Here is a collection of nineteen tales of coming to (North) America; each unique, yet all connected by the hardships that everyone of these immigrants underwent. All of the stories are part of a collaborative project joining each Central American tale teller with a New England cartoonist who transformed the oral story to a visual one. The stories are quite affecting.
In addition, there are multiple essays that serve to introduce, explicate and contextualize the stories, as well as presenting the concept of ethnographic cartooning, and so bring the reader closer to the material. In the process it also provides a look at Vermont Dairy Farming and it's central role in the state. In short: there's a lot going on here in the 240 pages of El Viaje Más Caro / The Most Costly Journey.
FEATURED ARTISTS: Tillie Walden / Marek Bennett / Kevin Kite / Iona Fox / Kane Lynch / Teppi Zuppo / John Carvajal / Michael Tonn / Angela Boyle / Rick Veitch / Glynnis Fawkes / Greg Giordano / Ezra Veitch / Shashwat Mishra / Michelle Sayles
EDITED BY: Marek Bennett, Julia Grand Doucet, Andy Kolovos, & Teresa Mares
FOREWORD: poet Julia Alvarez
PREFACE: nurse Julia Grand Doucet
INTRODUCTION: cartoonist Stephen R. Bissette
AFTERWORD: Teresa Mares & Andy Kolovos
And here's Vermont's most notable cartoonist on El Viaje Mas Caro:
“It’s hard to imagine other people’s lives. It’s harder still when those lives are hidden from public view. But in this book, the unimaginably difficult experiences of migrant and immigrant farmworkers are made vividly accessible. Through their own words, and the simple, direct drawings of their cartoonist collaborators, we see how they got here, what they’ve left behind, and what their long, long days are like. The original goal of this project was to give their subjects a voice, but every North American should read this book in order to understand the disturbing degree to which we all depend on the self-sacrifice of these workers. El Viaje Mas Caro is a profound act of witness.” – Alison Bechdel