can't really divorce a story about a disillusioned Cuban revolutionary who eventually flees to Miami from context, can you? So of course the question is how does one put a story like this in context? A lot of people who fled Cuba were the folks who had done their fellow Cubans wrong, but pretending Castro never did any human rights violations is tankie nonsense, much Divorced from the historical question of Cuba, this is a very intense coming-of-age story with stark, memorable art. Of course you can't really divorce a story about a disillusioned Cuban revolutionary who eventually flees to Miami from context, can you? So of course the question is how does one put a story like this in context? A lot of people who fled Cuba were the folks who had done their fellow Cubans wrong, but pretending Castro never did any human rights violations is tankie nonsense, much like the health care and literacy gains of the island are real. But back to Lockpez, it does mean that when you're reading this semi-autobiographical story, you do wonder "is this basically true?" and "is there important context being left out?" and that's kind of where I was left with the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This book is going to place very high on many annual Best Of lists, and it deserves every mention. The theme is effectively "be careful what you wish for," as Lockpez supported Castro's revolution as it took power in Cuba during her seventeenth year. As things continued to go wrong, the naive young woman continued to believe, hoping that things would improve - after her military service (which included being tortured herself!), having her artistic leanings banned in art schools, and her mother f This book is going to place very high on many annual Best Of lists, and it deserves every mention. The theme is effectively "be careful what you wish for," as Lockpez supported Castro's revolution as it took power in Cuba during her seventeenth year. As things continued to go wrong, the naive young woman continued to believe, hoping that things would improve - after her military service (which included being tortured herself!), having her artistic leanings banned in art schools, and her mother fleeing the country. It's heartbreaking, but an amazing story, and very well told. Haspiel does a good job with the art, but Jose Villarrubia's understated coloring is the true star of the book's graphic element.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Blake Hametner

    This is a beautiful story. A haunting story. Inverna Lockpez has lived through some dark times but in doing so is able to bring to light very powerful emotions. Dean Haspiel's art is fantastic vehicle for this piece. It is sharp, its is graphic, and it never without purpose. "To survive, we sometime have to more away from that which we love" Once we survive, this story makes it clear that survival is not enough. We must live, for the people that we have lost, for the ideas we still believe in, a This is a beautiful story. A haunting story. Inverna Lockpez has lived through some dark times but in doing so is able to bring to light very powerful emotions. Dean Haspiel's art is fantastic vehicle for this piece. It is sharp, its is graphic, and it never without purpose. "To survive, we sometime have to more away from that which we love" Once we survive, this story makes it clear that survival is not enough. We must live, for the people that we have lost, for the ideas we still believe in, and for the better world that we all have a part in making.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Frank García

    This book is low-key right wing propaganda told from the POV of bourgeoisie/elite Cubans disaffected with the Cuban Revolution, and Fidel and the revolutionaries are pathologized as rapists and sexual degenerates. Conveniently, the book never delves into the Cuban working class and homogenizes and sensationalizes the worst of the revolution. While the narrative is biased as hell, the art is amazing. If it weren’t for the art, I’d rate this one star, but the art is worthy of a 5 star rating, so t This book is low-key right wing propaganda told from the POV of bourgeoisie/elite Cubans disaffected with the Cuban Revolution, and Fidel and the revolutionaries are pathologized as rapists and sexual degenerates. Conveniently, the book never delves into the Cuban working class and homogenizes and sensationalizes the worst of the revolution. While the narrative is biased as hell, the art is amazing. If it weren’t for the art, I’d rate this one star, but the art is worthy of a 5 star rating, so the average wins out.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    A very thoughtful reflection on idealism and disillusionment, set against the backdrop of the Cuban revolution and the buyer's remorse of the subsequent years.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Colin Oaten

    Fascinating memoir telling the story of a teenage girl and the years growing up in Cuba during the early years of Castro's revolution.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.