By Peter Kuper
Hardback, 328 pp, $29.95
Samantha and George are a couple heading towards a sabbatical year in the quaint Mexican town of Oaxaca. For Samantha, it is the opportunity to revisit her past. For George, it is an unsettling step into the unknown. For both of them, it will be a collision course with political and personal events that will alter their paths and the town of Oaxaca forever. In tandem, the remarkable and arduous journey that a monarch butterfly endures on its annual migration from Canada to Mexico is woven into Ruins. This creates a parallel picture of the challenges of survival in our ever-changing world. Ruins explores the shadows and light of Mexico through its past and present as encountered by an array of characters. The real and surreal intermingle to paint an unforgettable portrait of life south of the Rio Grande.
Peter Kuper has created over a dozen graphic novels, including The System, Sticks and Stones and an adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. He is co-founder of the political graphics magazine World War 3 Illustrated and since 1997 has written and drawn Spy vs Spy for MAD Magazine. He has been teaching comics courses for over 25 years in New York City and is a visiting professor at Harvard University.
"Kuper's art is, page after page, astonishing."— Jules Feiffer
"The bright, incident-packed panels of Oaxacan life are nicely balanced by lovely sketches of insects and the sparer rendering of the butterfly's journey, its fragile orange wings warm against blue-grey landscapes."— The Guardian
"This magnificent graphic novel by Kuper follows an American couple who decamp for Oaxaca, Mexico, for a sabbatical and creative recharge, only to get far more than they bargained for… It's a beautiful, epic roman à clef about the importance of seeking the new and questioning the old."— Publishers Weekly