Document Type

Book Chapter



Publication Details

From Memory, Transition, and Transnationalism in Iberia, Edited by Mark Gant, Susana Rocha Relvas and Siân Edwards, 2023, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


The graphic novel, Esperaré siempre tu regreso (2016, Desfiladero Ediciones) by the author and illustrator, Jordi Peidro (Alcoy, 1965), is a biographical and historical text that centres on the life in exile of Francisco Aura Boronat (or Paco Aura, Alcoy, 1918-2018), a Spanish communist and Republican who survived the horrors of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Drawing on comics studies and memory studies, the analysis will discuss how Peidro navigates ethical and aesthetic issues when representing traumatic and violent memories related to the Spanish experience of Civil War, exile and deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. Firstly, it will contextualize Esperaré siempre tu regreso within a burgeoning genre of contemporary graphic novels published in Spain that deal with Spaniards in Nazi concentration camps. Secondly, it will consider the “unique spatial grammar” (Hillary Chute 2016, 3) of the comics format, which provides a distinct means of representing histories of war, trauma and genocide. Subsequently, through an examination of kitsch and anti-kitsch strategies, the chapter will focus on characterization and the aesthetic representation of violence in Peidro’s graphic novel. Finally, it will reflect on the ways in which graphic novels such as this contribute to memory debates in contemporary Spain.