Thursday 12 March 2015

¿Quién es quién? - an Illustrated Zoological Study of Gay Culture

[Image description: the original July 2013 edition on the left, the revised one on the right]

Last year I was delighted to review the Beartoncity tomes of the witty comic-artist Daniel Mainé. At the same time I also ordered a copy of another book which Daniel had illustrated, ¿Quién es quién?: Guía Illustrada Del Ambiente Para Gays Desubicados, authored by Enrique P. Sen. Unlike books published in the United Kingdom, Spanish publications do not state the font used. The one used in the book is rather small and, for someone with eyesight problems like myself, very difficult to read.  I could only read in bright daylight and little by little as it hurt to read.

[Image description: sample page showing text]

Thankfully Diabolo Ediciones commissioned a revised edition to take account of the recent changes in not just gay culture, but social mores across the spectrum. The revised edition, published in October 2014 is now hardback rather than softback and a new bolder font has been utilised. 

Such a shame then that twenty-three of my pages are blemished or marked (see the image below for a prime example. That represents some seventeen percent of the pages damaged. With a price-tag of just under eighteen Euros, one really would expect much better.

[Image description: blemished pages, including Daniel's artwork]

So to the contents. Enrique's observations are just so spot on. I was howling with laughter whilst reading the original edition at my favourite café-bar on the beach in Benalmádena. I have no doubt that many folk will recognise individuals they know who so fit the descriptions posited in Enrique's taxonomy.

There was definitely a need to add hipsters to the rogues' gallery. And my favourite of Daniel's illustrations is the 'estrellita', perhaps best translated by the term narcissist. The image of a hirsute bear floating in a plethora of approval and adoration is a marvel to behold - I love it!

Daniel's portraits of each stereotype adds to Enrique's text, more often than not contributing additional humour. Look, for example, for the study for the paranoid gay!

The revised edition is definitely an improvement on the original. With larger pages, the artworks can be seen to their full effect. If your bookshop still has the first edition in stock, unless you are a collector, skip it and insist on the second version.


No comments:

Post a Comment