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Words by Mark Bellido

Art by Judith Vanistendael

Hardback, 368 pp, $34.99

Mikel has a lifelong dream: to become a writer. Seeking to inject some extra cash and inspiration into his life, he uproots his family from their sleepy village to the Basque country, where he takes a job protecting politicians from the armed separatist group ETA. But financial security comes at a price: fear, uncertainty and family breakdown.

Drawn in part from his own experience, Mark Bellido’s intense and vivid story finds its perfect counterpart in the bold beauty of Judith Vanistendael's artwork. Together, they have created a powerful and troubling graphic novel that probes the consequences of personal conviction, and the limits of social responsibility.

Judith Vanistendael

Born in 1974, Judith Vanistendael is a Belgian comics author and illustrator. She studied at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and at the University of Ghent, before focusing on Latin America as a postgraduate. She is also a graduate of the comic strip course at the Sint Lukas art school in Brussels. Her graphic novels include the Eisner Award-nominated When David Lost His Voice and the semi-autobiographical Dance by the Light of the Moon, which was nominated for the prestigious Angoulême Grand Prize and has been translated into several languages. She lives in Brussels, Belgium.

Mark Bellido

Mark Bellido was born in Seville in the spring of 1975, during the agony of Franco’s dictatorship. He studied fine arts, followed by nursing, psychology, oceanography and industrial design. He also has a MA in security and investigation. Some will know him as a war photojournalist; for the Spanish authorities, he is a political activist; but in reality, he is just a teller of lies, using images and words. In search of stories, and armed with a camera, he has been through wars and a few nights in prison. For four years, he protected Basque politicians threatened by ETA. He lives everything he writes. His name is Mark Bellido, but that is also a lie...


"Bellido and Vanistendael deconstruct Mikel’s life, and in doing so pull the narrative into different territory. We’re shown what Mikel can’t see, how his priorities and character have changed, and the final third of the book is a distillation of how the job has personal consequences."
— Slings and Arrows
"Vanistendael and Bellido succeed in bringing this surreal, fast-moving, absorbing thriller to life in crisp, peculiar fashion."
— A Place to Hang your Cape
"Mark Bellido's personal experience is a fascinating drama that keeps you guessing until the end."
— Comics Scene Magazine