Fifa, stripes and cold beer. “It was all perfect, what more could I ask of life at that moment?” Asks the unfortunate and unfortunate Juanillo just before they beat him to death to steal the drug he protects at his friend’s house Ions, graduated in Philosophy and dedicated to drug trafficking and who believes that “working hard is useless. Effort and hard work is foolish to convince fools of us to get off our backs and put our lives at the service of some sons of bitches living well.
These are two strongholds of the gang of “liantes que te cagas” and “vicious number 1” who star ‘In the end the monsters always win’ (ed. Blackie Books), the first novel by the cartoonist Juarma, which in 2017 created a reading club in Facebook where he applauded independent texts and that, after an arduous interlacing work, he managed to make one: «After many revisions everything was fitting well, it seemed that he was very prepared when it really was to improvise a lot and trust intuition in some stories that at first they had nothing to do with it “, says the author who, despite being known for his comics and fanzines, has been writing all his life:” I’ve always liked him, at 13 or 14 I wanted to be a writer instead of a footballer. “
Between ‘Trailer Park Boys’ or a ‘Trainspotting’ Granaíno, although I do not know if this would be endorsed by Juarma himself, the writer has located in the town of Villa of the Source, what makes of Comala fierce, its main setting to tell the tragedy of a group of thirty-some colleagues who are being wreaked havoc by eternal ‘hardcore’ life. Above all because of cocaine, a fragile vault key in its relationship with the world and that collapses on pillars very cracked by the consequences of its abuse: violence, failed relationships, mental illness, prison and death. “Sadness envelops everything and I can’t even get rid of it by listening to bachatas,” says the character of Dani.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t mean it was about cocaine, it came up as a context, but when you read it it seems that I have written a treatise. It is a somewhat invisible drug, it does not show a physical deterioration like other substances, it is more mental. And it shows in what he causes around him, because the person thinks that he is super great and that everything is fine. Without being a sociologist, he also gives me the impression that he is everywhere and is silent a bit “, says Juarma, who wanted to tell” a story about not having hope, not having a future, having nothing to hold on to and fill the void when there comes a point where you ask yourself: what do I do with my life? What do I paint here? This is not what I wanted to have.
Natural of Deifontes, a small town in the Eastern Mountains of Granada, the novelist explains that he took from there the streets and places, its open spaces, and the rest, the flesh and the bone, are unassociable to anyone: «Until I was 20 I always lived there. Then I went to Granada, because I was studying, and I stayed working. I’ve been back a couple of times due to life circumstances. When I started putting the texts on Facebook, I was living in Deifontes. I was not in a very good moment and, perhaps for that reason, it is a somewhat unsettling book, “says this writer, who has worked as a day laborer, laborer and waiter, among many other things, and has 45 published titles that he frames in a photo with the caption of ‘Tame rabies‘. «The book is very important, a child’s dream, and the journey from texts posted on the internet to publication has been wonderful. But I look back, since I started with my cartoons and pretend to write punk songs, and it’s very complicated, I can’t explain how I’ve resisted, ”he says.
Throughout ‘In the end the monsters always win’, we stumbled upon several fictitious news items from the newspaper ‘Ideal’, making the novel a kind of reconstruction in detail of everything that is behind an event that comes out in the press, that is, of the biographical context of its protagonists. «I have been living in several provinces in recent years and the local press always brings out the same thing but with different characters. When you see the photo of a police still life, it was a bit what is behind all those photos, to develop the mystery. The local press gives the news in a cold way, they do not do it as something personal. And I think they do it well because many times the cause is known to those who have happened to them. The gossip has little to do with reality.
Is the novel, from its own title, a summary of your vision? «I try to see things with hope, wanting to fight, to lean on people, friends and family, wanting to build in a different way and make life more pleasant. I believe in the people close to you, in mutual support. But many times to see an exit to the tunnel in which we are stuck and you do not even realize it … I have been living from day to day all my life, without making plans more than a month in advance: what can I tell you? ».
Scooters Yamaha Jog (on the cover of Beatriz Lobo), dyed hair, earrings in the ears, tattoos on the chest and hands, discos with evocative names … in the novel we find a recognizable coloring of the youth of deep Spain, as well as a frenetic rhythm, raw humor and tenderness. And with these elements, as in a twilight and quinqui western, the decline of the savage group is narrated: «Nostalgia fills their present and hopeless future a bit. But after the past they remember what they want, and they don’t want to remember other things because they were nightmares, ”says Juarma. And how would I have lived this merry gang confinement? “I imagine watching movies and smoking joints, going out at night to do mischief. As we all carry it a bit, adapt to what it touches and as much as possible ».