Daniel Alarcón: Ciudad de payasos (2012)


Sources: On the left: Book cover for Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado's 2012 graphic novel Ciudad de payasos. Sheila Alvarado designed the cover. The book is published by Alfaguara, Madrid, Spain. On the right: Pages 70 and 71 of the graphic novel, which is adapted from Alarcón's (2010) short story "City of Clowns" (2003).

Comments: The cover is an illustration of a city bus in Lima, Perú, in which a young Peruvian journalist, Chino, is riding. On the far right (p. 71) we see Alvarado's masterful artwork depicting the figurative feeling of a joyful clown flying over the central square in downtown Lima. On the left, the illustrated text says from top to bottom:

[Narration] But I made sure that beer kept flowing. I told him [the clown Toño] about my mother, about my old man. About Pasco and San Juan while he listened and drank. Then he told me about his native city in the north, his arrival in Lima without a dime. He told me he had lived underneath the Santa Rosa bridge.
Chino: And what about being a clown?
Toño: It's a job, bro. Better than some and worse than others. I'm no good at other things. It was this or stealing.
Chino: Amen.
[Below left] Chino: You have enough to live on?
Toño: I don't spend much. I don't have a wife or children.
Chino: How did you wind up doing this?
[In the circle bottom left] Toño: No, buddy. That's not it. Things don't happen like that. One day you wake up and, bam! you're a clown.
(Trans. by WTL)

Humanities Questions:
A. In your view, (a) what does the Spanish cover suggest about this graphic novel, and (b) what does this cover convey to you about Latin American culture and humanities--or universal world culture?
B. If you are familiar with graphic novels, compare and contrast the two pages on the right to any other specific graphic novel you're familiar with.
C. In your view, and judging by only the images above, what is typical of twenty-first century (Latin American and/or international) culture about Alarcón/Alvarado's graphic novel?